Friday, June 17, 2011

Living Simply ~ Unschooling

Today I am going to touch on a subject that has been on my heart for some time: unschooling. I have been feeling more and more drawn to unschooling my children. Unschooling doesn't mean "no school", it is rather child-led learning. There is a great new Catholic book available about unschooling and being Catholic.
I have been reading a copy of "the unschooling handbook" that I borrowed from the library to learn a little bit more about the concept of unschooling. I also happened upon a few good Catholic unschooler blogs:
Unschooling Catholics

Living Without School

The concept of unschooling is very appealing to me. I have tried to teach the kids things that were on other peoples lists and keep up with rigorous schedules, to only drop them after a few months. Every fall we get off to a great start, are burnt out by Christmas, hate school for a few months and then scramble to meet outcomes presented to us by our school board. The result has been burnout, sense of failure, arguements and threats to send the kids to "real school." If unschooling can reverse at least a few of these negative reactions to school as we have been doing it, it will be well worth it.

I am a schooly type person, though. How can I let go of all of what I know? I don't have to luckily, because my kids are schooly-types, too. They like to research and do unit studies and lapbooks. This makes it easier for me. They want to learn all sorts of neat things, just not the things that I pick out for them. We did more school this week, than all year it seems like.

This week we:

prayed together
cooked and baked
pulled weeds
planted onions
pushed the baby on the swing
rode bikes
went for walks
mowed the lawn
built mecano without instructions
started a study on horses
found Egypt on the map
read two different stories about the Trojan horse
researched keeping quail
researched keeping angora bunnies
contacted a breeder of both
baked brownies
made homemade pizza (grain-free)
sewed a bonnet
made a hobby-horse
read horse books
did lots of dishes
read rtv catalogues
started a pig lapbook
read pig farming books
started a unit on farming
PAT testing
went to the library and signed out tons of books
played Wii
looked at sewing books with lots of great projects
daydreamt about farming and being self-sufficient
laughed and joked
cried and fought
and lots of other things that I have forgotten. Btw, the list is a compilation of everyones' learning adventures for this week.

Thank you for stopping by and God Bless.

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