Sunday, July 22, 2012


In homeschooling circles, there are tons of different philosophies, approaches, etc.  People feel very strongly about their decisions and actions.  One philosophy that I do not share, but was curious about, is unschooling.  This form of homeschooling is "learner led" and apparently allows the child to determine what he/she wants to study.
This book by Mary Griffith touts this method.  She quotes tons of parents and students who unschool and offer their advice:

- Use textbooks merely as reference volumes.
- Your fundamental objective is to keep alive the child's love of learning and desire to learn.
- There is a simple five-step reading program to make your children fabulous readers:
                  1.  Read to them
                  2.  Read to them
                  3.  Read to them
                  4.  Read to them
                  5.  Read to them
- It is not necessary to study history in chronological order.  Allow the child to get hooked on one historical era or another.  Make a timeline and a world map so that kids can place events in context, but let the kids focus on whatever historical events/people interest them
- When you start homeschooling, you must address the issue that you will not be spending large chunks of time with your family.  This will likely cause strain and tension and needs to be addressed.

I am way to "Type A" to even consider this type of homeschooling.  But, the book was interesting.  I do believe that I need to give my children opportunities to discover things on their own by delving into activities by themselves.  I tend to direct and monitor every thing they do, not giving them a chance to learn things themselves.

I am, in small steps, trying to break away from my controlling side.  I recently bought the girls a marble set at a yard sale.  The set requires kids to construct a track for marbles.  I have let the children just figure this out on their own.  I have seen over the course of a few weeks tremendous improvement in their skills with this set.  They have learned how gravity works and have become quite skilled at interlocking the pieces together to maximize the marbles' journey.

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