Saturday, July 3, 2010

Rambled thoughts on Unschooling

I wholeheartedly believe in unschooling. I believe in the philosophy. When I researched this topic it gave me that aha moment that I was searching for. You know that feeling of "this is right." There is a myth or misunderstanding among non-unschoolers as well as people that don't do public school. Unschooling is a parent not wanting to put the time and effort in to properly teach their child. This couldn't be more untrue or opposite. I find with unschooling there is a 24 hour rule. I do not sit at the table and teach for two, three, four hours and then feel finished for the day. I do not have a list that I put tiny check marks to appease myself. I do not have a stack of book reports or marked tests. I am however, always on. I cannot tell you how many questions my children ask. Why is the sky blue? How long would it take to travel around the world? What does about mean? Would a feather sink in water? ALL DAY I am answering questions, looking up info on the computer, helping them find books for their answers, reading to them, discussing with them and so much more. People ask, "Do you homeschool in the summer?" How could we not? Learning is a natural extention of our daily lives. I shouldn't even say extention, should I? It is who we are. Life is learning. It happens naturally in our lives. We don't close a book and say, "Well, done learning! Go play." Every little aspect of our lives involve learning. From gathering leaves, jumping in leaves, catching bugs, watching TV, laughing, interacting, being alone... Unschooling is LIFE. I find it interesting yet confusing how people think school helps with socializing and learning. Not only does it help but it is a necessity in aiding that. That couldn't be further from the truth. Why do we need to send our children, 5 days a wk to a group of 100 children to learn socialization and facts? We are so brainwashed as a society. Ok, going off on a tangent. lol..
Even among homeschooling/unschooling families there is an uppity attitude. Some homeschoolers think that unschooling families couldn't possibly learn the way we do. Some unschooling families are very picky about the term unschooling. If you coerce your child in any way you are not unschooling. Almost like you can't earn the name unless you do it exactly the way it says. You would think homeschooling families would be more open considering we hear it from all sides and we would stick together. Most times, yes. BUT there is politics in this circle as well. It makes me want to head up North, seclude ourselves and explore nature to its fullest. Hmm..but then we wouldn't be socializing and we would end up abnormal. ha


~Leslie said...

funny, sad and true! i am very hesitant to label what we do beyond the general 'homeschooling' banner--for those very reasons. i'm finding it very interesting the longer i am involved with others who divisive things are becoming.

that's when i'm thankful i can simply move away from those conversations and get back to our live--whatever we call it, however it looks at any given moment. we're living and learning and growing. that's what matters!

thanks for sharing your thoughts! :D

Cheryl said...

Well said! I linked to and tweeted your post on my blog:

Alex said...

Very true Neely. I agree with you, learning takes place all the time. I am more of the type of homeschoolers that likes to check off things, but we are also the type to recognize and encourage when our interests takes us on a different path.
I have always tried to have a bit of both worlds, the homeschooling and the unschooling..that's why I always say we are eclectic!
I agree with you that there shouldn't be that attitude. Homeschooling should be about finding out what works for your children and family, and using that. Some years could be one way, and even for some children it could be one way and for others a different. That is the beauty of homeschooling, being able to adapt and do what works for ourselves.

SomeGirl said...

Funny... just today I was telling my husband that traditional homeschoolers would call me an unschooler, but unschoolers would call me a homeschooler... so there are tons of us floating out there in some unlabeled land... and maybe that's good. :) Hey, maybe we're unhomeschoolers. lol Anyway, I LOVE your thoughts and couldn't agree more that life is learning! Thank you! ♥ Michelle