Sheila is an unschooling mom of three, grandmother to two, and author of Dear Grandma: Your Grandkids Are Unschoolers. Sheila and I really enjoyed speaking specifically to grandparents this week. We dive into some of the questions that they may understandably have when they find out their grandchildren aren’t going to school, like how they’ll learn to read, how they’ll make friends, and some ways that grandparents can foster good relationships with their unschooling grandkids.
This episode is definitely meant to be shared with grandparents!
Quote of the Week
“We, as grandparents, can be a safe place and so nurturing and enriching for our grandkids. Not that their parents aren’t safe places too, but grandparents can really hold a special place in their grandkids hearts.” ~ Sheila Baranoski
Questions for Sheila
Can you share with us a bit about you and your family and how you discovered unschooling?
What perspective do you have that can help grandparents learn more about their grandkids’ unschooling lifestyle?
Can you give the grandparents listening an idea of what unschooling is and isn’t?
In your book, you wrote, “How children learn to read without schooling is as hard to explain as how children learn to walk without lessons.” I loved that analogy! But you try anyway because learning to read is something that grandparents understandably worry about. Can you share a bit about how your son Matt learned to read without lessons?
Another concern grandparents can have is how their grandkids will be able to make friends if they aren’t in school. Again, it’s an understandable concern, but it’s one that’s pretty easily addressed, isn’t it?
Grandparents may notice that their unschooling family gets upset or defensive if they ask their grandkids questions about what they know. Can you explain why, and how quizzing conflicts with the principles of unschooling?
Sometimes grandparents see unschooled kids behaving in ways that they would have punished. Unschooling parents are apt to take a different approach to the situation. Can you shed some light on what they are doing and why? Because they aren’t ignoring it, are they?
Can you share some things that grandparents can do to foster a good relationship with their unschooling family, and their grandkids in particular?
You also write fiction, and your protagonist is a 12-year-old unschooling boy. I’d love to hear how that came about.
Links to Things Mentioned in the Show
Sheila’s unschooling book: Dear Grandma: Your Grandkids Are Unschoolers
Sheila hosts an Unschooling Book Club on Facebook
Sandra Dodd’s yahoo group: Always Learning group
Pam’s blog post about her daughter’s road to reading: “I can read, you know!”
Sheila’s fiction book: Cellular Spirits
Sheila’s website and blog: www.sheilabaranoski.com