I’ve been giving more thought to radical homeschooling or “unschooling”. It’s hard not to think about when I watch Aedan crawl around and play, free. Even at a year old, he has interests.
- Tasting everything
Okay, so clearly his interests are mostly focused on dirt and water right now.
What is my job as his mom?
As a mud lover myself, it is certainly not to demand he stay clean all day. Instead, I’ve found that my job is to be a facilitator. At a year old, he can’t just open up the door to go outside and play. It is my job to open that door and joyfully take him into his favorite environments. It is my job to show him how to cup water in his hands. It is my job to show him how to build up a pile of dirt only to kick it with our feet.
Then, after a long day in the backyard, it is my job to come back inside and read the book he picks until he has had his fill. Even when that means the three-paged book, which means I’m reading the same three pages fifteen times. Kids want to learn and our job is to embrace it and love it and cherish it and facilitate it.
As he gets older, that doesn’t mean sending him to a factory where he’s required to learn things on someone else’s timeline in someone else’s preferred method in someone else’s preferred environment.
Why do we insist that in between 5-25 learning has to be done in a classroom? Learning has to involve a syllabus, giving speeches, and committing to an occupation by the time we are sixteen years old?
If he wakes up one day and asks me “Mom, can I go to public school?” We’ll talk it over and I will facilitate his request. If he wants to commit to a curriculum we’ll pick one out together.
Okay, okay, I’ll admit that I probably will invest in some curriculum, but only because it’ll make me feel a little better since I’m a curriculum junkie. The bigger challenge will be when he tells me he doesn’t like the curriculum and we have to figure out something else.
Schools teach life in school.
Real life teaches life in the real world.