Jo Watt is an ex-teacher and now stay-at-home mom of two unschooling girls, ages four and six. She blogs at girlsunschooled.co.uk and about six months ago she, her husband Kriss, and the girls moved from the UK to the US Pacific Northwest. We have a wonderful conversation, digging into learning to read, when people want to do different things, what “fair” means, the value of free time, when we find ourselves out of step with our kids, and much more goodness.
And the podcast is now available on YouTube! The channel is Living Joyfully with Unschooling.
Quote of the Week
“It seemed weird choosing home ed at all, and unschooling just didn’t seem like it was enough, which, of course, is crazy because it’s everything, isn’t it? It’s opening your whole learning to everything and anything.” ~ Jo Watt
Questions for Jo
Can you share with us a bit how you and your family came to unschooling?
I was hoping you could take a moment to share what your girls are interested in right now and how they’re pursuing it?
You wrote a post a few months ago that was all about how we don’t need to rush reading. I was hoping you could share a bit about your journey through the conventional push for kids to read earlier and earlier?
With unschooling, we’re choosing to relate to our children, not through power and control that we were talking about earlier, but through connection and agreement, you know, finding a path forward that works for everyone involved. And it’s such a very different way of interacting with our children. I was hoping you share a story or two about ways you guys have worked through times when the girls were wanting to do different things?
Your husband Kriss has recently started writing on your blog as well. Can you share a bit about his journey to unschooling?
Over the years I’ve come to think that one of the biggest differences between unschooling and a conventional lifestyle is the amount of free time that our kids have to do whatever they choose. You know, you can really see, in our goals-driven society, that we’ve lost sight of how incredibly valuable that free time is. You wrote about this recently as well. I was hoping you could share what are some of the benefits that you’re seeing that come from releasing expectations around how we spend our time?
Your girls are still young, but I must suspect you’ve already experienced this. Sometimes it seems that just as we think we’ve found a groove with our children, things change. You know, we’re connecting well, we’re finding great ways to support them and their interests, and we are getting to the park, we are, figuring out ways that they can both get what they need and thing are happy, and then poof, all the sudden it feels like we’re playing catch up again, trying to figure it all out. Things just aren’t working out as smoothly as they were before. So, I was wondering if you’ve come across that situation, and how have you moved through it?
Links to Things Mentioned in the Show
Jo’s blog post, We don’t need to rush the reading
Podcast book chat, Attachment across the Lifecourse
Kriss’s intro post on the blog, An introduction from an unschooling dad
Jo’s blog post, Time, mistakes and forgiveness
The book, Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
And she posts on Instagram