Sunday, July 27, 2008

Learning about Learning, and House Concerts

Madeline wrote something wonderful a few days ago at
It's not technically on my site, but a link to it is.

Trying to Take a Break From Learning

Sandra Dodd's Learn Nothing Day has arrived! Unschoolers everywhere are finally taking a break. Kids who go to school get many breaks. Now we get one too.

So... how is it going? Well, my kids are at a fort-building camp this week and are staying with their cousin so I can tell you that they are not participating. Gillen told me on the phone that he is taking notes about this fort they are building so that he can come home and build one here. I am hoping he will then teach me to build a studio in the yard.

As for me, I have failed, as I knew I would, and am learning about all of the back-logged thoughts in my head that are having room to be heard in this quiet house.

There is no such thing as not learning. I challenge you to try! That is what makes our chosen path - unschooling - so delicious. We are learning all the time, even when we are "just" having fun, doing what people might term extra-curricular activities and even when we are quietly doing nothing—just letting what we have learned marinate and giving it space and time to morph into something new.

Six years ago, when I was reading about unschooling on discussion lists for the first time, I was intrigued by the idea that kids' natural curiosity, accompanied by committed parental support of their passions, could start them on a journey that would teach them everything they would ever need to know. Having embraced this philosophy for over five years now, I see that it is true. The more I trust that they know what they need, the more they thrive.

I expose them to a lot of possibilities and they pick and choose. They expose me to new ideas and pursuits as well. They talk and I listen. Sometimes I talk too much, and they don't listen and that's always a sure fire way to create a road block to relationship and joyful learning. Things go much better when I shut up more and really listen.

Sorry to talk so much on learn nothing day. I am embracing my failure to not learn and am recommitting to trust this process even more completely from here on out.

And a different thing:

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