There was a discussion on Always Learning in January 2013 in which I used the term "cheery neglect." In October of the same year, people were looking for it, so I've brought the discoveries to this page. (Responses are mine. Sandra)
-=-If you stick with it long enough you will meet people who have unschooled badly. You will meet those who have done it beautifully. The commonalities of those that do it well, will be obvious. Those who have unschooled badly were the ones who did it "their way". It seems to be a marker of wanting to control ones kids. -=-
I've seen some bad unschooling based on the hope/belief that there was nothing to it--that kids will learn all the time, so it doesn't matter WHAT the mom does. If a mom has her own friends and her own hobbies and the kids are just in the house, growing up, getting older all the time but the focus is not on learning, and not on relationships or togetherness.... after a few years nothing has happened because nothing is happening. A kind of cheery neglect.-=-Personally, I don't think parents can control their kids and unschool. It goes against the way partnerships work and unschooling really works best that way. -=-
"Control" is a broad area. I think a statement like that could assist some people with their cheery neglect. They could add that to their box of very limp tools. "I didn't control him, because that wouldn't have been unschooling." But they might mean, by that, that they never tried to persuade or influence or advise or support or encourage. *
A few days later, this was posted on Facebook at Radical Unschooling Info:
There has been a discussion about unschoolers whose unschooling could be called "cheery neglect" or "bad unschooling", e.g. Unschoolers who just let their children do whatever they want all day long and think that that is enough. If you met one of those unschoolers and they seemed interested in learning more, what articles/links/resources would you recommend to them? I responded:I think unschoolers should let their kids do what they want all day *in an attentive and enriched environment.* The parents should be facilitators of natural learning, providing new and interesting thing for their kids to experience, being supportive of their children's interests, providing them materials and experiences with music, food, art, materials...