The Blog

DESIGN YOUR LIFE

Mind Training + Alternative Healing + Simplified Living + Financial Independence

blog image

How We Get Ready for Our Year of Unschooling

August 07, 20238 min read

Don’t enjoy reading long blog posts? Let Speechify read it to you.

Contrary to popular belief Unschooling is probably the most involved form of homeschooling I've tried, and I've tried a lot of different homeschool methods! Of course, this statement is subjective, but I feel that the intention that you have to have to Unschool is top tier.

By definition, Unschooling is a style of home education that allows the student's interests and curiosities to drive the path of learning. Rather than using a defined curriculum, unschoolers trust children to gain knowledge organically.

I have tried traditional-ish homeschooling, gameschooling, child-led learning, ecclectic homeschooling, etc., but I keep coming back to Unschooling. Unschooling can be an umbrella term for some of the styles I just mentioned. We tend to lean toward the styles that are more collaborative and child-led.

Intention has a lot to do with whether how you are homeschooling would be considered unschooling. First off, intention IS everything. I've found that Unschoolers really aim to put their children's desires and needs above their own when it comes to educational experiences. But secondly (and probably most importantly), nobody can tell you if how you're choosing to educate your children is Unschooling or not. So, there's that. If you feel what you are doing is Unschooling there will always be somebody somewhere that could argue it's not. So, it's really up to you.

When I first decided to give Unschooling a try, I thought that it had to look a certain way, or if we were truly Unschoolers I couldn't do anything that was done in a traditional school setting. I was putting myself in the very box Unschooling was designed to free us from. I thought that if my children wanted to learn with worksheets or if I wanted to have them learn about something that wasn't their idea or they weren't intrinsically motivated to learn, we weren't Unschooling.

Now, I'm comfortable with knowing that sometimes I may have my children learn skills they may not have thought of themselves or may not be excited to learn, and we can still be Unschoolers.

I am an adult and have had more life experiences than my children. Therefore, I am aware of some skills that are beneficial for most humans to learn that will make their lives eaiser in the long run. Then, my goal becomes, communicating why I feel it's important and the relevance it has or will have to their lives now or in the future,

Unschooling is MORE than a means of educating children. It is a mentality and way of living.

For us, an unschooling lifestyle includes giving our chidren the autonomy to discover and create themselves as individuals without us FORCING who I wish for them to be, do, or learn without their input. Communication and collaboration is prioritized. We recognize the opportunity for learning in our everyday experiences, and we don't compartmentalize learning. Learning is a natural part of life, and is baked into our living experiences. All ways of learning are at our disposal. We are not limited to worksheets, flashcards, and books. But can also learn from those if we feel those are the best means to receive what we need according to our desires. On top of those, we learn from people, experiences, conversation, mistakes, etc.

If you ask 10 different Unschoolers what Unschooling is or what it looks like in their household, you will 100% get 10 different answers. The common thread though, is that we all are educating our children in a way that feels best for us, and try to move away from what "the system" has said is learning, what it should look like, and when it should happen.

With all the uncertainty that comes with doing things differently than how the majority is doing it, we still follow our hearts and figure it out along the way.

Just a few generations ago, we educated our own children, but during the Industrial age, we gave that power over to the system and joined the workforce. **Be sure to view the linked video at the end of this post.

Some of us still recognize the value in keeping that responsibility for ourselves, and the potential problem with handing it over to another.

I was recently having a conversastion with two of my melanated Unschool mom friends about the "risk" we are taking educating our children ourselves. I mention that these ladies are melanated because we were discussing a concern I had heard regarding OUR unschool/homeschool families, and I was asking their thoughts.

I can't remember if I heard, read, or watched this, but the comment went something like...

'We as black people can't afford to homeschool or unschool because our children won't be able to compete with their traditionally educated counterparts in the work force. Little Johnny's family (why is it always 'Little Johnny'? Anyway, I digress...) can afford to risk him not being on the same educational or skill level, or him being ill-prepared for the workforce, because he can always use his white priveledge or his Daddy's connections to fall back on. Our children don't have that luxury.'

I agree, this is a legit concern if your main goal is for your child(ren) to grow to be employees. Nothing wrong with that. Somebody's gotta do it. In that case, you would probably want to take the traditional route and send your children to school so they can be adequately prepared for that life, or bring school home within your homeschool experience where you focus on standards and subjects that are deemed important in traditional schooling.

However, Unschoolers have an advantage when it comes to CREATING jobs. In this Digital Age, people are doing so much work on the internet there are new job titles being created today that we never would have thought would exist 5-10 years ago. We have Social Media Managers, Bloggers, Vloggers, Influencers, SEO Specialists, Digital Marketers, App & Website Designers, Coders, etc. and there are thousands more waiting to be created. Those are the careers Unschoolers are preparing our children for. The careers of the future that require innovation and new ways of thinking.

What do you think about that person's concerened comment? Reply to this email to share your thoughts.

Have you been considering home education? Here's a quick view of how we plan our Unschool year that might be of some assistance.

  1. Determine your Focus for the term. This year our family is focusing on Project Based Learning, with real-life projects that are relavent to their lives i.e. building graphics and a website for the current business. Our other focuses will include learning experiences and life skills opporunities.

Another big part of our learning this year will be strategic goal setting and accomplishment. We will also cover the Law of Attraction/Manifestation. They will continue learning about plant medicine to further contribute to our family business. We will also focus on building new connections with other homeschool families in our area this year. (This is more of a personal focus for me).

  1. Now that we have our main areas of focus and a general idea for what we will incorporate, our children will include their personal interests that weren't covered collaboratively. If we need to narrow down what we are doing at a given time we will, or even change an area completely. This plan is very fluid.

    Right now, we have two children that are into photography. One also has a interest in stop-motion photography. As mentioned, my boys have a Disc Jockeying business that they will focus on growing this year, as well. My daughter will continue her tulip bulb business, and her self-taught gymnastics skills.

    All of my children participate in sports, so they will continue that well, throughout the year.

  2. I'll begin thinking of activities and opportunities where some of our learning goals can be achieved. As I mentioned before, this can include a variety of learning tools that are traditional and non-traditional. I look for ideas with some of my favorite resources, which include Pinterest, Teachers Pay Teachers website, Youtube, Udemy, Google, our public library, etc.(This is the most complicated, yet most fun part of our process).

  3. I make it a point to not stress too much about how everything will flow and leave space in our plan to be spontaneous. I refuse to be a slave to a schedule. At the same time their has to be a plan to get shit done to accomplish goals we have set. So, there is SOME structure and consistency necessary.

  4. We set specific days where we work on our projects and/or goals, and days for getting out and life learning and connecting with others. These days will change sometimes, depending on the what we have going on for the week. And that's pretty much it.

This is a very brief and rough explanation of how we go about planning for our Unschool year. This process changes every year depending on how we are planning to be intentional with our learning at that time, and is very unique to our family.

If you are interested in getting more guidance on starting your own home education journey with whatever method fits your family's needs. Check out The Holistic Learning at Home Blueprint

This blueprint will help you...

eliminate confusion and overwhelm and create confidence and clarity around your homeschool vision with this step-by-step roadmap for building a solid homeschool foundation and plan. This insightful approach considers personal traits such as love language, zodiac sign, and learning style that will help you create and implement the learning plan that's best for your child. The Holistic Learning at Home Blueprint includes worksheets, templates, and resources that will help you see the big picture for your homeschool experience, and assist you in making this process as stress-free as possible. Plus, receive #11 Keys to Tranquility while homeschooling.

Schedule a call with me HERE to get your homeschooling questions answered.

Here's the video on the history of the school system, I mentioned above.

Until Next Time,

Shonnea

Back to Blog

We want you to be a part of the amazing community we're creating. Leave us your email so you can stay up-to-date with all the cool stuff that's happening here.