Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Unschooling = Doing nothing? Noooooooooo...

I've seen the assumption more than usual on Facebook this week that if you unschool, you just leave the kids to it. As in, "Oh I just couldn't do nothing with them and leave them unable to read, that's why we don't unschool!" *sigh*

enters fuzzy reverie

I'd go and have a sleep, followed by a coffee that was actually hot, an unaccompanied shower (ditto with the hot), and sit and eat cake while catching up on Lost from six years ago. Then I'd have some more sleep.

snaps out of reverie

Radical unschooling isn't sitting on my arse while the kids do whatever. It's not leaving them to it. It's busy, fun, exciting, rewarding, tiring, unpredictable, joyous, interesting, engaging, varied, quiet, noisy, non-stop, life-filling, definitely-not-leaving-them-to-it.

Leaving them to it would be chill, coffee, feet up.

Radical unschooling is...

Google searches, climbing frame perches, library trips, eating Skips, science museums, playing games, Welsh gold mines, finding out names, Archimedes screws, listening to news, watching to see what they like, taking them out on their bike, Disney Channel and domino runs, model railways and chocolate buns, road trips, Morse Code blips, counting coins and making potion pongs, planting bulbs and singing songs, playing with dogs and lying on the lawn, pond dipping and how babies are born, magnetic letters and drawing lions, They Might be Giants songs about ions, Agent Oso, taking photographs, Skylanders and big belly laughs, word etymology and bottle whirlpools, Nerf guns and finding karate schools, marshmallow buildings and castles up hills, horse riding and feather quills, bubbles, fossils, crystals, rocks, ice cream, Minecraft, cardboard box, arts and crafts and picking fruit, giant leaves and scouring the car boot, cardboard tubes, electronics kits, MaKey MaKey with all sorts of bits, running, jumping, dancing, singing, searching, finding, climbing, swinging, asking, chatting, answering, calling, watching videos, big art-walling... 

...or it was this past month.

It's about bringing exciting and interesting things into your children's world, and helping them explore the things they're interested in. It's about partnering them to live in the world, and nurturing your relationship with them. 

Not about leaving them to it. 

(Although I *could* do with that hot coffee!)


  1. So true. Sometimes when I'm knackered I think it would be EASIER not to unschool. To do you structured stuff and then chill would defintley be easier. Not that I'd give up unschooling for anything it's so worth it.