NaNoWriMo 12.5 – What is RadiCool Unschooling? Pt 3

Okay…at long last…

WHAT is RadiCool Unschooling then?

RadiCool Unschooling is applying the same principles of autonomy, respect, and human rights that you do with education…to as many areas as you can with your little human…without compromising their health & safety. It is about giving choices, not demands.

And yes, I made that up. Just as I made up the word.

But over the course of the rest of this book, we will examine that definition and how it applies in real life.

But first let’s look at what others have to say about the increasingly common phenomenon called Radical Unschooling.

A recent Telegraph article on the subject led with this sub-heading…

Allowing children complete freedom – no limits, no enforced bedtimes, no eat-your-greens. Welcome to the world of ‘radical unschooling’

Dayna Martin, author of the book Radical Unschooling: The Revolution Has Begun, says this:

Unschooling includes trusting your child in what they choose to learn.  Radical Unschooling, which expands unschooling philosophy to parenting, means you extend that same trust to other areas of your child’s life, like foods, media, television… (It) requires thinking outside the box and a huge dose of courage. defines it thus:

Radical unschooling extends the philosophy of unschooling into all aspects of life. It involves partnering with our children, not just with regard to academic pursuits, but in daily activities such as eating, television viewing, and going to bed.

The bedrock of radical unschooling is trust: a belief that our children possess an inner wisdom or intuitiveness far beyond what mainstream America gives them credit for. Parents act as guides and facilitators, helping children to connect with that inner wisdom.

Rather than strict rules, unschoolers use principles. Instead of imposing limits, unschoolers work with their children to help them live in a balanced and healthy way. Instead of a strict schedule, unschoolers follow a daily rhythm.

People may confuse radical unschooling with neglectful parenting. This is not the case. Unschooling is not “un-parenting”. Parents who live the radical unschooling life are very involved, mindful and intentional. It is not a free-for-all, or utter chaos, or children raising themselves, although mainstream media has tended to portray it as such.

Blogger Sandra Dodd has this to add:

If unschooling can’t work in the real world, nothing at all can. People will say “How will they learn algebra in the real world?” Is there algebra in the real world? If not, why should it be learned? If so, why should it be separated artificially from its actual uses? “Why?” should always be the question that comes before “What?” and “How?”

Joyce Fetteroll of Joyfully Rejoicing says:

The goal of unschooling is not education. It is to help a child be who she is and blossom into who she will become. Learning happens as a side effect.

Educator and children’s rights advocate John Holt is considered by many the grand-father of home education…here are a few things that he had to say:

“Living is learning and when kids are living fully and energetically and happily they are learning a lot, even if we don’t always know what it is.” A Life Worth Living: Selected Letters of John Holt, edited by Susannah Sheffer

“What children need is not new and better curricula but access to more and more of the real world; plenty of time and space to think over their experiences, and to use fantasy and play to make meaning out of them; and advice, road maps, guidebooks, to make it easier for them to get where they want to go (not where we think they ought to go), and to find out what they want to find out.” Teach Your Own

“We ask children to do for most of a day what few adults are able to do for even an hour. How many of us, attending, say, a lecture that doesn’t interest us, can keep our minds from wandering? Hardly any.” How Children Fail

But no matter the source or degree of expertize, the truth is that…

RadiCool Unschooling CANNOT be defined because it is an unique and different as each family…and indeed each little human.

RadiCool Unschooling is travelling around the whole world…universe…without a map or schedule.

It is an adventure.

The adventure of a life time.

Your little human…and YOURS!

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