nav-left cat-right

Being An Unschooling Parent

A large part of being a (successful) unschooling parent is being present and mindful with your children. Being involved in their lives. Because let’s face it, if you’re going to get rid of school, it should be replaced with something. That something should be you.

One of the members of an unschooling e-mail list I belong to, wrote that she is having trouble being truly present with her kids. I’d like to share one of the answers she received.

Here’s what I figured out as it pertains to parenting and unschooling (parenthetical summaries where I could think of them):

1. Meeting my own needs means that I can be the unschooling mom I need and want to be. (recharge)

2. I found some of my homeschooling books and remembered why I believe in this approach. (reaffirm)

3. I realized my social and intellectual needs were starving, and started seeking outlets for myself. (recharge) This is extremely important modeling. how do you want your kids to take care of themselves as adults?

4. I noticed all the signals my body had been giving me over many months that I had ignored, so that I had to be “hit over the head” with panic attacks before I would change anything. (listen to self)

5. I got online and found this list. From there, by mentioning my location, I found some semi-local moms– one that I actually knew irl! (get connected)

6. I looked at all the areas of elevated stress in my life– there were quite a few– and started taking concrete steps to make changes. as long as I was taking some baby step, I could steer clear of the panic. (take action!)

7. I consciously worked on reconnecting with nature. for me, this is my constant, my place where I can find that feeling that life is meaningful. if it works for you too, it’s getting easier now that we’re moving into summer– make sure you’re not deprived of natural light, get your hands in dirt, even if you don’t garden, which I highly recommend! (get connected)

8. I started exercising, very important for clearing those toxic panic feelings and the associated biochemistry. (be healthy)

My suggestion, then, would be to figure out what you need to recharge and feel that your life is meaningful, and go get it! I once heard Bernie Siegel speak, and he said “If you lose your keys, you go find them, right? if you lose your health, go find it!” the same is true for our motivation and our zest for life. Go find your joy! and take your kids! it will snowball once you get rolling. but you’re the only one who can pull you out of the quicksand.

**originally posted in 2006**

Tags: , , , , ,

Related posts

One Response to “Being An Unschooling Parent”

  1. adriana says:

    Hello, unschoolers/parents
    I have 3 kids: 13 years old/6 years old/2 &1/2 years old.
    The eldest is a girl ,two younger are boys.
    I have heard about unschooling about a year ago and even though it immediately stroke me that my heart just longs for it , I found myself very confronted with fears/worries/concerns etc. Two of my children are in Waldorf inspired school( which was my alternative to a public). Up until this moment I was “alright” with the school, but this year I am slowly coming to conclusion that it is about time to think of unschooling. My 13 years old daughter is considered “too social”/ disruptive/overly talkative. Us along with 3 other families were asked to voluntarily withdraw the children out of school(it is a public charter-so they do not have a right to just tell us off), since the teacher was experiencing a breakdown and was not willing to come back and teach in this class. The class faculty chose the teacher over 4 families and so 3 children left. I have stayed simply because I did not want to back off and did not want to let them get away with it. I demanded that my daughter stays at the school )and asserted that the problem is with the teacher rather then children, but that was not a way to go with them. Making it simple I conformed with the faculty and we agreed that my daughter needs to work on her talkativeness in the class while being evaluated and trained to pay attention. Few weeks passed by and I am just more and more miserable with myself. I feel that I am a looser that out of fear of not knowing what to do and the fear of going against the system – I left my daughter in a sick situation when she is being evaluated,pressured/made wrong for her truly strong social spirit. The worst out of it is that my daughter actually does believes that the school is right(well, no surprise -after Mommy has said so!) and she is wrong. Wrong for not being able to sit still in the classroom/ for passing a note to a friend in the class/ for giggling when someone says a joke/for every possible expression of a normal 12-13 years old child among her peers. And I am still paralized to take her out of school, I don;t know how to go about the unschooling with 3 kids:all so strong willed, all such a different ages:while one wants this , two others want something totaly defferent and have such a different age wise needs). I am afraid of failure, afraid I will not be able to manage all of that. Yet there’s a part of me that somehow knows that the unschooling brings a breeze, that this is a way to go.
    Some other of my many concerns are : if I home school, how will the kids ever make it to college or universities, how is it law wise. The country I come from has a mandatory enforcement of schooliing .How is it here in the US?
    And if my daughter ” drops out” of school at 6th grade but later decide to go to high school will she be “accepted “and “qualified” to do so? And if I do not want her to go to high school how will she learn all the things that I can;t help her with:i.e: math /algebra /chemistry etc?
    If anyone can answer these questions I would greatly appreciate it. Also how can you succesfuly unschool a 12-13 years old with a 2 &1/2 and 6 years old in the same houshold?
    All responses are welcome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

Click to Insert Smiley

SmileBig SmileGrinLaughFrownBig FrownCryNeutralWinkKissRazzChicCoolAngryReally AngryConfusedQuestionThinkingPainShockYesNoLOLSillyBeautyLashesCuteShyBlushKissedIn LoveDroolGiggleSnickerHeh!SmirkWiltWeepIDKStruggleSide FrownDazedHypnotizedSweatEek!Roll EyesSarcasmDisdainSmugMoney MouthFoot in MouthShut MouthQuietShameBeat UpMeanEvil GrinGrit TeethShoutPissed OffReally PissedMad RazzDrunken RazzSickYawnSleepyDanceClapJumpHandshakeHigh FiveHug LeftHug RightKiss BlowKissingByeGo AwayCall MeOn the PhoneSecretMeetingWavingStopTime OutTalk to the HandLoserLyingDOH!Fingers CrossedWaitingSuspenseTremblePrayWorshipStarvingEatVictoryCurseAlienAngelClownCowboyCyclopsDevilDoctorFemale FighterMale FighterMohawkMusicNerdPartyPirateSkywalkerSnowmanSoldierVampireZombie KillerGhostSkeletonBunnyCatCat 2ChickChickenChicken 2CowCow 2DogDog 2DuckGoatHippoKoalaLionMonkeyMonkey 2MousePandaPigPig 2SheepSheep 2ReindeerSnailTigerTurtleBeerDrinkLiquorCoffeeCakePizzaWatermelonBowlPlateCanFemaleMaleHeartBroken HeartRoseDead RosePeaceYin YangUS FlagMoonStarSunCloudyRainThunderUmbrellaRainbowMusic NoteAirplaneCarIslandAnnouncebrbMailCellPhoneCameraFilmTVClockLampSearchCoinsComputerConsolePresentSoccerCloverPumpkinBombHammerKnifeHandcuffsPillPoopCigarette