"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Monday, 11 February 2008

One year on,Unschooling,radical unschooling or just living and learning

It is just over a year since we set out on our unschooling journey, and what a ride it has been!!

In that time we have grown in so many ways and the exciting thing is I know there is more to come.

I have been thinking a lot about unschooling,and radical unschooling and have decided that putting a label on what we are doing is not helping.

What we are doing is somewhere between the two camps .In time we may find ourselves more in the radical unschooling area but equally we may find that we are still somewhere between the two. It may be that radical unschooling for all it's appeal may not work for us.I want to get to a place where I can feel comfortable that we as a family are doing what is best for us and that may not have a label.

I can see how we have developed over this last year, I feel so much more comfortable with the approach we are taking.Emily's growth has been immense.

Over time the anxiety I have had over TV time has eased as I began saying yes more and she began to choose to switch it off and do other things . Emily being in control of what and when and how she learns is absolutely the best thing for her.Over the year as I let go of the expectation of what learning looks like and what constitutes learning ,I have seen her learning and growing .As we move into our second year I can see a difference in her. She is starting to take an interest in things and research info, now at this time it may be about finding Animal pictures or TV shows like Primevil and Dr who or pop group Mcfly but the process is in place and as time goes on I see it expanding to the other things that interest her whatever they may be.Why wouldn't it ? There is no pressure on her to do anything other than what interests her and as time goes on she will stop seeing things as "School" subjects and see them just as things she is interested in.

I think my growth has been slower,although I have still learned along the way.I have learnt not to take the knock backs to suggestions I make of things to do as the proof that she will never want to do anything I offer up and have just kept on offering and had a wonderful time when those suggestions have been taken up.I have learnt that knowledge does not have to be gained in concentrated sessions, bits and peices come together to form a bigger picture.I have learnt how important play is to Emily and I am even more keenly aware of the lulls when she appears to be doing nothing but is in fact assimilating knowledge. I think I have hindered myself by putting too much emphasis on the direction we are going in and not just enjoying the journey and accepting change as it happens when it feels right. My own work over the coming months has to do with adopting a more mindful approach to life in general but in my relationship with Emily in particular, I want to adopt more
peaceful parenting methods Over the last year I have found renewed strength to stand out from the crowd because of my beliefs,In the future, so long as what we are doing is not infringing on any one else's freedom, I want to continue to be able to make a decision based on my own beliefs and boundaries and not because I fear what others may think. Now that would be some growth for me!!!!

I went up to have a meditation tape this afternoon whilst my Mum and Dad were her looking after Emily and I got all settled down and the Cd player stopped working.I was miffed but couldn't be bothered going down for more batteries so I got out my little meditation book by White eagle and just flicked through the pages until it felt right to stop and the first sentence on the reading and meditation was "Do not be confused by words or the opinions of others"and further on in the reading "The power which comes to you in the secret chamber of your heart is the power which will feed you and help you to perceive the truth of life"
We are trusting that Emily will learn what she needs to and we are living and loving life.Along the way things will evolve and change,we will know what feels right for us.We don't need labels on what we are doing it can get confusing.

Here is a picture af a little girl who is very much enjoying being in her PJ's at 4 in the afternoon bouncing with gay abandon on her trampoline with not a care in the world


My name is Stacie. said...

I don't like labels either. We are somewhere between relaxed homeschooling and unschooling. We have been homeschooling for almost 2 years now, but only just begun leaning toward unschooling. I don't think being radical would work for us, but I am not ruling anything out. My husband is not really into unschooling, but he trusts me. He has been teaching the math for most of our HSing time. He and Levi both love math and I do not. They use a workbook,and Levi loves it. I teach him some rules of grammar and spelling, but no longer force it. We do games and make it fun. And I make him take showers and brush his teeth, so I guess I wouldn't be considered radical. Okay, so now I am leaving my life story in a comment, so I'd better stop typing. Talk to you later! :-)

Lynn said...

It took me a while to realise that attempting to put a label on was causing a lot of the problems for me.Trying to fit in to what unschooling or radical unschooling looked like and even though I had read so many times about finding your own way, it took time to sink in!!!! I suppose you need some kind of framework when you first start out on a new way of life and I have found as my confidence has grown I am building my own frame rather than relying on someone elses.XX

My name is Stacie. said...

although building one's own framework is time consuming and at times difficult, it is in the end intensely satisfying. i can't wait until i can rest in my own framework.

piscesgrrl said...

Congrats on one year!