How To Be An Unschooling Family

I know this title is a bit silly...because every unschooling family looks different from the next. BUT...I wanted to show you what it looks like for us on a typical day and how that translates into some of the grand truths about unschooling.

1. CREATE things together & and don't be afraid to get messy. Now that it's winter and we are spending a lot more time inside than out, there are projects galore. I saw this on Pinterest recently and thought it would be fun to jump on the melted crayon bandwagon. We had a great time coming up with different color combos and watching them melt slowly in the oven. Bella loved making them...but it was Lucy who was even more thrilled with the final product. The little crayons that formed in the silicone mold were the perfect size for her little hands.

2. Show your children new ways to make stuff. We've been making TONS of homemade play dough around here lately! There is just something so different about the warm, just off the oven dough...the store bought cannot compare! We finally got some gel dyes to make lots of different colors and that has been really fun. We did try using red cabbage and turmeric for coloring, and while they did turn them colors, they weren't as vibrant as we hoped.

The girls have spent hours and hours over the past couple of weeks creating dish after play dough dish...taking orders with handmade menus...their little hands furiously rolling and cutting and "plating". We've been watching some Food Network shows together and it's so cute to see what they come up with.

3. Encourage your children to pursue their passions. Bella has always been enthralled with fashion design and clothing. She will often re-purpose clothing and create new items for herself to wear...but lately her love is creating Barbie clothing. This lovely little number was made using old tights and a few safety pins. I love the cowl neckline...don't you? 

Our next step is going to be to set up an area in the toy room dedicated completely to this passion. There will be a sewing machine, thrifted fabrics, buttons, and other goodies so that she can create whenever she wants, when she wants. As an unschooling mama, my job is to give her all the tools she needs...and then step back and let her do her thing! I would also love to find an opportunity to shadow a "real" designer sometime. If anyone has any great resources/books for us in this fashion design journey...let me know!

4. Stand in awe of the amazing world around you! These glorious icicles have been forming for a few days with all the melting and re-freezing up here in the mountains. The girls love to look at them, hold them, and experiment with them. There is so much to be learned from nature.

Science is easily understood when children can experience hands on learning!

5. Buy glue sticks in bulk. Ok...ok, I'm kidding. But no seriously. We love the glue sticks. Spelling and fine motor skills were honed when Bella sat down next to me and decided to create a pretty box to put her money in. She wanted to cut out the letters to spell "ALLOWANCE". We spent several hours cutting and chatting and gluing.

The fun part is that I was the one who was sitting at the table first...adorning my prayer journal with pretty letters. She saw me hard at work and wanted to join on her own...I didn't have to declare "art time!" It spontaneously happened. Like life. That's why unschooling is often referred to as Life Learning!

6. Let your children be who they are. It's sometimes hard to step back and let our children be who they are without constant input from areas that really don't need input or guidance! But if you're able to do that, you will see their true personality SHINE through and it makes life truly joy-filled. In my interactions with other unschooled's always so apparent that they are trusted and supported at home in whatever they decide to do. They are, for the most part, independent, outgoing, and pretty much brilliant!

7. Follow YOUR dreams and pursue YOUR passions! When your children see you going after what you love and loving life...they will follow. This photo is called "Put the camera down mom and just get in the car because we are FREEZING!". But least my girls know without a doubt that I love photography! :) If I want them to live a passionate life, I have to model it in my own.

If you are interested in finding out more about unschooling, here is the page with all of my thoughts and resources in one place! It has answers to commonly asked questions and links for you to follow!