One of the factors that drew me to homeschooling rather than public schooling was that I thought learning should be fun. But only the unschoolers were focusing on fun and having positive relationships with their kids. Much of the other forums were devoted to how to make kids do their work, what products were best, what to do with younger kids while older ones did their work.
This got me thinking, Joyce. Because I found unschooling the same way, just looking for homeschooling information and discovered that the message boards where the unschoolers were talking were the ones that got my heart racing because they were so alive and sparkly with ideas and energy and fun and love of their children.
Some of my favorite memories from those times were when someone who was careful to identify with the structured side of town, as it were, would come over to the unschooling board with a really off-the-wall and interesting question of obscure nature. And each time, the person said something like, "I figured if anyone knew this it would be one of you." And the questions would be about history, usually, or a request for how something might be connected to something else, or how a child might be hooked up with an interesting mentor.
"Make it happy and funny and comfortable and exciting so that they want to be with you. Be sparkly." —Sandra Dodd, from a post on AlwaysLearning
(original writing from Just Add Light and Stir, 1/11/14)
Choice vs. "Have To" Principles vs. Rules "Products" of Education