Posted by: whimsigal | July 31, 2007

Unschooling Resources

I belong to a Yahoo group called Unschooling Resources and one of the topics of discussion today was about another Yahoo group to which I belong, Unschooling Basics. One member, we’ll call her “Lucy” was advising another to stay as far away from Unschooling Basics as possible. They’re letting their children run wild and watch porn, for heaven’s sake. At least that was “Lucy’s” impression and the image she was portraying to the rest of the group. Also, she didn’t like the tone of the discussions there as she had evidently been pounced on for wanting to “Be a parent”. Radical Unschoolers, she said, spend their days letting their children do whatever they want to and never telling them no.

The only thing I can surmise from that is that she has never read any literature by A.S. Neill, John Holt, or any of the countless others who describe allowing your children the freedom to grow into the people they are meant to become, not what you think they should be. Needless to say, this really got my blood boiling, because, while I struggle with implementing the ideas they discuss at Unschooling Basics, I believe in the idea of Radical Unschooling and I try very hard to allow my children the freedom the deserve. I find it interesting that the list, Unschooling Resources, which is supposed to be a way for people to enlighten other members to things that would work in an unschooling household, often provides us with worksheets and study aids. That’s not what unschooling means to me. I hate to say this but several of the folks bitching about Unschooling Basics had proverbs and other such things in the signature of their emails. Toxic, people, toxic. If you don’t like the group, then unsubscribe to it! That’s what I’m doing! Well, not really. I’m not going to let some zealot run me away from a group I find useful and offers resources that I might not otherwise find on my own. It just makes me sad that so many parents have a twisted view of children and a narrow focus on the world at large.

Live and let live. As long as it doesn’t infringe on someone else’s liberty.

Ok, another soapbox dismounted. Thank you for listening. Thank you very much.



  1. Enjoyed reading your comments. I was also scratching my head over why someone would waste time reading at a group they didn’t like. I just unsubscribe myself if it’s not what I need.

    Glad you’re willing to hang in and really understand what is being written. I’m certainly not some “perfect” unschooling parent…just someone that believes in doing better every day.:)

  2. Thank you for stopping by! Your site, along with Sandra Dodd’s and Danielle Congers, gave me so much inspiration when I was searching for a better way to be with my children.

    I am definitely hanging in there and am glad to see that even for someone like you, it’s a day-by-day process.

  3. Since I belong to both also (but haven’t read at Resources for about a year) I had to go check stuff out.
    Drives me crazy that people would say “unschooling means child led” but that ru means “unparenting”.
    For Heaven’s sake.
    To me it’s just a natural extension, encouraging my children to be more of whom they are, and extending the respect for them past their “school” moments.

  4. Isn’t funny how many times your path crosses with people in the internet world? But for these blogs we write, we may not have ever known each other in spite of being members at some of the same groups!

    I like the way you worded that, “a natural extension…extending the respect for them past their “school” moments.” That is a great way to sum up unschooling.

  5. Hallo, I’m an unschooling mum too! I’m not on UB but I’m on the UnschoolingDiscussion list. I love it, and I need it. I agree that it’s a curious thing to have folks who disagree with the philosophy stay on, probably in hopes of changing minds? I joined a local homeschooling egroup in hopes of meeting like-minded folks. Well, HUGE disappointment when one of the first discussions was of all the ritalin-type drugs their kids are on. Eek. But I couldn’t unsub for a while – it was like a train-wreck. I’d try to disagree respectfully but finally realized I was simply in the wrong place.

    Best wishes on your unschooling journey! We’ve been following this path for 8 years now and it’s been wonderful.

  6. Laura, it’s so nice to hear from someone who has been living this way for 8 years!

    I had a similar experience last February when I joined a local homeschooling group which was made up of a lot of unschoolers. Unfortunately, these ladies were of the unschooling = unparenting variety as their children were running around bullying the younger kids in the group and they did nothing. My kids had been so excited to meet some like-minded people but it ended up being a disaster. It’s so disappointing when something seems like it’s going to work out then it doesn’t.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment!

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