Unschooling

As we approach the new school year

The Anti-Planning Post.

As we approach the start of term one here in Australia, many homeschoolers naturally turn to thoughts about what-to-do-this-new-year.

For us, this is somewhat easy, as we never really stop or start homeschooling. As you can see from this week’s homeschool log.

And from pics. Kids here..reading at the airport…journal writing while on holiday…taking their Kumon bag on holiday…

But I still like to think about our rhythms and things we may like to tweak.

With my general busyness, with work and volunteer stuff and study, I also need to see, mentally, and then written in my journal, how a week could look. Will I find time to be there for my kids, amidst housework and paid work and everything-else?

Well, I make sure I will, by glancing over my week.

The monthly bulletin board is a boon for us…we put up pics or info about the saints for the month, birthdays, happenings.

I keep the saints calendar book open, for info about the Saint of the Day and artwork.

I am thinking we may go back to refrigerator strewing ~ each month putting stuff up about an artist for that month, and/or French/Latin mottoes for that month.

So, as we Australian homeschoolers approach the new school year, can I suggest that we look less at curricula and more at rhythms? At creating a lifestyle of learning.

Read Julie Bogart’s Bravewriter One Thing ..and how it helped with our plans in January 2006.

I am feeling a bit under the weather, as they say. Tired, I have a sore throat, blood clots in superficial veins, on rest….So, I am back to my One Thng.One Thing for each day, to be and do with the children. I first heard of the One philosophy when I was a young teenager, reading one of those ubiquitous magazines for young women.The article was called One Bowl and was a dieting article – describing the philosophy of paring back. The ideas was to eat all one’s meals out of one small bowl – thus cutting down automatically on portions. And learning to savour meals from the One Bowl. Since then, I have read about the One philosophy applied to many areas. I have tried to keep to One Thing at many times, when everything else seems like too much. One Thing can also be applied to housework, to habits, to homeschooling or unschooling……

So, what was my One Thing for unschooling yesterday? Typically me, the One Thing was actually Two Things. 1.Read about the Epiphany Blessing and its traditions and meanings 2. Share my writing ideas with the dc – my thought of writing and drawing in our journals, about our holidays with the older three boys. About our dreams and wishes for 2006. Include photos and cut outs from leaflets collected on our visits in the holidays. Paste in snippets of Christmas cards. Pics of goals for the year.

And, as we approach the new school year, with plans, remember to take it easy. Plan for joy. Don’t start the year stressed.

If your mind is like mine at the moment, a hotch-potch of worries and problems and issues, start the year with time out.

More from Bravewriter, on homeschooling if things feel tough.

Well, the blog post is actually Homeschooling Through Grief but I think it could also be titled unschooling through worries, busyness, stress, no time, too-much-too-think-about

Keep your plans loose..remember, in a strewing, caring, interesting household, kids will learn. They are wired to learn.

We tend to do more technology when things are tough for me and, you know, the kids learn anyway. And when things improve, I find it easy to add in things that can eventually take over so much screen time..
From the Bravewriter blog ~

Let them watch crap TV and play computer games. I know, I know. That sounds so cynical. Here’s something I know from experience. Kids learn because that’s what they do. I’ve discovered from having been through a rough year myself that my kids have learned stuff I never taught them from Seinfeld episodes, from reality TV, from music (spending big quantities of time listening to and copying lyrics). Your kids need space to recover too, so let them do some of these “lesser forms of learning” without guilt. Remember the summers of your youth when you vegged out all day watching game shows or old movies? It’s okay. They’ll be okay. A little bit of learning combined with a lot of technology and TV for a period of time (a season) may be the easiest way to recover from such a blow as losing your mother. You’ll all get restless and sick of that lifestyle when your energy revives. You will. Trust it.
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