Children will learn everything they need without being forced if given the freedom to explore!
Shocking truth I know!! And totally “out of the box thinking”! But just consider for a moment the following statement;”
Pluto says this; “Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds.”
Children don’t need to be “Made” to learn!! For example, a baby who is learning to walk. They pull themselves up on anything within reach, fall many times, only to get back up and try again. Each time they become armed with a little more knowledge of the how to! However, because they are programmed with a love of learning right from the start; along a strong desire to do what others do, they will be energized to get’er done. And guess what, All without an adult to force them!! Instead, the parent allows freedom to explore their own limitations and aid the child within his/her interests! Facilitating an environment that aids in the child’s development and desire to learn. This is a form of unschooling.
All children will learn at different ages.. no one specified age should determine whether a child is mentally or physically ready to learn something. For example, in babies there can be a wide range of time where each individual will accomplish a different mile stones. My twins are an excellent picture of this!
I found it so amusing watching these two!! Its amazing just how early on you can see the female/male traits appear and how different their learning timing is.
Edith did all the relational mile stones early on, such as babbling, smiling, laughing. Ian however, didn’t do these things till months later! However he did start very early on with the physical and even problem solving traits that Edith is still not fully doing yet.
Further more, my first-born son was walking, climbing and just down right freaking this mamma out by the time he was 10 months old. In contrast, my 2nd son didn’t walk till he was 14 months. He was very cautious and still is.
I discovered unchooling by accident. I was pouring my heart out on a Facebook page over the anguish I was feeling in regards to how things were going in my house. Not only school wise but in our family dynamics as well. There just had to be a better way! I was desperate to find something different, as I was not happy with our current situation of “making” my children learn and my attempt at controlling them on every level like I thought I had to do. I longed for more freedom for all of us. A random stranger suggested I look into the philosophy of unschooling. A term I had never heard before.
“(Unschooling).. known as interest driven, child-led, natural, organic, eclectic, or self-directed learning..” John Holt
I dove into google with full force. I joined a ton of facebook pages and asked a ton of questions. On such a page was a beautiful, freedom thinking woman named Dayna Martin! She has a blog and a video explaining what unschooling is. You can watch it here .
I learned an incredible amount of information. And though family dynamics can vary from person to person, the resounding message I hear constantly is “relationship”. An ongoing relationship that aids a child in working out his/her own specific needs and interests. In other words, facilitating a learning environment by making available materials and access to educational aids to further develop the learning needs and interests of the child. To take pleasure from something is an incredible freeing force that allows organic learning to happen. It really took a lot of faith and trust at first to believe that learning will happen despite feeling like your not doing enough. But my children have proven time and time again, that if I will be a source of encouragement and support, the learning will happen in joyous ways. It’s truly amazing!
If your interested in discovering more freedom, check out these resources:
Pam Laricchia is a woman I have thou thoroughly enjoyed following: http://livingjoyfully.ca/blog/ She has an awesome Unschooling Journey blog I have enjoyed reading : http://livingjoyfully.ca/the-unschooling-journey-blog-series/
Dayna Martin’s blog: http://daynamartin.com/
Books I have not personally read but come highly recommended by the unschooling community:
- Parenting a Free Child by Rue Kream http://www.freechild.info
- Free to Learn & Free to Live by Pam Laricchia http://livingjoyfully.ca/books/
- Sandra Dodd’s Big Book of Unschooling http://sandradodd.com/bigbook/
- Any of John Holt’s Work http://www.johnholtgws.com/
- 101 Reasons I’m an Unschooler by PS Pirro http://amzn.com/B004QGYEYM
- Homeschooling Our Children, Unschooling Ourselves by Alison McKeehttp://amzn.com/0965780627
- Better than School by Nancy Wallace http://amzn.com/0943914051
- The Underground History of American Public Education by John Taylor Gatto, can be read online for free here: http://archive.lewrockwell.com/gatto/gatto-uhae-pre.html