Judgment Can Cultivate Fear and Shame in Our Children

This month we’re digging into some of the challenges of deschooling. We’ve looked at how our fears can stifle our children’s learning if we indiscriminately use our fear to control our children’s exploration. And now I’d like to dig into the downside of being quick to judgment, especially when it comes to our children. Of course, […]

Our Fears Can Stifle Our Children’s Exploration and Learning

Last month we dove into the “cons” of unschooling, basically some of the reasons why an unschooling lifestyle might not be a good fit for a family. This month, let’s assume the fit looks good and take the next step: deschooling in earnest. What are some of the challenges we may encounter? The conventional ideas […]

Unschooling Doesn’t Have Report Cards

It’s pretty common for people new to the concept of unschooling to ask, “If you don’t test your children, how will you know if they’re learning?” I’ve always found that such a curious question. Just think how profoundly the education system has woven itself into our psyche to think that the only way to recognize […]

Unschooling Means Not Needing to Control Others

When it comes to “things you give up for unschooling,” I think near the top of the list you’ll find control. More specifically, controlling others. Many of us grew up being told that, “when you’re an adult you can do things your way, but now you do them mine.” And now that you’re finally the […]

Unschooling Means Spending Time with Your Children

Choosing unschooling isn’t a decision to be taken lightly—though it may come together pretty quickly. When considering such a life-changing decision, it’s common practice to weigh the pros and cons. To make our list, we gather information: we read online, hit the library, ask around to see if we have a friend, or a friend […]

Joy is a Beacon for Community and Growth

So far we’ve looked at the value of using joy as a beacon for learning, relationships, and work. Now let’s look at joy as a guide for finding community. What do I mean by community? Basically, finding like-minded people who will inspire us to continue to learn and grow as a person. And the people […]

Joy is a Beacon for Building a Personal Body of Work

We’ve been talking about the “joy” in living joyfully, so let’s dive right into why I find joy such a useful guide for building a personal body of work. I love Pamela Slim’s description of a body of work—a bigger concept than a job or even a career—from her book, Body of Work: Finding the […]

Joy is a Beacon for Building Strong Family Relationships

I chose Living Joyfully as the name of my website because I found that joy was, and is, an unerring compass for all aspects of our unschooling lifestyle. Last time we looked at learning, so now let’s look at why joy is such a valuable touchstone for building strong and connected relationships with our children (or […]

Joy is a Beacon for Living and Learning

Years ago I chose to name this website Living Joyfully as a loving, yet persistent, reminder to follow the joy. And this month I thought I’d dive into some of the reasons why I chose the concept of “joy” to fundamentally represent the unschooling lifestyle. Let’s start by making sure we’re on the same page […]