I was talking to my Aunt on the phone yesterday and she had many questions about why and how we unschool.
I will share my answers to those questions, they are so commonly asked!
My main reason for unschooling has been that I want to have them at home. I enjoy them so much, that is why I had them!
To me, Unschooling means that learning is not separate from life. We learn all the time and do not need a special building or set of books to do so. I never force my children to learn anything, I simply watch in awe as it unfolds. I also am their resource for helping them pursue their interests and passions.
1. What about socialization?
Let me quote me, quoting John Holt “socialization alone is the reason to keep kids out of school.”
From what I have seen, the socializing in school is not natural. It is children in desks being told when to talk and what to talk about.
People often assume that as homeschoolers or unschoolers that we do not socialize at home. We do! We are also socializing with our community members and other homeschoolers. Having the children at home has given us the opportunity to be connected to our neighbors in intimate and life changing ways. We are lucky enough to be surrounded by many elderly people who are full of wisdom and love.
2. How do you prepare your children
What can’t you learn from life, to prepare you for life?
I don’t see the point in learning a little bit of everything just in case they want to be something specific. Instead they could be following what they are naturally inclined towards. Passion doesn’t require motivation or sticker charts. The act of learning and doing it is enough.
3. What if they want to go to University or College?
Yes! What if? I believe that they will have a unique opportunity to demonstrate to a University or College what they actually can do and what they know with entrance exams and project/portfolios. Universities and College accept alternative forms of education.
Also, if they are passionate about Secondary Education then a high school equivalent course covering grades 1-12 will only take them a few months.
4. How will they learn to get a job and wake up in the morning?
Honestly, I am hoping that my children will be drawn to jobs that they love, and not a 9-5 means to an end. I see
that it is possible to bound out of bed excited to start your day (like me)! I see SO many people seriously depressed and in hate relationships with what they do. There is a better way, I know
Teachers often say when trying to get the kids to do something
“sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to”.
I disagree, and feel saddened by how much stress that must cause the teachers and the children. It is difficult
to control people!
I aim to look for the reasons why I DO WANT to do things, I always find them. For example, I love doing the dishes because I like having a clean kitchen and dishes for me to use, it feels so good.
5. How will your children learn to get along with people they don’t like?
This is the question that is most relevant in our house! We HAVE to look for ways to cooperate and be peaceful with each other even if we aren’t particularly liking that person at the moment (sibling rivalry).
Also, my children experience how I deal with our neighbours when we have problems like stinky, maggot garbage and constantly barking dogs. I always offer to help the neighbours rather than blame them. This works wonderfully and my children are learning it.
6. How do you know that they are learning?
I am with them all day, everyday! Isn’t that superior to a piece of paper and the occasional conversation with a stranger?
My children absolutely amaze me by what I see them learning.
Just as they teach themselves to
walk and talk, I experience how they too learn about math and letters and numbers. They love it! But that’s not all we are limited to…they are learning how to take care of themselves by being able to cook nutritious meals. Also it is important to me that they understand the process that the human body goes through when we experience emotions (the brain-chemical response that tells us to fight, flight or freeze).
There is a world of opportunity out there and I will not limit us to any of it!
My final note that at the end of the day when my kids are grown and gone, I can’t imagine myself saying “I sure wish that I didn’t spend all that time with my children.”.
Some more info on Unschooling;
What is Unschooling?
Unschooling Through College, a blog by a 16 yr old Unschooler.
College Considerations For Unschoolers
“University Without Highschool.” Maclean’s magazine
how do unschoolers prepare for college?
University of Saskatchewan’s admission requirements for home-based learners.
I hope this has answered your questions, Aunty Wendy and everyone else!