Do you ever just get antsy? I don’t know if it is hormones, a genuine mid-life crisis, or seasonal affective disorder, but I’ve got this sudden hankering to really change things up. (You can relax, sweetheart. I don’t mean you. I’ve just now got you trained to take out the trash before I ask…why would I want to go messing with that formula?!)
But the one thing that has been nagging in my brain for almost a year is this whole unschooling business. Thanks to great bloggers like Jena at Yarns of the Heart, and Teresa over at Tech Trek, I’m feeling more and more intrigued about the idea. I mean, there has always been a LOT of child-led learning around here, but OCD-afflicted as I am, I could still never fully let go of the structured days (and my youngest has always really craved structure as well).
So I’ve been asking myself the question…what if we did it as an experiment? What if we took the first semester of next school year and gave it a whirl? (did you catch my use of “semester” there? I’m really primed for this unschooling thing, eh?) Calling it an “experiment” takes the pressure off, and allows me to chalk it up as experience if we don’t take to it as well as I think we will.
I sat the boys down on Monday and gave them an intro to what unschooling might look like. They had never even heard the term – – that’s how traditional our local homeschool circles are. So the first thing Uber did for the next six hours was research unschooling and what it would mean for him, and what it would mean for his transcripts, and what it would mean to have to tell your friends you are an “unschooler.” (Geez, he gets enough flack among his buddies for being a vegetarian!)
But watching him go through that particular identity crisis was really interesting for me. First of all, it made me see that in some ways he is already an unschooler. When he wants to know something, he figures a way to find it out. And it also made me see that a lot of our thoughts about learning are tied into what other people think of how we learn. (I know that you unschoolers have known this for ages, so forgive me for the late catch-up)
Anyway, now that my kids have wrapped their heads around it, they are already getting psyched about next school year. Uber was asking if we could start school in August instead of September. Yes, I know that true unschoolers don’t think about a “starting date” for when to begin learning, but it is fun from a mom’s perspective to see them get excited in general about learning – – unschooling or otherwise.
This could be a life-changing experience for us.
Or it could just be PMS. Time will tell…