Two days ago we wrapped up our official school year and the boys thought they started their summer vacation. The official school year has wrapped up, but schooling never stops. While school does consist of formal lessons and some structured activities that is not how I define school. School is about learning and learning isn’t restricted to certain hours of the day. So basically we have just eliminated structured learning to move into full-time unschooling for the summer.
So what does unschooling look like for us during the summer? It is basically what happens after school hours in our house with a little more effort on my part. I surround them with tempting books and DVDs from the library. I typically head to the library once or twice a week to stock up. I place the books and DVDS in easy to access places for my boys to enjoy. I may structure our day somewhat such as letting them know that we will go outside to play in the morning or that they can play on the computer after lunch, but I don’t determine what subjects they study or even make them sit down and read. In the past few days I have learned that my younger son has an interest in the Middle Ages so I found a bunch of books on knights and castles for him. My older son loves science and wants to learn about chemical elements so I found a DVD chemistry series for him at the library. I often choose books on topics they haven’t shown any interest in as well. They may not even look at some of the books that I bring home, but at the same time the books or DVDs may awaken an interest in a new love.
I believe in unschooling and it definitely has a place in my overall educational philosophy. I will enjoy watching my kids learn and explore new topics and ideas as we head through the next 6-8 weeks.