6 August 2012

unschool monday :: the art of unschooling


Unschooling is a little like handing an owlet a paint brush. You have to let go of your own preconceived ideas of what you think they should be doing.


You need to provide the materials, provide the opportunity for them to learn. Then you need to stand back.


Watch them explore and learn in their own way. Ask their own questions. Experience things for themselves...


It will, most likely, get very messy. And they will probably wander off course. You may desire to intervene and stop things before they get too out of hand. You may feel out of your depth. You may wish to redirect them away from that particular learning path and specify something tidier, more linear. But to do that, to control their learning and exploration, would kill their vision and their passion. Their own questioning and originality would be lost...


But if you give them space, they will create something new with what they've learned and by supporting their interests, providing more materials and more of your time, they'll create a masterpiece.


With time, they'll learn to hone and develop their skills.


And apply their new learning. They'll expand on it...


And pass on what they know. The days when unschooling works best for us seem to be when I remember this basic approach. Stand back and leave the exploration and discovery to them, all the while providing support and encouragement and the ability to take their questions further. Sometimes it takes guts to let go of your own knowledge and your own ego. It takes guts to put the learning and the experience ahead of the material and the time you'll invest in helping them. But isn't all parenting like this? An experience in loving, learning and letting go...

Thanks for reading along with Unschool Monday. If you have a question for me, or one of the other participants on the linkup, ask away! I'm happy to try and answer here next time. If you feel like linking up, it'd be lovely to have you on board and see how unschooling happens at your nest. xx


  1. ahhh you have said it perfectly!

  2. Very true words! And a great reminder to keep things simple!

  3. I love the use of colours in Tiny's pic!!!

  4. Very true! Love their paintings. My kids were ohhing and ahhing as I scrolled through the post. I linked up but my post isn't showing. I'll come back and check for it later.

  5. You have expressed everything so beautifully in this post. What a wonderful reminder. Thank you. :)


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