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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......

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Thoughts on unschooling

We just got back from swimming, where I took great joy in watching Jalen, Sierra and Jared play together, care for each other and have a great time as I chose to sit this one out and get some writing done. They really have a special sibling bond and it's wonderful to observe.

Here are some posts I gleaned from various lists today, that I really enjoyed:

From Dawn at AlwaysUnschooled, where swimming lessons vs. learning to swim naturally is being discussed:

~~~"When my daughter was 3 we were offered free swim lessons and alot of
our friends were going. We went two times and quit. They asked us
to do things that were uncomfortable for me and my daughter like
pushing her head under water - yuch! She didnt want to play in the
water for several months after that. I questioned why I hadnt
applied the values of unschooling to swimming.

Then we bought a house with a pool and I just relaxed about the entire
process, bought her alot of floaties and toys and we just played.
Didn't try to teach her a thing. She then started guiding me to help
her swim. She would ask me to hold her waist and she would try to
swim to the stairs.

The profound part for me was that she would start this 'mantra'
of "Dont push me, dont let go" over and over and over again - I
mean it, like hundreds of times a day! For me that is what
unschooling is - not pushing and not letting go."~~~~

From Shinewithunschooling, where the topic of trusting our children's interest in guns is being discussed:

Amy Carpenter-Leugs wrote:

~~~~~~~~"Some items are just powerful, mysterious, full of history and the
secrets of the human heart. They resonate with us on so many levels.

Guns, for instance (since that is the topic at hand ):

First, there's the cold steel wrapped around a tiny, amazingly
powerful bit of fire -- in elemental terms, that's not unlike our own
Selves -- the Earth/Body wrapped around powerful Spirit, and all the
responsibility that goes along with that.

Then there's the pure satisfaction of hitting a target square on -- a
satisfaction honed through the genes of our hunter/gatherer ancestors
for eons. That satisfaction ties into a survival skill that was
essential for much of the human race until quite recently.

And then there's the Hero factor present in guns and weaponry of all
sorts. I see in my own son a huge desire to save the world, to use
his own competence and strength and bravery to right all the wrongs.
Right now, that translates into lots of interest in weapons and
fighting -- that interest may last, or it may transmutate into
championing a particular cause. Either way is fine."~~~~~~~~~~

And from UnschoolingDiscussion, Sandra was posting about the insanity plea of Andrea Yates, and pondering some related issues:

~~~~~~~~".........just earlier
today I was thinking about how some people's personal preferences
(passions? obsessions?) get played out on their kids. It happens to
kids in school too, of course, when parents pressure them to be
perfect, or to be paranoid, or whatever. Sometimes we hear stories
of homeschoolers or unschoolers getting their kids into some kind of
extreme situations because the mom is anti-something (deforestation
or meat-eating or TV or automobile transport or R-rated-movie-
watching or Christianity or internet access or something) so she
builds an environment and a mystique and a set of threatening stories
all based on living out her extreme view. Some of them are anti-
school, and that can be scary. If those kids do end up having to go
to school for some reason, the mom's warnings might make them WAY
more fearful than they should be.

When people do positive things for positive reasons, that's good (by
simple definition "good"), and when they do negative things for
negative reasons, that's dark and bad, no matter how much Bible and
Jesus are cited on the way there.

If we limit our worlds and our children's worlds to smaller and
smaller places, physically or intellectually or any other way, we end
up in a hole from which we can't see the whole sky, can't see the
whole world. Give them MORE, not less. Let them think, see and do
MORE, not less."~~~~~~~~~~~


Anonymous jessica c said...

Ren, In my mommy decides everything days (not totally out it, but getting closer every day) we were watching what I thought was Little House on the Prairie. It was actually GunSmoke. I never got to watch either of these b/c my brothers hated Lit'l House (too sissy) and Gun Smoke seemed abit red. Anyway, two guys are sawing away at a tree with a 2 person type hand saw thing, they're going at it with all the testosterone they have. When all of the sudden one guy whips out his pistol and shoots the other guy. OMG, I was like what kind of Litl House is this? T was shocked and my husband who walked in from work to see us doing this laughed is butt off at the irony. So far no one has been warped by the experience and I can see the funny in it now.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous lesa said...

Actually my biggest fear is that I'm not doing enough for my DD... life is really pulling me in 10 different directions and the world really likes to pound into you that you aren't enough and that you aren't going enough for your kids... I think I feel it so much more since diving into unschooling. I really sucks being a fish out of water! Really! Why won't people who don't support us just leave us alone?

9:02 AM  

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