Showing posts sorted by relevance for query radical unschooling. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query radical unschooling. Sort by date Show all posts

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Radical Unschooling is...

"Radical Unschooling" is unschooling fully, from the roots, from the principles, extended into all of one's life and being.

This was inspired by Family Bonding, Amy Childs interviewing me
about the benefits of radical unschooling.

Here it is with a transcript!
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What is radical unschooling?

Unschooling is learning from the world around. Radical unschooling has to do with seeing that learning is much more than academics, and that learning happens all hours of the day and night, not just "during school hours." It's not radical in a revolutionary way. It's radical in that it is based in the root of the idea of natural learning.

From the MomLogic interview
The photo, by Sandra Dodd, is one of the images on the
original cover of The Big Book of Unschooling

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Life at home is blooming

A mom named Heather wrote:

Sandra Dodd & Joyce Kurtak Fetteroll, I came to unschooling to provide a better way to learn for my kids. Then I came to radical unschooling because I discovered it was about more than school. Now I'm discovering my hang-ups about food / nutrition / healthy food obsessions / weekend "junk" binges and controlling the groceries in our home and now radically unschooling (and your wisdom!) is helping me to unravel these problems and live wholly in the area of food too! Radical unschooling has SO MUCH been about me discovering issues I didn't even know I had, and life at home is blooming. I can't thank you enough for sharing your knowledge!
photo by Sarah S, who took the photo in September 2023, of candy that's available for her kids anytime, and invites us to note there is still Easter candy in there

Friday, March 24, 2023

Another step; another

Those who divide the world into academic and non-academic will maintain rules, bedtimes, chores even though they might not be "having lessons" in history, science, math or language arts.

So the history of "radical unschooling" came from someone saying "Well we're not that radical," and me saying "well I am."
I think if people divide their lives into academic and non-academic, they're not radical unschoolers.

I think unschooling in the context of a traditional set of rules and parental requirements and expectations will work better than structured school-at-home, but I don't think it will work as well for the developing souls and minds of the children involved.

And those who are not radical unschoolers would look at that and say "What do their souls have to do with unschooling?"

It has to do with philosophy and priority.

What do you believe is the nature of man, and the duty of a parent?

What do you believe hinders a child, or harms the relationship between a parent and a child?

Real actual unschooling
photo by Cathy Koetsier

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Seeing and being

At the Radical Unschooling Info page on Facebook, an unschooling mom named Rachel Marie was clarifying for someone new to the idea of unschooling:

Unschooling looks different for everyone and that's why you are having trouble nailing it down.

I felt the same when I started. It's nearly impossible to describe because every kid is different and since unschooling is about focusing on your child as an individual, then it's going to be different for everyone.

If I were to say unschooling looks like laying on a quilt at night, looking at the stars and talking about constellations or it looks like taking long car drives just for the sole purpose of having long winded discussions about every single US war in history, there would be 30 people who popped in and said that's not what it looks like at all, because their kids aren't interested in those things.

Unschooling isn't about where or how you learn something, it isn't about doing what everyone else is doing. It's about creating a rich environment for your naturally curious child to learn things that spark their interest. If you can do that, you'll be headed in the right direction.

—Rachel Marie
photo by Holly Dodd, of her projection of an eclipse

Thursday, May 9, 2024

The roots of a belief...

From my notes for a 2012 conference presentation on "Why Radical Unschooling?":

So the history of "radical unschooling" came from someone saying "Well we're not that radical," and me saying "well I am."

radical in surfer lingo has to do with extreme.
Politically, extreme from a grassROOTs movement.
From the roots to the tips
from the roots of hair to the tips
or the roots of a tree to the end of each leaf
or from the roots of a belief to the end of each action.
photo by Sandra Dodd, in Óbidos

Sunday, December 16, 2018

"Radical," dude!

"Radical" means from the roots—radiating from the source. The knowledge that learning is natural to humans can radiate forth from that point in every direction.

So the history of "radical unschooling" came from someone saying "Well we're not that radical," and me saying "well I am."
. . .
From the roots to the tips
from the roots of hair to the tips
or the roots of a tree to the end of each leaf
or from the roots of a belief to the end of each action.

Why Radical Unschooling?
photo by Gail Higgins

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Growing safely

Marta Venturini, in an interview in 2020:

I see deschooling much more than just that process of replacing school with no school. Because to me, radical unschooling is that lifestyle that you were talking about, is that spiritual practice, almost. Because radical unschooling is that to me, deschooling has been so much more. It’s been about personal growth. It’s been about healing.

And so, trying to give Conchinha this safe place, I ended up getting my own safe place, too, in the process.

You can hear the recording here:
and there is a link to the transcript
photo by Karen James

Monday, March 25, 2024

Look, learn, and proceed

Karen James wrote:

I think advice of any kind can get in the way of unschooling if it is taken as truth without some reflection. Unschooling is really about learning without school. Radical unschooling includes all learning, not just academic learning. What encourages and supports learning in your child(ren)?
Look at that.
     Learn from that.
          Proceed from that.
—Karen James
photo by Christine Milne

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Learning so many things

When unschooling is equated with alternative school, it can blind people to the possibilities of full-on radical unschooling. No matter how extremely great or different a school is from a traditional school, or the default standard, it is still a school.

Parents who are unschooling as a whole way of life, can discover what no school can find, and the core aspect of it is the family as a base for learning—for learning about family, for learning about relationships, and resources, money, food and sleep, and learning about laughter.
photo by Cátia Maciel

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Rational responses

There's a very old joke about a man saying "Doctor, doctor, it hurts when I do this," and the doctor replying, "Well don't do that."

When someone comes to a radical unschooling discussion to complain about their children's response to bedtimes or limits or "having to" read, they won't get the help they think they want. They will get advice to stop doing that. People will point out that the parents' actions and expectations are the problem, and the children's responses are rational and maybe inevitable.

Where is the edge of unschooling?
(quote from page 38 or 41 of The Big Book of Unschooling)
photo by Sarah Dickinson

Friday, August 28, 2015

Brilliant and effective

Karen James wrote:

I rarely (if ever) say to others, or even to myself, that I'm a Radical Unschooler. I do, however, tell any person interested that we find unschooling to be the best approach to learning in our home. For me, it's not about being something. It's about living in a way that best meets all of our needs. Radical unschooling meets all of our needs brilliantly and effectively. It's deep. It takes dedication and close attention to understand and put into practice well. The proof of how well it is working can be seen and felt in the nature of our days together.
—Karen James
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Real, actual unschooling

I don’t mind “radical.” I just hear it as “real” or “actual.”

Radical Unschooling is...
photo by Cass Kotrba

Friday, August 8, 2014

The heart and mind of the parent

Radical unschooling (and the "radical" means "from the root") is all about mindset and changing beliefs and relationships for the better. Some people approach it from letting go of "academics" first, trying to see learning in everything. But if beliefs about learning and kids and partnership are changed first, then unschooling will proceed more smoothly. The real work is done in the heart and mind of the parent.
—Robin Bentley
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Aiming for learning

"Aiming for freedom can send radical unschoolers down some dangerous and goofy paths. Aiming for learning, exploration, discovery, peacefulness, and connectedness is much more helpful to radical unschooling."
—Joyce Fetteroll
photo by Colleen Prieto

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


"Radical" means from the center, from the source, outward.

From the roots to the tips
from the roots of hair to the tips
or the roots of a tree to the end of each leaf
or from the roots of a belief to the end of each action.

follow-up on Why Radical Unschooling?
photo by Ester Siroky

Monday, May 16, 2022

Sorting, comparing, naming, learning

For the parents, deschooling is learning about learning.

For the parents AND the children,

Sorting through things is learning.

Sorting through ideas, and songs, and art, is learning

Comparing things is learning about them.

Contrasting things is learning about them.

Categorizing things is learning about them.

Naming things is learning about them.

Naming radical unschooling is learning about it.
photo by Sandra Dodd, in Holly's candid kitchen

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Abundance abounds!

I'm sharing this photo and note from Megan Valnes, with her permission:
Hello Sandra!

I thought of you today while observing my three youngest children having fun together and bonding while playing with the iPad. 🙂 Had I not opened our lives to the principles of Radical Unschooling, there is a high probability that this moment would never have happened. I remain grateful everyday for the wisdom I have acquired through you, your participants, and the daily practice of unschooling principles. Thank you. Abundance abounds!
—Megan Valnes
(e-mail, December 2023)
photo by Megan Valnes

Sunday, June 8, 2014

When life is easier...

Meredith wrote on Radical Unschooling Info:

Learning depends on the perspectives and experiences of the individual. That's the heart of unschooling—that learning isn't something you can control from the outside.
colorful wedding party food, outside in sunshine

What you can do "from the outside" is to work to improve another person's experience. You can be kinder and sweeter and more helpful. You can make his or her life easier. When life is easier, learning is bigger, broader, more expansive. There's no magic to that! When you aren't focused on meeting basic needs, you can explore more complex needs. When you aren't hungry, you can focus on things more interesting than hunger. When you aren't arguing with someone about what you "should" eat, you can explore the far more interesting questions of what appeals to you and why, and in what combinations.
—Meredith Novak
photo by Sandra Dodd (of party food
not so easily made, by Teresa and Laurie for a reception)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Live in the learning

"Child-led, 'wait til they ask'" isn't the way radical unschooling works. It's a way for unschooling to fail, if the parents are twiddling their thumbs waiting for the child to lead, or ask to learn something.
photo by Karen James, of stained glass by Ethan James