It's been a good few years since we last went back to school, but September energy is powerful. The idea that this is the month of new beginnings is deeply ingrained in me, and I can't quite shake the idea that we must all get busy again. And so, although I love reconnecting with people … Continue reading That September feeling…
Some years ago, when my eldest son was still a toddler, I came across a book about learning at home. The author had interviewed many families (parents and children) on different topics to do with how the children lived and learned. The majority of these families didn't follow a curriculum or do any formal classes. … Continue reading All about conversation
It’s 10pm on a Tuesday night and we're in the sitting room quietly doing maths by candlelight. We look like some austere homeschooling family of bygone days. Far from it. This just one of those lovely moments that happen when you stop expecting anything in particular to happen. When I talk about unschooling as creating … Continue reading Maths, just for fun
There's a lot of buzz right now around children learning without school, and the different terms used can be confusing. I see the word unschooling pop up in different contexts and sometimes feel a bit flat when I see what it is describing. Not because someone else is doing it 'wrong', but because when this … Continue reading What is unschooling?
Time outs, naughty steps and reward charts were never on my radar. None of that has ever made any sense to me. Even so, when my eldest son was younger I had to marvel at friends who did these things, and at how their children accepted them with minimal resistance. It was beyond my comprehension. … Continue reading Why unschooling works for PDA children
We've spent a few days with money on our minds. Mostly because we've just moved house, so there are lots of tempting ways to spend too much. And, while I've been busy doing calculations in my head and on little bits of paper, I've noticed that the children are also thinking about money in different … Continue reading Money, money, money…
What happens when an unschooler wants to go into higher education? How does a child who has spent years following their interests possibly get their head round formal study and exams? There's plenty of evidence that they do just that, so, although we're not quite there yet ourselves, I know that at first glance the … Continue reading When unschooling means exams
A few days ago, just before she went to bed, my daughter decided to write down her morning routine. She felt like her mornings would be easier if she could just follow the same schedule every day, so she wrote it out and she keeps it on her dresser. The schedule starts with waking up, … Continue reading Structures and freedom
Sometimes, it's easy to feel confident. Seeing a child curled up reading a book, looking up ingredients to do some baking, or just getting cross about politics in the kitchen. At these times, I can't help but think that all is well. We look like someone's idea of what this should look like. We are … Continue reading Trusting the quiet moments
Well, life in semi-lockdown goes on, and we've had plenty of time to settle into new rhythms. Human beings are certainly adaptable creatures. What would have been unthinkable just months ago seems relatively normal now. It's true that a lot of conversations start with a hopeful, 'After lockdown...', but generally the days pass peacefully enough … Continue reading What did we do today?