If you could think of the most difficult jobs in world, being a parent is right up there. Add on top of that homeschooling your children… all five of them. Kelly’s house was so full of laughter, playing, crying, running, food eating, drumming and more laughing. This house was bursting at the seems with energy and life and love. I was overwhelmed and reassured at the same time, my own stresses were eased as things were put into perspective. These children were so happy and so curious. One of the things I love most about the homeschooled children I’ve met is that they love to ask questions… so may questions! They are comfortable asking them and comfortable debating.
There are pros and cons to homeschooling of course and it must resonate with both child and parent to be effective. That being said, I find it resonates with me deeply. Not just homeschooling, but ‘Unschooling‘ as Kelly and her family do… a form of homeschooling that allows children to learn through their natural life experiences rather than a particular curriculum. This might sound wild to some, as it did to me five years ago, but I’ve had time to digest the philosophy, and address my concerns through research. ‘Unschooling‘ was coined in the 70’s by educator John Holt who designed an approach to education where children are allowed to continue the curiosity driven learning that all children engage in naturally. It’s a child-led learning where parents help to facilitate the curiosities of their children.
You’re interested in Dinosaurs? Lets read some books about them, what they ate, what they looked like, if they were heard animals or solitary carnivores! Lets look into the Triassic Period and asteroids!! Oh, that might lead us to astronomy, and how the stars were used as a map to travel from village to village or a map of when and where to plant their grains and vegetables. When studying cultures, why not take the opportunity to research recipes and try them out together? Essentially, you just keep doing the same thing you always did with your kids before they started school… listening to their questions and helping them find answers. Putting things before them and seeing if it peeks their interest.
As a way to learn more about the day to day of living this philosophy, I’ve taken this on a personal series, The Unschooling Project. Something I’ll continue doing until I feel I’ve learned what I need to learn about it. This is one of the way in which I learn best, through my lens.. and I love what I’m seeing.