Friday, January 20, 2012

A glimpse at unschooling

Once in a while I'll freak out and create a schedule or buy some workbooks or some other unnecessary thing for the sake of education or peace in our home. I'll notice that the kids seem less enthusiastic about learning or that they aren't as engaged as I'd like to think they should be. But once I've implemented this structure, I'll realize that the new structure hasn't changed much of anything. They are still... bored, tired, stressed out, or whatever label I want to apply to the current situation.

My most recent freak out was followed up by a sudden bought of clarity. My kids weren't lazy. My son wasn't refusing to learn. They were TIRED. DOH! They are in the middle of doing a play and they are simply worn. out. Wasn't I worn out when I was doing shows? Didn't it take all of my energy to do rehearsals and performances? Didn't I just want to veg in front of the television during my free time? YES!

Once I let go of the new "structure" I'd implemented, some magical things started to happen. We are still enjoying some of our new workbooks, particularly the science and geography ones (no, I don't think my kids NEED to know this material... I had just noticed their interest in the topics before so...). But for the most part I'm sitting back and taking notice of the things they are doing on their own. Without any interference from me. If I just relax, they show me clearly that they are learning and thriving in this lifestyle.

So Ronin has taken up drawing.

And laying around on the kitchen table while doing a workbook page.

There has been building and building of blocks...

and playing and playing with toys.

This morning they went and found some boxes in the garage and constructed some sort of play fort with them.

They are also playing video games, watching tv (Hunter just recently watched the entire series of "Arrested Development" and is about ready to watch it again), making art for others, reading, and lots of laughter.

I HATE that I keep doubting the unschooling process.
But I love that I always come right back to it once I get real with myself.

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1 comment:

  1. Although my kids aren't "school age" we are unschoolers and will continue to be. I get the itch sometimes too and I start pushing flash cards and reading. I get stressed they aren't learning enough and all that pushing blows up in my face. When I allow education to happen all on it's own we end up talking about how bones grow and what makes us sneeze and I have a much more receptive audience. It's nice to know someone else feels the same, lol.

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