Unschooling starts the day your child is born

This is a guest post from Erin Wetzel. She is a painter and a poet who lives in Tacoma, WA with her husband and daughter. You can connect with her on instagram @ekwetzel

My decision to unschool arose, not from an idea I superimposed onto our life, but out of a fundamental shift in my worldview. I put my faith not in any external system, but in the ability of my child to know her own needs. This mindset permeates everything about how I interact with my daughter, including how I potty her and how I unschool her, even at age three.

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How does an unschooler get into college for science?

It was easy for me to be anti-curriculum until my son announced he wants a Phd in science.

He goes back and forth. It’s been biology, then chemistry, then physics. And back again. But it’s always in an effort to learn everything he can about how the world works. Either where we come from or where we are or where we’re going. Or all of them.

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Laptops are for set curricula, tablets are for self-directed learners

My son was in a guy's home recording studio adding a cello track to a rock song. At first the process was fascinating. Then it got very detailed and monotonous for anyone not involved. Which, at that point, was only me. But I was fascinated with the technology. There were recording devices everywhere and somehow each seemed to be related to an iPad. The only laptop in the room was mine.

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Parents need to deprogram their own brains first

The process of keeping your kids out of school usually involves some level of deprogramming yourself. Parents have to get rid of all the conventional ideas we have about school to see that we don't need school in the conventional way. As parents we have to teach ourselves to go against the grain of what society promotes as education.

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Why school teachers take their kids out of school

This is an excerpt from the book Humans of New York, by Brandon Stanton. The book is a compendium of street photography and stories from the people in the pictures.

"His grandmother and I are raising him. I worry about putting him into the public school system. I was a teacher for many years. I’ve seen so much confidence destroyed by the standardized system.

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This is what education reform should look like

Since the 1930s Finland has sent each pregnant mom a cardboard box full of supplies they will need for the baby. In the 1930s the box had fabric, because most moms made their children's clothes. Now there are onesies. In the 1950s disposable diapers were in, but by the 1990s they were replaced by cloth diapers in a nod to the environment. In the last decade the government removed the baby bottles to encourage breastfeeding.

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Why do most kids say they like school?

I love this picture because it reminds me how difficult it is for parents to know what makes their kids happy.

This moment was right after my son did a great solo performance in Chicago. It was downtown, so we stayed at the a swanky hotel across from the performance center, and we went back to the hotel for lunch and then swimming.

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Are museums irrelevant?

We travel often so we have the opportunity to go to a lot of museums. And I have pictures. Because like all parents, kids in museums is part of my vision of an idyllic childhood.  But I never use the photos in my posts because, to be honest, most visits to museums stink.

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What's a parent's role in unschooling?

This is a guest post from Erin Wetzel. She is a painter and a poet who lives in Tacoma, WA with her husband and daughter. You can connect with her on instagram @ekwetzel.  Earlier in the year she wrote a guest post about generation Y.

My three-year-old found the vine of morning glories growing behind our house. She plucked three and ran to me. "Mama! Let's make pixie dust!"

"Oh?" I replied. "How do we do that?"

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Are you a homeschool parent who needs to get a life? Take the test.

Spoiler alert: I think if you answer yes to any of these questions, you need to get a life.

Do you hide your life from people?

I do. I think what makes this blog good is everything personal. My wish is for you to love me and think I’m a parenting genius, but then I tell you stories about my life that pretty much preclude you thinking the latter, and probably the former as well.

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