"Birds fly, fish swim, man thinks and learns. Therefore, we do not need to motivate children into learning by wheedling, bribing or bullying. We do not need to keep picking away at their minds to make sure they are learning. What we need to do, and all we need to do, is bring as much of the world as we can into the school and classroom (in our case, into their lives); give children as much help and guidance as they ask for; listen respectfully when they feel like talking; and then get out of the way. We can trust them to do the rest."
So here is an inevitable question: If we are looking at doing more planning for our school days, does that means we aren't unschooling anymore? Though I don't get into the debate, there is a huge back and forth over definitions.
The way I see it, unschooling means that the learning is left to the child. We aren't giving that up. What is changing is that we are going to talk beforehand about what we want to study next. So for example, Robotson told me that he would like to learn all about George Washington. He wants to know what his childhood was like and how he got to be the first president. He actually knows a fair bit about his role in the revolution, but he wants a full biography. He comes up with a dozen things he wants to learn more about every day. All I want to do is write them down and plan them out; keep it more organized.
I was reading Joyfully Rejoicing the other day. I agree with just about everything there, but I won't pretend that I have let go completely. Changing behaviors is very difficult for human beings. I keep working at it every day. One thing I keep in mind, I got directly from that site.
Don't drop all your parenting rules at once. Just say "Yes!" more.
That's what I do. I find ways to say yes. The rest we work out in conflict resolution. Just because we do things in a more structured way does not, in my opinion, mean that we are not allowed to use the word unschoolers. But it's o.k. if some don't agree. It's also o.k. if some think doing it this way is completely crazy (read: irresponsible). I've said it before; I need to see those opposing views. Surrounding myself with only people who agree with me is a terrible way to learn. Although I don't like it when my decisions are questioned, I know it's really important to have to rethink my positions on a regular basis.