Top Tips For a Happy Unschooling Home
- Watch carefully and listen lots: then you can figure out what kind of learner your child is, do they love stories? are they hands on? do they take more in from hearing things? Once you get this it makes understanding how to facilitate your children's learning much easier.
- What really drives them? You can ask but even they may not realise it yet so be a detective, what can they concentrate on for longer periods than other things? Is it people's stories, is it a love of nature? do they like to figure out how things work? Is it a love of food? If you can discover what it is that wholly captures your child's imagination then linking ideas and topics to the things they love can really help to broaden their knowledge.
- Strew, strew and strew some more. If you haven't yet heard of strewing then let me introduce you to this gem. Once you've figured out their learning style and main interests then you can go wild with the strewing. Anything and everything you think may open a new door for them to further their interests and encourage them to dive deeper into a topic, or to expand their horizons into new territory is a great start. Don't be sad if they ignore it or don't use it as you expected/intended. Either pop it away for another occasion or let them use it in a way that makes sense to them, if they ask for help or advice then offer away.
- Chill. What you may see as 'junk' or a waste of time may be hiding unseen benefits. Those You Tube watching moments may be teaching your kids how to address an audience, how to demonstrate to others, how to explain a concept, how to be engaging, how to find things that you are passionate about to promote to others. All this from a 'how to' video.
- Provide opportunities. Get out in the world, discover new places together, go on trips, if you open out the world then so much more becomes accessible, it's much more fun and a richer learning experience being out in a forest than it is reading about one or watching a video on one.
- Be collaborators - it's not you and them, it's you as a collective family so work together to find solutions; ways to discover new things, learn together, plan ideas, plan trips. Collaboration is an essential skill, start demonstrating it now.
- De-school yourself. This is one of the hardest things I have had to work through (and am still regularly doing), watch podcasts, follow inspiring talks and blogs, read up on the importance of play and how kids learn. You can forge a unique educational path that will serve your family, just have confidence. And this leads me onto the next one...
- Create a great network, find local, national, international people with similar visions. Listen to their talks, read their books, read blogs, watch their vlogs. Whatever creates a feeling of solidarity and makes you feel part of a community. Once you feel totally happy with your choices you can freely focus on your kids learning.
- Laugh and enjoy the moment. It goes by so fast in a blur of everyday life, guilt, chores, stresses but find those little things that make you giggle together, just have fun at something no matter how small and hug and smile as often as you can because no one ever regretted a good giggle and a cuddle!