Questions on learning

So.. continuing the conversation on [home][un][public] schooling..

I think the main reason I’m so interested or intrigued by the thought of unschooling now is because I feel like I finally starting to ENJOY learning recently, now that I’ve left all the institutions, and wonder why I didn’t enjoy it while I was in school.  Was it the schools?  Family? Lack of maturity?  At any rate, I now have the desire, but lack the time or the forum. Wondering how, as a mother, I can cultivate this desire in my children so that they can really enjoy the learning while they’re in the place for it.

Perhaps this is the question all mothers ask.

Jones just woke from his nap.. let’s continue the conversation, shall we?

3 thoughts on “Questions on learning

  1. I’ll just jump on in, though I missed out on round 1. I had similar thoughts about the first post on unschooling. There are just certain basic things that it seems valuable for all children to learn. Of course, one can teach them those things in a rote, boring, un-interactive way, or one can put thought, time, and heart into how to go about really gaining children’s attention and capture their imaginations (whether homeschooling mother or public/private school teacher). But children still need some structure and discipline–if they don’t learn to learn about some things they don’t want to, they will certainly struggle with lots of other things in life, jobs included.

    Example: I just began my new job working in a Therapeutic Preschool program for kids ages 3-6 who have been abused/neglected. Did I come into this job wanting to know about insurance policies? Or state food-handling standards? No, I took the job to work with and love on and help the children. But these and many other things make up necessary “extras” to the job, that will come back to haunt me if I don’t familiarize myself with them. I think it’s good to just learn how to learn, even how to study and self-teach, if that makes sense.

    And about this second post, I wonder: Don’t we all sort of rebel against anything we have to do because someone in authority tells us to do it?? Not gonna lie, I usually have an easier time doing something joyfully when I choose to do it vs. when I am asked/told to do it. Thoughts?

  2. Hi Jamie–

    I don’t think we’ve officially met, but I knew your husband a little, and “RT” is one of my dearest friends. Anyway…

    Homeschooling/Unschooling has been on my mind a lot lately, b/c my husband and I are seriously considering it for our son. (Which is something I always said I’d never do!) Yet as I began to see my stereotypes of homeschooling broken, my eyes were opened to all the possibilities of therein. We’re still not 100% certain that we’ll homeschool, but pretty serious about it.

    I certainly don’t have all the answers when it comes to unschooling. I, just like you, had never heard of unschooling until 4-5 months ago. And I, like you, had to do some research to even learn what exactly it was. My first reaction to it was similar to your other readers’ responses. But I guess I wonder now if it’s natural to have that first reaction to something that seems so foreign to our concept of “traditional schooling.” I personally don’t anyone who has been unschooled, and I would wager that few people do. So we don’t have anyone we can look to and say, “Look! Here’s an adult who was unschooled as a child and they turned out great.” Likewise, I think few people know anyone who is currently unschooling who could, therefore, give us a picture of what unschooling looks like day in and day out. The traditional model of schooling is so ingrained in our culture, so anything that seems to fall outside of that box probably would seem crazy at first glance, perhaps even irresponsible. Yet I keep going back to the idea that unschooling really embodies how we learn as adults, just like the quotes you had. I also love that unschooling embraces that concept that children have an innate desire to learn.

    That all being said, I personally don’t think I’d do “radical unschooling.” But if we do homeschool, we will probably incorporate some of the unschooling ideas into it, and our homeschooling will very loosely structured. You and I seem to be in sort of the same position right now–really taken and excited at the possibility of homeschooling. I’e found what’s helped me most is to continue to research, research, research. And also to continue to throw out all my misconceptions about homeschooling!! (I won’t go into all my sterotypes, b/c I’d probably offend the ones who actually fit the stereo types!)

    Here’s a great blog that I recently found:

    This blog is so insightful, plus hysterically funny. Just a couple nights ago, I archived her category of homeschooling and all her posts on the subject were so encouraging! You may enjoy it as well.

    Okay, sorry to be so long-winded! God bless you on your endeavors!

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