Saturday, April 07, 2012

How to Unschool

A friend who has always thought of me as being crazy for willingly unschooling my kids asks me one day, "How do you do unschooling?"
Why the sudden interest? I'm curious.
"The school thing isn't going so well," she admits. "And, well, your kids seem to be turning out okay."(Thanks).
So how do you do this thing?
My response surprises her.
You don't.
You don't actively go about the house doing unschooling.
That's right. You don't do math, you don't write, you don't do history, you don't do philosophy, you don't do biology or French, or Latin, or painting.
Grandma and Baby

Except when you do. You do actively live. You do write, you do take French, you do science, you do study history. You do learn philosophy or geography.
You do these things with the same weight and value that you give doing sewing, or gardening, or watching  TV or Youtube, or hiking, or cooking, or staying in bed.

You give equal value to whatever it is you are doing. Whether it's listening to music or making music, watching the snow fall from the window or doing an experiment with the snow, working on a math problem or baking brownies.

One day, something takes precedence; something grabs your attention and hangs on and won't let go. Something (or some things) become your main concern and you become utterly and totally immersed in that thing. And then it all makes sense.


monika hardy said...

love this..

finding the thing(s) you can't not do...

Anonymous said...

Just--don't? So your kids just get to do whatever they want? Sounds lazy to me. And over-indulgent.
I dread thinking about what kind of society we would have if this kind of thinking was the norm!!

nettlejuice said...

If this kind of thinking was the norm, perhaps we would have a society of well-adjusted critical thinking folks who know how to follow their hearts ;)

Backyardfarms said...

I've never seen an over-indulged or lazy unschooler. I know 100s of unschoolers and they are passionate learners full of imagination. Their critical thinking is way beyond those who are stuck in classrooms being taught how to think and what to think.
Passion in learning in everything we do is just an everyday occurance for us and our kids.

rfs said...

@Monika-finding the thing(s) you can't not do- I like how you express it ! Lovely.
@Anon-You've got a lot to learn

rfs said...

@nettlejuice-love it!
@backyardfarms-Thanks for commenting! Passion is the key to true knowledge.

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Anonymous said...

Love this piece. So simple, yet so profound.

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