Advice for New, Worried Homeschoolers from a Longtime Unschooler

I realize that there’s loads of public school parents freaking out right now because of school cancellations – thinking their kids will fall behind if they don’t keep up with worksheets and reading texts and lesson plans until school-as-normal resumes.

So if your kids are unexpectedly home with you for the unforeseeable future, here’s my advice on how to keep everyone sane: Continue reading

Food Freedom? On Allowing Your Kids to Eat Whatever They Want

This article was originally posted on TheHomestead.Guru

Unschooling goes beyond education and learning–it bleeds over into every area of your life, eventually. So what does it look like to be unschooling food?

For many unschoolers, unschooling food means exactly what it sounds like: kids are given the freedom to eat whatever they want.

Many of you may now be picturing ice cream for every meal and nary a vegetable in sight–but the reality of food freedom doesn’t stay that way, even if it might begin like that!

Kids, like people of all ages, tend to be drawn to what’s forbidden, especially if there’s a fair amount of emotional energy surrounding those taboos.

For example, when I was a kid, my parents were health nuts of the low-fat, low-salt variety. However, sugar was not yet seen as the villain many now know it to be.

Unsurprisingly, I craved exactly what I was forbidden–things like bacon and potato chips! Never mind how many popsicles I ate on a daily basis…

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“I’ll be my child’s ONLY teacher!” Are you sure that’s a good thing?

Unschooling is not for everyone, and it can take a LONG time to get it. Like, years. It’s not something you can read a book and some blogs and go, OK, I got it!

For me, unschooling has been an inseparable part of my approach to parenting, as well as part of my self-healing process in breaking generational narratives.

Unschooling goes far, far beyond academics…IF you allow it to!

The thing is, humans are inherently holistic creatures. Truly, we live in a holographic world, meaning – we are all parts of a bigger whole, enfolded within each other.

Education is not just one part of our childhood – we are not brains in jars or empty vessels passively waiting to be filled.

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The Problem with “I Was Spanked and I’m Fine”

Before we begin, I’d like to remark that it is 2018 in the most information-saturated society in the history of the known world.

I can’t believe we still need to have this conversation.

However, new studies show that the more frequently children are spanked, the more likely they are to

  • defy their parents;
  • experience anti-social behavior;
  • increased aggression;
  • mental health problems;
  • and cognitive difficulties

Are you surprised? I’m not.

Furthermore, even the AAP (whom I heartily disagree with on several counts) has come out against corporal punishment of any kind against children, due to the new research that shows normal brain development is impacted by physical discipline.

Statistically speaking, physical correction and spanking are still very common practices in American parenting. Continue reading

what do unshcoolers believe

What Do Unschoolers Believe? Unschooling, Defined.

Unschooling, defined? How we’re different:

Unschoolers believe similar broad concepts about the nature of children and of learning, that set us slightly apart from other people. There are plenty of unschoolers who may disagree on some of the finer points, but the core beliefs are, in my opinion, fairly common ground:

Unschoolers believe strongly in the innate capabilities and curiosity of the human spirit from birth.

Firstly, we do not see children as inferior to adults (that’s adultism, FYI).

We strive to treat people of all ages as primarily competent, well-intentioned individuals who possess sufficient internal motivation and drive to learn and grow throughout life.

In short, unschoolers believe positive, life-affirming things about human nature, and we have (or cultivate) a large amount of trust in our children as people.

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Rethinking TV-free: Why I don’t censor television-watching

Earlier today, I was watching Disney channel with my kids, and we got to talking about childism in action on that channel.

In particular, the show Good Luck Charlie. It’s about a “big” family (four kids), but the parents are self-absorbed, hapless idiots and they are constantly making comments that indicate that they would rather not have had kids.

I am all for jokes and sarcasm, but IMO there’s a line that these shows cross, and I think it’s hurtful. Why do we want to perpetuate a cultural opinion of kids as a hassle or an inconvenience? How is that helping the relationships between parents and children?

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