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Unschooling My Children

 Originally written in 2006 – updated in 2011    Ron & Andrea over at atypicalhomeschool.net are asking unschoolers to answer these questions for the next Carnival of Unschooling. (A carnival is a collection of related blog posts). Update 2011: The Carnival of Unschooling moved to this blog after a while and was called Unschooling Voices. The carnival has retired but you can read the archives on this...

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not (Orlando)

Originally posted June 2009 We recently spent the day checking at the weird and wacky stuff at the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium in Orlando. My husband & I had been to the one in Atlantic City, but my kids have never been there. The building was created to look as if it were slipping into a sink hole. There was lots of puzzles and optical illusions, which my daughters really enjoyed. Billy standing...

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...

Meeting Your Child’s Needs

Someone shared Jan Hunt‘s gardener metaphor on an unschooling list a while back and I wanted to share it here for anyone who may not have read it. It’s message is meeting your child’s underlying needs with patience and trust. “Imagine for a moment that you are visiting a plant nursery. You hear a commotion outside, so you investigate. You find a young assistant struggling with a rose bush. He is trying...

Unschooling Questions

I’ve had this saved for a while in my documents. These were questions someone asked Joyce Fetteroll on an unschooling info list. Can a unschooler go to college? Can a schooler go to college? Not all of them do. Not all of them can. Not all of them want to. I think it’s clearer to state that unschooling doesn’t get in the way of kids going to college. If they feel that college is a good way to explore...

Talking To, And About Your Child Respectfully

It seems everywhere today, from tv news, to print, and even sit-coms, parents are being offered advice on how to talk to their kids. This advice usually comes with an agenda. How to talk to your kids so they’ll listen to you; so they’ll tell you what they’re up to; so they’ll take you seriously; so you can keep them safe; how to get them to do what you tell them and not do what you tell them not to...

The Unschooling Haircut

While this may sound silly to some, brave to others and completely and outright ridiculous to most, I allowed my 17 year old daughter, at her request, to give me  a hair cut. After all we are unschoolers, we believe in learning freely, experiencing one’s quest and desires openly, in the comfort and love of one’s kitchen. Her vision was supported by mine, her history of the task limited to dolls, but I agreed and told her...

Living the Unschooling Life

Living and learning is a natural state of being. We live, we learn, it really is that simple. It is complicated by schooling – school interferes with learning. My family has been unschooling for 10 years now, since our oldest was 6. We live our lives without school, we don’t separate life into subjects. Everything is connected, one thing leads to another, and connections are constantly being made in our brains. We...

Unschooling? How Will They Learn?

It’s a question unschoolers hear relatively often. Grandparents, friends, sometimes neighbors ask “but if they don’t go to school, how will they learn …. to read? … to do math? … about history? What about social skills?” Often, those questions are a reflection of how little the adult asking remembers of what they learned during their own time in school. I’ve sometimes asked why...

Dealing With Unschooling Criticism

Being an unschooling mom does have it’s moments of absolute frustration on many different levels. Not so much with the belief system that this philosophy of learning does work, and it does, but with the criticism from family members and society as a whole. Although the term homeschooling has been around for a long time, understood and supported by many families, churches, governmental institutions and the...