Showing posts sorted by relevance for query help for new unschoolers. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query help for new unschoolers. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, July 10, 2023

Shuffle it up

What unschoolers do to help other unschoolers is to share how they came to unschooling, and the effect it has had on their children and their home lives.

It helps for new unschoolers to read some, then try some, maybe meet some people if they can, read more, try more, maybe listen to something or watch something, try more, and shuffle it up that way.
. . . .

Those new to unschooling need most or all of the same things others needed when they were new: local information, access to laws and policies, reassurance, suggestions for deschooling, answers to questions (although the answers are ever more easily available as people collect up the best answers of the past). They need inspiration and ideas.

If you're new: read, change a little; read more, change more; repeat.

From page 19 or 20 of The Big Book of Unschooling, which links to the help page:

photo by Dan Vilter

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Breathing and baby steps

Breathing and baby steps are useful suggestions for new unschoolers. Both help us to stay in the moment, to relax right where we are rather than leaping ahead or getting mired in "shoulds." They help us cultivate soft, open ground upon which we can rest with joy, and know enough confidence to take the next step.
—Leah Rose
The first sentence is slightly amended from the longer writing
(upper left, second item) here:
photo by Chrissy Florence

Friday, May 20, 2016

Fear and other hurdles

In an interview, I was asked "What have you found to be the biggest hurdle that new unschoolers face?"

My response was:

Fear, I guess, would be the answer. But different families have different fears, so it’s a hard question. Some are ready to jump away from schooling, so that’s kind of easy.

Sometimes the parents don’t agree, and that’s always a hurdle. I use the analogy of buying a yacht. It’s a big decision, and one parent can’t do it without the other agreeing. I can’t decide to own a yacht and tell my husband to just deal with it. Maybe I *could,* but would end up losing the yacht AND the husband. It’s a theoretical and a maybe, because I couldn’t even buy a car without my husband’s signature, as I don’t have my own income these days.

One secondary hurdle is when a parent feels overconfident, and becomes unwilling to continue to learn. Some unschoolers get on an odd trajectory and won’t accept help, and won’t check back for advice until they’ve made quite a mess. It’s helpful to stay in contact with other unschoolers, both in person if possible, and in writing.

Interview at Feather and Nest, November 2010
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Actually seeing it

Q:  How can families transition from more traditional methods of education to an unschooling approach?

A:  Unschooling involves seeing the world in a different way. Sometimes formal homeschooling families do some deschooling, but when switching to unschooling, more and different deschooling is needed, especially for the parents who have been involved in school and teaching and defending schooling for probably 20 or 30 years. The kids will be ready to unschool before the parents, usually.

It would help to be in contact with other unschoolers at playgroups or on the internet, and to meet unschooling families with children of various ages. It's difficult to imagine it, so it's easier to actually see it.

This new way of seeing the world involves seeing music in history, and science in geography, and art in math, and not talking about it. The last part is the hardest part.

I don't mean never talk about it. I mean don't say "Oooh, look! Science!" Once a person knows science is everywhere, and everything is connected to everything else, there will be nothing to talk about except the topic at hand, or where they're going or what they're seeing. The learning will happen without being labeled and sorted out. The labeling and sorting can prevent learning.
photo by Ester Siroky

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Today's quote isn't simple. I threw in some italics and bold-face myself to help you read it. You can see it in a larger context, at the link below. —Sandra

Pam Sorooshian wrote:

"Unschooling happily and successfully requires clear thinking. I don't think it works as well when people just look at those with young adult kids who are happy and successful and try to copy them without doing the hard thinking and building their own clear understanding of unschooling. When they try to emulate, they are still following rules—unschooling rules. Unschoolers always say yes to everything. Unschoolers never make their kids do anything. Kids always decide everything for themselves. And so on. But those "rules" are not unschooling. Unschooling well requires understanding the underlying philosophy of how children learn, and the principles that guide us in our everyday lives arise from that philosophy. It isn't some new kind of parenting technique that can be observed and applied without understanding."

—Pam Sorooshian
photo by Sandra Dodd