Im hoping to keep track of some of everyone's activities as best I can, so if I run across a post or two that I think we would all benefit from reading, I'll be sure to post them in what we'll call "wrap ups". I know this is just the beginning, but already mamas are thinking, taking opportunities when otherwise they would be not. Here are a few of these posts:
- Gretchen shares a wonderful post about how a lunch date with daddy turns into a warm and talk about the finalito of life. If you get a chance, read her post.
- And Kelli shares a peek into one day when she stopped to take the time to follow her son's lead into math.
- Aimee has a great post about how to create a little bit of quiet in the afternoons with a preschooler.
- Bean shares a day at Keystone Canyon and the resulting discussion about geology.
- And finally, this post from Diane had me catching my breath. Although, Diane is not officially a participant of Summer Unschooling, she is an amazing unscholing mama and has agreed to be interviewed for this space. So, you'll be hearing more from Diane soon.
And finally, I got an email from Heidi, Ren's sister, and I thought Heidi shared a lot of valueable information with me. I omitted the first two paragraphs about "the controversy" because honestly, I think we all can see the other person's view and where they are coming from and I am so ready to move beyond that and start learning from each other. I loved that Heidi was open enough to share some examples of unschooling at work in her family. Here is some of what Heidi emailed me:
Just on a side note: Remember that sometimes kids are interested in one thing one day and not the next, just something to keep in mind. A lot of people think that unschoolers are just lazy parents but it's actually quite the opposite. Over the years I've learned that when a kid shows interest you have to jump on it at that moment because the moment may not be there tomorrow. So it's good to be aware of what your child is interested in but if you are making a list and then trying to do a project 1 month later your child many not be interested then. The other thing is are you choosing the project? Most kids naturally do "projects" on their own without any parent intervention.
I know you were wanting a dialogue from unschoolers about what unschooling looks like to them, etc. So I thought I would throw a couple examples out for you from our life: We were sitting at a stop light one day and my daughter was looking at the geese flying overhead. I could tell she was really studying them and I asked what she was thinking. She said, "Mom, have you ever noticed that they fly in a V shape. Why do they do that? That's so cool!" That led into a day of talking and researching why geese fly in a V formation.
Another example: My oldest son is really into politics. He participates in a weekly Teen Political Talk and there is always lots of conversation around the house because his political views are different from my own. My daughter has been listening in a lot and apparently became very interested in the Presidents. One day I noticed that while she was watching TV she was making a list of some sort. I looked and it was an ongoing list of all the Presidents. I asked her about it and she said she was just very interested in them. So I went and found a pile of books I had about the Presidents, one was little odd facts. Well, she studied that book and for the next three weeks told us all odd tidbits about each one. It sounded something like this for several weeks, "Did you know that James Madison ................?" We learned a lot too!
Yet another example: My son LOVES to build things! We have an old barn that is falling apart so I gave him wood, hammer, nails, and a crow bar to do whatever he wanted to that barn and asked if he wanted he could take the roof off and we will eventually repair it (the roof has to come off anyway). He built a ladder going up to the roof from a tree, added a "zip" line to the house that didn't work but he is determined to figure out a way.
And another: This same son loves birds and talked and talked about wanting a Macaw. We knew how much work they are and how much you need to know about them but he had done tons of research on his own and continued to hound us about getting a bird. So I called the Bird Adoption Club and got on the foster parent list. About a week later they had a Caique that needed foster care for one month. Perfect! We had him for one month, my son fell in love with him and he was up for adoption. We have now had that bird for one year and he does everything. To top it off he put his building talent to work and, with his dad, built a perch/playground for the bird.
Anyway, didn't meant to make this lengthy, just wanted to show you a little pie piece of what our lives looked like as unschoolers. We don't guide or prod, we just let them live their lives and we are here to have resources available for them and try to expose them to lots of new things when we can. Some days we sit around in our pajamas and do nothing, other days we are busy beavers. We don't judge either way, we live our lives as if every day is summer vacation. Make sense?
I do appreciate your reply and like I said before, I appreciate anyone trying to understand unschooling so their children can live better, happier, more fulfilled lives.
Thank you Heidi, and thank you all of you for reading and joining in.
Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section and with the new comments format, you can comment on someone else's comment. Which should be a nice way to dialogue.