What Life Learning looks like

So… a couple of posts ago, I wrote a ranty blog on how resentful I feel towards my education.

For now, Nick and I have decided upon a very relaxed form of homeschooling for Morgan and Joah.  There are other words for it… unschooling, world-schooling or life learning (I think I prefer the term Life Learning).  Does this mean we’ll *never* send our kids to a traditional school or university…  well, no… I’m not saying that (and besides, I don’t like saying “never” because I almost always end up swallowing my words at a later date).

Here are some great links to click on if you’re unsure or skeptical about this particular form of schooling.

What is unschooling? 

What is unschooling? #2

What is unschooling? #3

What is unschooling? #4

A day in the life of an unschooler 

By the way… this wasn’t some random decision.  This decision has taken us a long time (many months) of discussion… research… chatting to other parents who are walking a similar journey with their kids… more research… and more discussion (mostly with Nick) on what we do – and don’t – want for our kids.  I haven’t discussed it much in this blog – but I plan to discuss it a lot more.  We don’t want a “normal” education for our children.  We want them to LOVE knowledge and learning… and I really question whether our current system encourages that.

So – here’s what Life Learning kinda looks like (for our family).

They experiment…

They play…

They get active…

They get dirty…

They get wet…

They get creative…

They spend time with friends…

They try new things…

They invent their own games…

They visit cemeteries with their odd-ball parents…

They help us renovate…

They visit libraries…

They explore new places…

And they get to spend loads of quality time with their mom and dad…

Yip.  I think that… for now… it’s all good.  Life and learning are wonderful.  In the words of George Bernard Shaw:  “What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child”.

“Unschooling provides a unique opportunity to step away from systems and methods, and to develop independent ideas out of actual experiences, where the child is truly in pursuit of knowledge, not the other way around” (Earl Stevens)

10 thoughts on “What Life Learning looks like

  1. Fantastic! Good for you! I am NOT an unschooler, by definition, but I am for sure an alternative schooler with lots of US leanings, and ESPECIALLY for young children I think so much LESS is more on the hard core “education” front. They are completely built to learn if you foster the right environment and encourage them. You’ll grow and learn with them and you’ll find your path according to their needs as they grow. It’s a beautiful way to spend a childhood and they are NOT at an intellectual or educational disadvantage, this I know from experience. Kudos to you for being brave! Carry on!

    • Jenn – you are one of my favourite online ‘mentors’. I read SO many of your blogs (both on the education side and the Edventure Project side) – and most of what you write, I’m nodding my head and saying “yes! yes!”. Honestly, I don’t think I even want to label myself at this stage as either “homeschooler” or “unschooler” or anything in-between. I liked the term “Life Learning” though – and I liked what those links (I posted) said about the various and wide definition of unschooling (being different for each family). But I’m not a big fan of labels – so I hesitate to write “We are homeschoolers!” or “We are unschoolers!”… I think I’d just prefer to say that we are exploring a different route as far as education goes. I have no hard and fast rules at this stage… even about sending our kids to school (in the future). I know what I DON’T want… and I know what I DO want (for them). Mostly, I want to encourage their curiosity and creativity and questioning. I want them to love knowledge… love exploring… love learning… love discovering new things (I think our new life on the road will be hugely helpful in this regard). I also want to really encourage and support them in WHATEVER areas their gifts / passions / talents lie – whether they are creative creatures like Nick and I… or whether they’re more academic or sporty. I want them both to know that we support them wholeheartedly – whether they want to be a bohemian poet – or a rocket scientist. I’m enjoying this season in our lives… learning and playing together… and, mostly, the time we spend together as a family. Thanks, as always, for your encouraging response… and for being that person who “gets it”. I can’t wait to meet you in person one day!!!

  2. Mwah, so beautiful. Life learners and life livers ourselves, me and my son Rory, 8, Love this journey and I love the images you shared! So lovely….Here’s to being brave..or not…..and following your heart! Kiddos will bring that out in us won’t they! And love that you linked to the Natural Child Project….and all. Some fantastic conventions coming up this year….lots of Love, maggie

  3. Pingback: “Why is unschooling good? I need a reminder…” | Undogmatic Unschoolers

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