I hear a lot of doubt around whether unschooling can work for children with special needs. Perhaps it's because many of these children need so much help and support to get through formal education. And if it's stressful and exhausting even with everyone trying so hard, logic follows that without all that effort and structure, … Continue reading The many benefits of unschooling for children with special needs
This lockdown sort of caught us between places. We had just rented a house in the UK, and brought over some of our belongings. We were due to travel back to Barcelona in March to get the rest of our things plus our three cats. Obviously that couldn't happen, so we're living a fairly minimalist … Continue reading Let them game!
It's been just a couple of months since my first post about C learning to read by herself. Just like with our sons, I am in awe of her capacity to learn. In a couple of months she has gone from feeling like this would be really hard to being quite a fluent reader. She … Continue reading Learning to read #3
This series of posts follows my seven-year-old daughter as she learns to read. C has created a beautiful world in Minecraft with a pet shop, swarming with different animals, and a sweet shop with all sorts of colourful delicacies. This morning, I helped her put signs in her shops. These signs mostly say, 'Cats for … Continue reading Learning to read #2
In the early days, when I would quietly admit that our children weren't at school, people would tell me that was radical. And I would agree. Radical indeed! Not many other people are doing it, so we must be out there on the fringes. But radical is a big label. I hadn't set out to … Continue reading Nothing radical here
These learning-to-read posts are really for any parents out there struggling with the idea that children can learn to read by themselves, or looking for some reassurance. When D was just two, I read a book called 'How children learn at home'. That book probably sowed the seeds for our future. I was inspired and … Continue reading Learning to read #1
There's a lovely energy in the air today. Maybe it's the cooler almost-autumn air that feels so good, or perhaps it's because their dad came back after a few days away for work. Whatever the reason, there's a fun buzz about life. In fact, thinking about it, yesterday was very much a cocoon sort of … Continue reading What did we do today?
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?