~unschooling, the great big un- we know and love… i’ve never particularly liked the name unschooling, i’d prefer to identify by what we are doing instead of what we are not doing… because really when it comes down to it, unschooling is whatever you decide it is~ it can mean trying out things that mama might find completely repellent (plastic light-sabre!? oy vay. at least it’s second hand…) ~ it might mean checking in with your tribal roots (that second picture is hard to see: he’s stuck bird feathers into the head of his hand-knit wool penguin, and has made something resembling a sun-god out of tinker toys ~ unschooling definitely means sleeping when and where you want and need to, being open to the things your body needs and wearing clothes you find comfy ~ it might mean an entire month of doing nothing else but drawing and drawing and drawing and drawing….
~it definitely means you don’t have to put pants on if there is nowhere in particular you have to be ~ it might mean that your halloween celebration is heavy on candlelit pumpkin dinners and light on high fructose corn syrup (or it might not!) and you definitely have a say in how much cinnamon goes into your blackberry applesauce ~
~ unschooling might mean that an enormous amount of scotch tape might be consumed in one 24-hour period, while you are discovering the fun of taping pages together to make larger canvasses for your work ~ it might mean target practice indoors, if that is what you are practicing and it happens to be rainy, and we all decide to ask “how can we?” instead of saying “we can’t” ~ it means mama might ask you what kind of muffins you want to make, and when you say carrot raisin banana nut, she might just go along with it and let you put the bananas in as spears representing “yew nork” state buildings ~ it means mama might believe in silly healing remedies like taking you to the beach on a windy day when you’re not really over your cold yet ~ it means you get to have halloween again if you want to, and carve a second round of winter squashes into jack-o-lanterns ~
~ if your dad is bob the builder, you might get to drill your own holes and sand your own wooden parts to build your own plane ~ if your mama is suzy sews-a-lot you might get to help stitch your new marker-organizer for your new collection of skinny markers ~ you might be holding conversations about our local foodshed and discussing the produce that happens to be in season before your turn 5 ~ but mainly you have lots and lots of time to work on your passion… and you might draw and draw and draw….
~and draw and draw and draw… (if you click on thumbnails you can see the dinosaur/creatures’ heads and feet in the larger image)~ oh, we did do some reading this month also: charlie and the chocolate factory and blueberries for sal came home from the library and were devoured promptly. we also chose a book about whales (quinn likes the harpoons…) and quinn has been pulling board books off the shelf here and there, and looking at them by himself.~
~you might have fun attempting to make little beeswax candles with mama, even though mama’s homemade candle wick experiment turned out to be an epic fail ~ you might learn your letters in your very own unique way, asking mama to spell out words for you to write, and asking every time she says a, ” is that a tee-pee with a cross bar?” and every time she says e, “is that a straight up-and-down with three lines and two canoe-cracks?” and every time she says j, “is that a fish hook?” ~ you might have a thing for umbrellas ~ you might eat your early thanksgiving meal at your play table, since it is where all the meals we eat at home are consumed (if we feel like sitting at a table, that is)~
you might grow one tiny melon that doesn’t make it through the chilly nights of early fall ~ but it still might be worth the effort
these are some of the things unschooling has turned out to be for us… because living it day-to-day, unschooling is defined by what it is, instead of what it’s not.
and what is unschooling to you?
a month of unschool is going to try being a blog hop- this will be experimental, and as with all things unschoolish, may prove to be either an epic success or an epic fail, or more likely, something in between. a way for us to share our many varied life learning experiences as unschoolers. if you want to participate, write your own a month of unschool post (i am not at all going to dictate any formatting! the sky’s the limit, and by the way, if you public school or waldorf school or school at home, i personally don’t think it disqualifies you from embracing unschooling and i guess i’m the boss around this blog hop- all welcome!) sometime in the next 10 days, click the link below that helpfully suggests “click here to enter” and paste in the link to the post you just wrote. you also have the option of hosting the linky on your post, so visitors to your blog can hop to the rest of the blogs joining in. by clicking the “get the code” link and copy/pasting the short piece of html into the bottom of your post. at least, i think that’s how it works. let’s find out! i will aim for the last day of the month to post, so it will be easy to remember for folks joining in. (it will also give me time to write my post, since i actually post about months spanning from the 23rd of one month to the 23rd of the next- quinn’s birthday. not that you needed all those details but maybe you wondered why halloween was going on for so long!) can’t wait to see what is going on in your unschool!