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Unschooling Parents Don't (Actually won't) Do Anything

I hear it a lot on the internets, “Unschooling parents are a bunch of people who don’t do anything for their kids.”  Only occasionally is that statement true.  I’m here to point out though, that even when it is true it’s slightly inaccurate in it’s wording; it’s not that us unschooling parents don’t do anything, it’s that occasionally we won’t do anything, and when we won’t, it’s one of the best teaching techniques out there.

Five year-old No. 2 has been quite clear with us, he’s not interested in being taught much of anything.  Counting?  Not really interested.  Reading?  Yeah, he’ll stand there, and listen to what you tell him the words are, but you can’t make him look at the letters.  He’s going to learn when he wants to learn.

He does, however, love books  He flips through them page after page checking out the pictures, sometimes making up the stories for himself.  He also loves being able to do most things his older sib, 7 year-old No. 1 can do, (with the the exception of reading of course).  So, when 1 uses her library card to check out her own books, 2 wants to also.  There’s only one problem, to check out books you have to have a library card.  To get one a form has to be filled out.  2 has asked us to do it, but guess what?  Like the unschooling parents we are, we won’t do it.  We’ve stubbornly told 2 that when he can fill it out on his own, he’ll get a library card.

Finally, this week, after more than a year of talking about it, 2 has decided it’s time to finally get his library card!  Yesterday morning when he asked for a library card, and got the answer he had to have been expecting, he decided it was finally time to practice his letters.  To my eyes, the sheet full of letters that he’ll need to fill out the form, letters that rapidly evolved from large to a smaller size that would fit in the form, is a thing of beauty!  Consequently, the next time someone remarks that unschooling parents don’t do anything, I’ll be sure to point out that it’s not that we don’t, but that we won’t, and that it works just like it should!


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