Sunday, April 09, 2006

Unschooling Questions again

  1. Unschooling my child(ren) has enabled me to see ________
  • That learning doesn't occur the same way for every kid.
  • That learning is most often a matter of planting seeds and watching some take root and flourish almost on their own. It is not so much a factory progression -- addition here, times tables here, algebra at the end of the line. At best, the artificial progression follows or guides the natural one, and I think that can often be the case, but sometimes it gets in the way.
  • That the bottom line of learning is relationship and connection -- with the knowledge, with the teacher. Trust is important. The trust ought to be reciprocal.
  • That "safety" is necessary for learning. Civilization doesn't emerge until the people are winning the struggle for bare survival, until they have some energy reserves left over for creativity and development. Similarly, children who are intimidated and threatened will not have reservoirs left for intellectual flourishing. Kids like me who felt intimidated in school, but were relatively secure at home, will compartmentalize their learning -- do the minimum to get by at school and save all their real learning for the afternoon and evening hours.
  • That even if you don't teach your children or set them down with lessons, they will learn. They learn from everything. They learn "meta-lessons" from the way they are taught, too.
  • In fact, even if you do formally teach, at best this will be only the tip of the iceberg. The bulk of what makes them successful learners is what you do informally.... talking, reading, talking, listening, talking, sharing experiences.... hugging, guiding, bracing, praying, life lessons, family ways. The bulk of the learning curriculum goes on outside the lesson plans.

2 comments:

Karen E. said...

Willa,
This is beautiful ... especially the last paragraph, which is pretty much my educational philosophy in a nutshell. :-)

Ron R said...

Loved it. Read it when you left the comment. Loved it again now.