Frustrating The Educational Powers-That-Be Since August, 2009

Yep. Today was the day.

Our first official “not back to school day.”  Our introductory foray into the real, true world of interest-led learning. 

Thanks to Jena, over at Yarns of the Heart, I felt “called” all last year to move away from structured curriculum, and move toward releasing the learning into the hands of my very bright, capable kiddos.

We researched a lot last year.  And read together the Teenage Liberation Handbook.  And I sat at Jena’s virtual feet as she waxed eloquently about entrusting her three wonderful kids with their own goals and passions.

Then I decided to go for it!

And yes, I know it is ridiculous to need a starting point for learning, but we love our traditions around here in Topsy-Techieland, so we had an official starting date for our dive into the deep end of the pool of interest-led learning…and today was the day!

Interestingly, both boys decided over the summer to keep a structured curriculum for math.  H-T has always loved the math at Time4Learning, and he decided to continue on with that course…he also wants to continue with the Time4Learning American history lessons (I can’t blame him a bit…they are SO much fun!).  Uber found an online curriculum for geometry that he really felt suited him, so he’s working his way through that as well.

Otherwise, today was structure-free!  Each of the boys has quite a few interests they are excited to sponge up info on:

Uber: Learning Japanese, continuing piano lessons, studying Ancient Chinese culture, getting a grip on informational technology, and creating a nature journal.

H-T: His current interests are cryptozoology (I had to have him explain what in the heck that one was to me), Spanish, dog behavior, watching B-Horror flicks and reviewing them online, and continuing with guitar lessons

They are also keeping ongoing journals of what they are learning (my suggestion thanks to my writer instincts).  Today we spent a lot of time at the library finding books that matched their interests, and looking up websites and searching the Netflix catalog for good supplementary materials.  The rest of the time I hardly saw them –  they were deep into…well…learning, I suppose.

So, by simply surviving this day, I guess we’ve already gone a long way toward frustrating the educational powers-that-be, eh? 

This is going to be a very interesting journey……


9 Responses

  1. That’s a big, brave step. We’re about half-way there. Math, Writing and History/Science in the morning and interest-led in the afternoon. Baby steps, maybe?

  2. This is so exciting! Jena helped me feel confident in interest-led learning, too, I hope it works for you guys!

  3. Oh yeah, I wanted to tell you that today, I overheard a conversation held totally in song, Luke and Owen were discussing what to have for lunch. Kind of mundane for YouTube, but it made me think of you!

  4. Um, Karen, did you not get the latest quarterly edition of the “mom code”? It had a great article on spycams, hidden recording devices, and of course instructions on how to read your child’s diary without ever getting caught. I’ll slip you my copy if yours got lost in the mail. 😉

  5. oh yeah, you go girl! Congratulations on officially starting your unschooling adventure. 🙂

    Karen, I just have to laugh about singing children. Meg, from the age 5-10 probably, sang everything. I felt like I lived in an opera. Fun times.

  6. Yay! You’ve joined us on the Dark Side of the Force….or wait…hmm, ARE we the dark or light side? sigh….I never seem to be able to get it straight…..

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