Unschooling Moments

I have grappled with unschooling. In some ways I see it really working well for us, but in other ways I don’t think it is enough. I approached preschool through unschooling and my children were very well prepared for Kindergarten. I like the idea of unschooling after preschool, but the times I have tried it have left my son unfulfilled. I unschooled my oldest son for the second half of Kindergarten and discovered that my son needs new ideas presented to keep the learning process going. He can expand on new ideas and explore on his own at that point. My other son typically needs direct instruction to facilitate learning. While unschooling isn’t the perfect solution for us, it is not without it’s presence in our home. Some unschooling moments might be:

  • my children exploring a nature website for hours
  • my children delving into newly acquired library books
  • my children running outside at night to explore constellations
  • my children making a book with pictures and words
  • my children writing letters to someone
  • my children posting on their blog
  • one child reading to the other
These unschooling moments are moments initiated by my kids. When they get into something I try to adapt our school day and let the unschooling moments take the place of regular schooling. As my children grow and I learn more about their learning styles I can figure out how to incorporate more self-motivated learning into their days. After all, passing on a love for learning is my main goal in homeschooling.

2 Comments:

  1. Glad to find someone like-minded, and I agree with Phyllis too.

    I’m also an eclectic homeschooler. We love learning outside the square (kids 4 and 5), but I can’t do purely unschooling either. I have learned a lot from my reading about Natural Learning … it makes sense of a lot of what I do (and did as a creative classroom teacher), but I also don’t want to be defined or limited by it. I value parts of other methods too. Though there are some purists here, many local NL’s seem the same, and use NL/US as just part of a rich mix to suit their own family. It took me a few months to sort out my thoughts on why I do what I do! I’m glad to get on with things now, it’s been an exciting year so far!

  2. I can really identify with this post. Although some aspects of unschooling appeal to me, my kids want direction and guidance. A blend of my guidance and unschooling seems to work the best for us, too. It is a shame that unschoolers seem to want to reject anyone who is not a purist. Keep up the good work and do what works best for you and your family!
    -Phyllis

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