I didn’t start out unschooling my kids. Indeed, my daughter went through 4 years of public school, and my son went through Kindergarten.
Even when we stopped public school, we didn’t unschool at first. We used the COVA (Colorado Online Virtual Academy) curriculum for a year and a half, then we branched out into some of the 374598374598437 billion curriculum sets available, and then we slowly progressed into unschooling.
The better I learned and understood my kids learning styles (divergent, hands on, independent, relevant, visual, and kinesthetic, to throw out a few fancy schmancy terms) the more I saw them as really capable, confident learners. And the more I saw them in this light, the more I trusted them. The more I trusted them, the more I listened to them. And then the more they talked, and explored, and discovered!
Unschooling started out as an education choice and slowly evolved into a lifestyle. But I’m getting ahead of myself. What exactly is unschooling? For our family, it means that we don’t follow an external curriculum. No workbooks, no daily schedule of preorganized lessons, not any rote memorization. It relies on self direction, passion, free play and interest. It means that my kids are learning at their own developmental pace, not on a standardized, disconnected and impersonal timeline.
What unschooling is:
What unschooling isn’t:
linear (or, maybe it is, depending on the kid!)
What our unschooling looks like:
Our Unschooling Journey:
It started with Benjamin Franklin.
It continued into Science.
I started noticing that my way wasn’t everyone’s way.
I learned to lighten up.
I learned to listen to my kids.
My kids actually thanked me.
I learned the powerful difference between ‘having’ to learn something and ‘wanting’ to learn something.
Sometimes I thought deep thoughts.
I often get snarky at the NEA. Seriously. NCLB really kills me.
And sometimes I really sound crazy.
And then other times I get to celebrate a milestone, or a great day!
(*note: sometimes, I refer to what we do as ‘unschooling’, and sometimes ‘homeschooling’. There is a difference, but at the same time I hate living by labels. So, I personally use them interchangeably, even though I probably shouldn’t. But everyone understands the gist of homeschooling while not everyone picks up on what unschooling is…so in the interest of brevity I just stick with the term that is most known.)
What is your own experience!
Do you have anything to add to the ‘Is’ and ‘Isn’t’ unschooling list?
Do you have an unschooling blog with your own daily happenings?
Do you have a favorite unschooling article?
Do you have any questions?
Do you want to leave abusive comments? Well, don’t. I’ll just erase them.
But for everyone else, feel free to comment and leave links or replies!