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

Monday, February 24, 2014

Unschool Encouragement

Sometimes, as an unschool mom I need a little encouragement, a small reminder that says, "You are doing the best for YOUR child."

Seeing my daughter progress and learn on her own terms and love learning too, that is usually enough for me, but the days when I am really bummed and really wondering, "What if?" (Usually the days I go into my little brother's school and see all the "work" they do...) those are the days I need gentle little reminders that my child WILL thrive. She will flourish in whatever God has called her to do. She will be just fine!

Here are some quotes and encouragement I have found helpful. And in a few years, as I continue to see her flourish, I hope that I will not need these anymore. But for those of us who are still struggling to swim up stream, trying to unschool ourselves while we unschool our children, well, maybe this will help.

"Too much of what is being considered education in America is keeping busy for the sake of being busy. Monotony does not equal creativity. Repetition does not equal knowledge, and being busy doesn't always mean being productive." -Unknown

"There is no difference between living and learning... it is impossible and misleading and harmful to think of them as being separate.” ~ John Holt

"All I am saying...can be summed up in two words: Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves, and most of us were taught as children that we are not to be trusted." -Johl Holt

And lastly, 

"Birds don't go to flight school." -Linda Dobson

Also, just a quote on bedtime for those of us who extend our unschooling lifestyle into the bedtime realm. 

"I can't help noting that no cultures in the word that I have ever heard of make such a fuss about children's bedtimes, and no cultures have so many adults who find it so hard either to go to sleep or wake up. Could these social facts be connected? I strongly suspect they are." -Sandra Dodd

Lately we have been enjoying the fresh, warm outdoor weather. Samantha will not take the word "no" when it comes to going outside on a pretty day, and I can't say I blame her. I don't remember the last time I told her she couldn't when she asked. We have been enjoying her trampoline. It has provided the whole family with hours of fun and I expect that it will continue to. It has also provided her lots of gymnastics practice, which is what is important to her right now. We have also been focusing on our Geography Fair project about Oceans, which she enjoys. Other than that, we are just doing our own thing-most things on the trampoline like playing board games, reading Little House in the Big Woods aloud, and drawing pictures of nature as it peeks through in these ending days of February. All the while she is flourishing in everything she does. Not just in each "academic" area, but in everything she does. She is learning to read and understanding measurements and money better without any formal sitting down. We just measure things for fun and for things like cooking or cutting. We shop, look at prices, calculate totals, and pay for items. She is practicing her gymnastics so much she is mastering many skills in a short amount of time. She is learning to be a better friend when she sees her friends. She is being curious about God's world and trying to figure out the answers to her own questions. She is baking and cooking dinner with minimal supervision-of course, this is when she isn't outside. She is free to be her, and I like the her that is free. Such a joy to be around. 


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