How Does Unschooling Work?: Veteran Bloggers’ Best Tips for Success

One of the most common questions I hear is, “How does unschooling work? I mean, on a day-to-day basis. Do you just let kids do whatever or…?” Well, Christian unschooling acknowledges that foolishness is wrapped up in the heart of a child. So, our unschooling looks a little different, but many of the same principles apply. But, rather than just take my word for it, I gathered some tips and advice from other veteran unschooling families. (Some of these may not be Christians, but the posts below don’t contradict my faith.) I wanted to provide you with a more complete picture of how it can look and I wanted to satisfy my own curiosity, too. These posts show how others set up their homes, give a glimpse into their daily lives, offer some tips for success, and more.

a family learning how does unschooling work

How does unschooling work? A collection of veteran tips

Setting up a learning home

These first few sites focus on setting up a learning home conducive to productive unschooling. Doing these things will help keep kids motivated and learning.

This blog post offers some tips for organizing your home to encourage learning. We have done all of these things, too! She has a whole series devoted to this topic.
This post is not specifically about unschooling, but a closely related style of homeschooling called delight-directed. Many of the learning tools used are the same as for an unschooling home. These are: great books, plenty of hands-on tools, and a few other handy things.

The parent’s role and daily life

So, what do the parents do if they’re not following a curriculum? When people ask how does unschooling work, they often follow up with this other question about the parent’s role. Well, parents certainly aren’t sitting around watching television!

This is a great post because she shares many of the same tips that I do! Unschooling is NOT unparenting. Parents play a vital role in the success of unschooling.
This post can help you see the possibilities in your unschooling home.

Check out a day in the life of an unschoolish family to get more inspiration!

This post chronicles the transition from a traditional approach to a more relaxed approach. It incorporates both some structured learning time and some flexible interest-based time. I love seeing how each family looks different and still pursues some interest-based learning.
When you start to worry because your kids don’t know things that their peers do, read this article.

How does unschooling work without ideas, resources, and tips for new interests?

For unschooling to work, you need resources. This is also a common question. Well, here are some nice collections for you to help you inspire your kids.

I don’t think I could’ve created a better list of ideas and tips for embracing a life of learning, of unschooling, filled with wonder and sparkle. Make sure you check this out!
This post is organized by subject area and includes links to specific products that encourage and inspire learning.
She talks about physical, virtual, and experiential strewing.

And, a few other tips…

These posts give reasons why unschooling–or at least delight-directed–can provide many benefits to you and to your children. However, we do need to pay special attention to some areas of brain development that may go under-developed. See my notes below for more about that.

And Walking by the Way has some things to share, too.

Plus, a warning

She contends that unschooling has many benefits but a couple of weaknesses that should be addressed. Unschooling often avoids memory work that provides needed exercise for the brain. (Although that was not the case in my family. We simply used flash card alternatives for necessary memory work). You may want to pay special attention to this in your homeschool.

She also contends that unschoolers tend to go into the arts as adults because their brains aren’t used to the hard work of the sciences. They tend to do what comes easy–the art. It is true that this can often be the case. However, a person will do the hard things to attain a goal if they want it bad enough.

Therefore I contend that this point, too, is not necessarily true (although they do tend to be more artsy in general). My oldest daughter is training to be a nuclear medicine technologist, not really “artsy” at all. My oldest son got into Praxis because he was unschooled. If you are not familiar with Praxis, it is a business apprenticeship program. His initiative and unconventional schooling made him an ideal candidate. Again, not exactly easy.

I enjoyed this article and included it here because it makes valid points about weaknesses in unschooling. I want you to be aware of areas that may need your attention.

Well, there you have it. I hope this was helpful to you. Lots of great stuff here to encourage you, give you ideas, and even some warnings. Check out Christian unschooling for more information.

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