Friday, 5 November 2010

Advice for a wanna-be-unschooler from freeplaylife

I have enjoyed reading freeplaylife's posts on unschooling and homeschooling for the last few months. I also feel like I have connected with Tiffani (as much as you can in the virtual world) through her self portrait BAM project on flickr. She is a beautiful, fun loving, inspiring woman.

I have been thinking a lot these past few weeks about our homeschooling life. The kids and I have been into a routine since the summer, and it works. It works, but that's about it. I feel at times that we have lost that love of learning and that we are just checking things off a list. That love of learning that we have when we follow a particular interest, passion, or do a really cool project like Mystery Class.

I decided a few days ago to send a personal e-mail to Tiffani from freeplaylife and ask her this simple question:

"When you have a minute, I would love to hear your top 5 advice for a wanna-be-unschooler like me. I will go and read more on your blog later, but I figured you probably have some tips or insights...I have noticed that we are all getting bored of always doing the same thing. My oldest is even considering going to high school... We need to get the love of learning back in our house."  I thought maybe she would send me an e-mail back with a few points when she had a chance, but instead she decided to make a series of posts on her blog! So far, she has written two excellent posts, and I can't wait for the rest.

You can read the first one "Advice for a wannabe unschooler: Widen your Concept of Education" , and the second one "Advice for a wannabe unschooler: Get to Know Your Child as their own Person". I have called myself a wanna-be-unschooler for a few years now, always thinking that I couldn't completely unschool my kids. I have read a lot about unschooling and we also have unschooled friends. As time goes on, though, I am realizing that maybe we could, in our own version,  unschool. I shared a quote today on my facebook from John Holt, and it reflects very nicely how I feel about education at this point:

‎"Since we can’t know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned." 
A love of learning and an ability to teach yourself is what I hope to give to my children.
I am looking forward to the next posts and the advice that Tiff will share with all of us on her blog. The second post put a smile on my face when I read it, it made me feel good. I do feel I know my children very well and we have done many of the things on her fun list. It gives me hope that we could do this “unschool” stuff!  


  1. Thanks for your post- and for the links. I have bookmarked them and will read them tonight. As a homeschool mom of 10 years I can relate to the "checking the items off the list" issue. We have had times like that over the years.

  2. I have had fun reading her unschoolng wanna-be posts too. I had no idea that you inspired them!I have learned much about unschooling math from Tiffany, and that has been so much fun to add to our school. I have learned that there are many variations within a school of educational thought and that it is perfectly alright to stradding two or more philosphies. So, you can if you want jump schools, but you could also just add more of another school of thought into what works for you now. Just a thought.

  3. I am interested in reading those posts. I was just reading the blog of another "unschooler" and found a lot of what she had there very interesting. Thanks for asking the question!

  4. I'm going to check out those posts. Love your new title and blog header.

  5. Great post. I feel the same way. I really want to be an unschooler, but don't have the guts. lol. Thanks for the links I plan of visiting them.


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