Unschooling: Living Without School; Living Free Range-Freedom to Learn What One Wants When One Wants

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


The more I read and learn about homeschooling, the more I lean toward doing something I said I would NEVER in a million years do. (Which I also said about homeschooling too, by the way.) And that is UNSCHOOLING. I used to think Unschooling was the Devil and it meant that you were failing your children and just being lazy, but that is not true. I have checked out some books at the library and did a little reading online too, and even talked to some unschoolers, and I think unschooling is an amazing idea, at least for the first few years. 

Unschooling is not a specific mold. It is learning through life experiences and using what works and chucking what doesn't. Basically, what we have been doing the last few years! And Samantha has learned so much! This girl could tell you where the Probiscus is on a butterfly. And where most of her bones are! Just through living life, telling me her interests, and allowing me to help facilitate! (Just like we did with her butterfly interest, which has now led to an interest in flowers.) 

We are still doing a lot of activities, just different types while we are staying with my grandparents. She is learning a lot about family togetherness. She gets a lot of time with my grandparents and Aunts and she Loves it. She is learning to tolerate the change. She has been so good! She is having to learn to get creative without a lot of toys. And it has been nice that we don't have a lot of chores and such to do around the house or many bills, except groceries while we are here, which means more family outings, especially to the beach, where she has learned a lot about constructing sand castles, mixing the water and sand, and experimenting with different stuff she finds there. Oh, and of course about swimming! On top of that, although she may or may not remember it, she has seen a lot of the home buying process! Whew. She has learned so much and had such rich experiences in the past few weeks. And here I was thinking it was just time wasted! 

I read one book, Christian Unschooling, actually started it yesterday and I am about to finish it today, and it challenges you to write down all that you do in a day that has some sort of educational value. it really made me feel good once I thought about it. Now obviously our activities are limited without all the art materials and such that I usually have, which are temporarily packed up, but we have managed to stay fairly busy and continue our learning. So, as of 3 o'clock today, we have: 

1. Painted an art t-shirt. Mixed colors and talked about how two colors together makes a different color. (Art)

2. Played Starfall.com She worked on some reading and math games and also completed an "About Me" section, where she thought about how she looked and the things she liked. (Reading and Language Arts and Math)

3. Played in the swimming pool and she initiated an experiment with the toys in there to see which ones float and which ones sink. (Physical Education and Physical Science)

4. Talked about the parts of a flower. Started a flower book with pressed flowers. Started a Plant Experiment-Collected Soil and Planted a Seed in a Plastic Bottle-so we can see the root system (Life Science)

5. Drew pictures of the family. (Art and Social Studies)

5. Read books. Some of the books were flip books for younger children, so I modified them by working on addition and subtraction in the numbers section. (Reading and Math) 

6. Looked up Dr. Jean songs on You Tube (Music and Technology)

7. "Fished" in the bathtub with a homemade rod. (Imaginative Play)

Then, if you want to get technical, we worked on Home Economics when we cooked and did a few household chores, like laundry and making the bed. Pretty much everything we have done has been educational, aside from having my Nana cut her hair, watching the movie Tangled, eating, and now she is napping. :) 

Tonight, I know she will have some free play, maybe draw some more, read a Bible story, talk about that, read some more books, take a bath, and maybe watch an educational show. I would say she is learning a lot through life. And pretty soon she will have her own backyard to make discoveries in, and even a stream on our land! And hopefully, fingers crossed, she will be learning about the pregnancy and fetal development in the next few months! 

UPDATE: And to top the evening off, after noon we treked to the local Battlefield where we took a walk, collected things from nature, observed the deer, and looked at some historic monuments and read stories about the battles that took place there. (Physical Education, Earth Science, Life Science, and History)