Seeing the Learning in All Their Activities

Coming to unschooling, how do we begin to see the learning in everyday moments? It’s there, but when we’re used to seeing learning through the filter of conventional school, it can be hard to spot at first. We might still be looking for someone playing the role of teacher—showing our children the “right” way to […]

The Search for Meaningful Work

meaningful, purposeful, substantial, essential, significant, worthwhile, relevant, important, consequential, valid As we’ve looked at this month, coming to unschooling as adults is a fascinating journey. Chances are we’ll revisit our childhood and realize that play isn’t “just for kids.” We’ll discover that learning isn’t something you do in preparation for adulthood—at its best, it’s a […]

Excavating Our Curiosity

I touched on this a bit last week, in the childhood we wish we had, discussing a couple of solid reasons to play with our children now, as adults. But that’s just a start at excavating our buried curiosity. How did it get buried? Most of us grew up enmeshed in conventional schooling and parenting, […]

The Childhood We Wish We Had

As part of exploring and understanding unschooling, we think long and hard about our own childhood: our learning experiences (in which situations did we learn more? remember more?); our school experiences (how much long-term learning? how much stress? did we use what we learned?); the atmosphere in our home growing up (rules? punishments? pressure? control?); […]

Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

A few months ago I was in conversation with someone and we ended up at the old saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Us adults being the “old dogs,” of course. It was someone I enjoy speaking with and during the course of our conversation, a couple of light bulbs went off […]

When Unschooling Children Discover Their Lives Are Unconventional

As unschooling parents, we’ve chosen this unschooling lifestyle for our family. In doing so, we decided that although it’s unconventional, the benefits outweigh the challenges. Or else we’d have chosen to stay on the conventional path, so well-trodden by those before us. Yet at some point as our children get older, they will realize that […]

The Fear of Your Child Choosing School

What if my child wants to go (back) to school? It’s a fear I’ve seen come up online pretty regularly, and one I experienced myself a couple of times in our first few years. I still remember it clearly, that rush of fear and adrenaline when one of my kids mentioned they were considering school. […]

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 […]