After several months (with breaks in between), I have finally reached the end of Sue Elvis’ book Curious Unschoolers.
Sue is a mum of seven and lives in Australia. Almost all her children are grown-up. She started off with homeschooling, but over the years discovered that a free way of learning suited better to the needs of her family. Now she advocates for unschooling. She is convinced that children should learn what they want, and that parents should trust that their children will learn whatever they need for life.
This doesn’t mean stepping back completely and not doing anything to encourage learning. It means supporting your child’s talents and providing your child with learning opportunities, resources and material.
This book is encouraging as it helps you to learn to trust, to relax and to let go. If you want to focus on what is good for your child, it is important to let go of the pressure surrounding you, which dictates what and how your child should learn. How often do we succumb to this pressure, in order to look good and to fulfil the expectancies of others?
I agree with Sue on most of her views. Perhaps, saying that unschooling is the right thing for every child, is where I don’t necessarily agree. And not because I believe some children are better off at school, because their parents don’t care, but because there are children who enjoy going to school, are encouraged by school lessons (at least partly), and benefit from the social environment, when they wouldn’t have sufficient contact with other children, otherwise. (I’m talking about the days when school was still normal…)
Her book has helped me to listen more to my heart and to not be so easily confused by the expectations (imagined or real) of others. Letting your child learn naturally can also help build a happy relationship with your child, when you listen to your heart, be honest to yourself and let your child thrive in its very own, unique way.