Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Mindful Lifestyle

Although unschooling is often described as a homeschooling style, it is, in fact, much more than just another homeschool teaching method. Unschooling is both a philosophy of natural learning and the lifestyle that results from living according to the principles of that philosophy.

The most basic principle of unschooling is that children are born with an intrinsic urge to explore—for a moment or a lifetime—what intrigues them, as they seek to join the adult world in a personally satisfying way. Because of that urge, an unschooling child is free to choose the what, when, where and how of his/her own learning from mud puddles to video games and SpongeBob Squarepants to Shakespeare! And an unschooling parent sees his/her role, not as a teacher, but as a facilitator and companion in a child's exploration of the world.

Unschooling is a mindful lifestyle that encompasses, at its core, an atmosphere of trust, freedom, joy and deep respect for who the child is. This cannot be lived on a part-time basis. Unschooling sometimes seems so intuitive that people feel they've been doing it all along, not realizing it has a name. Unschooling sometimes seems so counterintuitive that people struggle to understand it, and it can take years to fully accept its worth.

This was the description at an online discussion for many years—at the UnschoolingDiscussion list. Joyce Fetteroll wrote it.
photo by Sandra Dodd


  1. I wrote to Joyce and she responded, so for the record:

    I had credited that to you. I think it was you wrote it and the rest of us helped tweak it, but still, I had listed you as the author and he just named me.
    If you think it's worth correcting, we could—but all our stuff leads to each other's stuff anyway, and it was just the now-unused description of a mostly-unused list.

    Your call, but my first thought is to leave it.

    You're credited in the next item (links to your talk) and then Deb (also newly on my site).



    Actually I was surprised to see me credited. Maybe that was one that I mostly wrote. I definitely see my phrase-prints all over it. But I'd say it was more of a joint project.

    Next time it can be credited to Pam just to totally confuse people ;-)


  2. Hi Sandra and Joyce,
    I credited both of you in this translation, as Sandra did on the original post.
    Thanks for those words of wisdom !



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