how to get started with unschooling

alley walk

breakfast doodle

park and pond

ok, this is not really a how-to post. i just put that up there because people like how-to posts. this is a semi-how-to post. i started writing out a longer post about it and decided to scrap it because i can’t write something that sounds like i know what i’m talking about when really this has been an experiment for us; a crazy, wonderful, challenging experiment. so these are some things i learned along the way and you can figure out if, when and how you’d like to implement them into your life. see! you’re unschooling already!!!

first, i just want to say how rad this year has been. i hope hope hope this time is one of the things i look back on and cherish most in later life. i certainly cherish it now. if you have any inclinations towards unschooling at all, i say follow them at least for a little while to see how you feel. i don’t think you’ll regret it long term. maybe in the short term when it feels heavy, but not in the long run.

the biggest things I’VE learned while unschooling:

1. learning is every minute of everyday. whether it’s a walk down the alley, a doodle session at the local coffee shop, or a visit to a nature preserve in a local park, there is learning taking place in all of it. and the generosity of that is astounding.

2. you have all that you need to be a good student in life. you don’t need materials. you don’t need lesson plans. you don’t need anything extra than what is already laid before you and within you. the world is vast in its bigness and smallness so the opportunities for learning are infinite. this has changed my entire way of looking at the world. my worldview seems so bountiful now after experiencing unschooling. all we have to do is step out our front door. one of our unschooling mottos is “let’s find what we can find and see what we can see.”

3. let go. this was the hardest. i had to let go of my previous thoughts of education. i had to let go of expectations and my desires for my daughter’s education for a year. in the beginning i think i almost tried too hard to make sure we were out and “learning.”  i had to accept that my daughter was going to find very valuable learning material from television and computer games. my ideal for her education was anything but that when i set out but the fact is those are powerful learning mediums that we as adults utilize a great deal.  i had to let go of my control and realize that she finds value there that i can’t see yet. i don’t know what her future holds. how do i know what importance television and computer games are going to come to pass in her adulthood?

so, darla is headed to formal schooling next year. i have mixed emotions about it but i know it will be a good thing and i know that this year has prepared her in numerous ways. how could you look at that first photo and see anything but a young girl confidently marching on to find what she can find and see what she can see in this world.

if you’d like more resources on unschooling you can find them under the unschooling tab at the top.

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