the network for radical unschooling families
How many of you out there are unschooling kids who are technically high schoolers? I was just wondering what it looks like day to day? Most of the unschooling blogs I read have little kids. I'd love to hear stories or read blogs about the day to day lives of unschooling teenagers.
My son is 12. Unschooling is actually the easiest this year than any other year. But I imagine that is because I trust unschooling more than ever, and I trust my son.
Thank you for bringing this up. I have no advice, being in the same situation. My oldest is 11 and getting to the pre-teen, upper school level also. It is different, but i agree it seems easier. I think the main difference I notice is the rest of society starting to give my son more credit as a real thinking person. It allows me to give him the freedom that he deserves, without the criticism that I got when he was younger.
I love reading the BTDT replies. In real life, I feel like we blazing the path. It's nice to see others who are in the same place or have done it and flourished.
I find this really interesting too - mainly because I am getting hassled by family to put my 10 year old daughter into school so she can have a "proper" education, as apparently she will be too old for the unschool nonsense and needs some real world experience :D
It's handy to have some life experiences of others to draw on for a bit of moral support.
My daughter has made noises about needing to know more for future exams, and we're having a think about this together, but any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.
I work two jobs and go to school full time, and have learned from them (two oldest) that while having freedom to learn and grow is most desirable, they don't like chaos, and require some guidance, "otherwise it gets crazy" to quote them, which I agree with. Freedom is a misnomer, at first glance you think free, do what ever, but no, freedom requires discipline, commitment and responsibility.
When kids have been in school, it can be hard to envision a life without that degree of exterior "guidance" for sure. It takes time and deschooling - and the presence of a supportive adult, too. If you're not available, then that's not optimal - it may well be your son will have more adult support and a better chance to grow as a person in school than "left to his own devices."
Teens who have had a chance to grow into unschooling often do better in terms of knowing how to pursue their interests without "guidance" than kids who are still deschooling. It's much easier in that sense for a long term unschooling family with teens to support both parents working or a single parent working multiple jobs. A deschooling teen needs more engagment and support because he or she hasn't had time to develop the same life skills as a kid who has been unschooling for years - hadn't had a chance to learn how to live "free" if you like. That's one of the reasons young adults - college students and others recently out of high school - seem to go a bit crazy for a few years. They haven't had a chance to learn to live in the world and need time to do a kind of deschooling, unlearning the school skills which no longer apply to their lives and learning real world, adult skills. Kids who have the luxury of unschooling from an earlier age don't need that period of craziness - or else they went ahead and had it years before when they first left school.
But that being said, it might be worth bringing your kid home now and letting him deschool Now, even though if may mean a period of discombobulation - get all the deschooling out of the way so he can start living.