I’m happy to share today a little bit about my family’s adventures in unschooling. We are currently in our second year and there are many who are far better experts than I. However, I glean so much insight and inspiration from other people’s stories that I’ll gladly share mine in hopes I can do the same for someone else. So, a few words about what we do and why our family chose this path.
If you look into it you’ll find that there are almost as many methods of homeschooling as there are families doing it. Our family leans heavily towards the eclectic/unschooling end of the spectrum. This just means that we pick and choose the things that work for us and adjust them to fit while placing an emphasis on child-led learning. I appreciate this ability to create a tailored approach to our needs. My partner and I are very much a team when it comes to raising our family. We sometimes, like everyone, have differing views and this allows us to blend our ideals and values into something that works for all of us. (Something I consider both a challenge and a blessing, as all the best things in life are, right?) Myself and my partner’s views aside, I put huge value on understanding what my kids are motivated and inspired by.
We began to consider nontraditional methods of schooling for a number of reasons. Our first years of having our eldest in school were extremely stressful and discouraging. She isn’t a traditional learner and all the emphasis in her over-crowded classrooms were trying to push and squeeze her into a mold that simply didn’t fit. Her innate love of learning was quickly being replaced with daily stomachaches and self-doubt. It was heartbreaking to watch. Also, our entire family life began to revolve around a system that felt like it was taking much more than it was giving. Unschooling has been an opportunity to invest in and celebrate the deep love of learning that I firmly believe is intrinsic in all of us. It leaves endless room for individuality and creativity, to explore and discover what we’re passionate about. It has been so exciting and enriching to take this journey with my kids.
(Editor’s note: If this subject is interesting to you, Clan Mother Kate and her husband Justin from Extreme Health Radio recorded a podcast devoted entirely to the un-schooling movement which you can listen to for FREE by clicking here)