Thursday, April 18, 2013

Unschooling, Part 1: What is it?

When Maggie was very young, I remember reading an article in a mommy magazine about all the different homeschooling philosophies. Curriculum-based (basically school at home), unit studies, Charlotte Mason, Thomas Jefferson, eclectic, classical, etc. They also mentioned unschooling. Looking back I can see whomever wrote the piece clearly thought it was crazy and stupid. The questions they asked and the way it was written were definitely biased. However, either way, I thought the whole idea was insane.

How could you not teach your child anything? There are things they have to know, right? And kids won't learn them on their own, will they?

Unschooling is more of a lifestyle philosophy than a homeschooling method. The idea being you respect your child's ability to become who they are. Learning is just living. Unless they specifically request to be taught something or need to learn something to do something else they want to do. For example, if they want to learn how to play some video game, they will probably need to know how to read, how to do some math (there are usually point systems) and maybe other things (not really sure, I don't play video games).

But it also applies to food and TV/video games and chores and rules and pretty much everything else you can think of. Now I feel like I am already living a lot of this. I let Maggie dress herself. . . all the time. If it's cold outside, I encourage her to put on warm clothes but I don't force her. I bring warmer clothes so I can offer if she wants it but I don't force her.

When she decided she hated toothpaste I let her stop using it for a while until it wasn't a big deal anymore.

I let her dye her hair. I let her choose whether or not she gets a haircut. I let her pick out what classes she wanted to take at the community center.

HOWEVER, I have been making her do school work: reading, writing and math. I don't let her eat whatever she wants. I wouldn't let her watch adult movies.

Basically, I want to write out my thoughts on all this. I have been reading a ton on the subject and I have a million thoughts that I want to sort out.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)