Friday, October 3, 2008

Unschooling?

After reading the comments from my last post, I am not sure what we have been doing can really be considered "unshooling". But since it lacks texts, seat work and an overall plan envisioned by me it resembles what I conceive "unschooling" to be. Summer Fae, I guess, stated it best as "relaxed schooling". What ever the word, that's what we are continuing to do, at least until next week.

I know I don't have the "trust" (isn't that terrible?) to let the picklets take their education into their own hands. I really hate to admit that, it breaks my heart. The days would be filled with Pokemon, Yughio, casting spells, jumping on the trampoline and rough housing. Nothing, that I perceive as learning, would get done. Granted I do believe that there is logic and math in the Pokemon and Yughio games. Looking up spells on the computer, copying and pasting would be considered computer skills. Jumping on the trampoline is practicing gymnastics and rough housing could be considered PE. But, I fear my kids just won't learn the basics (math and spelling). They lack focus. Might be the way they are built, our parenting technique or sheer laziness. However it came about, they lack focus.

That being said, here is what we did on our "relaxed/eclectic/unschooling" day yesterday:
  • We went on a nature walk: found a bird skull and downy feather

  • the picklets looked at the "natural wonders" they found under the microscope: this is what a redish yellow leaf looks like under the scope
  • Chip worked on the map he is making of our town
  • Dill continued reading Harry Potter
  • Chip started reading Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp
  • Sweet checked her email and wrote in her blog
  • practiced piano
  • Dill and Sweet practiced the recorder
  • went to the library, got books, played on computer (Neopets)
  • jumped on the trampoline
  • Dill and Chip practiced casting spells and looked for new wands that "called" to them
  • daily chores
  • worked on the Think! project
  • Dill sketched an apple
  • watched Vice Presidential debate
  • Dill make campaign posters for his candidate
  • talked about our lack of focus, behavior, attitude and steps to changing the parts that need to be changed

Sweet snapped this picture of corn roots

While walking through the park Gracie found a squirrel


© 2008 Wicked Pickles-Homefront Lines

2 comments:

zamozo said...

If your eclectic relaxed schooling is working for you and your family, then there's no reason not to continue in that way. That said, if one wants to pursue unschooling more deeply, I've found that a large amount of reading about deschooling, and some amount of faith, in the beginning, that unschooling works, is what is needed to breakthrough to more glorious and off-the-charts learning than relaxed, eclectic schooling ever provided for us.

Many people misunderstand unschooling to be "child-led" and parentally hands off but it is anything but those! I am much more in tuned to my kids and how their brains work now that I've been unschooling for several years, than I ever was before. I work hard to recognize their interests, their learning styles and then I find ways to expand on what they know and love to do to further their knowledge and understanding of their world and their love to learn! When I removed external motivations and judgments, over time, and delved into their interests and passions with them, they began to read and write and calculate and explore science and delve into history and politics and so much, more than I could have ever assigned to them out of textbooks. All the while, they felt like they were just playing and exploring. Fish swim, humans learn.

Anyway, since you brought up the "U" word I jumped at an opportunity to clarify an often misunderstood idea. I won't dominate your blog with anymore of my enthusiasm for unschooling. I wish you and your family the best.

Mama Monkey said...

I started to comment, but it was getting long, so I'm taking it over to my own blog.

http://momofmonkeys.wordpress.com/