a little bit of everything...


so I thought I'd share a little bit again about our homeschooling philosophy if I plan to share what we are doing each week. while I don't like to over define it we would mostly call ourselves unschoolers... or I would to be precise. I think the kids just call themselves kids, which is kind of the point. the main idea behind unschooling is that humans are born with an innate desire to understand the world around us. from the moment we are born we are driven to explore this world and our place in it. just as you do not have to teach a baby to learn to grasp with their hands, roll over, talk, crawl, walk and so on, a children and adults do not really need to be taught to learn new things.. or at least to want to learn them. of course this does not mean that encouragement, love, sharing knowledge and a positive environment do not go a long way. indeed a child or adult probably need these things as much as the baby does in their pursuit of knowledge. that baby does not need you to get on the floor and demonstrate how to crawl.. most of us have probably forgotten how anyway. that baby simply needs the opportunity and space to practice her skills. she has the drive to learn if we only allow her to try and trust her instinct to do so. she will slowly build upon her skills because it will lead her to more freedom of self exploration and an ability to interact better with people and the world around her. also, each baby will learn to crawl when they are ready. some begin at 5 months some 10. some skip it in favor of another way to get around. for the most part we trust the babies instincts and it very rare that a child truly needs more than that trust from us. so this is basically what guides our day to day approach to learning. i am not trying to advocate this for everyone. we ourselves have experienced a variety of learning environments, from waldorf, to democratic free schooling, and even traditional public schools. each one had somethings we loved and somethings we didn't. there is no one perfect way to learn but it's important to continue striving for better ways of learning for all of us. so, our daily life varies a great deal and i will share bits and pieces of things that might be interesting or even that we struggle with. i promise I won't always be so wordy! i do know I am learning right along with my children though. my son and I watched a nova show about archaeologists he had seen before and wanted to share. i discussed with both of them a book i finished based on the lives  of two women fossil hunters from the the 1820s. he knew the dinosaurs I spoke of and showed me a drawing of them from a favorite graphic novel. it also went along with a book my daughter and I started on a young girl learning about darwin and evolution. its amazing how often things just fit together when you allow yourself to be open to them . my children surprise me constantly... i had to look up the definition of vapid today for my seven year old because she heard it in a story. I couldn't come up with an accurate definition myself even though I've encountered it so many times myself.  we both learned something new. i don't always see how all of these things come together each day but over time it is amazing what we learn.

* so my internet is out and im writing on my phone. blogger on the phone is virtually impossible. i'm determined not give up my goal on the second day. i can't figure out how to fix the wonky spacing so i will have to come back to do that. sorry!

2 comments:

Melissa Crowe said...

Very well said, lady. I'm so glad you shared this.

We have always been quite close to unschoolers, with here and there a little "formal" ed thrown in. We do a formal math lesson five days per week now that A. is in "8th grade," and we're about to start daily Spanish work, but other than that, she's free to pursue her own interests, which she does with amazing alacrity most of the time. We also recently joined a homeschool co-op, which has been pretty great for providing opportunities for her to learn in a slightly larger group, from different adults, from other kids, etc., while still feeling fairly comfortable for us.

Cary Walker said...

Thanks Melissa. I hesitate at calling us unschoolers because I do put some limits on the children especially when it comes to screen time. I also do some lessons in art and other things because my daughter enjoys more structure. I guess it's important not to get caught up in labels or absolutes but find what works for each of us... which of course changes over time. I find your daughter's creativity and independence very inspiring!