Tuesday, July 23, 2013

School is starting back, you say?

A lot of homesteading pages are discussing school starting back after summer vacation. I know many, many homesteading parents homeschool - mostly in the traditional sense.

 I seem to try my best to not do things the typical way, though. We believe in a natural approach to learning. We believe folks should consider the  un-school approach

But. . .what is un-schooling? The process of allowing children to learn from their world, using real life events to teach everything. . .allowing the child's strengths to guide what they learn. Normal events in a day are lessons. Life has lessons, natural interest creates lessons, learning, self guided.

It is well wrapped up in the Oscar Wilde quote:  “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”

I hated traditional school as a child and teenager. My mother was a free, artsy type that did not force me to go, and I lived in an area - ha - that didn't enforce attendance back then. I stayed home more often than not, and I stopped going entirely at 15. It was a wonder then, when I went to college that I outperformed all of the "traditionally schooled" students time and time again, right? Not really.

Perhaps that time to learn what I had an interest in on my own and to actually learn about real life is the MAIN reason I am here doing what I do now, the way I do it. . .and I would have it no other way. So, that is what we do here. . .we are fortunate that I can be home with the boys and understand many parents aren't afforded that luxury. I'm very glad because our oldest son, particularly, did not thrive in the traditional classroom at all, and I shudder to think how his confidence would have suffered and his unorthodox but natural abilities would have been ruined in the process. I come from a LONG line of teachers/principal/professors on both my father's and mother's side of the family, so call me the black sheep, if you will :)

And for me, personally, I prefer to shape a life of learning that the children do not need a vacation from :)



Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27

"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington