Welcome to the Five Steps to Unschooling mini series. Here you will find five small things that you can implement in your home as you move towards unschooling. They are in no particular order and I am certain other mini series will follow to give you further ideas of how you can move forward towards an unschooling life style.
I once saw a poster which was entitled ’10 ways to encourage your children to read.’ It simply said, in list format, 1-10 read to your child. In a similar vein, and to keep things straight forward, and focus our attention on one single aspect, all five steps will be about the role and importance of play.
-Embrace the diverse nature of play-
The way that your children play and what they choose to play will be different from other children, if you have multiple children in your household, it is likely that it will be different for each child. There may be common themes and interests but how they are explored by each child will be unique. This is because your child is unique.
Natural learning does not happen in a linear fashion.
Learning that is not governed artificially by subject headings and timetables and curriculum does not occur in a step by step manner. Programmes are presented in such a way as to lead its participants through all the content necessary to reach an end product, namely a certificate to confirm that you have successfully completed the subject via a test.
Natural learning is a complex notion of making connections between new information and connecting it to pre-existing information. These ideas and skills are collected from real world interactions and experiences and potential for cross over of interests is unlimited. Your brain has the capacity to seek and form new connections all the while that you are awake and it consolidates and solidifies these connections whilst you sleep.
Natural learning creates a complex neural network, like a web, of connected information.
While curriculum based learning leads us through required content, like climbing a ladder, heading in one direction only and with no opportunity to divert, learning without school will not mimic this linear pattern.
Learning is divergent and unique.
The individuality in our children’s personality will be displayed in their play. The connections and learning pathways that they make and follow will be evident as they have the opportunity to follow their passions. It will not look like school-type learning. Embrace the diverse nature of play and your child’s unique journey.
Five steps to unschooling: step 1
Five steps to unschooling: step 2
Five steps to unschooling: step 3
Five steps to unschooling: step 5