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Snapshot Of An Unschooling Family

Written by Sylvia Toyama I was asked by a friend who is relatively new to the idea of unschooling, “You don’t do any instruction? What do you do?” I replied that we live full lives, with our kids, and that we talk a lot. When asked about math or history, I replied that those topics come up along the way. Then I shared some recent examples of what we talk about and do. That conversation got me thinking, what...

Why Whole Life Unschooling?

Note: I’m so happy to have Sylvia Toyama as a featured writer here at An Unschooling Life. In this, her first article, she talks about her family and why they chose whole life unschooling, and what that means. Anyone who has spent any time at all exploring unschooling, likely knows there’s a variety of ways people define unschooling. The labels vary, depending on how far from mainstream methods a family has moved....

Letting Go Of Food Control

I know that some of you just starting out with unschooling, have a hard time understanding how a child who is able to make their own food choices, will choose healthy foods on their own. The misconception is if you give up food control, they’ll live on cookies and soda. I want to offer a quick glimpse into our lives with something that happened the other day. I went grocery shopping and bought some snacks for my...

Homeschooling Conversation From The Future

Two women meet at a playground, where their children are swinging and playing ball. The women are sitting on a bench watching. Eventually, they begin to talk. … Woman #1: Hi. My name is Maggie. My kids are the three in red shirts — helps me keep track of them. Woman #2: (Smiles) I’m Terri. Mine are in the pink and yellow shirts. Do you come here a lot? W1: Usually two or three times a week, after we go to...

A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers

For some people that are unfamiliar with unschooling, or homeschooling for that matter, it’s hard to imagine a life without school. School eats up so much of their time that they find it difficult to understand what their kids would do without it. That’s why those “Day In The Life Of An Unschooler/Homeschooler” posts are so important and we’ve done many here at An Unschooling Life over the...

A Child That Has Freedom Of Choice

*originally posted 1/2009* Let me tell you about a ten year old child that had freedom of choice. That child is my daughter Jacqueline. I hear all the time…”If I let my kids have freedom over their food, they’ll eat chips all day” or “If I let my child have freedom over video games, they’ll play 24 hours a day”. Sure….if all they know is control and someone else making their...

John Holt Interview

John Holt was a teacher when he wrote How Children Fail and How Children Learn. He eventually quit teaching and became a speaker and supporter of education reform and went on to write several more books. Deciding that schools could not be reformed, he focused his energies on alternatives to conventional schooling. He founded Growing Without Schooling, America’s first homeschooling magazine and continued writing until...

Unschooling Concerns

When I first began unschooling my kids (and myself), I found a lot of food for thought at the message boards at unschooling.com (the boards are no longer there). I saved several topics that were useful to me and have shared them here from time to time. I recently found one while cleaning out some old folders and thought some of you may find this helpful. It was originally posted in 2001. Be warned-it’s long....

Rewarding (Bribing) Children To Learn

I’m not a fan of bribing children to learn. Even before I removed my children from school, I hated the message that rewarding them with pizza parties, candy and money (yes, money), was sending to them. These “rewards” were held out in front the students like a dangling carrot, with the promise that it could be theirs if they learned what the school wanted them to learn. The message? I believe it’s...