Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Coming School Year

  To most of the world September signals the start of the new school year. Time to put away the hours of summer exploration and fun. Around my house nothing much changes.
  I truly believe in the ideal of unschooling! The ability to follow the thought or idea to its obvious conclusion in the child's mind.  To me there is a large difference in the terms of Education and Learning. Education is the systematic approach of pounding set ideas into people until they can parrot back the idea. These may not be ideas that are in line with the parent's belief system. The educator does not care. Learning is the development of skills necessary to enjoy the gathering of information that interest the person. Learning is a life long event that is a place of joy for the mind.
  So, let me explain. A few days ago my three year old granddaughter was watching something that I was writing on a  tablet. She pointed to the word "paws" I told her what it said. She cocked her head to the side then pointed to the cat and said "cat's paws" I said yes. She just stood there for a few moments and then smiled and said "word pictures!" while pointing at the word paws. We spent the next hour doing Nose, eye, mouth, teeth, ear, and cheek while she happily pointed at each one and then at the word. She laughed and giggled while learning. She was delighted at her discovery that words are a picture representing things. We will continue this game whenever we have the opportunity!
  Yes, she is learning the alphabet and numbers. We play games to instill each idea into her. She manipulates items to build things, walks on beams to encourage better balance, and plays all day long. She is a sponge for learning and that is exactly what all children are. In the past I did similar things with my own children. As adults the have entered professions that are a joy to them and continue learning every day. By guiding them to the ideal that learning is fun they will continue to do so for the rest of their lives. So, give unschooling a chance and help your children to learn with joy!

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