You are here because you would like to learn 10 Steps start homeschooling. I am glad that you want to learn about Unschooling. First off I want to congratulate you because not many people think or wish to take on this big task. Some think it’s too hard, and others think they can’t stand being around their kids all day. If I can do it then so can you, and believe it or not, it is super easy, easier than Normal school.
I started with the calendar and of ideas of what we were going to do every day. After a week, I threw that out the window after a month of pulling my hair out. Next, I tried the reward thing and made a list of what I thought they should learn. In desperation, I bribed them with money for every time they did something on my list. Gave up on that idea after week because again I didn’t want to fight and it was too stressful.
First, you have to let the whole traditional school thing go, deschool yourself and believe in your kids. That is the hardest part but believe me you will be so impressed with your kids. They really want to learn about the world, the environment and how things work. Kids want to learn how to do things on their own. They want to be like adults but somehow they know they have to learn stuff to be like us.
How to get started Unschooling
- Turn off the TV and/or video games
Seems easy, but trust me it’s hard to live with no tv at all. That means no news or movies and dad can’t even watch tv. For at least two weeks don’t let anyone watch tv or play games. I let our dad watch TV in his bedroom away from the kids and he whined more than the kids. Use your best judgment every family is different.
- Tell kids to go play
Just let them be, don’t ask what they are doing let them play. Really, get a good book and let them go to town. Let them play Barbie, color, play G.I.Joe, army men, play outside. Allow them to play dress up, do each other’s makeup. Find blankets so they can make a tent in the house, let the kids sit in the tent while they color, read, play board games, etc. Let them do whatever they want and this is where they start to figure out what they are really interested in.
Parents need to Deschool
- Sit back and wait
This is the hardest part, mine played American girl doll and Barbie for a week. The kids got bored, asked if we could find a playground, and we went every day for hours. Then they played more Barbie, fashion show, made some crafts, more Barbie, American Girl Doll. They taught themselves how to sew a skirt. Sit on the couch and read, play on the computer, and don’t intervene. Just watch and see what their interests are. Let them ask to go do this or that and take them to the library, or maybe just play outside more, etc.
- Avoid workbooks sheets, tests, quizzes
Deschooling is for the parent as much as it is for your kids. During this time I did a lot of research, read books, watched movies. Yes, the kids made huge messes but we cleaned it up together and made if fun. Try your best not to quiz them, do workbook sheet, and anything school related. This will be extremely tough and even today I still fight the urge.
Ideas if you are getting cabin fever
- Go to a museum
I started getting stir crazy. So, we went to the museum, playground, and zoo. We found local historical places and went to the playground a lot. My advice, try going to places you never go and pretend you are a tourist.
- Go to the Library
I make my kids get four educational books and four fun books (sometimes more sometimes less). While they girls pick out books, I find the DVD section and get educational and fun movies. We try to go once a month, sometimes more sometimes less. I let them pick out the books so they get stuff they are interested in. Don’t worry about the reading level because I just want them to read.
- Go to Michael’s or any art store
Kids love crafts and love going to the art store. I like giving mine a budget and let them buy whatever they want. If they like to paint, get paper, brushes, different kinds of paints, how to books. Let them pick out their favorite crafting kits and tell them how much they can spend. Remember, most art stores offer classes from decorating cakes to jewelry making.
More ideas to help with Learning
- Buy an iPad or a Kindle Fire
We do most of our school work on them. Educational games will allow your child hour of fun. There are apps on any subject you can think of. Kids need the fun apps also just as a break and I and my husband like playing them also
If you have little ones make them read to you every day. I sit in-between my girls and work on the computer, they read to themselves, then when they have a problem with a word they just ask. Some days they read to me, just to mix it up a bit. My oldest likes to read and then tell me all about her book. The younger daughter like me to ask her questions about the book. This is how I know they are comprehending what they just read. Let them read any book they want – that way they will enjoy it and want to read more.
Research about Unschooling
I am constantly looking online at the internet to get fun ideas, games, activities that I can do with my kids. Pinterest.com and Doitandhow.com are two great ones to get you started. People have been doing this a long time and teachers have tons of great ideas. Try searching a subject like, “The Wright brothers” but do a search on “Wright Brother Curriculum”. You will come up with all sorts of teaching ideas when it comes to a subject, and most of the time its free.
- Yahoo homeschool group
Join a yahoo group because they have tons of groups for unschoolers, Christian homeschoolers, RV camping. There are groups for football stars, crazy people, adoption, secular homeschool groups (no religion), etc. You can also join a facebook group. Join a local facebook group in your hometown and get outside to do some of the trips with them. It’s a great way to find another family or two that has your same social interest and needs as you and your family.
If I can Unschool, So can you
I started unschooling my two girls in January 2010. I felt the girls were not getting the attention they needed to excel in school. They were starting to dislike school as much as my husband and I did.
I started this blog to keep track of what the kids learn every day. It’s a great way for my friends and family to see what we did. Also, everyone got to see how truly crazy I am. I don’t blog every day but we do school 7 days a week 365 days a year and every day is a learning experience. You can learn something every day. For example, we do math at the grocery store, history in the car by stopping at historical markers. Learn navigation by geocaching, magic school bus provides our science and Khan academy is a great source for math.
The kids and I really enjoy each other now. At first, it was tough getting used to each other. To be honest, it took about three months for me to deschool. Some days we spend the whole day playing outside looking at bugs, or playing board games. We love watching old movies just because we need to relax. Some days we don’t do any school work till our dad gets home. Everything can be turned into a learning experience, open your mind and enjoy life …
Good luck and let me know how your first couple months of unschooling/homeschooling goes, or if you would like to add to the top 10 ways to get started unschooling…