Unschooling (Interest Led Learning)

From Wikipedia: Unschooling is a range of educational philosophies and practices centered on allowing children  to learn through their natural life experiences, including child directed play, game play, household responsibilities, work experience, and social interaction, rather than through a more traditional school curriculum. Unschooling encourages exploration of activities led by the children themselves, facilitated by the adults. Unschooling differs from conventional schooling principally in the thesis that standard curricula and conventional grading methods, as well as other features of traditional schooling, are counterproductive to the goal of maximizing the education of each child.

We unschool every Wednesday.

The kids decide what they want to learn and on this particular day, it looked like this:

Asher read this book, and then made his own origami Yoda.

Avy balanced our credit card statement.

Asher wrote a few pages of a book that he’s writing.

Avy played some games on a civics website.

Asher worked on his maps and schedules and started reading a new 100 page report that our bus system just released.

Avy helped make pita bread for our falafel dinner.

Asher made cookies.

Avy danced (as she does every day).

In addition there was Mythbusters, geography game playing, Lego building, piano playing, reading about Genghis Khan, and drawing, and so much more.  This is also the day we hit the YMCA for swimming, basketball and racquetball.

I love the ebb and flow of these days.  I love that each Wednesday is completely different from the last.  I love seeing what has sparked an interest and how they go about teaching themselves or finding  someone to teach them.  I love that we all go our separate ways for some things, but always find our way back to each other throughout the day.  A lot of interest led learning happens every day for us, but it’s nice to have a day of the week where we can each focus on whatever we want. For us, a balance of curriculum and unschooling works.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tami
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 14:31:26

    Lisa, I love this idea of once a week! I’ve always thought of it as an all or nothing plan. I am totally stealing this one!

  2. lifeinlockwoodland
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 14:44:14

    Excellent! Can’t wait to swap ideas next week!

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