The Fear of Leaving Curriculum Behind

At its most basic, unschooling is about learning without a curriculum. Moving to unschooling can be scary because there is comfort in curriculum—comfort that soothes our fears. And near the top of that list is a fear that our children may not learn something they need to know. Even as people learn more about unschooling and […]

Ways to Build Trust in Each Other

In my experience, a trusting relationship with my children is the backbone of our unschooling lives. And that trust goes both ways: my trust in them, and their trust in me. It is so important because with trust, real communication can flow. Our children can ask us questions, can share their thoughts and ideas, trusting […]

Ways to Build Trust in Unschooling

Unschooling as a way of learning and living is unconventional. In general, conventional society trusts the school system as an effective process for learning, where trust is a reasonably confident expectation of outcome. Yet we have chosen a less populated path. We don’t typically have an abundance of unschooling families around us from which to […]

Am I Considerate of Others?

A few years ago Lissy and I put up a quote on the wall in the basement: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” (Often mis-attributed to Plato, it can be traced back to Ian MacLaren, as outlined in this post on Quote Investigator.) Maybe surprisingly, it’s something I’m reminded of […]

Am I Exploring and Learning Too?

It’s important to check in with myself to see whether I’m also an engaged part of the picture. Last week I mentioned, “I began to realize that where there was joy, there was learning. So now I focus on the joy.” By that I mean my joy too. I want to be a shining example […]

Am I Supporting My Family’s Interests?

This week I’m asking myself if I’m feeling good about the support I’m giving my children’s interests. And my husband’s. For me, that means taking a few minutes to think about my recent reactions to their ideas and questions and suggestions. Am I sharing my enthusiasm? If I’m hesitant, am I asking myself “Why not […]

Am I Feeling Open and Connected?

I like to check in with myself once in a while to ask if I’m living the principles that have meaning for me. For our unschooling lifestyle. Let’s do that together this month. Am I feeling open and connected? For me, feeling open is about being open to what’s happening around me. That means being […]

The Meaning of Trust

The conversation that sparked these thoughts happened over Christmas at a gathering of local friends. I had a great time that evening, and it was a very enjoyable conversation. When I noticed our paths diverging, I naturally let the conversation flow in a new direction and we continued merrily along. But I couldn’t stop thinking […]

What Love Looks Like in Unschooling Families

Unschoolers can really be a confusing bunch to those looking in! On one hand, we appear to be sheltering our children from the real world by keeping them home—we’re overprotective. On the other hand, we appear to not really care about our children because we don’t enforce firm rules. Conventionally, it’s almost a given that […]

Are Unschooling Children Being Sheltered?

Over the years I’ve seen and heard many comments from people unfamiliar with unschooling that are along the lines of unschooling children “will never learn how to get along in the real world.” Their impression is that unschooling children are being sheltered; not being pushed out of the nest of home early enough. But I’m […]