unschooling_4.09.14

While we won’t “officially” homeschool until the next school year we have been dipping our feet just a bit here and there. Truly, the way we see homeschooling it is really just an extension of real life, something we as parents do all the time. We just don’t call it “homeschooling” when it’s not deliberate.

My little Mr. would like to create his own video game one day. With that knowledge, I have been researching different sites like Scratch, Khan Academy, and Youth Digital. We will certainly check them all out at some point but for now we have begun with Khan Academy.

Yesterday was my little mr.’s first attempt at beginner programming. I watched him a little and realized I needed to walk away. I found myself wanting to “help” him navigate through the exercise. Yet, I realized how he learns and what steps he might take to get to the end result may be very different from me. In fact, I know it would be different. So I walked away to let him do his thing. He created his first small project and I was a proud mama bear. He not only figured things out on his own but was able to look at what others had created, find an aspect he liked and then replicated it onto his project.

That my friends is self-directed learning and what “unschooling” is all about.

corners_01This table is where I do a lot of thinking, reflecting and planning. Soon we will be moving to a new city and we will also “officially” begin our Homeschooling adventure.

Over the past few months I have researched and learned SO much about homeschooling, in particular, “unschooling”. Quite honestly, there is just way too much information for my comfort level. I fall into the school of thought that too many choices, ideas, etc. isn’t always the best thing.

I tend to lean towards a more minimalist, simple home.  A little (very little) lived-in clutter is ok but anything beyond that and I start to get a bit grumpy. I’ve decide to take that same minimalist approach to my homeschooling research. I’ve sought out a few folks whose ideas I really respect not only because they always make me see things in a new light but also because they seem to do a lot of research themselves and then share these ideas, links, resources with others.

One of those folks who I admire is Leo Babauta. Leo has the popular blog Zen Habits. If you haven’t checked out Zen Habits I urge you to take a few minutes today to do so. Leo has a gift of getting straight to the point and inspires me constantly to focus on the essentials in my life rather than the distractions. Easier said than done but it’s a practice that I enjoy. Leo and his wife unschool their children and have a blog called Unschoolery. Leo is currently taking a hiatus from Unschoolery. However, he has so kindly left his readers a list of resources which has been so immensely helpful to me.

Maybe this might help you too. Here it is. Enjoy.

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This Summer my family and I are moving to a new city. We will be living in a small home in a historic neighborhood that we love! Like in our current home, we will once again have the opportunity to really pare down to only those things that we truly love. I love how a small home helps me keep my values in check and allows me to practice a minimalist lifestyle and focus on the essentials of our family life.

With all the new changes coming about and the focus being on what is most important for our family we are taking this time in our lives to take a leap of faith and Homeschool our little mr. We will educate our little man in a way that feels right for us, most importantly feels right for our little guy.

I no longer believe in our country’s traditional school model. I haven’t for some time but it is only recently that I’ve been brave enough to be honest with myself and move away from what is traditional and move towards a non-traditional way to educate our little man. A one size fits all model for education does not work no matter how much money you throw at it. It doesn’t work no matter how many times the curriculum and state standards are re-worked. So instead of being frustrated and yet not changing anything we are choosing to pull little mr. from school and venture down the road less traveled.

Hang on & join us in our journey…it’s going to be a wild ride