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Currently Browsing: Unschool

Do You Strew?

One thing I love about being a homeschooling parent is that there always seems to be a never-ending stream of homeschooling styles, concepts or ideas that you have yet to explore – and I am always on the lookout for new ideas. So, recently I stumbled across a term that is closely associated with unschooling – strewing. I was like… What. Is. That? It was kinda a DUH moment for me because it really is such a simple concept it should have occurred to me before. Aren’t the best ideas like that???!! Completely over my head apparently… Strewing effectively boils down to leaving things out for your children that will draw their attention, and encourage exploration. Genius. We seriously have all kinds of cool things in our house that my children rarely mess with, and I think that the way I keep things tidily in their place is a deterring factor. Here are a couple of links that can explain strewing better. I could take the time to write more, but why would I when I can pass you along to someone who has already done it for me. 😉 If You Strew It; They Will Come Homeschool Strewing So, I have been making a nightly effort to strew before I go to bed… and the results have been awesome. Every morning when we come downstairs for breakfast, my kids seem to feel drawn to things that I have left out.   Our playdough strew. I printed off a couple of playdough mats (links found here), put out some plastic animals, sea shells, rocks and feathers to go with the playdough, and they just went with it.   I pulled out all of our nature study stuff, and put it in a big basket that is now sitting on our fireplace. I’ve been laying out some of our rarely looked at books, and utilizing some of those easy/fun projects that I am forever pinning that I rarely actually work into our school day…   Like painting salt with colored water on black paper.   Not every strew has been a winner, but I can always try it again later. 🙂 I’ve been working on a Strewing board on Pintrest. Check it out!... read more

A good idea gone bad or just a bad idea?

I am, what I would call, a committed homeschooler. I knew I would be homeschooling from the time that Haden was a baby. I have rather strong feelings about homeschooling and the public school system. My kids have never gone to public school, and if I have my way, they never will. It would take some very serious life hurdles to get me to even consider it. Never say never, but that is how I feel. That is truth. However…. I ran across the above quote from John Holt on a homeschooling Facebook page, and then subsequently ended up getting into a small online altercation with a woman that I am fairly convinced is a bit nutty. 😛 The quote, along with reader comments, has left my mind churning with this ideology that seems more and more prevalent over the past year. One, of which, I am not a fan. I obviously have no great love for the public school system. Anyone that gets me talking, will hear an almost endless list of my issues. But, the idea that we should just get rid of compulsory public schooling altogether… really?? THAT is the genius solution to our education problem? My thoughts are that not all children are so lucky to have parents as dedicated as the ones I am previleged to know, and for THOSE children the only form of positive guidance may come from school teachers. School may be the only chance they get in their young lives to be exposed to the possibilities that exist outside of their home life and their neighborhoods. That is a reality. It seems a bit naive to assume that taking away the compulsory public school system would benefit all children. Some would be irrevocably hurt. Am I missing something here? What are your thoughts? A good idea gone bad or just a bad... read more

Failure is not fatal…

Despite my  struggles with homeschooling Haden earlier this year, and my apparent inability to cope well with unschooling, the past couple months Haden has seemed to work his way out of his “funk”, and has become enthusiastic about learning again. This probably won’t come as a shock to anyone who has kept up with everything, but now that Haden is being more flexible, we have been moving away from unschooling to the extent that we have been. I feel like we are learning from each other, learning the boundaries between taking on too much, letting some things go, and pushing through when needed, and I have started to differentiate between when those things are appropriate. So yay for me! 😉 Our Tree of Courage. Don’t let the happiness of the moment fool ya though. About 30 seconds later, Haden snapped at me, I snapped back, he cried, we had to take a break from each other, and then we just went back at it later. 😛 “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston... read more

Nostalgic

I was feeling a bit nostalgic this evening while registering and printing out our reading log so that we can get started with the Six Flags Read to Succeed Program for this year. This time last year, we were in such a different place with our homeschooling. Haden actually enjoyed doing homeschool. We were starting our Willy Wonka Unit Study. We were still doing our Geography based cooking projects and doing Five in a Row Units. Homeschooling was fun. It is still fun. Some days. It is just different. I guess I am still coping with the changes that we have made and I am just not catching onto it the way that I had hoped. 🙁 I feel thankful for the homeschool co-op classes because they help me feel like we are somewhat holding things together, even if that is just an illusion. After this long holiday break, I am glad we will be back at them... read more

Experiential Homeschooling ;)

It seems that I may have finally worked past my feelings of stress and unease in regards to homeschooling and Haden. Within the past couple weeks I have really been seeing Haden grow into himself as an unschooler and I am starting to feel as if… Dare I say it? I am not ruining him. That he really will learn without me planning it all out for him and if I give him the freedom… he will thrive in his independence. It makes me smile to see him get excited about things he finds interesting. To ask questions about EVERYTHING. To repeat something that we talked about some time before. My children today have alternated between making a fort out of all our couch cushions and blankets. Repeatedly jumped from a mattress onto a mattress topper like a million times out in the garage. Explored trying to get up on high objects and jumping. Jumped over each other and on each other. Played outside. Dug in the dirt. Got way too messy for my tastes. 😛  Looked at pictures of superheroes on the internet. Looked through birth books at pictures. Listened to music and danced. And they fought!  I swear I spend half of my day refereeing between them.  I think the thing I appreciate most about homeschooling is the opportunity for togetherness. Strengthening our relationships and growing together, even when that means not getting along sometimes. Snuggling on the couch earlier while Addison drank some boobie milk, I talked with Haden about being thankful. I told Haden that I was thankful for him and Addison because I love them and they keep my life interesting. I told him that if Addison could talk I think she would say she is thankful for boobie milk. 😛 I asked him what he is thankful for and he said, “Love.” Recently there has been a couple of really great pieces on Unschooling in mainstream media. I am always happy to see anything about homeschooling in a positive light, so I thought I would share them. Clip One Clip Two I was chatting with my friend Stephanie the other night, about unschooling and she has coined the term Experiential Homeschooling as a substitute for unschooling. Experiential by definition means “based on observation and experience”.  I happen to think that is a perfect description for how I would like to see our homeschooling years play out. I find that there is stigma now... read more

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