Previous to officially beginning our Unschooling journey in 2012 I trained as an Early Years Teacher and worked in the Education System for 14 years. It might seem a huge leap to go from qualified teacher to Unschooler but actually the transition was theoretically smooth. My background in Child Development Studies, Cognitive Development and learning about various educational approaches actually reaffirmed my decision to Unschool our own children.
The biggest leap was actually questioning societal norms and stepping away from the conventional treadmill. We are taught that there is only one educational path from childhood to adulthood and that this path is the only valid path. Any deviation from the path results in failure.
My own studies and experience had taught me that this wasn’t wholly true, that it wasn’t the only way and that it wasn’t necessarily the best way. Unschooling allows us to help our children find their best way of living and learning and we are able to do it by valuing their individual personalities, abilities and developmental time frames.
Unschooling means that our children have the opportunity to know themselves: to know what their interests are; to know what they enjoy; to know what they are good at; to know what helps them to learn; to know when they need to take a break; to know when they need to eat; to know how to find the information they need. They are able to do all of this because they have had a lifetime of listening to their own selves, of being trusted to make these decision for themselves. They have had freedom and support to try things out, to succeed or fail without judgement or ridicule and they know that they can continue to make decisions with that same support.
Unschooling allows you to know yourself, knowing there are always options and knowing you are always supported.