I have read many of John Holt's book, including How Children Learn and How Children Fail, and I enjoy reading about his theory's on unschooling. I agree with many of his views.
I am currently reading "Homeschooling Out Children, Unschooling Ourselves" by Alison McKee. It is a good book so far, even though I generally don't like the "autobiography-type books.
At the beginning of chapter 2 in the book, there is a quote from John Holt...There was a teacher "so obsessed with the right answer hidden in her mind, that she could not think about what (the student) was really saying and thinking, could not see that his reasoning was logical and correct." --John Holt, How Children Fail
As many of you know, we are unschooling Samantha, and right now she has chosen to work on the solar system. We have been doing several experiments and projects, talking about the moon and the stars, the sun, and all the planets.
This is where I am getting with all this...Wednesday, Samantha and I were in the car, and we were talking about shadows. I asked her what caused a shadow. She answered accordingly. Then she noticed there there was a big truck with a BIG shadow. And my small car had a SMALL shadow. I thought I would expand on this, so I asked Samantha, "Who do you think would make a bigger shadow? You or me?" Samantha replied without skipping a beat, "Me!" I just laughed and replied back, "Oh yah, how is that?" "Because I would be standing CLOSER to the sun."
I never in a million years would have considered her answer correct if I didn't decide to ask her why. But she is correct. If she were standing a lot closer to the sun somehow, she would make a bigger shadow. And now I truly know that she picks up so much, not only from the world around her, but from the little experiments and activities we do. Who knows where she got that from. Did I "accidentally" teach her? Or did she figure it out on her own? We hadn't gotten to that experiment in her "kit" yet.
Her comment really reinforced my want to unschooling. Although I started doubting it, because at one point we were not working on any current interests, I soon realized that I was the reason. I was not helping to facilitate her interests because I was wrapped up in my own little world with the house and the whole baby thing. But once I helped her find her resources...well, she hasn't stopped going since.