At the beginning of this year I was admittedly nervous. While the principles of unschooling felt right to me, I lacked trust in the philosophy and trust in myself and my sons as well. I was testing the waters, so to speak, after all how much damage could I do when all we were talking about was Kindergarten? At worst Lan would play all year and at best this unschooling “hippy” stuff would actually work out for us.
I am happy to say, I am now a convert! We have had such an amazing year! Lan and Kayden’s curiosity has astounded me, I never know what will spark their interest. I’ve learned they are not vessels for me to fill with knowledge but trees reaching out their branches in all different directions and soaking up the knowledge in their own way. I must reiterate here that I do not take on a teacher role. Our learning is organic and real. I am not taking on the role of lecturer, trying to force knowledge onto them. We read books they are interested in and their projects are from their own initiative. Many times, I am just as excited as they are about learning something new and some of my favorite moments have been when they ask me questions that I don’t know the answers to. It is in those times that they see that I am not all-knowing and that learning is something that is exciting! We find out the answers together (thank goodness for Google!) and the boys learn that knowledge is easily obtainable when you have curiosity.
And just so you know, I am not supermom. I struggle with this role just like every other mother out there. There are days where my patience is totally usurped and all I can muster is putting a movie on so I can have some down time. I still yell and “freak out” more often than I would like to. There are days when I count the minutes until Mike gets home so I can have his help in parenting. Feel better? Good!
Here are some of the learning highlights of our year in pictures:
I am really happy that we unschooled this year. I’ve been able to try it out in a comfortable environment and give it a “test drive” before we set off on our travels. I no longer have the big cloud of doubt and questions in regard to how we will school the boys while we are on the road. I even think that unschooling will be easier once we are traveling. Although we won’t have access to our wonderful library, we will have access to the world! We will be learning through experience and adventure! Exciting stuff is on the horizon…….Now somebody buy our damn house so we can be on our way! 🙂
New to Unschooling?
Here is a list of books that have helped me to build my educational philosophy:
Home Grown by Ben Hewwit
Free At Last by Michael Greenberg
Big Book of Unschooling by Sandra Dodd
The Unschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith
Radical Unschooling by Dayna Martin
Unschool Yourself by Jason Xie
How Children Learn by John Holt
How Children Fail by John Holt
Learning All the Time by John Holt
Teach Your Own by John Holt
The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn