What was the catalyst that lead you to choose unschooling for your family’s learning and educational needs?
As business owners, we made a pact to not do anything that would not allow us to be together as a family. School was very restrictive and would not allow for our rigorous travel schedule. Homeschooling seemed the right way to go, but it to was a bit to restrictive with having to keep track of certain curriculum and testing requirements that did not fit our daughters way of learning.
Prior to your venture into unschooling, did you have any preconceived ideas, beliefs, or notions about what unschooling entailed (positive or negative)? If so, have any of those beliefs or ideas shifted?
We’ve just been making it up as we go along as I’m sure most parents do in this space.
And we knew that we had enough of our own.
What have been some of your favorite strategies, tools, or resources that you’ve employed to make unschooling a successful fit for your family?
Business! Neva has been doing business since she was 2 years old. She has been running a podcast for the last 2 years. The computer skills, interview skills and research skills that come from that process in of itself have been priceless. And it covers down on the money piece in a way that most kids never get in school.
Her book “When Pigs Fly: A Parents Guide for Raising Your Young Entrepreneur” comes out in July, you can find it at SuperPowerKids.com
How has your family’s experience with unschooling been so far? Have you encountered any obstacles or challenges? What milestones and successes have stood out to you?
This last year, Neva really took charge of her own learning and now dives deep into things that she is interested in without being prompted. This was a huge milestone. One that was easier to achieve because of her age and awareness.
And because she does business and is focused on helping others, she is able to get a sense of accomplishment greater than what achievements school typically provides.
What questions do you receive most often about unschooling your family and how do you address those questions?
We find that not a lot of people understand the concept of Homeschooling. Even less understand the idea of unschooling. She’s 9 and going in to the “6th grade” as she blows through typical curriculum that we use to supplement the foundation skills of math and reading. The biggest question we always get is “HOW” do we do it. We always share the resources we have and have coached a few families on how to actually integrate it into their lives.
What have been some of the most rewarding moments of your unschooling journey?
The fact that there is not a moment of time lost to school. We are a 24/7 family that does everything together.
What advice would you give to someone considering unschooling or just beginning their unschooling adventure?
Lean on others for support and ideas. Find others who also homeschool/Unschool and create friendships with them.
What key skills and traits do you feel unschooling has instilled in your child/children/family?
Completely empowers her to be her own person. She has seen the rewards of hard work and learning for herself. She has learned that the world is hers to create for herself and that no one, not even us as her parents, can decide how she experiences things.
What has been one of the most powerful insights you’ve gained from unschooling?
The biggest thing I appreciate is that our daughter will never have to unlearn all of the programming I had to unlearn when I broke free from the system that school trains kids to become a part of. It took me 34 years and the willingness to walk away from a pretty cush government job to recognize there was something different, something better. I’m forever grateful that she will never have to unprogram herself from the outdated methods of learning that I had to experience (she actually has tried school and lasted 1 day and came to the realization on her that it wasn’t for her).
What do you feel is one of the biggest myths about unschooling?
That kids can’t learn outside of a structured curriculum.