The extremely short answer is no. But I’m also not the boss of them either.
Something that not many get until it smacks them in the face is that unschooling is a family way of life, I don’t think it ever should have been associated with the phrase “child-led” because it isn’t the kid is boss scenario, that would be like reinventing the wheel over and over.
We guide and mentor our young for a reason and have done so since the begining of our existence. Having said that, there is no better teacher than experience. Decision making needs practice and unschooling to me means you are on equal footing with your child in the decision making process to give them practice at using their opinion, thoughts and instincts for the greater good wherever the opportunity arises. That process works best if it is excecuted with very honest needs from both parties that are not founded in a schooled, controlling, manipulating or any kind of conditioned mindset. Some things need to be done, some things we generally don’t like doing, very few of those things with a bit of creative forethought cannot be solved to the point where both parties are comfortable with the outcome.
So how does one achieve this?
What unschooling families need, (just as much as the rest of society I guess,) is the time and space to think creatively. Rushing is the enemy of honest, clear and concise decision making in everyone. When we are rushed through that process we find ourselves either manipulating and controling to get a quick answer or being manipulated as is the case for children most of the time. It’s such a waste of natural trust which is a perfect tool for natural learning as it feels safe, it means our kids can get on with their job without that worry. There is no need while they are learning the ways of the world to put that extra pressure on them, they have plenty of time. Unschooling provides a flow of trust and encouragement in their primary relationship without that need to rush through life.
Humans are not as grand as we think we are. The rest of society could probably do with a dose of slow down too, especially if we want the inner voice of ourselves and of our children to show through the high speed crazies of the world. We no longer have the upper hand on speed or time so there is no point pursuing that end. The digital age has surpassed us, we must focus instead on our creativity with passion and purpose, that which makes us us. That takes space to think and time to process. The rewards are worth the wait. 🙂