So last year, I posted ‘I find it hard…’ which you can find a preview of below.
I often tell other home educators that there is no right or wrong way to home educate, only the way that works for you and your family. It appears I could do with remembering that piece of advice myself!
Sometimes I find autonomous home education a struggle… There I said it!
However, not in the sense that I find it hard to deal with as it’s very much a part of our lifestyle, but in the sense that I find it difficult to just *trust* that small will learn everything he needs to know, just by following and encouraging his interests. Mostly because it’s a completely different way of learning and goes against everything we’re taught education is in school.
Just over a year later and our journey is looking very different. As small gets older we are getting more and more relaxed in our approach. Taking part in #homeedhour on Twitter and talking to other unschoolers recently made me realise that we have moved on from our semi-autonomous approach and are now completely unschooling without even noticing that it was happening, because it was so natural for us to go down that path. We have our hiccups, which usually indicates that someone’s needs aren’t being met which need a re-think, or that we need to take another look at our expectations or how we as adults have been conditioned to react to things. Or simply, sometimes we’re just having a bad day, because we’re human and they DO happen!
In the last year, small’s learning style has changed so much. He is listening more, taking more suggestions on board but he is now able to also articulate his own thoughts and ideas to us, and explain why he does or doesn’t want to do something. Recently he has asked for more structure and through September he was following a rigid timetable that he set, taking only a couple of days off from it, if it was something he really didn’t want to do. His reasoning for this was that he wanted to see what he was learning, so we bought workbooks, downloaded apps, and facilitated meets, workshops and parties that he wanted to go to. It was all initiated by him.
He also had some lessons in natural consequences, and subsequently has learnt some valuable seasonal lessons as well as learning what is ‘socially acceptable’ (aka you look a bit silly if you have to wear the coat your Mummy had on, because you insisted you didn’t need your own! Contrary to popular belief it IS possible to be unschooled and learn the ‘rules’ society holds!)
This month is looking very different, and he is currently fighting off a cold (whilst teaching me what he knows about white blood cells, and making up stories about how they are fighting off the virus in his body. It involves swords, tanks, and ammo from his food and drink! He has such a great imagination :)) So we shall see what it brings!
Originally we were only planning to home educate temporarily as we felt he was far too young to go to school. We are now past the point we were considering sending him to school. If he wants to in the future then we will facilitate that, but if it’s not broken, why fix it?