Monday, 11 July 2011

This unschool

sandcastles being swept away by a wave becomes a lesson about subtraction

Most of the home educating families I know all have changed direction, curriculum, teaching method, and even philosophy along the way. So I’m pretty open to our own evolution as a home-educating family. And besides, the whole point of it all is freedom of choice. That is what we try to ensure: a sense of democracy; of the value of our opinions, thoughts and ideas in making a decision that affects our family in its entirety. We all have a say in how the day goes. If certain events arise that force us to reconsider our plans and decisions, then we discuss it and make alternative plans. It’s easy-going and fair. I’m a lousy unschooler…in fact, I don’t know if I truly am an unschooler. I must admit that I love lists and potential schedules, but at the core I cherish the moment; and the freedom to find that treasure in the now. So, even though I have a year-plan schedule filled with projects and themes based on the local DoE curriculum, everything we learn is a by-product of experiences we make during the day. Quite often what gets ‘planned’ in the schedule gets ‘discovered’ during the day, week or month that it was ‘scheduled’ for. Yes, most of it does happen accidentally on purpose. It’s a bit like experience-strewing! Strewing is a well-loved unschooling technique in our family.  And one thing we are always reminded of is that our children are learning all the time; and if we’re open enough, we may, too.
Well then, the fact to face is that there are days when we’re unschooled, and days when we’re free-schooled; days when we’re scheduled; and days when it all happens at the same time and we just don’t stop to analyze, because we’re just having fun.

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