Thursday, October 2, 2008

An Unschooling Day

I really, really like the idea of unschooling. My fear though is that the picklets will not get the education they will need to survive when their homeschooling years are over. Now, we are hoping that won't be until after high school but that is only four short years away for Chip.

Yesterday we unschooled, mostly because I had chores to get done, but partly for the freedom. I found myself asking, "Do I need to find something productive for you to do?" It seemed that every time I left the room it opened the door to rough housing, loud noises and rowdiness that is not cool, especially around my buffet with our WWII china in it.

Our unschooling accomplishments for 10-1-08:
  • All made plum crisp using fresh Iowa plums
  • Dill continued reading Harry Potter
  • Chip continued reading Animorphs
  • Dill and Sweet drew and colored apples
  • All worked on daily Sudoku puzzle
  • All started their own cookbooks by writing down the recipe for applesauce
  • Sweet was looking at the ads and figured out how much 4/$5 and 3/$5 is per piece
  • All practiced piano
  • All had piano lesson
  • Dill and Sweet practiced recorder
  • Chip practiced bass
  • Sweet practiced "fancy" writing from the example in the Felicity Cooking Studio
  • Sweet and I went through the Felicity Cooking Studio and picked out a couple of recipes to make this weekend
  • Chip and Dill whittled new wands to use for casting spells
  • Visited Grandma for a bit
  • Dill downloaded and printed a ton of spells to practice with (37 pages)
  • All had gymnastics practice
  • Dill and Sweet visited an AWANAS after gymnastics for a friends "bring your friend to AWANAS week"
  • Had a family supper since Cool was home: pizza soup, crusty garlic bread, plum crisp, milk
My question for all of you: Is that enough? What can I do to encourage learning on their own? What fun things can we do to incorporate the "basics" in without sitting down to the books? I really want to continue the unschooling without the fear of failure. HELP!


zamozo said...

It is my experienced opinion that unschooling can't be done a little now, a little later. It's an all or nothing deal. It takes a shift in paradigm about how learning happens. You must come to a place in yourself where you completely trust that your children will learn what they need when they need it without being pushed and measured by your or anybody else. You have to look deeply within each child's psyche and find out what makes them tick and then help them in every way you can to explore and experience the world using that knowledge. It's about opening up their world, expanding it and finding the value in their interests and passions -- that will lead to real and significant growth and learning. It takes time to get there. The kids have to trust that you trust them and won't panic and inflict "school work" on them.

As an unschooling parent I would strongly recommend that you read as much as you can at and at unschooling lists like Always Learning and Unschooling Basics.

You can email me if you want to discuss more, privately: iowaunschoolers at mchsi dot com

Anonymous said...

I pretty much agree with the other commenter's view of unschooling, which is why I don't call myself an unschooler. I stick with "eclectic." Which is a code word for "whatever works." :-) It sounds to me like you have a good balance of parental guidance and natural learning.