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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Friday, July 30, 2004

Unschooling myself

I think the best part about unschooling is how my thirst for knowledge seems to grow every day. Speaking to Heidi a couple days ago, she told me about an artist she met and how incredible his abstract paintings were. I decided to search for him online, he sounded like such an interesting person.
Well, a search for David Cornberg found a few book titles and some other writings, but no art. Apparently, he's also a writer. Well this led me into some of his views on China and their absorption of Taiwan (he and his family live in Taipei) and something called "Semiotics" , the study of signs...yet it's far more complicated than all that. So I'm learning about this science called Semiotics in total fascination. I also plan to order a book he co-authored on Life Readings. Funny how one thing leads to another. Learning is so cool.

Another piece of information that came my way, happened to come in the form of a friend who is passionate about the Love Canal on the Niagara. Teresa filled me in on the history and current status of this Superfund site. I looked at pictures and read a chronological timeline on the internet, but then started thinking more and more about Superfund sites since I knew there were some here. I thought a Superfund site would be ultra hazardous and rare. Searching around, I found there are over 40,000 Superfund sites in the U.S. On one hand, it's really scary how much we've polluted and destroyed our planet, on the other, I'm really glad something is being done about SOME of it!I found several sites in the Pensacola area, including (to my surprise) one of the worst out at the Naval Air Station. Yikes. Figuring Alaska wouldn't be such a bad place for pollution, I did a search. Not only did they have a LOT of Superfund sites, many of them were in Anchorage.

So because of some casual conversations, I now have new pieces of information that are part of my internal map of "everything in the whole wide world". If we're going to understand how children learn, maybe it's best to look at the way adults learn. I certainly wouldn't learn much if someone told me "this is important, you need to learn this for the future". But in casual conversations, drive-by sightings and random happenings, interest bubbles up, becoming learning experiences.Interest is the predecessor to real learning. There is no other way.
Ren 7/30/04


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