Are you curious about unschooling your little one?
Do you wonder if there's a "good" age to start?
The good news is, your kids are already on that path! They've started without you!
It's the natural way for children to learn:
- To gravitate toward their interests
- Seek some help from their grown-ups
- Continue on with their curiosities!
Kids don't need lesson plans to learn to walk or talk or hold a spoon. Unschooling is about recognizing that this hard-wiring to learn is in every human being. Unschooling little ones is no different!
The next question that follows is...
What should I be doing with them?
And the answer is one that drives people crazy... it depends.
- It depends on their personality - how do they like to interact with their world?
- It depends on their interests - what do they like to do?
- It depends on their curiosities - how can you support them?
And those are really the keys to figuring out your next steps.
There's no formula that takes those unique pieces into consideration.
You don't need a PreSchool Curriculum
You don't need to hurry with some topic because their brain needs it NOW.
You don't need to worry they're going to be left behind other kids.
They're right on time. Staying tuned into their unique way to approach their lives will be the way to create the most - the BEST - individualized learning opportunities for your kids!
A Huge Collection of Resources
I love it when parents of younger children want to learn all they can about parenting and education. I have an enormous collection of articles and videos that can help you. If you find additional resources that will help other parents of Littles, be sure to put it in the comments here or at this link.
What kinds of resources are over there?
- Mainstream media articles addressing the problems arising with starting kids in school settings too young
- Importance of Play, articles that emphasize how learning and play are intertwined.
- Parenting Help for those who want to break away from some of the mainstream techniques - but don't know what to do!
- First-hand accounts of unschooling families with younger kids
- Activity suggestions unschoolers have recommended
OK! So What Do I DO??
Sue's 10 Tips for Unschooling Preschoolers!
- Play WITH them. They want attention from you. Use the time to connect with them, learn about their preferences, see their growth, AND you'll have fun too!
- Tap into the 55 ideas and activities listed at Unschooling Kindergarten.
- Set aside time to read an article every day from our huge collection of articles and videos linked above. You really need to offset the tsunami of information coming at you to try to make you conform, be fearful, and "get those kids in a good preschool!" Here's Your Reading List!
- Notice when fear makes you doubt yourself. You've just started Parenting and it's ALL new ground! Fear will make you play small and safe - but the more you learn, the more support you get, the more confident you'll become! It might be helpful to look at the Unschooling Guide: Critics and Naysayers
- Steer yourself away from thinking in terms of subjects like math, reading, spelling, science. Instead, look at the topics your kids enjoy and move in that direction. The "learning" will follow naturally. Really!
If this feels really foreign to you, it might help you to look at this: How Unschoolers Learn Subjects.
- Spend some of this time learning about how unschooling works - before the school bus rolls up to your curb. Learning while you still have time will be a lot less stressful than trying to figure it all out the month before school starts! Getting Started Unschooling.
- Some new parents are very future-oriented and worry about problems that could happen way down the line. Fear comes in and keeps you from enjoying the present moments with your kids, so add these Unschooling Guides to your reading list. You can dive deeper into the specfic problem that worries you - whether it's how will they learn to read or what about socialization. I've gathered information for the top 15-20 fears people need help overcoming. Unschooling Guides.
- Get on the FREE mailing list to know about unschooling resources as they become available - and access some subscriber-only discounts! Unschooling Updates Email
- Stay flexible in your day. This will help you develop the rhythm you need that works for your family at this stage of everyone's life. Schools convinced us that strict structures are the way to learn best. But really, those were ways SYSTEMS work best. Not learners. This might help: The Myth of Structure
- If you're feeling stressed, notice if you could do a couple quick Self-Care Activities. I know - HOW? But you can fit in some deep breathing. Do some journaling while they nap to think about WHY you're doing this or where your fears originate. Taking care of yourself is so needed and society has convinced us that we have to power through. You can carve out 5 minutes. It will help you be the parent you really want to be.
Here are some Self-Care Ideas for Busy Moms at Pinterest.
Need Someone to Talk To?
Sometimes we need to talk to someone to help us work through our fears and doubts! I'm happy to do this with you - regardless of your child's age. Your fears really do interfere with you being the parent you want to be. Here are some of the ways I can help you one-to-one:
- Offer reassurance that unschooling works
- Brainstorm with you about ideas and activities for your child
- Strategize with you about how to overcome worries you have about parenting the "wrong" way.
- Offset some of the criticisms you may be hearing.
Whether you need to ask a few questions in one coaching call or set up regular check-ins, I have options that will fit what you need!