1 February 2010

unschool monday :: how owlets learn...

Well since its back to school week for many this week, I thought I'd start a little Monday series on our learning adventures. I hope you'll follow along and that I can answer any questions that arise... Our penchant for choosing the road less travelled led us to home learning rather than school for our owlets. Big owlet attended a lovely steiner kindy and we found many of the principles of steiner suited us beautifully, but some didn't... So we take some of our favourite elements from that and call ourselves steiner inspired natural learners, or unschoolers. We don't follow a particular curriculum, but we follow the owlets interests, the rhythm of our home life and the rhythm of the seasons. They learn because they want to and because that's what children do. They learn all the time, through doing, and living and just being...

My neighbour asked me if we had holidays and stopped learning over the summer, a question we've been asked lots. When we reply "no", we are usually met with a look of concern, but then go on to explain that we don't really have anything to be on holidays from. Unschooling is a lifestyle choice, that's for sure. Like I said to my neighbour who has a one year old son, you wouldn't say "no, darling, we're not learning to walk today, we're having a day off..." You can't stop it. It happens naturally, all the time. And so our days are varied. Some busy and full of activity. Some are slow and restful. Learning happens at 8am around the breakfast table, or on the way to bed... in the car, the supermarket, the beach... wherever, whenever. We learn from nature, from the world around us. Collecting seaweed at the beach or counting the steps in the backyard and jumping two at a time. It requires a leap of faith and a large amount of trust in your children and that they will learn what they need... and they will, while their needs are met. Its what we've been doing since they were born. What we do then is sit back, watch and enjoy the ride.


  1. Absolutely, let them guide us parents!! My 4 go back tomorrow so i can't wait to find out what they have learnt, new friends & teachers. My guys are naturally creative & inquisitive, school holidays are basically me answering a gazillion questions or showing them how to find out. Love Posie

  2. Thank you! You are very inspiring!
    We're soon to be heading off on a big trip around oz in our caravan. I've been unsure about the boy missing kindy and maybe the start of school, but this post is helping me realise that they're gonna learn so much on this trip, just like they do every day :)

  3. Your unschooling journey is always so inspiring. Thanks for sharing. :-)

    My husband and I have been talking a lot lately about how we will school our kids (when we have them!!) and because of your blog I've learnt about unschooling and it is something we're very much considering!

    Thanks again,


  4. I always laugh when we get the "holidays" question! I'll look forward to hearing more about your unschool adventures!

  5. Thankyou for sharing how your owlets learn. i've only recently become familiar with the term natural learning and can really relate to it. Learning is what we do at home all day as we go about our chores and play.

    I do go off to work three days a week - but when I do I try and bring something home from my day to share with my daughter. Earlier this week I bought home a Kangaroo skull I had found out in the bush and it resulted in hours of natural learning. The lesson ended up being different to what i had expected (it ended up being about death) - but the beauty was may daughter lead the lesson.

    I'm looking forward to the rest of your learning series.


  6. Thankyou so much for starting your weekly posts about unschooling with your family Lauren. To say you "inspire" me just doesn't seems like an understatement.


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