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Principles of Awesome Unschooling

By Leo Babauta

There's no "right way" to do unschooling. That's the beauty of it. Everyone does it differently.

However ... I've been developing a philosophy of unschooling, based on my experiences with our kids, and my own views of life. It's not the only way to look at unschooling, but it's what I've been growing to believe (with the caveat that I never think I know what's absolutely true).

Here's what I believe will lead to awesome unschooling ... my philosophy:

Moving Internationally With Kids

On Freedom Hunters International

Our kids are 7 and "almost 9." Our move is in just two days, and at this point it's just a matter of riding the roller coaster and enjoying the ride as much as possible. Making the experience of an international move good for them has, of course, been a big topic of conversation. From my experience as a therapist working in the schools and developing teen centers, etc, I know that kids are amazingly resilient. That being said, we still wanted to minimize their potential future therapy-related expenses.

Let me get the topic of schooling out of the way first, because that's the question adults ask about. We got in touch with several private, international schools where we'll be living at first and ended up having a wonderful opportunity withLakeside Schoolin Guanacaste. We could send our kids to the good public schools in Costa Rica, but you really do need to know Spanish to thrive in those schools, so this option provides some great social support and structure while catering to kids and families who are coming from all over the world. We've had a couple of surprises, like finding out that there's really no street names and addresses in Costa Rica, and that school transportation is an extra, private expense, but we've worked through those bits by basically pretending to be kids ourselves and giving ourselves the freedom to ask approximately a gazillion questions.

Might we end up homeschooling or unschooling eventually? It's definitely a possibility but let's make one transition at a time for all our sanity's sake.

Dave and I sat down one day and had a very cool discussion on "Things We Wished Adults Had Thought of When We Were Kids." While we didn't move internationally with a family when we were little, we both had experiences of being the new kid and finding ourselves in new situations with little preparation. We came up with 5 things we would focus on to support the kids in the transition.

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