Welcome to the first ever Guest Post Monday! It won't be a super regular thing, but you will be seeing a couple more guest posts in the coming weeks... For this first edition, I'm very happy to give you a short piece about unschooling from Sara McGrath, unschooling examiner and author of Unschooling: A Lifestyle of Learning!
To me, this concept of unschooling, which I have chosen as a project focus, really refers to everything in life. I may check the "education" box or the "homeschooling" box when pressed to classify an article or interest area, but really I choose to focus on "unschooling" because it integrates all aspects of my life (learning inseparable from living and parenting inseparable from living, etc.)
I chose prior focuses, such as "the continuum concept" and "attachment parenting," for similar reasons. Where Western culture expects parents to use day care and school to exclude children from adult activities, CC and AP show a way of life that includes children as integral. I have children. Whether or not they're present with me, they're an inseparable part of my life.
Whole life or "radical unschooling" further dissolves the boundaries that define conventional lifestyles with lots of rules and regulations. I don't set and enforce bedtimes or mealtimes for myself or my kids, for example, because I'm going to help us all get what we need regardless. I've felt drawn to radical unschooling for its simplicity.
I don't do unschooling. It's not an action plan. I just live with my kids. We communicate freely. I help them figure things out. They help me do routine tasks such as housework, cooking, gardening, shopping, etc. We don't have to think about schooling or parenting. We just live a simple, whole life together.