Here's one of the many reasons I love unschooling. Most children don't naturally associate equations with fun, but this was quite a joyful moment in our sitting room late yesterday evening. E: (to his sister) Hey, do you want to do an equation? C: What's an equation? E: Well, it's more like a puzzle really. … Continue reading Snippets: five minutes of equations
I often find myself thinking about childbirth when I consider the nature of unschooling. For the last 11 years, I've given prenatal classes to women and couples who are looking to increase their confidence and diminish their fears around labour. Two things we talk about a lot are creating the right environment and trusting deeply … Continue reading Holding the space
We had a friend to stay recently. As we were cooking together in the kitchen, D (13) and E (11) were chatting with us. The conversation was wide ranging, and encompassed gun control in the US, whether Fidel Castro was a 'good dictator', best voting systems, and favourite Roman emperors. Their reasoning was sound and … Continue reading How do they know that?
We're a long way from our hill right now. All the way across the Atlantic in Buenos Aires, here to celebrate Mariano's mother's 90th birthday with her. The last time we all came was about eight years ago, so while D (13) and E (11) have some memories of the city, it's C's (6) first … Continue reading Mi Buenos Aires Querido
Unschooling is sometimes also called child-directed learning or life-learning. Labels can be misleading as they tend to miss out more than they actually say. So, the accent in these particular labels seems to be the 'school/learning' bit. Yet, as anyone who identifies with any of them knows, that really isn't the defining part of the … Continue reading Things I’ve let go of
According to a Gallup poll published in 2017, 85% of adults worldwide hate their jobs. What a depressing statistic! All those years of school, exams and hard work, only to end up hating what you do. There's something up with our system, and stats like these make me happy that we're trying a different path … Continue reading Passions for life
People sometimes wonder how children who don't go to school will make it in 'real' life. That's an odd notion, that school is preparation for 'real' life, whereas 'real' life is not preparation for 'real' life. Hm, that makes my head spin a little. It's possible that they are saying that school is filled with … Continue reading About motivation and robots
Today it felt like early summer. This is our first springtime here on the hill and it's fascinating to see the different flowers and blossoms in the garden. We were lured outside early by the sunshine and spent most of the morning aimlessly busy. We watered the new grass seeds. For this part of Spain, … Continue reading So what did we do today?
When a child leaves a traditional school environment to begin unschooling, the adjustment period is generally referred to as 'deschooling'. It's a time when, free from external expectations and pressure, they can rediscover their natural rhythms and who they are when no one expects them to be anything in particular. I keep coming across a … Continue reading Deschooling the parents
We were living in the centre of Barcelona when my eldest son (now 13) was born. Our house was on a pedestrian passageway, and across from us was an elderly Spanish woman called Maria who would often sit in her doorway making lace. She was a cheerful and kind neighbour but would frequently voice her … Continue reading Independence goes at its own pace