What about when you bring a middle schooler home
and they don’t think unschooling is “legit learning?”
They’re nervous that they’re not doing
It takes a while to deschool. Often longer than people realize. Typically, unschoolers say “for every year in school, you need to deschool that many months.” Parents usually need lots of time to undo the ideas in their head about learning – but sometimes when kids have been in the school system, they need more time too.
Kids who are not convinced yet, may need some transition time. Here are some ideas that may help.
- Reassure them that learning happens in so many different ways – the school approach is only one way.
- Identify examples of non-traditional learning opportunities that pop up throughout the day… for you, for your child, for others you both know.
- Ask her what she wants to learn about topic-wise… and help her find ways to explore it. Movies, YouTube, talking to people, road trips are all possibilities – and you never know what direction that will take you all next!
- Play games, explore your community, cook together – real life daily activities may not seem like much but they give you the chance to connect with them in a different way.
- Download this free PDF Rethinking Learning and Subjects. Maybe it will help them see how interconnected everything is.
- Consider a project that you could do together. Sometimes kids who are used to more social interaction need this. And you can learn something right along side them!
- Remember that schools have conditioned them to not trust themselves, to only trust an authoritarian top-down approach. It will take a little while to learn to trust themselves.
- Remain confident. If they see that you’re unsure, then she’ll DEFINITELY be unsure!