of the thoughts and circumstances that have led various families to unschooling. —Sandra Dodd
The "why?" in unschooling can be answered with "To create sustainable learning." Our children have curiosity and joy to last a lifetime. Our lives are peaceful, our pressures are self-inflicted and mostly optional, we're free to visit historical sites when there are no crowds, to leave town during the week, to sleep late or have guests whenever it's convenient for us, without regard to school's schedule. Everything is turned to its best use and highest good insofar as we're able. We appreciate people who can share knowledge, ideas and stories with us. We seek out interesting "scenic routes" in real and figurative ways. Our days are full and our learning is unmeasured and immeasurable.
from Sustainable Learning
Jihong Larson made this list in 2013:
1. Socialization and social skills. I think it should be one of the top reasons to homeschool. I see with my own eyes how my children develop their social skills by watching how I talk on the phone, interact with people and explain to them what to expect and how to behave under different circumstances. It has been subtle and slow process until one day I noticed they used the same language I used and mimicked how I conducted myself at special occasions. I would say having an adult modeling in real world makes big difference.
2. Sweet and happy children. My husband is often amazed by how sweet, happy and free spirited the children are. I am soaking in their sweetness and happiness everyday. It is such pleasure to be with them.
3. Incredibly close relationship and bonding. This is the biggest gain from my choice of homeschooling. I feel this alone is worth it. They trust me, listen to me and value my guidance because of the relationship. I am their partner and will not let anything get between us. No, not school, not other people's assessment of their self worth by their grades and behavior in school. They are developing their self knowledge through interacting with people and the real world. I value that highly.
4. Learning all the time. Why? Because they are doing what interests them and they are engaged in the activities of their choice. They constantly make choices on how to spend their time. There is no wasted time throughout the day. While I have already expanded my understanding of learning, I am still amazed by when, where and how the school like learning happens: in bed, at the bathroom or in the car not to mention non school like learning: watching TV, playing computer or iPad games, or just silently observing the world around them. Also much diversified learning styles: hands on, observation, classes, self exploration and reflection, auditory or visual learningï¿½
5. Healthy meals. This didn't come to my mind until my Texas road trip. We had to eat at the museum cafeteria a couple of times and I realized how lucky we were to be able to eat homemade food all the time, not to mention we could eat anytime we wanted at home.
6. Enough sleep. Sometimes we go to bed at 6pm (usually because of jet-lag from travel) and sometimes we go to bed at midnight or 1 am. But kids and I always get enough sleep no mater what time we go to bed. They are always well rested and well fed.
7. The flexibility and ability to travel off seasons. Not only it saves so much money and allows us to travel more often and for longer time but also the experience is much better. For example visiting Disneyland or Legoland after school holiday. Or paying $299/person for a 10-day transatlantic cruise to Europe. We would have to pay three times or more to travel the same itinerary during school holiday. Try visiting Disneyland during major holidays I bet it would be very different experience.
8. Low stress or stress free daily life. This produces happy kids and happy mom. 99% of the time we are happy, content and grateful.
9. A great environment for kids to stay bilingual because we have more balanced language exposure.
10. Real life skills such as cooking, cleaning, shopping.
11. The ability to focus on the things we choose. For example right now DS7 and I focus on music and world of tanks. We can do this as long as we feel like and can really go deeper.
12. Confident and independent children. I was told by being with them all the time, by saying yes most of the time, by not setting the boundary (in a traditional sense), by parenting without punishment, I would have clingy and spoiled kids. The reality is quite the opposite: they are very independent and well adjusted.
The simple truth: we just spend lots of time together and have lots of shared experience and memory. That makes big differences. It is 365x24x60x60 shared moments (31,536,000 seconds a year)
Why we unschooled
The Dodd family "why" begins:
I really loved school. When Kirby was three or four, I was at a La Leche League playgroup and some of the moms were talking about homeschooling. My friend Rhiannon said she would NEVER send her kids to school. I said "but what if they loved school as much as I did?"and ends here: Why we unschooled, June 17, 2014
Unexpected Benefits of Unschooling