Amy Martinez joins me this week to talk about her family’s move to unschooling. Amy is a mother of five, who range in age from 15-29. They had time in public school, homeschooling, and ultimately moved to unschooling. Her insights on those transitions, on living in a big family, and on the connections and amazing relationships that have developed with unschooling are inspiring!
Ten Questions for Amy
Can you share with us a bit about you and your family?
What did your family’s move to unschooling look like?
With parents who are discovering unschooling with older kids, it’s pretty common to hear concerns like, “If I let my kids decide what to do, what to eat, or when to sleep, they’ll play video games all night long while eating only junk food!” The three youngest of your five kids were older when you moved from a school at home approach to unschooling. What was your experience?
The transition from a more conventional lifestyle with rules, expectations, and curfews to an unschooling lifestyle focused on trust, respect, discussions, and grace can be a bumpy one. We’re learning a whole new way of engaging with our children. What was that transition like for you guys?
I regularly get questions from parents with larger families about the challenge of trying to meet the many needs of everybody in the household with mutual consideration and respect. With five children, how would you answer that?
Speaking of five kids, sibling relationships in unschooling families can look really different too, can’t they?
When we connected earlier, you mentioned that you’ve learned some things from your kids about handling arbitrary societal norms and the pressure to conform. I’d love to hear more about that!
What has surprised you most about how unschooling has unfolded in your lives?
Another topic you mentioned earlier that caught my eye was how we can help our kids really feel at home, rather than like perpetual guests in our house. I’ve not heard it put that way before, but it’s definitely something I’ve thought about, especially as my kids have gotten older. Can you share more about that?
Looking back, what, for you, has been the most valuable outcome from choosing unschooling?
Things mentioned in the episode
Conference talk that Amy mentioned: A Family of Individuals
Sandra Dodd also has a page with more resources for Christian unschoolers