Thursday, January 25, 2007

Unschooling (getting it)

Yesterday, Olivia spent a good part of the day playing on the Nickjr website. She played Dora, Diego, Backyardigans, a Robot game, and a few more. She didn't want to leave it all day. I asked her several times if she was hungry, and she said no. Finally, I had already made her some eggs and toast, I brought it to her, and she ate it while playing the games. She also did this with lunch. I kept checking on her, and she needed help a few times, when she would accidently right click, but otherwise she played with it for probably several hours. Then, at bed time, she again wanted to play with it. It was already 8pm and I was thinking, but she really needs to go to bed. So I asked her if she was getting tired, would she like to hear a story, and again, she said no, she wanted to play with the computer. Even though I could tell she was getting tired, I let her play and told her I was going in the other room with her sister to read some stories. I left her and Violet and I went and read American Girl's Emily, about an English girl in America during WWII. We were reading the part where her parents leave her on a train to get away from the bombing and to leave for America, where she would be safe (with Molly's family). I mentioned it was just like when the children in Narnia left their mom for the war. Violet then said, yes mom, I think it is the same because it was during WWII and they were bombing London. Mmmm, she already knows WWII history....and she didn't learn it in a textbook. Earlier, when I walked in the room, she was playing with her Bratz laptop. She said to me, "Mom, this has a lot of math in it." I said, "Oh, are you learning a lot of math? It's not like the textbooks is it?" She said, "No it's fun, hey mom, I like math!" This is a girl, who after 1 year of charter school, hated math! Since we've decided to unschool, I have completely backed off of math, and allowed her to lead me in her interests be it just doing art all day, playing nintendo, watching Avatar, or whatever, and she is discovering that she enjoys it and wants to learn it (math). My mom has been playing store with her, a game she loves to play since she was very young. Last time, she was there, mom gave her a check register and showed her how to use it. Again, learning math in a fun way. As I trust the unschooling philosophies more and more, I see almost on a daily basis how it is working for us. I learn so much from reading the Unschooling Discussion lists and links provided there. I have also read quite a few books that have inspired me, and just felt "right" to me, as I read them.Back to Olivia.......she came in about 15 minutes later. No fighting, crying or trouble about going to bed. She was ready. Again, it's the peaceful, joyful parenting I've been reading on the message boards that is helping us live a more joyful life.


DaikiniCrossroads ~Crystal~ said...

You've been tagged! Go to Crystal's blog for instructions.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I have never heard of unschooling. Sounds interesting!

I am assuming it is similar to homeschooling?

Mandy said...

No, actually it's very dissimilar to homeschooling, or "school at home". There is no curriculum, and often no structure. There are many books and articles and websites about it. But to sum it up, I would say it is listening to your child's interests and following those interests, providing a rich environment for exploring and learning about those interests. Sandra Dodd has a lot of good resources, check her out on my sidebar if interested.