1. Live. That’s what Unschooling is. With no separation between life and learning, just live.
2. Learn, grow and research. Read books on the topic of alternative education as well as unschooler’s blogs and websites. Not only does this help you understand Unschooling but it sets a good example for your children. It shows them they we never stop learning and that the world is fascinating! I recommend Dayna Martin for her book “Radical Unschooling”. Also, anything written by John Holt is a great place to start, and end!
3. Be kind to yourself and enjoy the journey. Don’t worry that you are not doing enough, we are always enough. There is no one way to Unschool, it all develops in it’s own beautiful way. If you find that you are having doubts about your abilities, forgive yourself immediately and start over! I am doing my best! I am enough!
4. Take interest in your children’s interests. This helps them go deep into their experiences and learning. It will show you where you can help and what resources they may need. It also let’s them know that we value them and their lives.
5. Focus on your own growth and development. Do you have any unresolved fears? Are you believing thoughts that aren’t true ? Where can you improve? We all do it, but the trick is to asters it and get better and better. We deserve to be happy and joyful! I use Byron Katie’s the work, to address my harmful thoughts.
6. Say less, watch more. Trust. It seems that as a society we are quite deficient in our abilities to “deal with” children. We also seem to be lacking in being able to build connections with our children. So often I don’t know what to do or how to be and so I must be silent. Most often the situation resolves itself without my harmful interference. Or a peaceful resolution becomes clear to me and I know what to do.
7. Do things that you love. Listen to music that brings you into what Brent Cameron and Barbara Meyer, in their book Self Design call “A Resource State”. What brings you to life?
8. I like to make lists. What are our interests? What are we passionate about? What do we want to do? What do we love? I do this for each person.
9. Keep records. I use a calendar or a journal to record what the kids are doing. We are required as “homeschoolers” to submit a report every year and the calendar helps
me remember what we did.
10. Ask yourself lots of questions! Like “Is it harmless?”. So often I feel the need to stop my children from doing something that is harmless. Life is much easier when I go with the flow. Also they are more likely to take me seriously when I am not constantly giving them directions or orders.
11. Share your thoughts. Find someone safe and non-judgmental with whom you can talk about your experience of Unschooling.
12. Let go of who they will be. Worrying that they may be criminals, drug addicts or just unemployable may affect your parenting. They are who they are, let them be and let them discover it for themselves! It’s a wonderful process when unimpeded by pushy adults with their agendas of who they think children should be.
13. Provide them with opportunities to try new things and be prepared that it may not be for them. And that’s great!
14. Let them be around children of all ages. One of the best things that I have noticed about homeschoolers is that they do not discriminate against children of different ages.
15. Refrain from comparing your children to others. I’ve completely abandoned the developmental charts and I love it! It’s so freeing!
16. *bonus* from homeschooling mom and blogger, Janelle
“I would add an encouragement to read outside of your interests. Even if you are an unschooler, it can be valuable to read from the works of Charlotte Mason, Susan Wise Bauer, and others. I like to explore all kinds of ideas, not just the ones I already agree with! ”
You can do it! You are already doing fabulously!
In life and learning,