Monday, July 17, 2017
A note about unschooling. I had a long-time online friend express disappointment that we are no longer "unschooling." I think we must define unschooling differently because to me, I'm still offering resources to my children who are getting older. I still do a lot of child-led learning. But we have also discovered that they trust me to recommend things they'll need later on in life. Things like biology. Unschooling a five year old looks different than unschooling a ten year old or a fifteen year old. They eventually get bored with kitchen chemistry and crave more challenge. Or, as in the case with my little guy, we both agree that more structure will help him be happier and learn better, so the K12 is a good choice. If that's not strictly unschooling, that's fine. I'm not apologetic, because my kids' education is not about fulfilling some sort of arbitrary social definition. It's about helping them take ownership of their learning and also guiding them and offering resources and suggestions that they might need or want. Sometimes it's about convincing them that a subject they would prefer not to study is something they will be glad they learned later. To me that's just common sense, and the successful unschoolers who have gone before me whose blogs I read have done similar things. Instilling a delight in learning is the key, not withholding resources or merely playing in the dirt outside that should be the hallmark of unschooling, in my thinking.