Unschooling Questions and Answers

Questions from and following the Albuquerque homeschooling conference in September 2002

Q: So unschooling is basically following your child's or your interests?

Yes. Good description. (I guess I should have said that in the talk, huh?)

Q: When your child asks about something, for example "How do you write this letter?" do you focus on that until they are bored and let them bring it up again, or do you work on it over the course of days, weeks, months, until they are satisfied?

This was a written question, so I didn't get to ask whether by "letter" a piece of correspondence was meant, or a single figure. Same answer for both, though. I would just answer the question, sketching one example, and then see if the child wanted more information or not.

But if a single was meant, this morning (9/8/02) Holly asked me "What's the best way to make a 'q'?" I wrote four different ways, not knowing what she was asking. She was wanting the plainest printed "lower case" letter. So she picked the one that best matched the lettering she was doing, and she was happy. Total "lesson," fifteen seconds.

Q: Do you still look at standards for certain grade levels only so that the state leave you alone or do you just wait until they say something and show them what your kid can do?

I used to look from time to time at APS Expected Competencies, or the World Book list or something similar, but now I look maybe every two years.

In New Mexico they're not going to ask you to show what your child can do. And when you're with your child in busy learning-situations every day, you'll see the learning just take off!

More questions from the weekend, from memory (paraphrased; not in writing)

I guess I never finished that set. 🙂
I quit looking to see how my kids were doing around then too, or sooner.

Here is a set of questions from the summer of 2013:
Answers to the Most Repeated Unschooling Questions of All Time
in English
and in Portuguese (Perguntas mais frequentes sobre o "Unschooling")


In one of the topics, someone wrote "I can't tell if that's a rhetorical question." and then (it seems) deleted it while I was sleeping.

The first questions asked should be real questions the poster would like to have discussed in the light of radical unschooling. Questions within that discussion might be clarifying questions, or rhetorical questions. "Rhetorical question" can mean a question designed to reflect light back on a point someone has made. It might be in the tone of "wait, look." ; It might be in the tone of "What!? Seriously!?" or (in chess terms) "are you sure you want to take your finger off that piece?"—a kind hint of an impending check.

No one is required to answer ANY question, though if someone seems disruptive and is asked how old their children are and how long they have unschooled, or if someone seems especially argumentative and won't even state whether he or she is unschooling, they might be given the boot.

Of those who ARE certainly involved in unschooling, questions don't "have to" be answered. Sometimes it's helpful, and sometimes it's not. Very often questions are asked in hopes that a confused and frustrated parent will use them privately, internally, to help her untangle her thoughts, and to clarify her beliefs.

Sandra Dodd, January 2013

Twenty Questions (the game)

Responding to questions

Better Answers The Five W's

The title was generated for free at this site: cooltext.com