Friday, August 15, 2014

Why We Unschool Our Children


Let's talk about unschooling, shall we? So.... what is unschooling? Well, unschooling is a style of homeschooling where your children are given the freedom to learn at their own pace and in their own time. I really believe there is a HUGE lack of information on how unschooling looks in a typical family. When you begin your homeschooling journey, you also begin the CURRICULUM journey. Many homeschool families try to replicate "school" at home. Guess what? Just because you have chosen to homeschool, doesn't mean you have to mimic school. You have the freedom to not only nurture your child's education but your WHOLE child. Step back and look at the BIG picture, your child as a WHOLE, not just their book smarts, but their character. I've seen way too many homeschooling parents totally miss the opportunity to grow the WHOLE child because they are so busy on the curriculum. They are wasting such a gift.  


So what does our unschooling family look like? Well, we don't live on the side of a mountain and haul our water in by mule. We don't live on a bus and travel around the U.S.{although I really do want a CAMPER, but, I digress}. We don't live in the backwoods and hunt vermin for our meals and have coon skins hanging on our porch {not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you}. We are a pretty regular family. I'm a college educated, self proclaimed DIY'er, writer, wife, and UNSCHOOLING mommy. So why did we choose unschooling? We wanted our children to have the space and time to explore their own passions in their own time. Every day is FILLED with learning, just like in real life. There's no set hours for learning. Knowledge is around us ALL day EVERY day, we just have to seek it out. We want our children to adopt a lifestyle of learning. Learning does not have to be only from 8am to 3 pm. Learning is now and always.



Do we live a child centered life- NO, but, we do let our children decide what they want to pursue on any given day. Sometimes that means sand box fun all morning for our seven year old or rainbow looming for our eleven year old followed by our thirteen year old baking for the afternoon. It also means that our youngest just learning to write at seven is o.k. and our oldest daughter not caring much for reading until she was ten was also o.k. But once they are ready to learn, boy-do-they-fly! There's no forcing them to write their ABC's through tears or bribing them to read a chapter in a book. When they're READY to pursue any task, they just excel.



Schooling at home is a journey and one that changes shape as we change over the years. Have we always unschooled- no. It took many years of relaxing our homeschooling style to get to where we are now. And some days, I'm still full of fear.  We have raised and graduated one son already that was given this freedom to explore all his gifts and passions. I wouldn't change a thing! The freedom of a relaxed learning environment molded him into the amazing, confident, talented, young man that he is today. And that's not just a mama's pride. He really is exceptional and it has a whole lot to do with him having tons of freedom to explore the world around him. So this is why we unschool our children- because it works and I have a passion to continue this style with our other three children.



In a few upcoming posts, I'm going to explore the many ins and outs of unschooling and try to answer many questions you may have about this style of learning. I believe that it is a very misunderstood form of educating and that more people may enjoy it's benefits if they only understood it better. So, if you have questions like:  "what is unschooling and how do you unschool?", "as a parent, are you afraid that you're messing up your kids?", "what does a typical day of unschooling involve?", "do your kids like unschooling?", "can you be a christian and unschool?", check back soon and I'll answer ALL these questions and more. What do you think? Could unschooling be for you and your family?


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12 comments:

  1. Wonderful post. We homeschooled our children for many years. Our reasons and experiences were very similar -- we wanted our children to explore their world and cultivate talents outside recitations. Thank you for sharing. Tammi http://frenchrobin.com

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    1. Tammi, so sweet of you to stop by! And I totally agree- there's more to our children than recitations! Amen Tammi!

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  2. This is a great post... we have homeschooled our 6 children for many years now and graduated some of them so far.... we used many of the unschooling ideas and one thing I really wanted for my children was for them to learn to love to learn! I continue to learn and have a thirst for learning and doing and I wanted that for them also... and they do... we didn't do a total unschooling approach - we are more structured than that, but I do allow them to study in the areas they are interested and they love to learn on their own also... such a blessing. Thank you for the post. :)

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    1. My favorite part- I want them to LOVE learning always! It's funny how, even as adults, when we have the need to learn something new, we sink our teeth in and don't stop till we're done! Learning shouldn't be a chore but a lifestyle! Thank you for visiting this morning!

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  3. Hooray for unschooling! Our daughter is only a year old, but my husband and I (both teachers) are excited about our unschooling home already. I can't wait to read your upcoming posts!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting Lisa~ come back anytime!

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  4. Just read an interesting article in Outside magazine by Ben Hewitt about unschooling. Even though my daughter is only almost two years old, I have been interested in unschooling since I first read about it.

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    1. It's never too early to plan for how you'll school your littles! I'll enjoy reading about your adventures on your blog!

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  5. I've never home schooled or unschooled my kids, but I do like the idea of teaching kids at their own pace.

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  6. Great post. I will look forward to reading more about your journey in unschooling. Being a (fairly) new mother and knowing before we had a child that we wanted to homeschool, then learning there are all these different ways. I've been drawn to unschooling and other child-led/driven methods I've briefly read about. We're nowhere near "school age", yet I'm always 'teaching' Baby Boy something. As he gets older, I really want to have a good knowledge base to make our 'formal' decisions when it comes to homeschooling. :)

    Found your blog through Family Fun Friday!

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    1. I'm so impressed that you are so educated on schooling your littles! I knew nothing about homeschooling when our first was born! Good job and thanks so much for stopping by today!

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