22 August 2011

unschool monday :: freedom


One of the things I love most about unschooling is the freedom it gives us. The freedom to follow our interests. To run away for a few days and shake things up. Spontaneity. The freedom to follow our hearts. The freedom to say yes.

On our little wandering weekend, Huz and I realised we could be saying yes a whole lot more and the benefits for our little growing owlets would be tremendous. So, we are moving into a new era, I suppose. Walking the walk. Instead of calling bedtime, then dealing with rebellion for an hour or so, we're ready to leave it to the owlets to determine when that is. Along with that, we are removing control from mealtimes and moving towards guidance. Perhaps there's a reason why you neeeeed a bowl of broccoli for breakfast, or ice cream for lunch?

In unschooling circles this is often referred to as radical... For us, it's moving closer towards respecting our owlets as individuals and trusting them to choose what they need, whilst communicating boundaries for each family member. Unlike the old TV series, Get Smart, the opposite of Control is not Kaos. It's freedom :) Little owlet has always self regulated very well. Tiny owlet has known nothing else. Big owlet, however is another kettle of fish, due to how we have parented her in the past. Our first. Oh, my goodness! How far we have come!! I'm sure the me of 8 years ago never thought I'd be sitting here, writing this! When we began unschooling, we were dubious about radical approaches. Big Owlet could never self regulate (or could she?)... But we are at a place now with her where unschooling means she needs to listen closely to her needs and her own body and we need to listen to her. She's demanding that we listen to her on this one. That we trust her. We need to trust her to learn and in all areas of her life. Not just reading and writing... Along with that, we communicate our own needs and a mutual respect is found. Yes, everyone's needs can be accommodated. Yes. So far the results are staggering. For all of us. Fewer arguments. Happier children. Happier parents. Communication. Connection. Freedom.


Some useful links for your perusal...


  1. Oh I so desperately want to move toward a more free approach to our unschooling, I'm just so stumped as to how that could look for the sproggets since they're still quite young. Negotiation isn't a particularly strong point for our 20 month old, and apparently some days it's even less a strong point for our 4 year old.
    Congratulations on this new stage, how very inspiring :)

  2. i find allowing self regulation with D is a lot harder than with C who has never known anything else too. C will chose tomatoes over easter eggs, D will just gorge on the chocolate... Bedtime particularly is one area of Huge difference...

  3. Loved reading this Lauren. We're doing this now too. Can't believe the jumps we've made in the last weeks....and just how much happier we all are. Thank you xxx

  4. Lauren, thank you for this. I love your journey SO much. Loved your earlier Yes post. Just love your family's openness and loving spirit. You are truly an inspiration to me—you, your words, and your journey are changing the way I see the world and how I live. I am so grateful for that.

    I can't wait to see how this new Era goes!

  5. We radically unschool, except for teeth brushing. It's a huge big dumb battle. I need to review that one! I just posted about saying" yes" also. I do wish little messyfish would eat more veges though.... Lots of them all the time actually! Huh! So hard to REALLY let go...

  6. Yay for the Owlet household! My only advice is not to analyse things on a day-to-day basis - especially food! Yesterday Kai ate about 4lbs of raspberries, 2 apples, and half a watermelon, along with a variety of veggies and tuna...today he's eaten half a loaf with either nutella or mayo on it! I figure it all equals out eventually, right!?

  7. Awesome! We don't have a bedtime routine. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that hubs and I don't have private time together as often as we'd like (especially since 2 of our kids are mostly in our bed).

    It won't last forever, though. We'll have "private time" again... someday. :)

  8. Does this mean Big Owlet gets to go to school?

  9. Hi Nat :) Big Owlet is always free to go to school, should it be something she needs. She's asked for it before, but we advised her against it, for very good reasons. It was the right call at the time. What we try to do is identify what her needs are and meet them, and in the case of school, it's sometimes a case of curiosity or conformity. Trying to work out what they have that she doesn't etc. At the moment she's happy at home, but would rather everyone else was too. lol Should she ask to go again, we will meet it the same way. Make sure it's the right thing for her and that it's what she needs and discuss that with her. Offer her guidance if she needs it. It's always ultimately been her decision. Always will be.


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