Reading Challenge Book 11 – What is Unschooling?

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 11 of 50

What is Unschooling? Living and Learning without School – written by Pam Laricchia. In the fall of 2020 I came across a video on YouTube that had the word Unschooling. I have never heard this word before and I was curious enough to see what it was all about. I listened to the almost hour video of a husband and wife explaining what Unschooling was and how they implement it in their daily life with 9 children. I LOVED the concept and realize on some level I have been doing this very concept with my own kids but none of them were school age. I wanted to to hold out telling my husband about this concept until I have done some more reading. I got a few different books but reading them have not worked out. I started to read this book in Feb 2021 and I am just finishing it April 2022. The kicker is the book was not that long and it was a pretty simple read.

I will say that this book is a good introduction about the concept of Unschooling. The author has a few more books that is considered a series and I have another one in my queue on the book app. According to the app I am 14% into that book. I honestly do not remember starting it so I will have to restart it if I decide to read it. I ended up sharing the idea to my husband before I did a lot of reading on my own. We have agreed to homeschool our kids for years and after the last two years he is on board 110%. He works from home so he can play a role in our kids homeschooling experience.

The other morning he was showing our oldest how adding an e to the end of the word changes the vowel sound in certain words. Example: Cap – a is a short vowel but when adding e the a is now a long vowel.

I do love the idea of unschooling the thing is I do not agree with allowing your child to set his/her own bedtime and only eating what they want to eat. I feel there is a line that has to be drawn because if we let our 3-year-old go to bed when he wants and get up when he wants he would get only a few hours of sleep. Then we would only get a few hours asleep which would not work for our family. He just does not sleep and I have no idea why. He will sleep for a few hours and be up for a few hours and then go back to sleep mostly because he is bored. My oldest would only eat bread if he was given the choice and that isn’t going to be good for him over all. The video I watch actually shared that they do have set expectation and they do have a routine for the kids. It would be pure chaos if they let all nine kids do what they wanted at all times.

My husband is not on board with unschooling and since he is a present father I will not go against what he wants. I say all that because people who are true follower of this method will tell you how you are not a true unschooler. I know on some level I won’t be a typical homeschool mom but I also know that I need guidance to help me stay focus. Now that is a topic for another post – if you want to get a general idea what Unschooling is I would say pick up this book. I still plan on reading a few more books but since my husband is not open to the idea I will honor him, but I do plan trying to apply some of the concepts to our schooling experience.


My oldest is school age but I decided due to the craziness of our life and not being 100% sure if we would be in PA or VA. I decided to hold off making it official for our son to be registered for school. I am hoping we will be in another state by the fall but a lot of things have to fall into place. Disclaimer: PA you don’t have to register until the child is 6. The thing is I am feeling a little overwhelmed and wondering how in the world am I going to do this with my oldest only be 6 when we “officially” start school. I will have a 4-yr-old, 3-yr-old, 1-yr-old, and two newborns. Honestly I’m not worried about the 1-yr-old or the newborns.

I am already doing school like activities and daily lessons with my boys. The thing is they are all on different levels and have such different personalities. I am using a book called “Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” written by Siegfried Engelmann for my oldest to start reading and he is doing really well with the lessons. He sometimes fights me on writing but that’s because he doesn’t like to make mistakes so when he doesn’t do something right he gets frustrated and then does it wrong on purpose. Today my 3-yr-old ask me to do a lesson so I went back to the first lesson which was really short and he did it. He knows the letter sounds and he has been writing a lot. He typically likes to write his numbers but he been working on letters as well. I showed him how to do the two lower case letters and he did them. They took up half the paper but he did it the way I showed him.

The hard part for me is trying to see where one child is when the other ones are around. They all want my attention and my oldest is far ahead. It’s annoying when I’m asking one of the other two to tell me something and my oldest will say it. The other day I pulled out some animal magnetic tiles. I wanted to see how many animals my two younger boys knew, especially my 2-yr-old (X). When it came time to do it with my 3-yr-old (Z) he didn’t want to do it anymore. I know I just have to be patience and thankfully because I’m homeschooling I don’t have to follow a set schedule. I am beginning to start a new schedule during the week where no devices/tv are allowed until 3 in the afternoon. We do use the tv for a short period to do a few “lessons” with my 2-yr-old. When my oldest was 3 I started to work on letter sounds with him and we would watch videos by Jack Hartmann on YouTube. This is how my now 3-yr-old knows all his letter sounds. I really like the See It, Say It, Sign It video because it shows them the sign for each letter and teaches them the sound. I include some videos for the other two. My oldest is beginning to show interest in money and basic math skills. I know that my younger kids will pick up as they watch their older brother learn – hence doing the first lesson with Z.

I guess I’m just nervous when I have to actually report his progress. I have a lot of people in my life who isn’t happy we plan on homeschooling. I am saying we because my husband works from home and he helps with teaching the kids before he heads to work. I LOVE the unschooling mindset but my husband is not on board with it and no matter how much we talk about it he isn’t comfortable with usually the concept fully. I want to respect him and since I get to stay home with the kids I want to honor his wishes.

How do you manage homeschooling with different ages?
What are the age differences?
Do you know of any resources I could check out to help with doing schooling with kids of different ages?
What are some tricks to help your kids let the other kids learn at their own pace?

Pictures: In our dining room I have these three things hanging up to help with everyday learning. The calendar is to get them familiar with the concept but I don’t expect them to learn it until they are older. We have a word wall where I add words that are seasonal, monthly, and holiday related. I break it down quarterly so I will remove this set at the end of February. We also include pictures of family members and their name. We have our immediate and extended family. I was given a large stack of sign language cards and we are doing one card a day. The kids LOVE it and they are picking up on it pretty quickly.

Good Read Challenge

The love for reading has come and gone throughout my adult life. I hated reading as a child and for a short few years after high school I enjoyed reading. I didn’t really get into fiction but I read a lot of non-fiction books. I was young and naive because I would take what I read and run with it. Someone in my life made a comment about how they couldn’t stand how it annoyed them that I did that. I got so offended that I stopped reading all together. The only person that hurt was myself and years later I finally understood what the person was trying to say, but they didn’t do a very good job explaining it. Fast forward to the end of 2017 I got a book for Christmas and that book was the beginning of me starting to read again. I read a few things over the years like Harry Potter and Twilight on top of books I had to read for school but that was about it.

I was facing one of the hardest seasons and I read every second I could spare. I was pregnant with my second child and working full time. If I wasn’t working or taking care of my first born I was reading. I would take trips to Barnes and Nobles often to get a new book in 2018. Than in Sept of 2018 we moved back to the town we went to college and I got a library card and discovered the app Libby and I gained access to a lot more audiobooks. Now here I sit in 2022 starting a new year and setting a new goal on the Good Read app. It’s actually the same goal I had last year but didn’t complete.

I plan to share a post about each book I read/listen to throughout the year. The last two years I created a reading challenge for myself but I decided that at this moment I am not going to work on a reading challenge but that may change. I will write about the past reading challenges I put together for myself and how I made it more interesting. Now I am just hoping to make reading more of a goal for myself. If you found me on Good Read you would see that I currently have 6 books in my currently reading section. I am not fun to follow because I never leave a review or even rate the book I am reading. I guess on some level I don’t feel secure enough to share my opinions on the books. Then there are times that I have no real feeling about the book I listened to it was just something to listen to while I drove and did chores.

My list right now is:
Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich (Audiobook)
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (Audiobook)
Lord Brocktree by Brain Jacques (Physical Book)
What is Unschooling? By Pam Laricchia (Digital Book)
Let us Prey by R Glenn Ball (Digital Book)
How Not to Diet: The Groundbreaking Science of Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss by Michael Greger (Print Out)

Now I don’t share all the books I read to my kids on a daily basis because then it would throw off my goal. I love reading to the kids and I currently need to pull all the books out to sort, organize, and catalog. Reading is so important for everyone and I my first goal for all my kids is to teach them to read. I want them to enjoy it more than I did and I hope to find books they want to read.

What are your reading goals for 2022?

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