some bird-theme-learning just as last year 
Sometimes I find myself worrying about the learning process of my eldest son BY. I doubt sometimes if the learning environment I offer him at home is giving him enough input and inspiration to grow. He is six now and a quiet well developed boy, subhanallah: he is curious, creative, intelligent, independent and strong, tbarakallah, and he is eager to learn and to explore the world.

Over the last year, since baby was born, our homeschooling was much more an “unschooling” in the very meaning of the word. We didn’t follow any curriculum nor did we do a lot of learning in general. It took a long time for me to establish and adjust a new family rhythm and to get used to care for three kids.
Also I had so much else in my mind, personal stuff and the school project organisation, so that I simply had neither energy nor motivation to provide an encouraging learning atmosphere. Most days I yearned for the evening and some free me-moments to come, mashaallah. I often felt guilty and was worried about BY’s learning achievements.

But looking back now, it seems as if he learned and grew a lot during the last year, alhamdulillah, maybe not as much about reading, writing and maths as before, but he definitely established great social skills and became the big caring brother, subhanallah. I think he needed that time to grow into his new role just as I did.

So I try to take things now a bit easier and to take a more relaxed approach to the whole learning thing, keeping in mind that he still is a little child and we do not have to push him out of his carefree dreamy childhood too early.

I try to remind myself that the whole world and every day life serve already as a great classroom, but my aim for the next months is to put again more energy into conscious unschooling and to provide a richer environment, even if it is simply by more reading aloud to the kids, by going on walks, playing, crafting and sometimes really learning together, inchaallah.

I have two books that are a great source and inspiration and I really recommend them to all (unschooling) moms:
Mary Griffith: ”the unschooling handbook” and Lucy Calkins: “Raising Lifelong Learners”.

How do you organise your (homeschooling) days? Do you follow a rhythm, a curriculum or the mood of your children? – Any good advice especially for moments of boredom?

Happy Friday, friends!


3 thoughts on “–Unschooling–Report–05/2010–

  1. salam sister itto
    i know exactly how you feel, us homeschooling mums must always have moments that are full of doubt!
    i think your doing a wonderful job and you have nothing to worry about and like you said he is still very young.
    i have three children aswell mashallah, 7, 5 and six months, we go with the the flow, when the whether is horrible we stay in and do some literacy and numeracy and when the whether is beautiful we go out for picnics, riding bikes or just for long walks in the park and thats what homeschooling is all about, the flexibility, and to enjoy and watch our children grow up to be strong intelligent people inshallah!


  2. You could have described our last year exactly. I have three little ones–5, 3, and 1 and the last year have been just about getting a routine that doesn’t involve me losing it by mid-afternoon. My five-year-old is so ready to learn, so waiting to drink up anything I give her, but I rarely find time to give much attention to planning experiences for her. I feel a little guilty sometimes, but then I see how we are–ever so slowly–after a year of creative nothingness–moving at a snail’s pace towards more purposeful learning, I am really excited by the possibilities. And she is too!

    When I can work with her, I am happy for that. And when I cannot, I know that no harm is done, she is learning on her own in her own ways, and I need that slack to keep my sanity with a very demanding baby. I know that it cannot be so bad–after all, if they love to learn, then 75% of the job is being done.

  3. AA Itto,

    I think you are taking the right approach…..relaxed.!! When I was homeschooling my kids…I was anything but relaxed …how about crazed, hyper etc….just basically doing school at home and worrying all the time…am I doing enough. Definitely not a healthy approach to guiding young souls to adulthood.
    Boredom..Hmm as you probably know some boredom is good..drives kids to be independent, resourceful, creative…but sometimes good to step in with a little help. An idea circulating on web is a “Boredom Jar”. Either you or you and kids together can put in tons of ideas and then when anyone says….”bored”…just have them pull something from the jar.

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