Saturday, October 29, 2011

So..tell me more about strewing...

In our family, in our unschooling, how do learn?

We learn by strewing. We strew things for each other. We suggest. We share. 

So, let me strew some resources about strewing..

The thing that works with unschooling is to follow delight - and scatter it like a flower girl in front of the bride - not every petal will be crushed to release fragrance - but enough will. ...of course to follow delight, you have to admit to yourself that you feel delight ..  Nora Cannon...from Sandra Dodd's  Strewing Their Paths

What exactly is strewing and how do you do it? I think it is leaving material of interest around for our children to discover. Is there more to it?.....Strewing: Definition and Suggestion

A few months into our homeschooling adventure my 8 year old daughter spontaneously said "Our house is like a museum with really cool stuff in it!" This was the moment I decided it was going to be alright.....Your House as a Museum

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Weekly Rhythm

I like to have a bit of a rhythm to our days and weeks.

Too much routine and I am bored...yawn...

Too little and I think we feel scattered and less connected.

So how does a rhythm work in unschooling? If we are not "doing school" how do we structure our days and weeks?

It varies.

You knew I was going to say that...

When my children were younger we had a routine of pretty much daily mass, ice skating or swimming or science centre on Monday afternoon..and mum would try to catch up on washing on Monday mornings! Wednesdays were Discovery Journal days..writing and drawing about our week, our maths discoveries, our Science discoveries, books, current affairs.. Doing the Days.  Thursdays we often did grocery shopping and went to the library and out for cofffee..or met with other Catholic homeschoolers. Friday was park day or nature/art day. Music lessons meant we played 'pick an envelope' envelope with ideas like do a maths game, write in your saints book, draw in your nature keep siblings occupied while others were in their piano lessons.

And all this fitted in around my work schedule and around babies and toddlers.

Now with an unschooling teen, and older sons still at home but at university, our rhythm still revolves around my work schedule and our outside things.

Mondays, Anthony has gaming day with two homeschooling friends. Often mass at Campion College with the older kids.They work with me at my Kumon Education Centre. Tuesdays have mostly been unstructured, so around my work we have had errands, library visit and in my mind... a good morning to try some more formal work. But this term Anthony has surfing lessons so he is out most of the day with other homeschoolers. And we all go to the mass and Novena to St Anthony in the evening. Wednesday, I teach catechism at a local school so that is a good day for religion! he has drama class, sometimes goes to debating  with his brothers at Campion, maybe guitar lesson and a friend for dinner.Junk mail delivery! Thursday Anthony helps me with work for Kumon, we go to mass, he may do some maths and Latin, he works at Kumon, we usually watch a DVD. Fridays can be ice skating or outing or hang around, mass in the Extraordinary Form, busing to piano lessons and coffee, youth group.

And that is how the weeks go...way too fast...but we work on flow...on doing...and on being.. For me, knowing the flow of activities throughout the day works better than having set times. Waking up flows into breakfast flows into getting dressed flows into brushing teeth, etc.

Like the blue willow tea set...cups in a row, beauty, but not perfect...little those little imperfections in our days, our order, our rhythms ...that make the unschooling week.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Unschooling and Special Needs

The question arose at our Unschooling Catholics email list...what about unschooling, child centered and interest centered, relaxed Homeschooling...what about unschooling children with special needs.

"One of the reasons I quit the path of cookie-cutter help was because I got to watch my (unschooler) friend's son, a boy much like my own, blossom in her care. With every difficulty or difference he presented, whether it was speech differences, sensory difficulties, or behavior issues, she arranged life to fit his needs. She also approached all this with a solid faith in him that he was the way he was supposed to be, and that he was on his own schedule. She sought appropriate help when needed, but it was out of a "what are his true needs" space."

From Sandra Dodd's unschooling website.

"If in school, 6 would not be able to sit for very long without making himself "known." He would not be able to sit still and play nice for the 6-7 hours that would be required of him. He would probably be diagnosed with ADHD and on meds, if I allowed that. He is not ADHD, but I have heard how this has happened many times from other homeschoolers with children who are not really and truly ADHD. 6 can add triple digit numbers in his head-as long as he can spin and move about the room and dispense his energy when he needs, he is just fine!"

From Life Without School Community blog.