Many people ask me this time of year if we've started our school year yet. The truth is, we don't really have an ending so we don't really have a beginning either. Our learning never stops. And honestly, schooled kids are no different - I just think we look at learning from different points of view.
However, we have been doing a little more ebbing than flowing lately so last night, I asked the kids if there was anything they'd like to learn more about. They were quick with answers.
me: What about animals?
6yrDD: Everything!! And weather!
me: Ok, we can work on that.
8yrDS: Mom, I want to learn about atoms.
me: (eyebrow lifting) Ummm...you should talk to your father because you already know more about atoms than I do. We'll work on it.
I turned to the 4yr old: And what would you like to learn?
4yrDD: I want to know how to draw my letters. Like S and W.
me thinking: Hmm, it's nice when they ask you.
So I suppose a trip to the library is due.
6yrDD has found a game on Webkinz that allows you to create dialog for animated creatures in order to write your own story. She loves it! The interesting part is that it has a built-in spell checker and she has spent the morning asking me how to spell words. It led to a great discussion on contractions. And she told me that she needs to practice spelling words.
To a parent of a 6yr old schooled kid, you might think, "Ok, so my kid has spelling words every week too." The difference with unschooling is this: *she* told *me*. I didn't tell her. Therefore, the drive is within her. She wants to learn this and because she has the desire, she will be more motivated and will probably learn it in a shorter amount of time than most of her schooled peers.
"What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child." - George Bernard Shaw