Unschooling and Natural Learning

I have another blog, and had considered incorporating our natural learning journey there, but given quite a few family members and friends read that blog and I’d rather not discuss our choices at such a premature stage, I have decided to start up this blog. Perhaps I will merge them down the track, perhaps not.. it might help from a documenting point of view to keep these facets of our lives separate even though they are so intertwined.. Regardless, I think it will be good for me to debrief (brain dump) the information I learn and my children’s natural learnings so let’s just start here.

I’m Alemona, wife to Timsy and mama to T-man (4) and Koalababe (2). I’m also currently growing a Summer blessing. At present Timsy works full-time and I work part-time so our children attend care, which I CANNOT wait to pull them out of. I’ll be home with our babes full-time from Solstice and the plan is to continue with that even after the next year ends. T-man is expected (by mainstream society which includes extended family and just about everyone else outside our local village) to start 4yo kindergarten with his peers early next year, and then school the year after. We seriously considered a Steiner (Waldorf) education, but after attending playgroup and then Little (3yo )Kinder, we discovered that was ‘our’ ideal of schooling, not the optimal choice for T-man. He became shy and secluded and upset at even the thought of attending Kinder, so we pulled him out mid-year with thoughts of attempting mainstream (council run) kinder next year and then deciding on our choice of schooling (Public or Steiner) for the year after based on that.

T-man has thrived since moving back to ‘home-days’ and having the freedom to socialise with our chosen friends and engage in activities he enjoys. He has bloomed once again into the social butterfly that he was, and is learning about the world around him at an astounding rate. The age of questioning has begun, and I LOVE it! What other parents seems to complain about – the endless ‘whys’ – we embrace as learning opportunities that take us from the diet of dinosaurs to koalas and from the concept of extinction to native animals. Conversations that can begin with picking up a lone gumleaf on a walk, or flicking through a new picture book.

That brings us to now.. and the idea that perhaps what would be best for him, is to skip ‘school’ as we know it, altogether. To nourish the innate love of learning he has now and to support learning as play, rather than as the chore it is turned into in school. To trust that just as he has learned how to walk, talk and eat on his own, he can also learn how to read, research and problem solve.

Trust is a huge leap, even for those of us who have taken it in other areas before. Swimming upstream, unlearning what has been drilled into us.. deschooling ourselves. But, it is a leap I am willing to take. I trust that he WILL learn what he needs to in order to be a happy, well rounded adult who is able to function within our society. An individual with a love of learning and life. One step at a time, we embark on this journey together, and as koalababe continues his natural learning journey I’ll include his adventures as well. Enjoy the ride, I know we will 🙂 .

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