Humans are born to explore and engage with the world. So why are we so determined to get in our children’s way?
When we leave the traditional education system behind we can choose to create a loving and supportive atmosphere that allows unschooling to take root and blossom in our home. That means strong and connected relationships where trust and respect run deep—both ways.
With more than a dozen years of unschooling experience, Pam Laricchia explains the four family characteristics that she discovered helped unschooling to thrive in her family. Her practical examples and stories may make all the difference in your life and the life of your children.
In Free to Live, you’ll discover:
- How to nurture your children’s innate curiosity
- How patience helps us see the world through our children’s eyes
- Why strong and connected relationships are so valuable for learning
- How to cultivate trust and why it’s the backbone of unschooling, and much, much more!
Through its concise, easy-to-understand language, Free to Live explores the family characteristics that allow learning, and living, to flourish. Picking up from where Free to Learn left off, discover how to create a thriving unschooling environment in your home.
Table of Contents
A Free to Learn Primer
A quick review of my first book: the five ideas that I found most helpful as I explored unschooling.
Will Unschooling Work for My Child?
Yes. But there’s a much more important question to ask.
Learning about Living
In this book, I discuss four key characteristics of a thriving unschooling environment. Don’t just skim through the ideas, as logical as they may seem. Really live with them. Let your mind ruminate on them as you go about your day.
THE TRAIT OF CURIOSITY
Curiosity is the spark that drives us to explore and learn. Why is that important for unschooling?
Curiosity versus Curriculum
Apathy Keeps the World Small
THE TRAIT OF PATIENCE
Patience helps us move at our child’s pace. When our children are interested in something, we, as best we can, should meet them where they are. Trying to rush someone else’s learning doesn’t actually make it happen any faster. In fact, it can slow it down.
Learning at Their Tempo
Annoyance Breaks Their Rhythm
Patience Doesn’t Mean Carte Blanche
THE POWER OF STRONG RELATIONSHIPS
The development and maintenance of strong connections between parents and children so that both are comfortable approaching each other is fundamental to a nurturing unschooling environment.
Building Relationship Connections
How Strong Relationships Support Real Learning
Challenges? Our Own Behaviour Is Always Where to Start
Trust grows with experience and helps us move more courageously into the future, through our fear of the unknown. It allows you and your children to live together more openly, better understanding situations because you are both more comfortable sharing your perspectives.
Trust Is the Backbone of Unschooling
Lack of Trust Leads to Control
Building Trust Through Experience
Helping Older Children Build Trust in Unschooling
PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER
How these characteristics come together to create a thriving unschooling home.
Why Comparisons Don’t Work
A Snapshot of Life
“Really enjoyed this short and sweet book. It has marvelous one liners and though I’m not an underliner, I found myself underlining on every page. I will definitely go back to it when I need some reminders or encouragement about unschooling. I especially loved what she wrote about having trusting relationships with teens.” ~ Goodreads review
“I was not familiar with Pam Laricchia’s writing until I had read her first book, and I have been very impressed. I would recommend reading Free to Learn first, as this book builds on concepts covered in that book. This book uses practical, day to day examples, which I understand and appreciate. Yes, perhaps for some the sweater story is considered simple, but, it is SO related to learning. If you understand the concepts that the author introduces in the first book, it makes sense. It is easy to transfer the authors illustrations to real life examples in your home, and I think that was the authors point. Personally I enjoyed the examples and was able to relate and able to start picturing my own lifestyle of learning alongside my children. This book is more than a book about unschooling, it is also about the way you relate to your children. I believe it would benefit any homeschooler, or parent, to read this book, as it re-emphasizes the importance of the relationship between a parent and a child in the learning process. I plan to reread this book, it is rich and full of gems. Give yourself some time to absorb it before rushing into unschooling.” ~ Amazon review
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