Every week, parents ask questions about unschooling on a variety of social media platforms. Collecting them into a weekly blogpost will help everyone have access to many of these questions and share the solid unschooling advice to help you all on your journey.
Another benefit of seeing these questions is knowing that you're not alone! When someone asks a question in a forum, usually hundreds (maybe even way more than that!) share that same concern. And now we have an easy place to find the reassurance so many people are looking for, as well as resources to dive a little deeper. ❤︎ Sue
A: I wonder why we feel guilty when "Life is good and so much fun!" Well, I have some ideas about it, but it's worth digging a little deeper to see what the little voices in your own head are telling you.
And the reason I say that, is because humans are hard-wired to learn. We're curious beings - even if we've had a lot of that squashed down from schoolish ways. It will grow back! Especially if the environment is such that they feel they can begin to move in the direction THEY want to go with parents as true support systems.
Motivation... or lack thereof
Q: "Was there ever a point that you thought maybe unschooling wasn't for your child? its hard to get my kids to be self motivated. Rewards and punishments don't work either."
A: I think this question comes up for lots of parents wishing to SEE more that looks like familiar learning activities.
Something else to think about... "rewards and punishments don't work either" is a good sign. It's the most common mainstream parenting and schooly approach to get kids to comply, but it's not healthy. Research shows that it's about squashing their internal motivation to make them more reliant on external motivation. And then we wonder why they're not internally motivated??? Because we did a lot to undermine it.
If you want to read more about this, Alfie Kohn is a wonderful researcher and author you might want to investigate. I read his book, Punished By Rewards the first year we homeschooled. Game changer.
Your view of their lack of motivation, may be really more indicative of your needing to deschool. After years of conditioning to think all learning looks the way schools present it, it's not unusual that THAT would be what we look for. It's familiar. It takes diving into DESCHOOLING that shows us, "Ohhhh! That's why I kept pushing for xyz! And that's why I got so much resistance!"
High School Documentation
Q: "Tips for providing documentation of the annual school report in high school"
"I would like to learn more about unschooling, we have been homeschooling for almost 2 years and I think it might be a good fit for my 5 and 11 year olds. My question is, can a child earn a high school diploma as an unschooler and if so, how?"
Am I Doing Enough??
That's a lot for the first couple hours of the day! And, my guess is that those kinds of days aren't unusual. The problem most of us have is that we don't have a clearly laid out plan where we can check the boxes and know that we're "on course." Because there's no real course!
Unschooling is the MOST individualized learning plan anyone could be lucky enough to have! As you read more about how unschooling works, you can gain confidence in the fact that their personal unique body of knowledge is growing. Right there in front of you! Where it will go? Nobody knows! But that's ok! It's moving in the direction of their interests, following their curiosities, learning how to gain answers to the questions they have.
I get it, it's scary. Reading more about Deschooling will help. Gathering a support system that can help you not feel so alone is another option. Continue to ask questions, so you can dig a little deeper to conquer your fears. Remember that fears are what make us play small - they're just trying to keep us safe. But they're not as informed as we are. It's like letting a 4-year old drive the car...not a good plan!
Explaining Unschooling to Little Kids
Q: "How do you talk to preK age kid about not going to school?"
A: Are they asking? Maybe do lots of fun things with them so they simply enjoy their day with you.
"School is just a way some kids learn stuff. But we learn by ___." ... whatever it is they like to do. They don't need a big explanation. Usually it suffices that their parent has thought this through and has a better plan!