Our family of six is fairly new to unschooling and I want to say thank you for the amazing words of wisdom and experience that this group provides.

We have made many positive changes in our parenting style gradually over the past year thanks to  'reading,trying, waiting and watching'. Every time I read a posting I say "I would have never thought of that on my own". You all bring eye opening thoughts to every discussion and I appreciate it immensely! It helps me to question myself when I have a very silly 'rule' stuck in my head of how something 'should' be. It's funny how different the world can look, when you're not so restricted in your thoughts.

 First of all, our kids (ages 3,6,9,10) are so much happier as unschoolers vs. when we tried 'homeschooling'. I love that my kids don't feel pressured anymore to learn curriculum that has to be 'learned by a certain time or else'. It is so freeing to sit with our kids laughing and watching their favorite t.v. shows, playing their favorite games online while skyping with friends while they talk to us about their interests, baking in the kitchen together, taking special moments to grab binoculars and look at birds or animals passing through our yard, taking car rides to a nearby train station so our youngest can smile when he watches trains pass by (he doesn't want to try a ride on a train just yet), and doing what we can to follow their interests. Our kids also like having choices for meals and are so happy and creative in their suggestions of what we should make and happy that we actually do make what they are suggesting!! They feel open and free to offer suggestions, which is something I adore. Our parents are amazed at how quickly and openly our kids offer amazing views or solutions to any situation. They are not afraid to become part of adult conversations. They are all happy, giggly, comical, and have an amazing sense of humor, I believe, because they feel free to do so! 

The advice on this group to 'treat your children as if they were your guests' is just one example of how your words have planted such a life changing seed. 'Kindness and giving generously' to our children really does feel good-you're right! When I first started reading about unschooling, I did think 'wouldn't giving so much spoil a child?'. Now I totally see how that thought (among many other previous thoughts of mine) was so wrong. Our kids are so happy to give of themselves as well. They are happy, sweet kids. If they are frustrated about something, they openly communicate about it. All of these characteristics (happy, open, creative, humorous) are possible because they feel free and I never would have known about helping my kids to live freely if it weren't for this website, awesome contributors, and the Big Book of Unschooling :)  

 I still have plenty of areas to improve on. I love that I am moving forward and can do my best to make small changes. I have scrap pieces of paper with quotes and sayings from your website taped to my refrigerator. They are great reminders of where I want my mind to be. I'm going to buy Sandra's magnets...they are beautiful. Thank you for helping our family enjoy a closeness that is so sweet and priceless.

 To Sandra and all other contributors, the amount of time that you spend helping others is so appreciated.



-=-We have made many positive changes in our parenting style gradually over the past year thanks to  'reading,trying, waiting and watching'. Every time I read a posting I say "I would have never thought of that on my own". -=-
Thank you for writing that whole post, Kristen.  I'll probably save it and quote from it. :-)
I hope you'll stay around to help others with your stories from the growing body of your own certain knowledge of how your children responded to the changes you made.   The more happy, experienced people in these discussions the better!!
And I appreciate the feedback.  Sometimes people think something nice, but they don't take the time to write it and send it.  It was kind of you to do that.

tandos mama

I'd like to share my thanks to Sandra and this generous group as well as share a story.

My 7 yr old son, Obi, recently tried a video I found that combined two of his current fascinations....problem-solving and zombies. Obi's thrilled with the game and couldn't wait to share it with one of his best friends, a 9 yr old boy who also homeschools, but with a curriculum and top-down structure. Math vs zombies is intended for the explicitly educational market, but that's not why I chose it. We play lots of video games; some are more fun than others. When a family member, child or adult, has an interest we all are on the look-out for opportunities to explore further.

When Obi shared the game with his friend, the boy insisted that it was a boring game and that he didn't want to play because his mom makes him do math. He asked why my son would choose to do math problems when he could be playing some other fun game. Obi said, "because it is fun," and shrugged it off.

Later my son talked with me about it. He said, "I don't get it. How can numbers be boring? I mean, it's like saying you don't like food because somebody made you eat."


Thank you, Sandra and all the others who share their experience here. I'm a better parent for it. I'm also a happier person, and I think my kids and husband would say they are too.

mama to Obi & Tolinka, partner with Ray

Gayathri Rajaraman

I also want to take this moment to thank Sandra for being out there supporting unschoolers all over the world.  When I started this journey 3 years ago with my young children and with a husband(good husband :) ) who had absolutely no clue as to what i was talking about, i felt lonely(and scared).  Always learning group and Sandra's website (and many other links from there) have been my secret pacifier whenever i was confused or attacked by questions after questions by strangers (including family).  Considering the fact that i was brought up in India in a super conventional, orthodox, high pressure, competitive (unhealthy), academic (useless) environment, I have taken a HUGE leap to unschooling my own kids, I honestly don't think it would have been possible without Sandra or Always Learning.  I now enjoy being with my kids, learning with them, playing with them, doing chores with them, watching them play with each other, talking to them, listening to them, heck, i am even learning to play minecraft from my son.  Not to mention, i live in a neighborhood filled with 90% Indians who are obsessed with "Education and Discipline" :)

Thank you, Sandra, and all the moms out there who write here.