Considering Stress, in light of Unschooling

I got a flyer about a workshop coming up here in SC called "Stress Free Homeschooling," and I couldn't help but think about our unschooling.

I can't imagine being stressed while unschooling.

Stressing generates stress

Sandra-responses to someone advising (not very well) about kids and food. I wrote: This can be put into softer thoughts:

-=- We would stress that he wouldn't feel well and would need to work hard to control himself the next day (he gets mean when he eats wheat).-=- Is "gets mean" the same as "wouldn't feel well"?
Having someone else tell a person how he will feel is teaching (threatening? cursing?), and not helping a person learn.

-=- . . ..and would need to work hard to control himself the next day-=-

For three-year-old child "the next day" seems like a week away, or a month, or a year. NO concept of tomorrow.

To tell a child (of any age) to "control himself" is about control. It's vastly better, HUGELY better, a whole different thing, to help him make choices based on the current factors. So don't experiment with things like iffy foods if company's coming, but if there's a long day at home, small forays into trying a bit of the food, and discussing how to be more sweet and patient would be more helpful than "stressing" a bunch of maybe-what-if-vague-future-work-hard, something-is-wrong-with-you noise.

That stressing generates stress.
Stress makes people "get mean" whether they've eaten wheat or string cheese or sugar or dye or corn syrup or anything.

Go for ways to be kind, be a partner, say yes more than no, don't label children, HOPE that they will be better able to tolerate lots more things as they get older.

Choices are the way to go. Moms can practice them first, and help children have and make them as years go by.


I think the only thing that would be stressful is actually "getting it" and replying to grandparents or neighbors—but I'm waaaay past that as well.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by too much on my plate, but usually I'm having too much fun to drop something. I just need to stop and focus and regroup a bit.

I've never heard of burn-out from unschooling. Anyone else? To me, this is the most stress-free way to live ever!

~Kelly Lovejoy

Cass Kotrba wrote:
My daughter (10) has suffered from asthma symptoms & a stuffy nose since she was 2. I was very anxiety filled because of that and other factors in my life. I cast about for answers and cures. Our lives were filled with appointments and strict limits on food. But the asthma & stuffy nose persisted, even worsened.

I'm not saying that I didn't learn anything useful during that time or that we didn't benefit at all from the other things we tried but the most dramatic changes came when we started radical unschooling (we started in early September). There were lots of changes that we made, one of them being releasing control of food, which was scary for me as I was fearful that her symptoms would worsen. In February she told me that she was breathing out of her nose more and more.

In March she told me she is a nose breather now. I cried silent tears of joy as I had been seeking that goal for many years. She had been "getting tight" with increasing regularity to the point where she was getting tight every night, despite our use of inhaled steroids. She hasn't been tight in about five months now & is medication free.

One day a few months ago I had PMS and was weak and I snapped at her a few times, being impatient and irritable. She snored that night for the first time in awhile. It took three days for it to clear up. I have never spoken to her like that since. I am stunned, amazed and very grateful for the wisdom I have learned and continue to learn on this list. It is amazing the impact it has had on all of our lives. And it has been surprising to experience how much our emotions impact our health. Even her skin, previously dry and bumpy, has improved. Radical unschooling has helped us be smooth and soft, inside and out. :D

July 1, 2013, on Always Learning

"If I see signs of frustration or stress or uneasiness in my family, there are alarm bells going off inside me telling me I need to be kinder, pay extra close attention, have more ideas, and offer more options."
And studies are now popping up suggesting laughter makes our brains work better, reduces stress and helps sick people get well.
It was not until unschooling that I realized how extremely stressful my school years were, and how extremely focused on external validation I was/am.
The best thing that any parent can do is to make their life with and their relationship with their children as good and as happy and as stress-free as possible. That way they will be less likely to feel a need to medicate their way out of the misery and stress that makes up their day to day lives.
Learning requires a sense of safety. Fear blocks learning. Shame and embarrassment, stress and anxiety—these block learning.

Advantages of eating in peaceSeeing and avoiding negativity

John Holt, connecting stress and anxiety to learning difficulties, in an excerpt from Teach Your Own

Unschooling with the TV in the House
(which includes some discussion of TV watching as a response to stress)

MindfulnessParenting Peacefully Responding to Relatives Becoming the Parent you want to Be