We attempted and ( from what I thought) gave unschooling a good try. I sort of tweaked things ( as I always do with so many things in our lives) to suit/meet our needs. It really never caught on with my boys, there were no sparks, no "aha moments" etc... that you hear from so many- how it totally transforms you lives and gives your children more control etc.. nope, not any of that.
My youngest said it felt odd and all "sloshy"~ I think we were doing something wrong. We weren't doing it our own way~
I read a bit on it - not a ton but thought I would just give it a try and see where things lead us. I thought to myself how the boys SO enjoy taking a topic and kind of hopping on all these "bunny trails" as homeschoolers have called them, so I thought I must be on the right path. Now I am not exactly so sure~
After reading this recent post from Robin about a new book she had entitled " Radical Unschooling: A Revolution Has Begun" by Dayna Martin. I read over Robin's thoughts and then what really made me starting reflecting even more is some of the questions she asked the author about Radical Unschooling.
I have had a few experiences with the Unschooling Community and I have to admit they have not been as positive, but I wasn't going to let that stop me because I really was intrigued with the ideals and could very much relate to the writings of John Holt and a few others.
My experience with many ( but certainly not ALL) unschoolers has been a mindset of having to follow their own ideas completely. ( A "their way or the highway" kind of mentality that quite honestly I just could not handle) I think any kind of closing of the mind, hinders learning and is not very helpful or productive at all.
As Dayna recommended ~ Keep looking for your Tribe. I most certainly intend to do so~
Early on, I had joined some unschooling groups just to learn and listen to parents but I often found their ways were not always my own and many were very judgmental and harsh to those trying to learn and understand.
These have been my own personal experiences.
So you can imagine how I might re-consider or reflect on how we do things at home as I read the answers Dayna Martin gave Robin ( the post's author) I was intrigued, excited and I really think shocked all at the same time.
some notes/ thoughts I have;
I kind of feel like "wow, could I have been possibly following many of these ideals/methods all along?
As we have moved along in our homeschooling journey we have made a big shift from the "teacher and trainer" approach to the "facilitator and partnership" approach a while ago, it has been the best thing I could have done so far in our homeschooling. I have often talked about this before and how many really don't quite understand the concept and I realize that~ showing examples of this has been the best way for me to show what I do and how I do it. We don't have to be the "know all" and "all knowing" person in their lives, you can explore and learn together~ it makes for a much richer education and learning environment.
I am thinking that this could be one of the most important posts I have ever written. Because it reflects the core of learning and education.
a quote from Dayna - "Radical Unschooling is not for the lazy parent. It is an involved, connected role facilitating your child's interests while giving them all of the resources at your disposal to expand on their interests."
This is really SO true~ anyone can pick up a book/program/text and follow along like we have been taught in school for so many years. Responding to our children's needs and interests takes much work and time ! Not an easy job~ !
another quote from Dayna - " It is about free choice of all that the world offers - this can include school as well."
I really found this so liberating don't you? I think the more I read her words the more intrigued I became. I hope to be able to pick this book up very soon and try to understand more. I suppose I feel like she is speaking my language. So many times I felt like we never "fit" into so many places, then I realized it isn't about "fitting" its all about doing your own thing and doing what works for your children, EVEN when at times it may not work completely for you~ ( the whole walking a tightrope thing I talk and refer to about so many times.)