When a person first starts into this unschooling adventure, they typically have a lot of school baggage clinging. One of the ways it rears it's ugly head is in the form of dividing the world into subjects.
Sure, a person wants to give their kids freedom, but they're still mentally checking of the subject boxes in their heads. "ooh, she/he played some monopoly,we'll call that math" and so on.
Real life can't be separated that way. Not really. It's so artificial. Math is history and history is writing and everything is connected. Heck, chocolate covers every subject on the planet, so where would you plug a study of chocolate in? :)
Unschoolers go about things the opposite of schools. We all embrace our passions and interests and "subjects" just naturally get covered as a side effect. When learning is the goal, then trying to find the math or reading or history is irrelevant.
That's our topic for September...natural learning.
Some ideas (but anything that inspires you on this topic is fair game!):
~How did you, as the parent, start to see the learning in everything?
~If your children went to school, how did they respond to letting go of the subject idea and learn to trust their interests?
~Show your family learning joyfully without the baggage of subjects.
~Talk about the rich and varied learning that happens when you don't try to separate the world into individual,tidy boxes.
Just some ideas to get you all started.....
You don't have to write a blog post specifically for the carnival (though that is ok too), you can simply swipe a post you think would work for the topic and email it to me. Or nominate another blogger that you enjoyed. Just get their permission first please.
All links need to be sent by August 30th, 2008! Thanks everyone.
Entries for September:
Katherine at Essentially Unschooling pontificates on the idea of naming our learning and whether there is a useful purpose for categorization of what we know.
Jules Adler of Black Locust Manor shares a beautiful story about "moving a mountain" and the power of a shift in perspective. Her son's interest in Anvils leads to a lot of learning that doesn't look like school subjects, but covers so much territory.
Gillian over at Intense Lives, refers to it as "Jambalaya Learning"
and describes how she learned to let go and trust the natural
flow of learning, rather than try to utilize all her homeschooling
study aids. She says "learning happens in a happy mishmash".
Michele at Natural Attachment talks about conversations with children born of authenticity and how to not get caught up in checking off subject boxes as you enjoy life. "Living life as though school (or any of its trappings) does not exist, is so free, joyful, organic and rewarding."
Natural exploration and curiosity lead to some physics experimentation at Melissa's Startling Lives.
In a second post, she talks about how lessons are unecessary for music to unfold and be enjoyed. Two different "subjects" without artificial borders!
Kim S. shares how learning happens in everything they do and dividing into subjects only happens in her head in order to help others understand. She bemoans all the back-to-school talk that she can't relate to when other parents get going.
Faith shares her own journey to leaving high school and how she realized the ridiculousness of school at a very young age.
Bekah still loves seeing the subjects but is trying to let things flow more as they delve into unschooling. Some beautiful photos of some chrysalis they found in their yard are shared also!
Bonnie at Follow That Dream doesn't have children but is learning about how SHE learns best. Her summer-long list of subjects and goals were approached in a more interest-based style and she discovers that learning is more layered and meaningful when one does something
for the pure joy of it!
This one is a rant I wrote over a year ago about the "uselessness" of grades" and other school baggage:
Sandra Dodd wrote about the connectedness of subjects at her site and
how she decided to never use subject names when interacting with her
child. There are a ton of really fun links to all sorts of related topics here: