Unschooling came naturally for my little ones and actually for me, too, in my children’s younger years. There is always so much to do and see for young ones and they soak their world up like a sponge. Whether it was from books, the library, their endless questions that we took the time to answer in depth, or from good ol’ Legos…they were learning from their world around them and I felt good about it. I think a lot of traditional homeschooling families understand what I’m talking about here, because learning in the world outside of curriculum is a wonderful benefit of our homeschooling; but as they grew older, our anxiety would start to settle in.
Are they learning enough? Are they ever going to read? Are they going to ever learn math?
These questions and more loomed over my husband and I all the time, but we clung on to what we knew about how children learn best…and that is simply to let them learn by seeking out what they want to learn! Our children are educating themselves according to their own interests, covering various topics, and find learning enjoyable.
letting go of taking the reins in their learning is a lot easier said than done.
It isn’t easy to change what we’ve always done, but a very important process to being all we can be, is to be able to dissect into what we’ve always done and challenge it! Put some purpose on what we believe to be true.
So, when I would anxiously notice that one of my children wanted to play blocks instead of going over the alphabet, play PS3 instead of reaching for a book, or when one of my children still hadn’t a desire to read at age 9, I would remember why we were devoted to child-led learning in the first place, which is to let them find true learning without the interference of me...me teaching them what I thought they should know, regardless if they were interested or not. When I would feel fear, I would journal all that they were learning, loving, and passionate about, and these things were endless! I would pray for continued direction, and I would remember to fall in love with the journey, living and learning. Just like in parenting where quick-fix doesn’t work for the long-haul, unschooling is all in the journey as well. There is so much to do in the world that is full of learning. What do they want to learn? Find out each day. What do they want to do? Explore, live together, learn together…unschooling is about learning without fear.
Punished by Rewards and Teach Your Own were awesome books that were just the remedy when I would feel anxious. These books always kept me in perspective since I was going against mainstream. Not to mention deschooling myself was something I knew I needed to do, first, before ever approaching my children with my fears, in which I failed miserably at several times in our homeschooling life. But, I consider that all apart of the deschooling process, and it doesn’t take long before you see the amazing learning that goes on all without any prompting!
As long as we don’t squelch their love for learning, they will never stop, learning. The world is full of it and the main goal I have with my children is to always seek out answers for their questions and learn about this wonderful world God made. I have seen with my children that they view learning as apart of life and is as natural as breathing; and it is to be enjoyed…