Sunday, October 09, 2011

My Invisible Unschooling

Someone teased me recently about my unschooling. That if Anthony sneezes I would write that in my Homeschool log as Health.

I laughed. It may be a tiny bit true.

Yet my sons, yet Anthony, is educated and has a well rounded education, a liberal arts education, not in spite of having me as a mother and not in spite of all the things I don't do, but because of all that I do.

All those invisible things I do, things that seem effortless and seamless but are done, every day, day in, day out, with a direct philosophy in mind.

A philosophy of unschooling, of children being natural leathers, of emphasizing the tools of learning, of creating a rich learning environment at home and elsewhere, of modelling, of discussion, of strewing, of Love.

The author also introduces the concept of unschooling not as an ideology — some fixed system against which to measure reality — but rather as a habit of observing children carefully and being willing to adapt our approach in light of our observations. In Suzie’s words, “Unschooling makes much more sense when we think of it as a suggestion rather than a mandate. Be with the children. Really look at them. Enjoy spending time together, talking, investigating, reading, playing.”

At the end of Chapter 2, we find a summary of the principles of unschooling. “Let the child learn by his own initiative, in his own way. The basics are not hard, children want to learn them, and they will ask for help when they need it. Learning is easiest and most effective when it is spontaneous and entered into by desire. Our home life will include necessary tasks, obligations, and duties, but learning does not have to be one of them.”

From a review of the book A Little Way of know, that book on Catholic unschooling, the one to which I am a contributor..and a perfect description of what seems to be invisible unschooling.


Anonymous said...

Children are natural "leathers"?

Mary G. said...

LOL.... yeah, need to edit that quickly. It's the first thing that jumped out at me too. ;-)

I'm pretty sure she meant to write "Learners".

Stephanie said...

I love this post! And I love the excerpt from the book. The one thing I dislike about the unschooling movement is the dogmatic side. :-) Although I'm non-Catholic I may need to get my hands on that book.

Leonie said...

Nah I am leaving the typo.. I'm anti that way!!! Lol!

Stephanie , the meat of the book is when we, the contributors, describe our families... And you see how Unschooling works out differently in different families.

Its available on Kindle! :-)