I write for the Christian Unschooling website. Most of the other writers live in the Northern Hemisphere, where they are currently sweltering under the summer sun, so it made sense that the topic for this month was to do with how learning continues even during “summer holidays”. I found it hard to write, being as I’m currently sitting here snuggled up in my warm winter woollens, with the heater maxed out, and I’m still cold! But nonetheless, it was kind of fun teleporting to a different time of year and reflecting on the joy of summer holidays, and the continuity of learning throughout all the seasons of life.
There is a myth that abounds: all christians who homeschool their children play “schools” at home. They either sit around the kitchen table while Mum plays the role of teacher and her children are the pupils, or she supervises them while they sit at their desks, compliantly completing all set work with a smile on their face.
Is it possible there could be another way?
Is it “unchristian” to allow our children more freedom than that? To allow their natural love of learning to flourish in an environment that supports their interests in practical ways, and invites them to explore the wonder of the world around them? Or must a christian parent, in an attempt to “train” their children, force compliance with set tasks determined by the parent?
Is it possible for christian home educating parents to allow their children the privilege of an unschooling life? To allow them to live and learn in freedom alongside a loving parent or two, without the expectations or constraints of schoolish ways and schoolish thinking?
In Mythbusters lingo, I would say that I think it’s not only possible, it’s plausible! And there are in fact hundreds, if not thousands, of unschooling christians around the world. It can take some effort for christian unschooling parents to swim against the tide, and they often feel like they live in no man’s land, being too conservative for many unschoolers, and too weird and liberal for many christian homeschoolers. But the reality is, unschooling can be a perfect fit for a christian family where love and grace are given freely.
If you’re willing to consider debunking the myth that all christian homeschoolers are conservative in their beliefs and methods, check out my guest blog post over at Christian Unschooling.