Friday, February 3, 2006

An Unschooling Life?

I struggle with my desire for an unschooling life. I truly believe in my gut that kids will learn what they need to know when they need to know it. For example: walking, talking, using eating utensils, riding a bike, tying their shoes, writing their name, etc. I like to believe that this will continue throughout their life of learning. It's just I have a hard time with it. Sewing, cooking, trapping, fileting a fish, using a map, painting a house, balancing a checkbook........these things are easily learned as you go. But, long division, phonics rules, grammar skills........does anyone ever have a burning desire to learn these things? They are important and required for some higher learning to take place, and that's where my struggle comes in. I want my children to be well educated, that is, have basic information committed to memory, be able to have an intelligent conversation, and know how to learn what they desire to know. Somedays my kids run around like cavemen all day, appearring to do nothing but drive me crazy. I secretly yearn for them to be cuddled under a blanket on the couch reading about sharks or...... the theory of relativity, anything other than running wild through the house picking on one another. Reality sets in and I realize that for my sanity I need my kids to a little real math and phonics each day and then we move on to the subject of the day (pure fun).

Today for subject of the day we watched Families of the World: Brazil, located Brazil on the globe, and discussed the climate and topography. Grace read a Rookie First Reader, Europe, and then we made "stained glass" to hang in the windows. Stained glass was invented in Europe about 700 years ago. It was a simple project; shave crayons into a coffee filter, top with another coffee filter, layer between many paper towels and iron to melt crayon shavings. Punch a hole, tie on a string and hang in a window. This project was great because they found out which colors complement one another and the results are beautiful.