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Homeschooling Our Children Unschooling Ourselves

4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0965780629
ISBN-10: 0965780627
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Editorial Reviews


...Important book!...Should be a staple, not just for homeschoolers, but...anyone who has interest in how children learn. -- Elena Reyes, Reference Librarian, Madison Public Library

Alison McKee writes with...authenticity about the...triumphs of child-directed learning...This book is nourishing bread for the homeschooling journey. -- Mothering Magazine, Melissa Chianta, managing editor

An honest and touching account of how homeschooling leads to new attitudes and possibilities for learning -- Patrick Farenga, editor, "Growing Without Schooling"

Many...tinker with "unschooling"...Only a few have taken this uncharted path...Alison's work is paramount in this field. -- Rose Sias, The Tutor Shop

This is a vivid, complex, powerful, triumphant, reassuring and moving account of a whole family's education. -- Grace Llewellyn, author of "The Teenage Liberation Handbook"

About the Author

Author Alison McKee, has written numerous articles on homeschooling which have appeared in "Growing Without Schooling," "Home Education Magazine," "Homefires: The Journal of Homeschooling," "The Relaxed Homeschooler," "F.U.N. News: Family Unschooling Network" and others. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband. For twenty three years she homeschooled her two children, Christian and Georgina. Subsequently they have entered and graduated from college. Today, as community liaison for H.O.M.E. (a support group she began in 1984), she continues to offer, on a local as well as national level, support to individuals who seek information about homeschooling. She is also an advisor at Homeschool.com. Ms. McKee has been interviewed for newspaper, radio and television. She has also made numerous homeschooling presentations in teacher education classes at the University of Wisconsin, parenting groups, and various homeschooling conferences across the country.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Not Avail (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965780627
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965780629
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #550,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Karen B. Moore on March 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful inspirational story of one family's journey through unschooling beginning at their decision to homeschool. This book is not really about the hows of homeschooling, but more about the whys. Reading this book completely reaffirmed our decision to homeschool. It helped us see that a traditional mode of education isn't necessary to help our children become happy well-rounded educated people. This would be a great book to give to others who wonder why we homeschool.
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Format: Paperback
This is the book that verbalizes what so many of us do but have a hard time explaining to questioning relatives, friends, and just the people in the world that wonder why our four children are out and about town in the middle of the school day.

As a former teacher for 7 years in public and private schools, I can relate to the agonizing experiences of having to encourage frustrated students to struggle through concepts for testing, while having to limit time children spend on activities that are meaningful to them.

I have facilitated an unschooling environment for 5 years now at home. This is the first written material I have read that successfully enlightens nonhomeschooling families as to what life learning can be. By drawing on her own traditional school experience, both as a student and a teacher, Alison McKee is able to engage the skeptic and appeal to his/her own realm of learning experiences.

For the families that are unschoolers already, the book refreshes our spirit, guides us to be confident in our beliefs, and informs us that there is a beginning movement of Life Learning within the homeschooling community.

I have recommended this book to other homeschooling families and have purchased a mini stockpile to give to relatives that critique our evolution as natural learners.

This book has also guided us from being an unschooling family to one that is passionate about the life learning movement. It is an easy read cover to cover and a valuable resource.
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Format: Paperback
The most convincing evangelist is a reformed sinner, and Alison McKee, herself a practicing teacher, comes across as a most credible proponent of homeschooling in this consistently insightful book. No vapid cheerleading here. Like many another anxious parent, McKee and her husband suffer from uncertainties while seeking that elusive balance between structure and free exploration as their two children progress through the elementary and high school years. Readers of this book will come to understand how great a gulf lies between the initial decision to school ones children at home - which for many parents simply replaces one set of rigidities with another - and the real leap off the precipice to unschooling. Whether or not one is prepared to go all the way, as McKee ultimately does (with successful results), the book will undoubtedly bring the reader face to face with one of the most fundamental, and generally unasked, questions of education: what (if anything) does what children learn have to do with what they become? This is a great pick-me-up for home-schooling parents, and a thought-provoking explanation for those who seek to understand homeschooling. But anybody who is interested in learning will find grist for her or his own mental mill here.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book after it was suggested to me by some unschoolers in my homeschooling group. It didn't convert me to an unschooling philosophy, but I still found it to be a quality book about homeschooling.

The author had worked in the public school system before she homeschooled her own children, and she gives a lot of insights on the way schools so often discourage children and stifle their natural love of learning. I had no doubt as I read her story that her children were happy, successful, and well-adjusted individuals because of the freedom they were given all of their lives to learn in their own way, unhindered.

However, I still am left with some doubts about whether or not this would work for everyone. Were her children more self-motivated than the average child? This also took place in the eighties, before the internet, hi-tech computer games, etc. Would it be as easy today to create such a home environment conducive to learning, or would you have to have an "unplugged" household with no cable TV, no internet, and no complex computer games in order for the children to not get distracted from real learning? I notice that television is never mentioned in this book, so I wonder if this family even had one.

She definitely does not try to "whitewash" unschooling, however. At one point, her 14-year-old son tells her he's bored, and that she's responsible for his education. She gives him the choice of enrolling in public school, following a boxed cirriculum, or finding something on his own. Given that choice, he does manage to find something to study that he absolutely loves and gets back on track.

In summary, this is an excellent book for anyone interested in unschooling, and also helpful for anyone who believes that homeschooling in general is a better option than traditional schooling.
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Format: Paperback
As someone spanning the bridge between unschooling their own children and working in the school system, Allison brings great insight into why the school system can't, by its very nature, provide the flexibility and nurturing qualities of home education. However, I wish the book had been a little more well-ordered, not subject-wise, but chronologically, so that we could more easily join the family on their journey through the unschooling process. Still, a worthwhile and enjoyable read, and a good book to share with others to help explain why we homeschool our children.
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