Recently I am reading a lot about very inspirational unschoooling families and I wonder more and more if I would consider us as such, too.
Our kids still are young: my big boy is in kindergarten-age but does not visit one, and my youngest one is nearly two now. So we still have about two years until school is supposed to be mandatory for our oldest, but I’m already thinking a lot about what future type of education to choose for him.
I can feel already a learning atmosphere around here and since about a year now I am getting more and more familiar with the homeschooling-idea. Before that, I didn’t even know about homeschooling, I haven’t heard about such a way of life, and in Germany I’ve never met people practicing it.
A very good friend from England brought me to the idea and first I was very sceptical about it. I couldn’t believe that children could learn without a teacher, without schoolbooks and a fixed schedule. I’ve never thought about something apart from school and could hardly imagine an educational life outside a classroom.
But little by little I got the idea; I began to like it and to figure out the good within. I read books and websites and slowly I felt in love with the whole thing. My senses got more sensitive towards my children’s characters, their development and interests, and unconsciously I discovered hidden signs of unschooling in our daily life: My big boy’s interest in numbers and letters; his all-day-long-counting of everything he sees; the play with words and his natural and innocent attempt to write some down; his curiosity about life and everything; his energy and motivation while playing in nature – lost in thought and fully concentrated in what he does…
I’ve never pushed him to learn something, nor did I insist in imposing knowledge.
I strongly believe in the Montessori-theory that things will come on their natural way; things will become interesting for the kids once they are ready for it. I believe in the individual learning rhythm of every child and in letting they choose to learn what is appropriate to their needs in every single moment.
In our own life, we try to live at the fullest, we watch out for the beauty in everything, we try to do what we feel happy with in every single day and we try to accept as much as possible everyone’s mood and interest. We do not plan our daily activities; we try to let us lead by our own curiosity, by the seasons, by the weather and by unexpected things in the every day life.
I am not very good in just playing around with my kids and sometimes I do not have too much time to just be with them, but I am fantastic in going out for a nature walk with them, discovering things; I am good in storytelling, In finding new ways to put ideas into action and in trying to find answers together with my boys to all the big questions that appear; I am creative, flexible and ready to learn and to develop myself together with them every single day afresh.
I think this is exactly the be-all and end-all of unschooling: to be ready and open for the challenges of life, to warmly welcome surprises and to enter into the life-long path of every-day-learning.
So now, when I am looking at our actual way of life, I am proud to say: “Yes, we are on our way to become an unschooling family”. We do not know how life will become, nor how our way will continue, but I am happy and very thankful for the possibility to live life as we do and I trust in Allah that it will be good as it continues…
What about you?