Wednesday, April 25, 2012

We're That Family

Lately I've been hearing a lot about "unschooling." Afraid I was missing out on something important, I took it upon myself to Google "unschooling."

Watching the 1963 version of "Jason and the Argonauts" for Greek Mythology

Forget for a moment that the built-in spell check doesn't even recognize this word as one. Forget that the word "unschooling" sounds like some power-to-the-people-hey-I-don't-shave-my-armpits-hippie-free-lovin'-I-don't-remember-where-I-parked-my-Volkswagen kind of terminology. And try really hard to not think that "unschooling" may be just an excuse parents use to explain a child's unruly free-spirited behavior.

The boys rolling beeswax candles.

The official definition of "unschooling" is this: Unschooling is a natural learning method that is mainly based upon the life experiences that daily living provides.

Heather cooking lunch for Home Ec.
 That's it!?! You mean that everyday life experiences are considered school? Or unschool? Activities my children naturally enjoy or want to pursue are considered learning opportunities? Well, doesn't that make every parent (who is present in their children's lives) a homeschooling parent? Even if the kids get a more traditional education via the public school system?

Mandie learning to quilt.
YES. It does. Parents need to remember that learning starts at home. It starts at birth when the newborn learns which cry to use to be held, fed, burped, or changed. It continues during the toddler years when that same child is being trained to use the potty. Learning at home doesn't stop when the child goes to kindergarten; there are shoes to be tied, clothes to be put on correctly, even homework to be done. And as the parent of 5 adult children, the learning doesn't stop with them reaching the magical age of 18.

"Mom, how do you poach eggs?" 

"Dad, how do you rotate tires?" 

"Mom, why would the baby have a rash on her hand?" 

"Dad, how do I file my income tax return?"

Trust me, the learning process never ends. But now there's a term for it. And for once, I feel like I'm part of the in-crowd.

The Mister learning new nursing techniques~with his eyes closed.
 We're an unschooling family with homeschool tendencies.

We're that family.


Valerie said...

LOVE it! We are "that" family too! :-)

Carolyn Renee said...

We're not really into the official "schooling" part yet as DD is only 3, but like you said, EVERY day there is something learned. And I admit, the unschooling term does seem kind'a hippy-sounding, but I have a feeling that is the way we'll be going. We have plenty of books, plenty to see/learn/do outdoors and much more to find out just in our local community.

MamaTea said...

Love this post! And I wish more people would "get" that THAT is what unschooling is. If I have one more person tell me we aren't unschooling because our math is from a curriculum...because that is what WORKS for us...I think I'll throw up. :) Great post!!!

Mountain Home Quilts said...

Learning to do things with his eyes CLOSED? Now that is talent. :)
We're that family too. Haha, I can just hear the comments now from those other people........"Oh, yes, they're THAT type of family." Which really means, "Oh yes, those folks are weirdos." LOL

Kim said...

We use a math curriculum too~we also use a book for grammar (with worksheets) and a history program that is literature based. I'm amazed at how much the kids retain from just everyday life!!

Update: My Mister who spent the day studying (with his eyes closed) got a 97% on his test! His technique may be outside the box, but it brought great results! :)

Candy C. said...

Good for you guys for being THAT family! I love all the unschooling pictures! :)

Carol J. Alexander said...

Excellent. Love it. Well said. What more can I add? Not a thing.

Prairie Cat said...

Loved the photos of all of the different activities going on at your house!

Can I come 'unschool' over there, too? It looks like a lot of fun! :)

Kim said...

C'mon over!