Convincing parents to talk to me about anything regarding schooling?

I’m in a weird situation, probably less weird for unschoolers but weird nonetheless. I’ve spent roughly 1.5 years isolated mostly in my home doing “Homeschooling” but I’ve been really unschooling and trying to deschool myself all alone. I convinced my parents to homeschool me but everything I did was on my own, of course they came with me to sign me off from school but that’s pretty much all. They didn’t bother learning themselves what homeschooling or unschooling or any alternative schooling was. They want to be told everything and while I’ve tried my best in the first few months trying to teach them all I knew about self directed learners, homeschoolers, and alternative schooling in general, it all went from one ear into another. I’m currently 17 and have major anxiety I’ll never be able to communicate well with my family at all. And things seem hopeless trying to do anything about it. I was depressed all of 2017 and it came crawling into 2018 but I made some friends along the way. Internet friends, but they definitely improved my mental state and I appreciate them a whole bunch. I know no one know’s who my parents are but I just hope there’s something I could try to do after the long non-discussion of alternative education. I just wanna get them on the same page as me and everytime they wanna threaten me to go back to school. I feel lazy and sapped out of all hope. I try to maintain my own interests and learn about the world but I feel so lost.

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8 responses to “Convincing parents to talk to me about anything regarding schooling?”

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    I’m bad at explaining things and it doesn’t help I also had to translate everything because my parents both speak spanish primarily. I want someone to help me who has good spanish translating skills to explain the beauty of homeschooling and help me with some examples to let my parents know I’ll be alright. They’ve been worried about me and all I’ve gotten is more and more anxious to say anything.

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    If you are in California, I’d recommend going to something like the HSC Conference: http://www.hscconference.com/main.html
    It would be a way for them to get exposed to a lot of homeschooling/unschooling ideas and to meet a lot of other parents doing the same. There’s a list of other conferences and that sort of events here but it hasn’t been updated with 2019 dates yet: https://unschoolingmom2mom.com/unschooling-friendly-conferences/

    Another possibility would be finding a local unschooling group in your area which would allow you to meet some people and also your parents. Facebook is a good place to find such groups in your area. It may be helpful in that way to have parents talk to your parents. Another possibility is the book “Parenting for Social Change” which was pretty good as a blend of ‘unschooling and parenting’ into one book.

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    Pam Laricchia’s book, Free to Learn: 5 ideas for a Joyful Unschooling Life, is a good short intoduction and it’s bern translated into Spanish, I believe by an Unschooling parent whose Spanish-speaking parents did not understand Unschooling. The title is different in the Spanish version: Libre Para Aprender Unschooling.

    It’s on Amazon here:


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    Hi Domino,
    the first principle of self-directed learning is that you are responsible for your learning and your life. I am sure you understand this, but it is always worth repeating at the start of any conversation in this space.

    May I offer suggestion based on our your age and current frustration? I recommend getting into and internship in any industry that interests you in any way. Go meet with a store owner, for example. Start the relationship by asking for 15 minutes of the person’s time. Ask them all about what they do and the current challenges they face. Then, if it still interests you, come up with a proposal and plan to help with their current challenges — for free — in exchange for you being able to spend time there and learn more about the company and industry. Do that a few times this year in 3-4 months sprints. Connect your personal studies to the internship.

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    Hi there!
    You might find Rebecca Koritz’s work helpful. She writes and does YouTube videos in Spanish, and founded a self directed ed center in Mexico! https://rebeckakoritz.com

    May help a little with the language barrier since so much of the material about unschooling is in English.

    Also, regarding the mental health end of things, try to be gentle with yourself and know that this is just one of many seasons of your life. It may feel like forever but it won’t be. There’s so much more life to live and adventures to have and at 17 you’ll be on your own with more freedom before you know it.

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    Also, I’m proud of you, there’s hope, and you’ll get through this. You’re already doing the courageous thing of trying to reach out and find a network—which is just another word for helpful people/people you can help. I’m now in my early 20’s and that’s been the name of the game as I’ve tried to learn the whole “adulting” thing. It ain’t easy but it is often exciting. Just do your best to be patient and advocate for yourself. Odds are your parents are acting out of love and care, even if it’s not the kind of care you’re looking for. Another potential resource is the alliance for self-directed learning. They have a huge span of resources and may even have some people who speak good enough Spanish to help you explain things or to offer you even more resources to share with them.https://www.self-directed.org/local-sde-groups/#

    Here’s an article in Spanish on the site. https://www.self-directed.org/tp/la-mejor-educacion/

    You could also try getting in touch with some self directed/democratic schools and get their statistics on job and college admissions which a lot of parents worry about. I think the Circle School in Harrisburg PA keeps stats on that.

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    I sounds like you might benefit from talking with a counselor. If there”s a teen drop-in center near you, see if they have someone on staff or can refer you to someone who can help you sort things out and get you some clarity about various aspects of your life. A counselor might also be able to facilitate a constructive discussion between you and your parents.

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    Thank you so much everyone! I didn’t think anyone would respond since everyone might have been celebrating new years around this time. But, I guess I was wrong. I’ll take everyone’s advice and I appreciate all the support! Here’s to a great start to 2019! Hope you all have a good year too.

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