Thursday, October 6, 2011


Wikipedia describes "Unschooling" in the following way...

Unschooling is a range of educational philosophies and practices centered on allowing children to learn through their natural life experiences, including play, game play, household responsibilities, work experience, and social interaction, rather than through a more traditional school curriculum. There are some who find it controversial.[1] Unschooling encourages exploration of activities, often initiated by the children themselves, facilitated by the adults. Unschooling differs from conventional schooling principally in the thesis that standard curricula and conventional grading methods, as well as other features of traditional schooling, are counterproductive to the goal of maximizing the education of each child

I have never claimed to be an "unschooler" although I do subscribe to some of the philosophies of learning through every day experiences. I, however, have not been able to let go of the more traditional approach. Now, we are far from the textbooks and grades type of traditional but we are also far from the true idea of unschooling. I guess we are quite an eclectic mix of many styles of education and I find it's different with each child.

Anyway, with all that said, we have taken much more of an "unschooled" approach the last week and if this is how it works, well, I think I like it. Just a few highlights...

We explored mushrooms in the front yard.

Planted some junipers to help stop erosion. Daddy talked to the boys about photosynthesis too.

Played a great new game, "Wits and Wagers" (review coming in a few weeks)

It was great for so many things, but the most obvious was number writing.

Molly and Zach made books and practiced handwriting, spelling and language/grammar, and this was all their own idea!

We took a field trip and learned about all kinds of things relating to farming.

Zachary made LOTS of robots

And turned himself in to one.

We did some container gardening and are attempting to grow some fall veggies (I do NOT have a green thumb, so we shall see). More learning about photosynthesis and just where our food comes from.

Both boys picked up countless books and read and learned about all kinds of things. Zach begged me to let him read a chapter book so we found one he can handle, "Fantastic Mr. Fox" by Roald Dahl (we love his books). He also found a "knock-knock" book that he won't put down and he has us all cracking up!

And we even got some baking in.

So, we covered quite a bit over the last week, and nothing was "planned" by Mommy. So, next week we will go back to our workboxes, but I am even more intrigued by "unschooling" and I may start adding in a "planned" week of "no plans" and try our hand at a little more unschooling.

Do any of you "unschool" your kiddos? What does it look like in your home? I would love to hear about it!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Our Homeschool Reviews said...

All great stuff! I wouldn't say I unschool but we do many hands on type, crafts, sewing, gardening, field trips, etc. :)

Jesse said...

Looks like a wonderful week. I find that when I don't overthink things, my kids come up with a lot of amazing stuff on their own, too. When I step in and try to make it "school" well, it just doesn't work quite the same.

Mozi Esmé said...

Those cookies look very creative. I kind of like unstructured school! My ideal school life would be to surround us with books and read for hours on end, taking breaks to go play. Though a little part of me wishes we could stick to a schedule and do math every morning from 10-10:30...

Giggly Girls said...

What a great week!!!

I've never tried unschooling, I'm not sure it's in my nature lol, but you sure are enticing me to try it for a week and see what happens.

A Dusty Frame said...

Like Giggly Girls, I don't think it's in my nature either;0!
However, I'm working at being more relaxed this year so I should give it a try;)!

Lizzie TOS Crew

Cristi said...

It often amazes me the things that my kids find to learn when I'm not in charge and trying to spoon feed them facts.

Jean said...

So cute! Amazing how much they can learn, just exploring life.