Home homeschooling What if Learning Isn’t Anything Like School?

What if Learning Isn’t Anything Like School?

by Kelly Crawford

“…one thing we do not have to worry about is how to educate children. We do not have to worry about curricula, lesson plans, motivating children to learn, testing them, and all the rest that comes under the rubric of pedagogy….The more we try to control it, the more we interfere.” Peter Gray, PhD, Children Educate Themselves

Think about it…

Ignore, just for a minute, everything you think about school, learning and education.

You just had a baby. Probably the most important thing your child must learn is how to communicate. You’re a smart parent so how do you prepare for this most important educational feat? Well first you must find an expert to teach her. No? You’re going to attempt it yourself?! Then certainly you have researched and found the most rigorous, well-known language curriculum money can buy, right? Long hours of study? Co-op classes?

NONE OF THAT?! What will become of her? What kind of lazy parent doesn’t teach her child the most important subject she’ll ever learn, the most crucial life skill without which she will be a failure?

See? Until our children are about five years old, we don’t worry about how they will learn, even though they’ll learn more in that span of time than in all their years combined. No one is testing them to make sure they’re on target,  no one is questioning our academic capabilities requiring us to keep progress reports, or threatening us with an over-the-shoulder “I’ve got my eye on you.”

Yet our children learn what they need to learn, remarkably well, without any of that. Through a natural process of interacting with the world and people around them, they have the miraculous aptitude to combine knowledge with experience, resulting in real education.

Just what if that kind of learning continued past the age of five? What if we didn’t worry and fret so much about how many facts they memorized or how much information we could pack into their minds? What if we let them learn what they needed to, what they wanted to, when they needed it?

Can we not think of a thousand things we’ve learned that way?

But we have to do things we don’t always like…

I used to think that since part of living in the real world includes doing things one doesn’t want to do, that was sufficient reason to force-teach children. But reason prevails: there are many opportunities in life to learn that lesson. Why should we sacrifice a child’s natural propensity to learn and enjoy learning, for the sake of a lesson we can teach in another way?

I still have reservations.

I believe in the logic of people learning on their own, I recognize that schools are failing monumentally despite their best efforts, and I know that generally, kids hate school, something that should be a red flag to all of us. Admittedly though, even as I’ve been thinking outside the box for a while, I still have reservations, difficulty breaking out of my own indoctrination of “how school should be done.” Scary, isn’t it, how we can be so convinced of one thing, that even when faced with the reality that it might be wrong, we continue to cling to it. We are afraid of having our familiar methods yanked out from under us. But fear enslaves. Thus, I write and think and continue to push the questions.

I haven’t thrown the text books out, by the way. I may one day, who knows. My intent here, with such a one-sided look at education, is to get us to look at all, past our preconceived ideas that conventional schooling has all the answers. We’re so bent to the left, sometimes we have to bend severely to the right, then maybe we can come up with a more balanced view of things.

Perhaps unschooling (as this method is best-known) is merely one color of a rainbow of ideas about the best way to educate. But at best, it cannot be ignored as a powerful theory, and conventional, test-driven methods, failing so often as they are, need to be highly scrutinized.

Great thoughts by some others.

A few other thinkers like Gatto, Gray and  Schank have dared to propose this simple observation, but it’s doubtful that the mainstream American will ever be able to shake his ingrained philosophy of education, so radical from the idea of natural learning. Still for the few who dare to question the status quo, there is a world of opportunity and freedom awaiting.

What about higher education?

And for those who think this style of learning can’t prepare children who desire to go to college, think again. An increasing number of unschooled adults are sharing their testimonies which include college degrees and successful businesses.

“Children learn wonderfully without anyone systematically or deliberately teaching them, but yet, we adults do have, or should have, the responsibility of providing the conditions that allow children to take charge of their own learning. Real educational reform, in my view, is reform that provides those conditions.

The most important condition is freedom. To learn on their own, children need unlimited time to play, explore, become bored, overcome boredom, discover their own interests, and pursue those interests.” -Peter Gray, PhD, Is Real Educational Reform Possible?


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Smitti July 29, 2013 - 5:42 am

The idea of unschooling scares me, too, but it’s so appealing. How FUN would life be if we were ALL in that situation? : ) I guess some of my fear isn’t that my children ‘wouldn’t learn’, it’s that others might take them away from me for not ‘following the rules’. Still, it would be lots of fun to prove the naysayers wrong, and to show them that we’re learning even when we’re not ‘in school’!

Natalie July 29, 2013 - 6:41 am

This is how I taught my son who is almost 17. He loves to learn, he has far surpassed my ability to teach him. He continues to love learning! The beginning of his junior year he took the ACT and scored very well on it…praise be to God! I have to mention that we do not have the option of TV or video games, etc. Which I believe give a false sense of a satisfaction for knowledge/learning.
I needed this affirmation though, because now I am “starting over” with more little ones. Sometimes I worry that I am not doing enough “educationally”. It is so nice to take a deep breath and remember that God has given them a natural drive to learn and it is my job to feed that hunger, rather than quench it through forced learning. Thank you!

Word Warrior July 29, 2013 - 10:19 am


That is SO encouraging!!

Trudy M July 29, 2013 - 7:50 am

This post was so timely as I have been deeply exploring the “Lifestyle of Learning” website by Marilyn Howshall. Her words are “like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).

Jay July 29, 2013 - 7:59 am

I am afraid I don’t understand. Does ”unschooling” mean you toss all curriculums and just let a child learn what they want when they want? No books, no structure at all? No work books? If that is what it is, are you telling me that a child just comes to you and decides to learn multiplying and algebra etc? How does that work?

Word Warrior July 29, 2013 - 10:19 am


You can begin by following some of the links in this post. Also, if you Google “unschooling” or “lifestyle of learning” (there are many variations of this philosophy) you’ll find lots of explanation, more than I could give here.

Also, there are schools popping up that teach with this method. Here’s one: http://www.sudval.org/

Guest July 29, 2013 - 12:21 pm

What jobs has Bria found now that she is done homeschooling? How does she use her education to earn money?

Natalie July 29, 2013 - 2:56 pm

I also read an encouraging book by Gregg Harris years ago, part of it was about passion led learning. Children have a natural drive to learn! I have to say it again, most children’s desire to learn is quenched by the school system…so sad!
An example of a lifestyle of learning…There are wasps building a nest outside of our window so we are able to observe them in safety. Today in the car I started a conversation with 2 of my boys (6 and 4) and asked them to give me a hypothesis about how wasps build their nests. We talked a lot about it and this led to other questions and speculations. When we got home I got on the internet and found a video explaining how they build their nests, lay the eggs, etc. They were very interested and were also asking to learn about hummingbirds and bees.
Their momma is learning right there along with them. I graduated from college years ago with a good grade point average. I am not exaggerating when I say that I did not really start to learn until I began to educate my children!

Word Warrior July 29, 2013 - 9:17 pm

Greg Harris really encouraged us, too, in the beginning, as he explained “delight-directed study.”

Natalie July 30, 2013 - 6:03 am

Thank you for the clarification, it has been awhile since I read it :).

Bekah July 29, 2013 - 3:25 pm

My parents homeschooled us with a mix of “schooling” and “unschooling” back before the last one had been named. We had our “normal classes” in the mornings but by the afternoon we were set to working on real life things or just exploring in general. One of my brothers is now a mechanical engineer, one is in college making very high grades, my sister is doing dual enrolment (highschool/college) making very high grades and I graduated from college, taught school in Africa and am now married and about the start teaching our children (weirdly I am slightly scared about doing so). I say all of that to say that I completely agree and have seen it work! I think the biggest issue is making ourselves be involved in the children’s lives and learning when it’s much easier to let someone/something do the teaching for us. Just a thought. 🙂

Word Warrior July 29, 2013 - 4:13 pm

Bekah–loved this! Thanks for sharing a real life experience. I think stories like this is what it takes for most of us to really *believe*. It’s a lot in just having faith; just like we have faith in the example I gave of a young child learning a whole language by himself. Some things don’t seem to make sense, but they just work.

Natalie July 29, 2013 - 7:12 pm

Very encouraging, thank you for sharing!

Bonnie July 29, 2013 - 6:49 pm

I think big problems come when we compartmentalize education/learning as separate from the rest of life. When we try to quantify every piece of trivia and bit of knowledge that a person knows or “should” know we’re playing a fools game. How will you ever know if you’ve filled in enough blanks, learned enough words or figured out enough equations?

One of my favorite things about reading Christian/missionary biographies is that the reader gets an eagle eye view of the subject’s life and can see that God was at work ordering all the circumstances from the very beginning. If He needed a person to learn Chinese, He would make sure it happened. One’s “professional education” seems to matter little to God.

One of my dearest friends was unschooled and now in her mid-thirties she is a brilliant, talented, hard-working, passionate-for-God mother of six, educating them at home and investing in her community in many ways.

Thankfully, too, learning and the desire to learn are part of the fabric of who we are, it is part of who God made us!

Natalie July 29, 2013 - 7:21 pm

Awesome, thanks for sharing! This topic is a passion of mine because sometimes I feel like an outsider even among homeschoolers. Nothing against Classical Education, but it has become so popular…that sometimes it seems like “everyone” is choosing that route. Okay, I will try to stop commenting…as I said, I am passionate about this topic :).

Amber July 29, 2013 - 7:25 pm

I think that the primary focus of schooling should be Bible and character training. I also think the basics are necessary. Math is very helpful for logic and deductive reasoning, which in turn is important for understanding theology. Both Martin Luther and Charles Spurgeon were huge advocates for math and logic. Grammar is important for writing in a way that people will listen. Honestly, as our kids get older (our eldest is only 6) I would love to do mostly reading and writing and math for school.
I went to public school and was terrible at it. I was late every day, I missed school 1 to 3 days a week and got so behind that I hardly ever finished my schoolwork… even in the classes I enjoyed, like Art. I ended up with a GPA of 2.7, I believe… pitiful, I know! But when I had taken the ACT’s my Junior year I scored above average in Math and Science (my 2 worst subjects) and very high in reading comprehension and grammar. I am not saying this to brag, but to point out that almost all of my understanding of things (the fact that I can even function mentally after living so purposelessly as I was growing up)came from the fact that I read like a maniac as a kid. Sometimes it would be a book a day… granted it was garbage for the most part like The Babysitter’s Club and Goosebumps. I can’t imagine what I’d know now if they would have been good reads, ha ha!
Now I know that not all my children will have this love for reading, but if they often get to choose the subject I think that will fuel that :).

Word Warrior July 29, 2013 - 9:19 pm

Amber–a love for reading is key, I think. I spend most of my time encouraging that. (I’m working this very night on some sort of summer reading marathon with prizes for my kids. Let me know if you have any good ideas 😉 )

Lindsey August 3, 2013 - 1:13 am

Sorry, but I just laughed out loud at this because that was me too – reading The Babysitters Club and Goosebumps. I know Goosebumps is a no-no, but I guess I just don’t remember The Babysitters Club being “bad”? Anyway, I did read a lot of questionable things growing up and now I find myself being kind of controlling with my kids and what I will/won’t let them read. Then that sometimes seems to squelch their little fires because they aren’t being allowed to read the books they want. My oldest is only 7 but a lot of times he will want to check out the cartoony books that always seem to have questionable content. I usually say “no” and then fear since I’m not letting him choose I’m actually going to hinder his love for reading. What 7 year old actually picks out old classics to read without anyone suggesting them? I dunno. Just something I’m always pondering and trying to figure out the line on.

Valerie August 6, 2013 - 8:46 am

We don’t go to the library very often, I found it too much to keep up with the books the children were wanting to get out. Instead we have a small library of books in our home. I have found the girls picking up the classics all on their own. It doesn’t have to be expensive, we just recently got a few really old books for free at a garage sale. My oldest 2 (the only 2 that can read right now) love reading so I am not sure what one would do with children who don’t, but I know that the girls have also picked up books after we watched the movie. A lot of the classics are on movies so that could encourage reading the books. Last year due to having a difficult pregnancy and then a new baby I never taught grammer to my girls (7 and 8 year old), but we did do lots of reading and they love to copy books typing them on the computer. They also have come up with stories on their own and are using correct grammer/punctuation. I really think all the reading and copying has paid off, and it was all on their own!
So I think having the good books in our homes and laying around for the children to pick up really makes a difference.

6 arrows July 29, 2013 - 10:15 pm

I like that title: “What if Learning Isn’t Anything Like School?” To which I’ll ask, what if it is? 😛

Just kidding 😉 It’s funny to me, like you say, that we see the natural way in which babies and toddlers learn language and communication skills and other fundamental ways of interacting with their world without curriculum and such, and yet we think that at a magic age (which seems to get earlier and earlier) we enlightened adults have to formally intervene.

I also think of the years after we have finished our “schooling”. Do we suddenly become incapable of learning things because a teacher isn’t delivering content to us?

We’re able to be self-directed learners as adults, and as very young children — why do we take the years between and turn them into a force-fed, “Here, you need to know this right now, and somebody needs to impart this to you” diet using someone else’s meal plan for 12+ years?

That said, though, I can empathize with this you said, Kelly: “I still have reservations, difficulty breaking out of my own indoctrination of “how school should be done.” Scary, isn’t it, how we can be so convinced of one thing, that even when faced with the reality that it might be wrong, we continue to cling to it. We are afraid of having our familiar methods yanked out from under us.”

I wrestle with that all the time. It’s my opinion that this may be harder for former teachers than for homeschooling parents that did not get a teaching degree. We carry the “this learning at this time” mindset out of our classrooms and into our homes, I think. It’s rather ironic that quite a few people (in my experience, anyway) believe that it’s an advantage for a homeschooling parent to have had prior classroom teaching experience, when, in some ways, it is a handicap to be overcome. It’s too easy to think of the “what” and “when” of teaching, and not the “who”, our own kids (and the “Who” — God — Who created them with their unique developmental timetables). Not to mention the “why”, as in, why do they need this right now, or at all?

Great stuff to chew on as I “plan” my year and hit a brick wall. 😉

Vickie July 30, 2013 - 9:56 am

“It’s rather ironic that quite a few people (in my experience, anyway) believe that it’s an advantage for a homeschooling parent to have had prior classroom teaching experience, when, in some ways, it is a handicap to be overcome.”

If you think about it, we have. I went to public school from K-12th grade. I’ve had 13 years of prior classroom experience (plus some college). I have watched teachers teaching. Been an aide and a tutor. Played school in the summer. When I struggle with how to get something across to my child, I tried to think how a teacher taught it to me. I have all the teachers’ books now and I refer to them if I need to….the same as public school teachers do. We have the classroom experience.

I haven’t overcome that handicap either. I do like to use books/workbooks. Mainly for math and language arts. The rest I guess would be considered unschooling. When we find something that interests us….we investigate, research, and learn together. When my kids are “bored”, they like to read encyclopedias, almanacs, National Geographic, and whatever else I have on hand. Electronics are not free reign in our home. Now and again one of the kids might come up and ask me to look up something specific on the internet because they’ve exhausted all our material in their research.

When it comes to homeschooling my kids….I have a vested interest, not just a paycheck coming. In some ways, with God leading the way, I have my kids’ futures in my hands. I can make learning an enjoyable part of every day life, or we can have “I hate school” mantra going on.

6 arrows July 30, 2013 - 1:47 pm

Good thoughts, Vickie. I love having the flexibility to do the sorts of things you mention in your third paragraph, delving deeper into topics for which our children develop a natural curiosity.

shannon July 30, 2013 - 6:27 am

I just read yesterday in my local newspaper about a local daycare opening up that will be like school. Ugh…It’s selling points are setting it up like a school with structure and recess and even daily report cards.

I am becoming a huge believer in this “unschooling” thing so must look into it. My oldest is 3 1/2 so I have a bit of time yet but I am sold more and more. I was raised in public school and know I do not want that system! My problem with learning about unschooling is getting some real life examples of how that is played out day to day while still meeting state requirements for education.

Word Warrior July 30, 2013 - 10:00 am

Shannon–little saddens and frustrates me as much as the push for formal academics earlier and earlier. It is robbery to childhood and it isn’t beneficial at all. In my opinion, these day cares simply relieve the guilt of parents who now feel they are giving their children an advantage by enrolling them in “school”, instead of simply dropping them off with a caretaker.

Kim from Canada July 31, 2013 - 1:24 pm

Shannon; Living in my part of Canada, we have full time junior kindergarten as part of our public school system – that means if your child is 3yo, he can go full time, all day at public school. Our socialistic government can’t wait to get their hands on our kids – and so many people are lining up to hand their kids over! I can’t imagine leaving my little guy in a classroom all day…I fear for when this becomes a mandatory situation.

Kim from Canada July 31, 2013 - 1:26 pm

Sorry – let me correct that last line. I do no live in fear…but I know I will be moving quickly when mandatory public school is even discussed.

Word Warrior July 31, 2013 - 1:38 pm

Good for you, Kim. I think of the same thing, even here.

Megan Jenelle @ A Blossoming Homestead July 30, 2013 - 11:14 am

I am interested to know if you have heard of or what your thoughts are on Christian classical education? We have seen lots of fruit from this in other families, and have seriously considered using a similar method with our children once they reach the appropriate age. The trivium makes so much sense – that younger children’s minds are wired in a way which is condusive for learning facts through memoraization. I still know the presidents and states from 2nd grade. Then once they are around 11-13ish they start asking questions and wanting to know “why”. Here, all those memorized facts start to make sense. Finally, once a young adult/teen they begin to take those memorized facts, and the reasoning behind them, and they begin to think abstractly fully equipped. . . . Obviously if you have looked at this method at all you know I probably didn’t do the best job explaining it. Either way I am curious as to your thoughts.
I do agree that kids need to have the freedom to learn in a real life setting without test scores, worksheets, etc. etc. However, even the public school is trying to incorporate a method of child-directed learning and I don’t think this is the answer to education reform.

Word Warrior July 30, 2013 - 1:07 pm

I am well familiar with the classical method, as many of my close friends use it.

I have mixed feelings. When I studied it a while back, it seemed very logical (no pun intended). But there are reasons to question whether as Christians, we should be looking to a humanistic, Greek philosophy of education for our standard. If I can find it, I’ll post an article I read that explained the dangers; at this time, it escapes me.

A lot of it goes back to really, truly defining what an education is and what our goals are. Even with the heavy memorization, is that what it means to be educated? Does that eventually become more than just memorization? I’m just asking the questions, not answering them. 😉

There will no doubt always be different people who have polar views on how best to educate. Regardless of our methods, I hope to encourage parents with posts like these, that God HAS given children a love and desire to learn about the world around them and we must allow that to flourish in one way or another.

Great question to ponder. Thanks!

6 arrows July 30, 2013 - 1:32 pm

Might this be the article you’re thinking of?


Word Warrior July 30, 2013 - 4:05 pm

That isn’t the one I had read, but it raises many of the same concerns. I was thinking R.C. Sproul Jr. was the author that so well articulated the concerns, but now I can’t find it. It’s such an interesting topic because you have this strong opposition that makes sense, but then so many others have equally convincing arguments in favor of classical (including my dear, reformed friends whom I highly respect). So…good to think.

Megan Jenelle @ A Blossoming Homestead July 30, 2013 - 1:57 pm

Thanks for the reply! I have wondered that myself! I will check out the article 6 arrows posted! 🙂
Have a blessed day!

Erica July 30, 2013 - 2:20 pm

I have 6 kids and each of them has gotten their education in a different way. We started the path of public schools then went to “magnet” & “charter” schools then went to online public schools. My oldest just graduated from an eSchool. The next two are both 16 – one is in public school (my stepson and we have no control over his education though we’ve tried numerous times to be able to have him with us to homeschool) and the other one is in an eSchool, but BEGGING me to pull him out to be “home schooled”. Then we have the 3 little ones (7,6,5 yrs old) – I haven’t done ANY formal school work with them. So this summer, at the request of grandparents who think they know better than I, I had my 7 yr old take some tests. This child who is very bright and has a deep desire to learn on her own scored at the 5th grade level for reading and the 4th grade level for math! My 6 yr old is a little different due to his ADHD/ODD I am discovering that he needs to learn differently than his sisters! So while he “hit” his benchmarks and actually was a grade level above where he should be. I know with a little more one-on-one he’ll be doing better. Then the baby (5 yr old) she scored at 2nd grade level in reading and math.

I HATED having the kids do the testing BUT I am so sick of arguing with my own family who think I am literally abusing my children by keeping them out of school and instead of “doing school” am let them decide what they want to learn and when. We haven’t cracked a text book once. I haven’t used a single worksheet. And the only things they have done on a PC are to watch vidoes on certain subjects they have chosen to learn about. I don’t call it unschooling or classical schooling or really even home schooling. In all honesty I call it their EDUCATION – and to me they began their education the moment they took their first breath!

I surround them with things they can learn from/with. I give them lots of room to explore. BUT I also make myself available to them any time – day or night. My 5 yr old & I had the best night a few nights ago when she came to get in bed with us during a thunderstorm. She started asking questions and I gave her the best answers I could at that point – we were IN bed at 4 am! But she was so insistent that we snuck out of bed to get online to read about thunderstorms. We sat at the computer for well over an hour learning about clouds and what they mean. And all the fun reactions between the clouds and how it creates rain, thunder, lightening….

THOSE are the moments I live for. When the kids have “that” look in their eye and you can just see the mental sponge absorbing everything around them. That is why I keep my kids at home to learn about the world around them. That is why I haven’t yet cracked open a text book. Because I have found that they each learn in their own time and when they are ready! My 7 yr old asks about multiplication and division….literally BEGS me to teach her new concepts that she sees or reads about. She is constantly writing books and teaching herself how to do things….and when she gets stuck on something she knows that she can come to me with questions and if I don’t know the answer then we figure it out TOGETHER. I think that’s the key to educating our kids. Be available and be willing to answer questions. Create an environment that they can explore and learn from.

Not only WILL they learn – but they will LOVE to learn. THAT is why it’s totally worth it. I want my children to WANT to learn. At school they didn’t want to…they HAD to. There is a BIG difference between the two. My ONLY regret is that I didn’t do this from the start!

Word Warrior July 30, 2013 - 5:29 pm

Love it, Erica!

Lindsey August 3, 2013 - 1:34 am

Erica, my oldest are 7 and 6 too so this REALLY hit home with me because I’m seemingly the opposite of you and I see my 7 year old esp. not wanting to do “school” so I’m very interested in anything you have to say on this subject. If you see this, may I ask how your kids learned how to read? Did you help them? Do they ever get to watch tv? I just can’t figure out what people mean by “give them the tools” or whatever and they will learn on their own??? I feel like mine would play all day, fight, and then ask to watch tv! Frustrating because I want to enjoy homeschooling more then I do and I desire for my children to love learning and that’s not happening right now because I feel that I need to follow the little boxes in my curriculum or my kids will be left behind.

Amy M. July 31, 2013 - 8:13 am

Kelly- you might be interested in reading a new book by Sal Khan (founder of the Khan Academy) called “The One World Schoolhouse”. I am just starting it, having questioned the “normal” state of academics in this country for some time and so far it is really good. I also learned a lot from “A Thomas Jefferson Education” (written by a mormon but the educational philosophy was good) and Victoria Botkin (she has a two part audio series) whose children learned mainly by her reading aloud to them and from what they read on their own.

In addition to the three “R”s I think it is so important that kids learn hands on skills – gardening, cooking, sewing, livestock care, mechanics, etc – so many people have no knowledge in how to provide for themselves.

Anyway, looking forward to more posts in this regard.

Word Warrior July 31, 2013 - 10:31 am

Thanks for the recommendation, Amy! “One World” though kinda scares me 😉 I’m sure it’s different than the ideas I’m conjuring up.

Joy August 1, 2013 - 8:54 pm

Sal Khan created a website called KhanAcademy.com — it’s free to anyone, anywhere, who has a computer. His goal is a free world-class education for anyone who wants to learn. He has instruction videos and math problems from 1+1 through college level math. He’s added science and history, and probably more, it’s been awhile since I checked. We use it for math, but the kids are free to explore. He gave a TED talk that was absolutely inspiring. The kids work and explore at their own pace. It’s amazing.

Kristi July 31, 2013 - 7:23 pm

We have been “unschooling” since the kids were born. 🙂 Our oldest is 9 now and blows me away with his maturity. I am mostly made aware of this by other peoples comments. He plays his Minecraft video game with his 7 year old sister building homes, smoke houses, growing gardens, etc. because we have been reading “Little House in the Big Woods”. So they looked up how to do these things on line with my help, and learned things they couldn’t figure out on their own.
We use the Library to get every kind of book imaginable that they have an interest in from, how to draw type books, classic fairy tails, books on animals, and any historical fiction age appropriate we can find, etc. They learn so much from snuggling up on the couch to read all of these. They also each have a current book they read to me as often as we can get to it. They pick a few sentences from the book for copy work in their notebooks. And we review any words they have trouble with. Science comes from library books again and also life experiences, PBS, Science channel and Beakman’s World! 🙂 Math is currently counting their earned money, figuring out if they have enough to pay for what they are saving for. Also, cooking together doing basic measurements for recipes (fractions), etc. The list is endless!!!!!
My dad who is very skeptical of what we are doing, on his last visit made a point to tell me what a large vocabulary they have and so mature, selfless and respectful…Amazing because all I feel like I’m doing is getting on their case half the time about attitudes, me learning to control my own attitude, and not doing “school” all the time like I think I’m supposed to. But they are flourishing! My little girls are falling suite, taking their Bob books out on their own time and making their own Bob books with craft paper and writing all the same words in theirs. I love it!!!

Lindsey August 3, 2013 - 1:26 am

Here’s my take on this right now. I think that because a new “school year” is upon us, I get a little panicky and start searching google to make sure I’m not doing the wrong thing. Probly a bad idea, but I digress. I recently read an article that said all the things homeschoolers like to point out that kids do without being “taught”, like walking and talking, come naturally because we are already masters of those things ourselves. Thus, it’s easy to teach something you already know how to do. But that logic doesn’t flow with everything school related, like grammar, science, math, etc., because for many people, they are not masters of these subjects so one could ask how they would effectively teach these subjects. Just something to ponder. It has really made me think. I know many will chime in at this point with the, “Well, my goal is to get them to love learning so they will learn themselves” but I’m just not 100% on board with that thought and my research (if you’ll call it) has led me to websites where first generation homeschoolers say they would never choose to homeschool their kids because of how disadvantaged they feel they are. I just wonder about it all. I wonder if the blogs I read only tell the positive side, but most are first generation homeschoolers too so we’re all in the same little experiment together. It just all makes me think a lot. At the end of the day I homeschool for God, but at the end of the day I don’t want to hinder my children or cause them future harm in an ever changing world. Unschooling sounds wonderful as well as apprentice-type learning, but I can’t grasp that the real world will accept this and reading that these people would never subject their own children to a lifestyle of homeschooling makes me uneasy. Just a lot to think and pray about.

Mary February 6, 2014 - 9:36 am

What about older children. I have 11 year old, 14 year old and a 16 year old. We have been homeschooling for 5 years. My 14 year old hates school, that’s why I started researching unschooling. My 16 want’s to go to a bible school, so I’m not making him finish algebra 2 and he just studies the bible most of the day and information books. He is currently leading a small group for young men at church.

Mary February 6, 2014 - 9:37 am

I really want to unschool, but find myself trying to make them do there math books or read. It’s so hard for me to just let them do it on there own. Any ideas?

Naida Bussiere October 14, 2018 - 5:18 pm

Thank you for sharing.


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