This time of year - this BACK TO SCHOOL Season - can really be hard on unschooling families.
There’s so much HYPE about getting the kids ready to return. And I know, this year is weird with lots of variations on what that’s going to look like pandemic-wise.
Yet, even with all of that, when you mention,
“Yeah, we’re going to homeschool”
You get The Looks.
Really? Are you sure that’s a good idea??
Are you confident enough to do that?
What if they fall behind?
I could never…
My kids would never…
The list goes on and on right?
In “normal” years, the kids might feel a little left out. School kids (without any options) have forgotten about what it was like back in May… the boredom, the repetition, the lack of enthusiasm. For some reason, at least here in the USA, the slate is wiped clean by August. And most of the kids sound pretty eager to head back to school. Or at least that’s what the marketing would have you believe.
So you may need to help your kids create new traditions at this time of year.
- Go ahead and enjoy the sales! Why not get new art supplies, some fuzzy socks - and even a new lunchbox!
They can carry all kinds of things in that!
- Look in the areas of the stores that are geared toward college dorms. They’ll have more options for making learning environments cozy or efficient. Maybe it’s time to update the kids' bedrooms with some of that!
- Or maybe on the day that the school bus pulls away in your neighborhood, you make a feast of a brunch that can be munched on all day! Platters of snacks and fun foods! Make it a Party!
- Maybe a movie marathon - I have a list of movies and books that don’t mention school over at Pinterest and also in the Not Back to School Unschooling Guide. My personal favorite is Accepted with Justin Long and Jonah Hill. If you have bigger kids, you all might enjoy that one! I’ll leave links for the Pinterest boards you can check out.
- Or maybe it’s a good time to get away on a camping trip or to the beach. Come back when all the back-to-school excitement dies down.
- Don’t forget to take photos - we’ll probably have another thread of these in the Unschooling Mom2Mom Facebook Group. You could post them there, if you don’t want to post a public photo of the kids in Pajamas on the first day of school! It’s a closed group.
7 Secrets Successful Unschoolers
...and how we approach this Back to School Season!
Need a little reassurance this time of year?
Sue Patterson is hosting a FREE Webinar to talk you down off the cliff,
if your anxiety begins to build this time of year.
Find out how to ditch the fear and embrace the adventure!
Bonuses for those who join us!
I should mention, I’m Sue Patterson, from Unschooling Mom2Mom. I help parents figure out how to make unschooling work in their homes.
It needs to be specific for your kids, your family dynamics - that’s why the one-size-fits-all of school doesn’t work that well!
I can help you figure out how to make this learning experience unique and truly individualized. It’s familiar to try to duplicate school - and during this time of year, there’s a huge push for that! But I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to happen like that. My own three kids were unschooled and are grown now. All three are off on their own adult adventures, owning businesses, raising families - my oldest graduates with an MBA this month. So no doors close for unschoolers.
Maybe it's You...
Sometimes the problem isn’t really the kids… it’s the parents. You’re getting swept up in the marketing, feeling a little wistful about some aspect of school that you personally enjoyed. Not to mention, the shear repetition of Back-to-School season happening every August (although I know for some of you it’s in January and other months) - but it becomes the habit of this time of year. So when we get rid of things that aren’t serving us, it helps to put something in it’s place.
- Maybe it’s time for you to make a list of all the reasons unschooling is the RIGHT decision for your family. Think about it from your perspective and from your kids’. What’s your “Why?” How about listing off 20 reasons!
Podcast: Thinking About Your "Why?"
- It’s also important to realize that this pandemic has had a big impact on HOW we unschool. The freedom of being able to set off on some adventure outside our home, now has a ton of considerations to think about. And many options are off the table for now. So recognize if this is making you or the kids a little depressed. Not really in the clinical sense, but more in the “blah” feeling many families are working through. What can you do to add a little sparkle to the day?
Podcast: Adding Sparkle
- Or maybe it’s time to look at self-care options. We always hear about these, but, then Life gets in the way. I have a bunch collected at Pinterest too - maybe it’s time to learn to meditate or journal? That’s a good life skill for the kids too. Something none of us got much of when we were in school. But something we could ALL use!
Pinterest: Self Care for Busy Moms
Ok, something else I want to talk to about…
I’ve always said,
Knowledge + Support = Unschooling Success
But I want to add on a third component:
It’s not enough to passively listen or read or watch. You have to make the changes you need to make. Putting one foot in from of the other actually will move you toward the confidence you’re looking for.
- Take Action.
- Set a small unschooly goal for the week.
- Create a strategy to stop the second-guessing and hand-wringing.
You can do this. You have the resources - and I’m here to walk alongside you.
Reach out of you want to join my membership group - we’re focusing a lot on Action Steps and Accountability these days. That might be right up your alley. I could be your Accountability Buddy!
And don’t forget about the free Webinar on the 20th!
OK, Talk to you again next week!
Need Coaching & Community?
You don't have to do this alone!
We have a Membership Group that can provide the support you need on this unschooling journey.
Everyone is different - but learning from and leaning on each other can really help!
More to Read:
These 5 Videos are now available here at the website. Here's what was included:
Day 1- Not Going Back to School
Day 2 - Focusing on You, the Parent
Day 3- What to Do Instead?
Day 4 - Dealing with Critics
Day 5 - Keeping School Out of Your Head