Adventures in unschooling! February 2017 toddler edition
“Mommy learns what unschooling is”
This week my toddler took all of her crayons and put them into the hole of a pool noodle!
She’s 18 months old and she started doing this on her own when she was having free-play aka mommy was doing dishes. I realized what a great fine motor activity that was and that I had actually been planning a similar but more complicated activity that I found on pinterest, using straws and an empty parmesan cheese container. I hadn’t taken the time and energy to actually prep aforementioned awesome activity.
So, I hopped onto pinterest, as any good mom would do and I came across this term,
You’ve probably already heard it, but it was new to me.
Basically the idea behind unschooling is that children are naturally curious and we just let them learn by exploring their interests.
I love this concept because sometimes the “education” that we push on children for their benefit actually has the opposite effect by making them frustrated and not want to participate in anything labeled “learning” or “education.” I know few children going through traditional schooling anywhere who would say that they enjoy it or that learning is fun.
Am I planning to exclusively “unschool” my child?
No. There are some things that we have to do in life that may not be the most fun. I want her to have some basic knowledge and skills that may not fall into her “interests” and I want her to be stretched to learn to do things that aren’t initially exciting.
However this experience really taught me a lesson! My child is already curious and has a desire to try things, learn things, and explore the world. Probably the greatest educational gift that I can give her is to not squash that spirit! So I will give myself a break and let her learn by playing, copying and trying things. There will be lots of times that I need to step in and be intentional in teaching her, but she is learning so much in her playing-I’m going to enjoy watching her unschool!
Want to read more about how my ideas on education have changed since having a toddler? I wrote about it here