Let's talk about a few Unschooling Myths
Last time we talked a bit about what unschooling IS.
This week, let's talk a little about what it IS NOT.
We hear so many conflicting ideas on the internet of what people think "being an unschooler" means. Sure, we all have our own ways of connecting within our own families - and that's why we don't have a precise formula for what unschooling is. Still, there are a few principles that carry through all that unique-ness! And a few things you may read that aren't really true.
So let's tackle some Myths and Misconceptions this week!
MYTH: Unschooling is Unparenting
No. Not at all.
Moms and dads who have applied unschooling principles in the parenting aspects of their lives are living involved intentional lives with their children. The concept that runs through the philosophy of unschooling is one of trust… trust that kids WILL figure out what they need. This is tricky to do sometimes, considering our societal pressures, and, considering that it doesn't usually happen over night.
True UnParenting is neglect – and that’s the opposite of unschooling.
People who are unparenting are ignoring, avoiding and not engaging with their children. They don’t fuel their child’s interests, expose them to new opportunities, console them when things don’t work out, and become their biggest source of support and love. Those are the very things that make unschooling work out – unschooling parents do all of that!
MYTH: Unschooling is the Lazy Way to Learn.
No, it's not.
There's actually a lot to unpack with this one!
- Words like "lazy" are so loaded, aren't they? People use them when they're making comparisons and want to make it clear what the acceptable behavior is, and what the unnacceptable behavior is. Add on a layer of shame. If this is a word you use - to describe anyone, really - you might want to see where that's coming from.
- Yes, finding curriculum (supposedly the perfect fit for each child) is a tough job. And unschoolers find it to be completely unnecessary. Life presents with plenty of opportunities to learn. Noticing a child's interest and being able to move in that direction is so much more likely to "stick" with the child. When learning is in context and connected to other things that the child is curious about - that's when it's the best.
MYTH: You Have to Conform.
No, you don't. It will be ok.
Humans tend to want to find others of like-minded thinking. Nothing wrong with that as long as you don't turn it into some schoolyard clique scenario. "You're in, and you're out."
When we feel unsure of our connection with others, we sometimes hang out on the low road... pointing out how others are "doing it wrong" and how we and our friends are "doing it so much better." It may not even be conscious - but it's at the heart of some of these jabs.
MYTH: Unschooled Kids Won't Be Prepared
Yes, they will.
Sometimes people need to justify all the extra effort they're putting into their homeschooling approach. When they see unschoolers NOT doing that, they're initial reaction may be, "Hold up, there!" While fear and worry may make them tighten up and demand that everyone fall in line, it can be hard to accept the idea that people can educate and parent differently - without being slammed for their decisions. Instead, notice that we're all doing the best we can, making our parenting decisions based on what we're learning and where we are on this path. It's ok to not have a cookie-cutter approach. 😉
Sometimes we need help
Sometimes we need to be surrounded by others who are also doing this unconventional approach to learning and parenting.
You don't have to do this alone!
If you'd like a supportive unschooling community, you can join us over at Creating Confidence, my private membership group with:
- Weekly group coaching from Sue Patterson
- Exclusive unschooling libray for members only
- Support from other parents
Imagine how great it would be to STOP all the second-guessing
and unschool with confidence!