16 July 2012
unschool monday :: growing
What I love most about unschooling would have to be flexibility. Every day is new before us and full of choices. We don't have anything we absolutely HAVE to do. Our days are mostly based on what we feel like doing, around the basic needs we have like eating and sleeping and keeping ourselves and our home neat and tidy. It is kind of like that period of time before a toddler grows and heads off to kindergarten. You can choose not to go to playgroup and no-one will miss out. You can visit a friend if you feel like it, or go to the shops... or just stay home in your pyjamas.
Before Big Owlet went to kindergarten, I thought about unschooling and how I could never do it long term. I'd need to get back to doing something for me. Perhaps work. Although that didn't necessarily feel like it was for me either... I imagined days spent patiently with children, teaching them stuff and it all sounded too exhausting. Too impossible. But children grow. Their needs change, and it gets easier. Living with them becomes easier, then harder, then easier again, and so on... The life you have with a toddler changes when they become a preschooler and living all day with an almost nine year old is so different to life with an almost two year old... I know this because I have one of each...
So often people will say to me that they'd like to unschool, but they just couldn't because they need time for other things, time to themselves. Their three-year-old is such a handful, they just couldn't spend all day with them, forever. And so the age old adages come in to play. This too shall pass... It takes a village... And more importantly, they grow up so quickly! If you're entertaining the thought of unschooling, but worried because life with a four year old is challenging, perhaps entertain the thought just a little longer... Because they will grow. And you'll find a rhythm that works. They will be so much more independent. They will be demanding and challenge you at almost nine in ways they never did at two, but they will also be so easy to have around. Great team members to have along for the day. Mates. And looking at the world through their eyes brings such joy.
As for Big Owlet, she's still happy living without school right now. Of course, flexibility is key and if we reach a stage where life with school would be preferable, or necessary, we'll explore that, as we have before. Big Owlet entertains thoughts of university as a good point to experience schooled life. Or perhaps becoming a cartoonist, but she tells me she won't need school for that, because she already is one ;)
Things Big Owlet is up to with her days (and nights) this week:
* Writing letters to her pen pal, Ruby.
* Reading the BFG.
* Figuring out the difference between fiction and non-fiction books.
* Taking complete responsibility for her kittens.
* Baking for the family, all on her own.
* Checking out the Aurora in the sky over our back fence.
* Horse riding and Scouts.
* Playing guitar.
* Collecting beach glass and learning all about it.
* Helping to plan our garden for the spring.
* Planning a tree house of her own.
* Spending time with friends.
* Learning to crochet.
* Thinking about her money, how much she earns and how she wants to spend it.
* Drawing all the time.
* Counting down sleeps until her ninth birthday - Eeeep!
Thanks for reading along with unschool monday. If you're new to the term unschooling (or even if you're not!), I'd highly recommend going and having a read of Shae's "Unschooling 101" post from last week. She says it all so succinctly. Of course, unschooling isn't for everyone, but it is a fantastic option available to the majority. How lucky are we to have such great choices?! If you'd like to join in this week, add your link below and we'll all follow the links and get to see unschooling working at your place. Winning all round!