Alex Polikowsky is an unschooling mom to Daniel and Gigi. Her family runs a dairy farm in Minnesota, which adds an interesting dimension to their days! I met Alex when I spoke at the Always Learning Live symposium she hosted in Minneapolis a couple of years ago, and really enjoyed the brief glimpse of life on a dairy farm. I asked Alex to join me to chat about her daughter’s choice to go to school last year and what the experience was like.
Quote of the Week
“I am convinced that the best learning takes place when the learner takes charge.” ~ Seymour Papert
Questions for Alex
Can you share with us a bit about you and your family, and how you came to unschooling?
Your daughter Gigi choose to go to school last year. Can you share how that choice came about? What the motivation behind it was?
Did you have any issues registering her? Did she want to do anything beforehand to prepare?
What did she think of the classroom experience her first week? What did she enjoy? And not enjoy?
How did you guys choose to handle the school’s expectations around homework, tests, and grades?
Looking back, how do you see your unschooling principles continuing to support Gigi while she was in school?
You recently mentioned that your son is applying to go to A level of high school in Japan. How did that come about? And what’s he doing to prepare?
Links to Things Mentioned in the Show
Dr Sear’s classic book: The Baby Book
Jan Hunt’s website: The Natural Child Project
Yahoo groups: Always Learning, Unschooling Basics, Always Unschooled (the last two aren’t active, I believe, but the archive is available)
Facebook group: Radical Unschooling Info
Alex’s blog (she no longer posts, but the archive is there) and she’s on Facebook
Wow! The transcript is great and is so so helpful 🙂 Thanks so much Pam and team. The bolding and headers are such a great touch too!
I love being able to easily quote things I hear on the podcast when I discuss them with my friends. Or if I want to remember something, I don’t have to drag the little bar around and back searching for that bit of info! So awesome and very appreciated.
Btw, the link to Alex’s Facebook gives a 404 error 🙂
Pam Laricchia says
That’s great, Tristyn! So glad you’ve found the transcript helpful!
And sorry about Alex’s FB link. Weirdly, it works for me. Maybe you can search FB for her, I don’t expect it’s a common name. 🙂
Ashley Gieschen says
This was another encouraging podcast as my son has chosen to go back to school this year (5th grade).
Alex’s perspective, words, actions, & support before, during, and after her daughter’s school experience was so helpful. I can find myself quickly slipping back into feeling anxious about my son’s academic success but Alex spoke about wanting to be that calm, supportive presence, not a nagging parent. I truly loved her whole mindset and how it directed her relationship with her kids.
Now, three years later, it would be really exciting to have Alex back on to talk about her son’s Japanese high school & immersion experience that he was looking into and where they all are now. (Hint, hint?)
Thank you Pam for your wonderful work.
Pam Laricchia says
I’m glad you’ve found this episode helpful as your son moves back to school, Ashley. And thanks for the idea to invite Alex back to the show! 🙂