Monday, August 25, 2014

Unschooling 101

Recently, I posted on unschooling and why we've landed upon this style of learning for our children. I promised to delve much more deeply into the topic, because I just really feel that it's a very misunderstood form of schooling at home. In this post, I'm going to talk about how unschooling looks in our family.



We began homeschooling some sixteen+ years back and we did begin the journey by choosing a curriculum. I knew NOTHING about homeschooling when we started and I just assumed that schooling at home meant just that~ SCHOOL-AT-HOME. So, school was delivered to our front door in a convenient little box and schooling commenced. Over all these years, through MUCH reading and research, We've discovered a better way~ unschooling.


Through the years, I've watched plenty of families invest ALL their time and resources into filling their children with every curricula available so that they can compete with the average brick and mortar schooled child their age. Sometimes I've wondered if they are neglecting the most precious aspect of schooling at home. We have endless hours with our children, but yet so many do not look at the child as a whole. Are your children being fed morally, can they cook, clean and care for their home? Can they compassionately care for their younger siblings? Have they been taught to respect and enjoy nature? Are they gardeners, learning homesteading, and composting? Have they been given the time and space to explore their God given gifts and passions OR could they go head to head academically with a brick and mortar schooled child their same age?


Unschooling is a lifestyle where we as parents must trust that God has put all that's needed inside our child and it's our responsibility to help foster those talents and gifts. Not just whenever the time allows, but ALL day, EVERY day. Unschooling takes lots of faith! 



So, if your saying to yourself, this woman's nuts and her kids are never going to be able to get into college if they so desire because she's not making them stay on track with their reading, writing and arithmetic, hold up for just a minute. Besides the fact that we have graduated one child already, and yes, he did get into college, research has shown that once a child WANTS to learn a certain task whether it be geometry or photography or ANYTHING in between, they will devote themselves to the task and tackle it head on until they have it mastered enough to accomplish their goal. We do this as adults ALL the time. Take me for example: when I discovered the blogging world a few short years back, I saw that lots of women had a talent of taking an old, junky piece of furniture and re-purposing it into something beautiful and useful with paint. I found this frugal thought very enticing. So what did I do? I began voraciously combing the web for tutorials on refinishing and repainting furniture. Now, our house is filled with pieces that I've re-purposed. And when I had mastered that, I noticed that there were lots of women out there sewing slipcovers for their tired, old furniture and sewing pillows and linens to decorate their homes. So then, I blew the dust off my sewing machine, and began combing the web again for sewing how-to's, and ta-da, I mastered that too! Why do we not have the faith that our children won't do the very same thing??? Mine do it each and every day because we have given them the time to let their minds wander in search of their talents. 



Unschooling isn't just about a no-hands-on-style of parenting though. My next post will explain what you should do as a parent every day to be sure that your children's environment is conducive to learning. I hope that this has answered some unschooling questions you may have been wondering about. Feel free as always to share your thoughts in the comments and share this page through your social media if you know of a homeschooling family that may be interested in unschooling too!  Thanks for joining me and come back soon for more information on unschooling!


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11 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing! You know, it's blogs like yours that help me be more relaxed with my preschooler. When her older sister (now 14) was the preschool age, I seriously wanted her to read before Kindergarten that it became a bit of a stress for us. Now, I'm much more relaxed and realize that just because my kid doesn't read before they're 5 years old doesn't mean they'll be ruined for life. :) She will learn because she will need to in order to do what she needs/wants in life.

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    1. Yes Shannen, you sound just like me. It took lots of years of homeschooling to have the confidence needed to trust that my children will learn when they NEED to learn. So very happy that you shared today! Come back by soon.........

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  2. I teach at a public Montessori school, and I think this is a wonderful way to educate your children. Kudos to you!

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    1. I didn't know that you taught Kim. Montessori is a wonderful style of teaching children. Thanks so much for stopping by today!

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  3. Amy,
    I apologize for not stopping by sooner but last week, i helped run our church Flea Market and worked some of those days too! I will not do that again as I realize I am way too old to stay up for hours on end anymore!!

    I admire anyone who does home schooling because i , personally, would not feel i was competent to do it so Hats off to you and all those who home school!!

    Thanks so much for your visits!!

    Hugs,
    Deb

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  4. good stuff!
    i recently found a blog: www.penelopetrunk.com
    she is famous, i guess; i must be living in a time warp
    anyway you will find some fascinating ideas, thoughts, arguments, etc. for unschooling -
    WARNING: she uses explicit language and some profanity - so don't send the kids here ;)

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    1. Thanks Layla for the info AND the heads up! I'm pretty sure that I'm your neighbor in that time warp!! I swear sometimes I do think I live under a rock, and the funniest {or saddest} part is I kind of like it there!

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  5. We are new homeschoolers (in our second year) I do love our curriculum, but I also love the time we have getting outside and working our garden, exploring our neighborhood and watching them learn in a much more organic way. It's amazing to watch their natural curiosity and love for learning!

    Visiting from the Say G'Day party. If you're looking for new link ups, I have one going on Wednesday nights through Saturday nights at Gingerly Made. I'd love to have you over!

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    1. Thanks Ginger! I'll put it on my calendar! Thank you for visiting!

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  6. I loved unschooling for a season, so glad you shared. And, you site is super adorable

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When y'all leave comments, my heart just swells! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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