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We’ve officially been unschooling for 6 months now! We’re hooked. I don’t see our kids going back to public schools anytime soon, if ever.
I’ll start doing these reports quarterly, but this one consists of six months (June 2020-December 2020). Why? Coming out of the school system, I wanted to forget about “school.” Our focus has been on deschooling.
Now, six months in, I’m ready to reflect on what’s been happening in the learning department around here.
Enjoy our first unschooling progress report!
I observed the kids too (and I’ll share my notes below), but in the core of my unschooling beliefs:
Self-observation is important for cultivating a lifelong learning attitude. They need to notice their own growth and to define their own weaknesses.
So, I invited them to share with me what they believed they’ve:
They verbally responded to my questions. I’d love to ask 100 more questions, but that was all they had the patience for!
I’ve improved on:
I’ve learned about:
I’ve had fun with:
I want to:
My notes on Kendall’s progress:
In our deschooling process, I’ve learned that Kendall’s been conditioned to believe that learning is boring and terrible. We’ve discussed how free play (following all of her interests) is learning and working to reframe the magic of learning.
Therapy (CBT) has been wonderful at growing Kendall’s self-awareness! She’s gained tools for dealing with adverse situations and understanding why some behaviors to get what she want can backfire.
Kendall’s had years of trauma built-up from Levi’s untreated ADHD symptoms. He’s improved immensely, but those wounds she has still exist. It’s like she’s bracing herself for the next trauma. Again, with therapy, we’ve worked on this and it’s been wonderful to see them play together more than ever.
Kendall loves to think like an inventor or engineer! She loves to tell us facts about why something is the way it is (which is often an opinion, rather than a fact ;)). This side of her has become prominent in our day-to-day.
The girl can rock the game of “pretend” like no other! We’re thankful she’s found a dear, dear friend to who loves to play pretend as much as she does. The two of them get lost in all kinds of storylines for hours on end—whether in real life or through Messenger video chats.
I’ve improved on:
I’ve had fun with:
I want to:
My notes on Levi’s progress:
I am SO PROUD of the emotional growth Levi has shown! If you’re new to our story, Levi was diagnosed with ADHD & ODD when he was 5. Finding the right treatment plan wasn’t easy. He’s 7 now. In the past 3 months, his physical and aggressive response to anger has finally disappeared! I think this is just as much emotional maturity as it is the treatment he receives.
Levi loathes reading or listening to stories. That said, he’s still learning to read (slowly) on his own. We were baking cookies awhile ago and I told him to go press “bake” on the oven. He did! Yesterday, mail came and he said, “it’s for dad.” He knew David. To see him reading for the context of his day-to-day world is progress. Frankly, I don’t care if he doesn’t fluently read until he’s ready. There’s no rush.
First, this does not include photos with friends. I don’t want to get signed permission to share photos on here and all that. I’m telling you so that you don’t think that my kids have become the stigma of weird, unsocialized homeschool kids. They’ve had lots of interaction with people of all ages—even in the pandemic!
There’s one structured activity I require the kids to do each month: write their favorite memory of the month.
I bought a special book for this. I hope this helps them to innately notice and acknowledge the stories they’re living!
I’m wrapping this up just before Christmas and will add the end of December in the next report.
Something I’ve been delighted by:
The kids have learned to entertain themselves!
I used to think I could never ever have my kids home. I love my creative time and alone time. After school or when they were home for holiday breaks, they used to drive me crazy! I couldn’t get anything done. I was irritable on top of it.
Fast forward to now, I’ve been working all day… I’m talking about 12 hours (which is not typical) and they haven’t “bothered” me once. They’ve been in and out of the same room with me, in fact!
These days, I love their company.
We’re all growing over here.
The difference is deliciously mind-blowing. I think this is attributed to deschooling. They’ve unlearned what it’s like to have their time filled with being told what to do by adults all day, every day.
That’s a huge win in my book.
Cheers to a Happy New Year to all our other un/homeschooling friends! If you’re someone curious or considering this method of education for your family, but not sure what to do, these are some wonderful reads.
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