Monday, August 9, 2010

another example of unschooling at work

So this is an oxymoron really but here it goes...


We (more "me" than "we) think we want to unschool. It's scary to think that Ark Boy is ready for Kindergraten in a year. So theory of unschooling needs to be considered more closely as it morphs into practicality.
The idea behind unschooling, as I understand it, is that kids learn on their own (we never "taught" our kids how to count but both can, we never "taught" them how to verbally recite their name spellings but they can do it anyway, etc.). Often when children go to school their passion and excitement for learning dissipates within a few short years, it seems. What if we just let them keep doing what they've been doing (self-teaching as needed) and see if that works. Would they still go through a phase of "not interested in learning/school"?
I don't think so.
I think that decreased interest is a result of mass schooling which leads to compelling students to learn about topics that don't interest them when another topic may teach the same concepts but be far more fascinating. But how to do invidualize education so much for 20+ students? (As a side note: as a teacher I think I could do this; as a mother I don't think any teacher could do it with a ratio of 20:1 and a person could with a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 as it would be with school.)
But does it work?
I don't think our kids will be able to say: 2+2=4 necessarily but they will be able to say: 2 friends are here and 2 more are coming and then there will be 4 friends here.... and what's the more practical life skill?
Having said that... we have been looking into some part time daycare - or "school" as we tell Ark Boy. And really, for him, it will be. He'll be a pre-k program.
So as we've gone around looking at schools the kids have come with us.
Ark Boy will continue going to the co-op preschool he/we is/are part of 3 mornings a week.
We went to see one daycare (space for Ark Boy, not for Farm Girl so that option is out).
We went to see another daycare (several issues with this school including having character parties come and visit kids - characters like Elmo, Santa, etc, etc - not something we want! and that was just the first issue *roll eyes*)
We went to the last daycare (minimal issues, a lot of greatness).
In visiting these "schools" we talked about Ark Boy and Del going to them on the days Ark Boy isn't at preschool.
So Ark Boy says:
"So I'm going to have 4 schools?!?!"

No one talked about this plus this plus this...
No one talked about 4 schools.
But he figured it out.
No, it's not rocket science.
But it's addition.
A skill that's "taught" starting in school.
This does not mean he's brilliant (although his grandparents might argue otherwise) just that he's doing what every kid does - and that "learning how to add" isn't being made into something unappealing/useless through drills and worksheets.

But given other life choices we don't know that we'll unschool.
And then we're viewing school as some sort of childcare and that doesn't seem right either...

Oh! The complications of parenting!

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