Thoughts on our Unschooling Week


If you regularly read my blog you will already know that we are carrying out an experiment this year by alternating schooling weeks with unschooling weeks.

All this week I have been jotting down my thoughts on everyone’s learning during this our first unschooling week.  I haven’t attached any judgement to these observations.  I will, but just not yet.  For now I simply want to record what I have observed.

  1. The first thing I noticed, and am glad I noticed on the first day, was that I place a different value on certain activities compared to others.  I was mentally patting certain people on the back for their choice of activity whilst berating another for theirs.  I didn’t vocalise this thank goodness, but I did wonder why it was so.
  2. The children did incredibly well with their devotions, their chores and their maths.  Every day they completed these tasks to a high standard and without me even asking them, too.  This is fairly normal but somehow I thought they would slack off during unschooling time and that wasn’t the case.
  3. They chose to spend a lot of time on their screens.  This is an observation not a judgement (or at least I am trying to make it so).  They did not waste their time whilst on their computers but it still jarred with me concerning the ‘rightness’ of having so much screen time.
  4. The children found a huge variety of activities to fill their time and it was definitely an eye-opener and a window into my child’s life/heart.  Somehow, by allowing the children almost complete freedom I have seen parts of them I have not seen before.
  5. The children, when they are not conforming to expectations, become more authentically themselves, which is really rather lovely.
  6. It was interesting to see them problem solve alone.  I have attempted to completely back off this week and wait until asked to help before I interfered.  On lots of occasions the children have chosen to figure out their own solutions rather than ask me.  And I have learnt to not step in and offer what I would consider a better solution.  If they are happy with their solution, why should I not be?
  7. The younger two have played endlessly together, filling their time with imaginative play, reading to one another and just being together.  It has been good to see a real blossoming of relationship between them.
  8. I thought I would see more arguing, problems with sleeping and general grouchiness.  This hasn’t been the case at all.
  9. I wonder if one becomes a better unschooling mum the more one does it.  I’m not very good at it.  I worry that they are not doing enough writing.  I worry that they are having too much screen time.  I worry that they are not having enough time outside.  I worry.  I do so because I have effectively handed over control of their lives to them and that concerns me.  Am I right to be concerned, especially given I work them like the Trojans during our school week?

So these are my meager thoughts so far.  I wonder if they will change as time goes on.  I, for one, am looking forward to finding out.

If you unschool, I would be very interested in your point of view concerning any or all of my observations.