11 June 2012

unschool monday :: beginning unschooling

Tiny cooks #baking #toddler #letitgo #thedogwillhelpcleanup

Occasionally people will approach me and ask about unschooling. Maybe they've heard the term and have a concept of what it might mean... Maybe it's the opposite of schooling? Maybe it's just another word for home schooling? They want to know how you begin. Sometimes they'll go so far as to ask when they should commence their unschooling curriculum... It seems there's some confusion out there! It is true that unschooling can be anything you or your family want it to be. But here's what it means to our family...

Unschooling is a way of living. It is working your hardest to maintain open communication with your owlets and help them on their own learning paths. Unschooling begins at birth. Unschooling is parenting. Unschooling is growing. Unschooling is loving and being a family. Unschooling begins the minute you hold your child in your arms. 


Tiny Owlet's unschooling has been visible on this blog since the moment her eyes opened. She has learnt how to crawl and walk and feed herself. She can say a few words and she can dance like a champion. Her learning is part of her living. She can't stop it. Humans have an inherent urge to learn. Right now, she's working on lots of new words. A new one almost everyday. Last night, in the kitchen, she mastered twirling (and falling down dizzy). As parents, we delight in sharing her joy for learning. We assist her to do what she needs.

Last week, when she decided she'd like to cook, I helped her push her chair the remaining two metres to the kitchen bench. She hopped up next to me as I tied an apron around her and proceeded to help me tip the ingredients for our morning tea into the bowl. Face beaming all the while, and cooking, as she's seen me and her sisters do. It was a big moment for her. Cooking properly for the first time by mama's side. I was trying extra hard not to worry about the mess on the floor, remembering the dog would help with that, and just giving her the space to do what she needed... 


There isn't a point where we say "right, she's five, we're unschooling now". Or "Hey, turn off that show for a while, we have unschooling to do". You see, unschooling is not a thing that you actively do. It's a long, slow, progressive journey to helping your owlet find and fill their potential. Learning and growth is a life long process that each of us is responsible for. The goal is happy, healthy human beings. And it is never to early to begin working towards that. 

Extra Reading:


Welcome back to Unschool Monday. I'll be sharing some musings on what unschooling means to our family and how we go about it and hoping that people might join us for the ride. We made some lovely friends and visited some very inspiring unschoolers last time 'round. I hope you'll join us too! 


  1. It really makes sense and is soooo much easier than sitting and plodding along with the same stuff daily

  2. I'm a new follower, who is only just discovering all the fabulous family blogs. Along with this I've come across the (for me, foreign) term unschooling. Thank you for the clear explanation. I love the concept. It just makes perfect sense.

  3. Oh hurrah, unschool Monday is back!

  4. This makes perfect sense to me and i'm really interested in this for my son Jude who is my 2.5 year old, beautiful little sponge. My only question is - have you come across any problems with the government or schooling system for unschooling/home schooling and if you don't follow a curriculum is this easier or more difficult to explain to the 'authorities' - sorry i couldn't think of any other words!! ;)


    1. Great question, Sarah. I'll broach that one next Monday. xx

  5. Sooo lovely to have these posts back Lauren. I pop in and out of reading blogs and yours is one I love to pop in at. Have loved reading about unschooling in your house and look forward to reading more xxx

  6. YAY! Unschool Monday is back! Off to write another post :D I've missed this link-up

  7. Lauren, I am floored by the serendipity of this, seriously. You have been on my mind the past few days—we've been busy and out of town this weekend, so I hadn't read any blogs, but I suddenly had this overwhelming wish that your unschool mondays would come back. This came as a very strong feeling just a couple of days ago (True!). I love the connection these Mondays bring, to you, and to the others who come here and share. And I just kind of floated out a simple wish that it could be there again, in some form, a place for us all to connect. Anyway…just two hours ago, I got back home, clicked on to here, and…WOW. You've brought them back. It's such a beautiful moment of connection I could cry.

    That being said, I wrote a post a week or so ago, about an epiphany I had, and it seems to fit. So I hope it's okay to link it here, even though it's "old"?! I am so, so glad I get to share it here with you, and the lovely others here.

    Thank you so much, Lauren. I love today's post, and the sweet learning that's happening in your house, the learning that's always happening in your house, the learning that has been happening since birth, for all your Owlets. Beautiful.

  8. Been away from reading blogs and am back now. And I'm glad I picked now because I have always enjoyed your unschool posts!

  9. Oh, and I also forgot to add...love the picture of Tiny helping with some baking. I did that last week with my girls. And even though there was plenty of stuff on floor (and sadly no dog to clean it), we had the best time!

  10. oh yay! SO pleased you have started this up again! Thanks :)


Share your thoughts...