Have You Ever Heard of "Unschooling"?
The beautiful Leigh over at the blog Marvelous Kiddo wrote in her bio that she was raised as an “unschooler.” A what? How had I not heard of this word in my 31 years? I’m familiar with home schooling, of course, because my mom home-schooled my sister, brothers and me for a short time, a fact that I still find amazing. (I was only home for a brief stint between moving from one school district to another, and though I give my mom props for doing it, I don’t think it suited me). But unschooling? I had no idea. So, fascinated, I googled it, and found this interesting definition from the site, unschooling.com …
“Have you ever described ‘red’ to a person who is color blind? Sometimes, trying to define unschooling is like trying to define red. Ask 30 unschoolers to define the word and you’ll get thirty shades of red. They’ll all be red, but they’ll all be different. Generally, unschoolers are concerned with learning or becoming educated, not with ‘doing school.’ The focus is upon the choices made by each individual learner, and those choices can vary according to learning style and personality type. There is no one way to unschool. Read, play, sing, dance, grow things, write. All of these things and more are things unschoolers do. We do them because they interest us and bring us joy or because they help us accomplish our dreams. We do the things that have meaning in our lives and contained within those activities is real learning.”
Interesting, right? I have to admit, though, as much as I dread the thought of my kids going off to school–I am secretly looking forward to it. For the most part, I thrived at school, and I hope my kids do too. Although you could call me a hippie mama in the traditional sense (breastfeeding, baby-food-making, baby-wearing, attachment-parenting (sort of), co-sleeping (the baby is in his own bed now, whew), I think I draw the line at home schooling. Because, heck, how would I ever teach anyone math when I’ve, um, forgotten how to do basic division? But, who knows. If I’ve learned anything about parenting, it’s that it’s a day by day, month by month thing.
What are your thoughts on homeschooling, unschooling, etc.?
[Photo: Lilivanili via Flickr]