Everyday learning

I started responding to a comment to my post yesterday about  Typical Days by momof3feistykids (another Stephanie no less!) and realized that it would probably make a good blog post in and of itself. She said in part:

“Wonderful post! I am not an unschooler, in the usual sense of the word (I make them do plenty of “schooly” stuff that they wouldn’t choose on their own). But I, too, pay attention to what they’re learning when they’re “goofing off” and even document it in my home school records. I have long suspected that one of the biggest parts of becoming an unschooler must be (in Charlotte Mason’s words) *developing the habit of attention.* Training oneself to notice what the kids are doing, thinking, and learning during their “free time” must be half the battle.”

Obviously she has a great point. Seeing the learning that happens everyday can help no matter how you homeschool. I do know that sometimes it can be hard to value the less formal “everyday” learning as much as the more typical “school-type” learning. After all, we spent 12+ years learning that only “school-type” learning was important. Yet, once we got out of school, did we stop learning?  Of course not. And the interesting thing is that I bet for most of us, that learning looks less like school and is most definitely interest driven.

I do not know if we really fall into the unschooling camp…there are so many debates over who/what is true unschooling so I try to stay away from defining ourselves. We are very relaxed in our homeschooling, some things we do look schooly and others most definitely do not. I base what we do on what works for us rather then try to follow a specific philosophy. The great thing is that since we are homeschooling we can do what works for us and adjust if we need to.


About throwingmarshmallows

I am a homeschooling mom to two sweet, energetic boys although I am probably not exactly what you would expect (definitely NOT your stereotypical homeschooler, if there is really such a thing). I support progressive political causes (yes, liberals can and do homeschool!) and I have found a spiritual home in the Unitarian Universalist Church. I have no real idea of how I want to use this blog, but will probably focus on homeschooling, things that I am learning from my boys, personal thoughts and opinions and maybe some liberal politics thrown in, who knows!
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3 Responses to Everyday learning

  1. I generally avoid defining myself, too (though – for some reason – I am very fond of the word “eclectic”) Last year, when I was researching “unschooling” in earnest, I kept running across discussions in which the commenters seemed to get “unschoolier-than-thou” *LOL* I realized I shouldn’t get too hung up on labels.

    This quote, which I found in one of my numerous special needs/home schooling books, pretty much says it for me

    There is no “home education curriculum,” no user manual. The saying “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!” springs to mind; if anyone can answer your question with any foolproof method, she is a fake who has not grasped the most important principle of home education: you must seek out the unique path that suits your particular family, even if it bears to resemblance to anything you see around you. It may take a period of trial and error before you find the right balance – and even then, it will shift to meet the varying needs of your growing, changing child.

    Terri Dowty in Home Educating Our Autistic Spectrum Children: Paths Are Made by Walking edited by Terri Dowty & Kitt Cowlishaw

  2. Carrie K. says:

    “I base what we do on what works for us rather then try to follow a specific philosophy. The great thing is that since we are homeschooling we can do what works for us and adjust if we need to.”

    Hear, hear! Very well said.

  3. Stephany says:

    We try to stay as far away from labels as possible. We are trying to incoporate some rhythm into our day but we are not exactly slaves to a schedule either. Maybe it comes from a spirited parent teaching a spirited child but we are easily distracted. LOL