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Having learnt and benefitted so much from her, I wanted to share this powerful and peaceful philosophy with you – via an interview with Sandra herself. After all, I know you all to be curious souls – open to diverse ideas and ways to live. Many of you who read my blog regularly, would have read the first part of this unschooling interview, last month.
Some of you who’re new here or missed last time, I highly recommend reading it to understand natural learning, which is at the heart of unschooling. And today, I share the second part of the interview where Sandra not only answers to your questions from last month; but also shares her thoughts on a dozen questions from me. First, her answers to questions that some of you had asked in the first part of the interview. RQ 1: My question about this approach is how children would learn when they have to be in a situation that is structured.
Another claim is that if kids don’t live with strictly scheduled days, with early bedtimes and early wake-up calls, they will never be able to hold a job. RQ 2: I’m curious as to what unschooling families think about college or their child’s future careers? The world is changing, and anyone with a young child in 2012 should not expect it to be 2002 when that child is grown. Sandra: Too much of school and of traditional parenting pretends (and fails) to be preparing children for future careers. Do I believe people learn from playing that game (and other games with strategy, math, mythology, storyline, statistics, art, and nice use of language)? Unschooled kids have done well in formal classroom situations because they weren’t burnt out by years and years of school.
I was at a library in Bangalore and there was an entire room full of test-preparation materials.
Each of my kids, when they were in their late teens, took math classes at the local community college.
What do you think of the mindset that the ‘right’ college should be the ultimate goal and measure of success?
I think anyone could name friends of theirs who are working outside of their training, or who have school debts without a corresponding profession.
If someone’s definition of success is to have had a child grow to adulthood without sorrow or strife, that success will look different from someone who considered success to be financial independence by the age of 23, or medical school. I can explain how natural learning can be established and nurtured, but I don’t want to defend, nor revile, other options. Sandra:  It would be nice if they would think of an intact soul and spirit, rather than an intact childhood.
How, would you suggest, can parents assuage their fears and trust their children more so they can create a peaceful relationship – irrespective of school or no school? Parents change gradually, by giving children opportunities to try little things, in logical ways. I am an advocate of careful thought and of making choices that lead to better relationships with our children.
That page links to writings by other people on the value of generosity, of the benefit of learning to see abundance, and the serious problems that planned deprivation causes.
One of the saddest stories I know is of a mother whose friends persuaded her that wooden toys were right and good and that plastic toys were evil and bad.
India has many vegetarians, and many who don’t eat pork, and so the idea of sticking with a family diet might be quite normal to people there. Sandra: Keith and I were together for a few years before I was pregnant with Kirby, who was our first of three. The effect of these things was that we gave Kirby choices about whether to eat or not, whether to be carried or to walk or ride, what to wear (in keeping with the season and the purpose), whether to sleep with us or not, whether to play with other children or not. When he was very young, he was getting good practice making choices for practical, rational reasons.
When I choose, I try to make a choice that will add to the happiness of someone or something. PS: If you liked this interview and the thoughts shared here, please share the article freely in your friend- and family-circle. This detachment from schoolish-expectations on part of the parent is quite a freedom for the child.
Yes, you’re right, Miambika provides that kind of space for the child to learn in a natural way. Rashmie, during our exchange a few months ago, there was a photo I looked for but couldn’t find. I was happy to be interviewed, and I said in one of the comments above that the questions were unlike most I had ever been asked. Little People Day Care Center, a high-quality child care center in Durham, hosted a community open house on Monday, October 24 to showcase the center’s new outdoor learning environment.
The purpose of the Natural Learning Initiative is to promote the importance of the natural environment in the daily experience of all children, primarily through environmental design. Durham EHS is a free, comprehensive child development and family support program for low-income families with children aged birth to three years old and to pregnant women.
Natural Learning tiene como objetivo acercar la lengua inglesa al alumnado de Montequinto, con una metodologia de aprendizaje natural y con un precio asequible para las familias.
Esta metodologia de aprendizaje natural se basa en una ensenanza similar a la que nos permite adquirir nuestro idioma materno. The Magic of Great EducationWe have to think beyond traditional schooling while taking advantage of the best that it has offered over the years.
Here is a wonderful example of the magic of successful learning in school that is also alive with life.
In the 4MAT learning model, the trainer designs a learning experience that taps into what the learner already knows about the subject. We do active testing of hypotheses, have a new concrete experience and a new learning cycle ensues.
When we follow the 4MAT Learning model to design and deliver, we craft experiences that mirror the natural learning cycle.
And, even though our  paths may be varied – schooling, unschooling, homeschooling, job-ing, un-job-ing, we do care about the options out there and the choices that we can make. Unfortunately, those situations do pop up in life (particularly in higher education or training for future careers). Police Academy when he was 14, the sergeant fell over homeself at the awards dinner, telling me how disciplined Marty was and how attentive and cooperative. My kids owned their own alarm clocks early on, and it took them about fifteen seconds to learn to use them. My oldest has been working since he was 14, and the other two since mid-teens, too.

Some have taken the tests, or had grades from classes they had taken casually (photography, music, ceramics). I’m not sure about the culture in India, but I am from North America and there are unschooling families here as well, and most workplaces require at least a high school diploma from employees who are over 18, even if it is a retail position or fast food. Too little of school and of traditional parenting is even attempting to acknowledge that children are people already. They were lost for a week or so, and then caught up and got As, sometimes the top score in the class. Rashmie: When unschoolers don’t see value in school education, what is the motivation for college? Rashmie: I personally feel college was a big waste of my time – a whopping 5 years after 10th! The story of Pam Sooroshian’s unschooled children doing so fabulously well in college is a shining example. If the parents care more about the college itself than their young adult child who might not even want to go to that college, the relationship isn’t their first priority. Some have judged that to be wonderful, from their own point of view, and others have thought it horrible.Anyone who wants to wait until the whole world accepts home education before they consider it would probably be better off with school, and perhaps a gentler treatment of their children who are in school. Rashmie: From your experience and from the stories you know, what kind of alternative paths (without college) have unschooled kids (or even schooled kids) taken and have achieved success?
My oldest son has worked for twelve years already, at 25, though his first jobs were part time. Most people have friends or relatives with lucrative income from something they didn’t learn in school. I’m more interested in the mental health and relationships of the families who have chosen not to pressure their children into narrow channels. Colleges and universities are still there, if someone decides at a later age to go, and they might be better students, if they wait, than if they enter at sixteen or seventeen in a hurry to get away from their parents. Rashmie: How, do you think, parents may be responsible in making school the be-all and end-all in a child’s life, which may end up damaging the child in unforeseen ways? Some parents (you probably know some) live as teachers’ assistants from the day their child is born, doing everything they think schools would want done, preparing their child for graduate school from the time he can walk, and shaming him for non-cooperation.
A very useful tool for parents who want to live closely and directly with a child is for them to think of how they would treat an adult friend, or their spouse.
They can attempt to break it, but they can no more create a will than they can make a tree grow in any other way than planting the seed and nurturing the sprout. Rashmie: So, what did you and your husband (Keith) do that was different in the context of your children’s wants? If that had stopped working, we could easily have gone back to authoritarian parenting with its commands and demands. When I was pregnant with Holly, and Kirby was nearly five, we decided to let Kirby wait a year to enter school. We helped them to do what they wanted to do, and helped them learn what they wanted to learn.
Keith and I did want our children to like us, and we wanted for them to be likable children.
Would they break a child’s finger to prepare him for the possibility of a future broken arm or leg? They might forget that when they sit or stand, breathe deeply, smile, speak, touch another person, they can be making a choice. If a person holds his breath in indignation about the stupidity of the world around him, his experience is different from the person who might be in the same room but thinks in that moment of how much worse it might be, and what kindness can be waiting for him from an unexpected source any moment, or how he might make that same world a little brighter. Can’t thank you enough for all your time, effort and patience exchanging dozens of emails, back and forth, between us. If you have any questions for Sandra, do not hesitate to ask in the comments section below. I have 3.5 yr old daughter and just couple of day back I get her admission done in one of the school for next year Nursery session. The playground renovations are part of NC State’s Natural Learning Initiative in participation with the Durham Early Head Start (EHS) Program. The newly renovated outdoor learning environment at Little People Day Care Center is designed specifically for infants and toddlers and is one of four planned projects in Durham this fall. It is a collaboration between Durham’s Partnership for Children, Chapel Hill Training-Outreach Project and Healthy Families Durham. Todos ellos son titulados, y cuentan con la experiencia y las herramientas pedagogicas necesarias para impartir todo tipo de clases de ingles. One way to think about how education has lost its way is that it has turned the magic of learning into the mundane. It is a great example of an apprentice community.One key to moving education into the future effectively is to have a deep understanding of how all people learn naturally.
Typically, learners first read information with an eye toward critically analyzing the content. Through this process, the learners develop shared meaning around the content being presented.
The inner circle shares their comments and observations for 10-15 minutes,  while the outer circle silently observes. Regardless of learning style, every learner moves through all four stages of the 4MAT learning cycle.
Part of the educational process, to some extent, is learning to cope with different environments in which learning must occur. Each of them was offered a job, at the age of 14 (Kirby), 15 (Marty) and 16 (Holly)—jobs they didn’t even apply for. It’s impossible to look forward with accuracy, but if you look around at some of the new jobs of the 21st century, you will see that there was no way to begin preparing for them in the 1980s or 1990s, except to let children play with computers as much as they wanted to. Kids who have been in school for 12 or 13 years who are pressured by school and parents to take tests to go straight into MORE school don’t do as well as a young adult who has chosen freely to take a test to go to school for perhaps the first time in his life. Their enthusiasm and their sincerity causes professors to take an interest in them, too, from what I’ve seen. Is it for the sake of job or is there something else that college serves that appeals to unschoolers? He has a good job in an unstable field, but so do many people, even if it seems stable when they enter. Even my own responses here are about unschoolers, and not about school-at-home families who are the vast majority of homeschoolers in north America. Looking back on joys and sorrows in people they actually know, perhaps parents can avoid damage they have witnessed in others or felt in themselves, and emulate the empowering and joyful things they have seen or remember. The parents think they are actually being kind and forming the child’s character and will.

Yet, there are many things that seem to come in the way, including their own expectations of how their child should be. I myself want to create as less waste as possible and lead a natural, frugal life, but it may contradict with my daughter’s wants.
It is well known that shame and food limitations and controls contribute to eating disorders in children, teens and young adults.
For our family, learning was primary, and then peace and happiness, and other considerations came after. Some damning evidence against that sort of parenting is described in Alice Miller’s book For Your Own Good Hidden Cruelty in Child-rearing and the Roots of Violence. I had joined a recovery group called Adult Children of Alcoholics not long before the pregnancy, and I stayed in that group until the time Marty was walking, so nearly five years.
My heart is filled with even more admiration and respect for you. Thank you, for sharing so openly and honestly. When I spoke to him or sang to him, I thought of making a sweet memory for him, a good association between my voice and his safety and comfort.
It’s been my absolute privilege and joy to interact with you, one-on-one, for more than two months now. I havent been there but a friend has interned with them for a while and based on what she shared it seems a beautiful place.
I would say that I have not understood everything out of this post and will have to read through multiple times but whatever I am able to understand, I am trying to implement in my own way.
I think that choosing a better option is true for me as a parent, as a wife, a friend and as a human being in general.
The ribbon cutting ceremony for the playground at Early Start Academy will be held on Saturday, November 5th from 10 am to 2 pm. Ademas, contamos con un programa educativo disenado por niveles y que se basa en las ultimas innovaciones pedagogicas en la ensenanza de idiomas. I love the ideas of letting a child explore his or her passions and think this applies regardless of a child being educated in a homeschool setting or in a school system.
What he was seeing was a kid who really wanted to be there, who was interested in learning. Pam Sorooshian wrote this about her three daughters, each of whom received a college degree this Spring. Assisting them to learn and to find their strengths and to explore the world and its possibilities is preparing them for their unseen futures.
That means – unschooling kids (who want to do college) have to study the traditional curriculum content (for some time at least) so they can take the 10th and 12th exams.
Some might want to stay home with parents, but study part time, to see if they like it, rather than rushing through a degree in the shortest amount of time.
Glad my parents didn’t have to spend much money because college for girls was free in my state.
What I have done with unschooling, what others have done by unschooling, is not intended to change the school system, nor to rearrange the world. Those who repaired VCRs and televisions learned on their own from tinkering with broken electronics. Spending time hearing others’ accounts of the harm that neglectful and inattentive parenting can do to their children and grandchildren was startling, and it changed me. I had seen him smile in some difficult circumstances, and to be strong when others were befuddled.
There will be pony rides, a moon bounce, zumba, games, and refreshments to celebrate the grand opening. Tanto si quieres aprender a hablar ingles como si quieres aprobar un examen oficial, en Natural Learning te ofrecemos una educacion de calidad para que adquieras capacidades a la hora de hablar, leer y escribir. First, the inner circle explores and discusses the text while the outer circle makes notes and later comments on the quality of the dialogue. Not only a prolific writer, Sandra also speaks around the world at homeschooling conferences and seminars; and provides constant support to unschooling families through her e-groups.
School claims that it’s important for kids to learn to follow a schedule, but it takes no learning at all.
Sometimes it’s all philosophical, or a child is a musician or dancer and needs that extra time.
Without knowing how one wants to be, though, how can one “make the better choice”? Steven Bratman has been writing lately about “orthorexia,” an unhealthy obsession with food. They think they need to be stern so their children don’t get away thinking they can have anything they want.What would you say about these parenting beliefs? My husband and I chose to try something different, and we have peaceful relationships with our young-adult children. We decided to see how it went with him, and the next year we could have put him in school, or not.
We allowed them the leeway and freedom to make choices in their daily lives, and we coached and guided to help them consider other people’s feelings and needs, if necessary. That really opened up the time and freedom for us to pursue our own passions and interests. And by saying yes when one’s own parents would have been controlling or arbitrary, the adult can help heal childhood disappointments and sad memories. Her integrity was marred, in my opinion, because she cared more about what her friends thought than what her child thought. As often happens with mothers of multiple children, I was able to do it ever better with his younger brother and sister.
My dad died when I was 24, but partly in remembrance of him, once I did learn how to decide to find happiness in life, I shared it with others. While our friends buckled under parental motives, we sailed through school with less stress. In so doing, he can become a kinder father to his own children, and  more comfortable in his own self.
Every time a person acts without thinking of options and choosing the best one, she has acted thoughtlessly.

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