This time of year, the whole country is focused on giving up playtime and getting kids ready to go back to school. Some unschoolers take advantage of the sales, others plan their own NOT-Back-to-School parties, and others head off on adventures with no nod toward society’s preoccupation whatsoever. Regardless which camp you fall into, I’d like to show you ten reasons we should all be just fine with this time of year:
1. Since it’s still August, unschoolers don’t have to end summer prematurely. It’s still hot out and all of our fun summertime activities can continue until fall actually arrives.
2. Unschoolers will enjoy shorter lines at the waterparks, the museums, Six Flags, Sea World, Fiesta Texas, NASA – everywhere! But hurry, school field trip groups will start up soon!
3. Unschoolers will find less people playing at the beach, area lakes or neighborhood parks – let’s plan some get-togethers!
4. Unschoolers won’t experience any giant disruption in their sleep patterns. None of the horrible side effects of sleep deprivation due to early morning class times for us!
5. Healthy food is available all day long for unschoolers. Did you see the movie Fed Up?? You’d be shocked at how the schools are pushing such poor nutrition for the kids there.
6. Unschoolers continue to enjoy uninterrupted creativity and play. Unschooling parents know the importance of guarding their children’s imaginations and realize that from creativity, kids learn problem solving and critical thinking skills. These will be so much more useful in their future than memorized facts – especially since the phones in their pockets can give them answers to questions immediately.
7. Unschoolers can pursue their passions all day long instead of trying to cram their interests into those tiny windows of opportunity after school between homework, dinner, and bedtime.
8. Unschoolers can explore topics in whatever ways they choose. They can flit across the top of many different ideas and concepts or dive deeply into a particular interest. No school bell rings to tell unschoolers when to start and stop thinking.
9. The unschoolers’ calendars are up to their family and their own schedules. No vacationing only if the school allows it or working around the calendars set by the district.
10. Unschoolers have unlimited hugs, reassurance, games, books, sleepovers, potlucks, playtime, puzzles, music, projects, learning in all shapes, sizes, and forms.
First published in the TexUns Newsletter, September 2014