To strew. To lay interesting thing in the paths of our children, our families, our unschooling sons and daughters. Well, sons in my case. Or son. The lone unschooler.
Sandra Dodd coined this term “strewing” within an unschooling context.
And it works. It sparks an interest, it allows for exposure, it provides another knot to that mental hammock of information.
Even when a parent is in absentia. As I have been in February, due to work commitments.
You know Arnie Schwarznegger in the movie Jingle All the Way, that almost always absent dad? That’s been me. But at least everyone knows its only temporary (roll on March!).
And I have been strewing. So sparks are sown without me.
Making a salt dough crown of thorns with some sons. And me varnishing it late at night and decorating the table for Lent so that is the first thing everyone sees as they come downstairs in the morning. When I am already at work.
Asking Anthony to find an icon of Sts Cyril and Methodius while I hang streamers for St Valentine. While a very late, very easy dinner is cooking.
Taking a Saturday afternoon to clean the garage and find interesting new-to-some books to share….Dorothy Sayers’ Creed or Chaos?, Kim Philby’s account of the Philby spy scandal that rocked Britain and that on which the film and book Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is based, Joyce Vedrals’ book The 12 Minute Workout for those sons bemoaning their lack of workout time once Uni starts, Party Shoes by Noel Streatfield ( for me! But lead to discussion and a maybe we should watch Ballet Shoes again?), an Italian Reader for Thomas who is saving to go to Rome for a Latin school in July….
Other strewing? Reading about St Wahlburga after mass and Anthony looking up Saxon inspired desserts for Sunday.
A trip to Kikki K….just walking in the door makes one feel more organized already!
Setting up games days and times to hang with friends and lifts to and from drama and New Testament Greek class and buses to youth group for Anthony, the lone but not alone unschooler.
Making lists…..can someone make pancakes for Shrove Tuesday (Shrove Monday in this house this year!), can someone find a Gregorian chant CD, can someone vacuum or hang out laundry or post this letter and the myriad of other chores that make up Life Skills and Personal Development.
On the rare but treasured hang out with family nights…watching some of the Numbers series and discussing religion and faith and Maths and family and crime, watching Music and Lyrics and loving the dialogue, a mini Harry Potter marathon… Deathly Hallows Part One and Two and reminiscing about the books and characters and choices.
And my kids helping me with so much Kumon work and my thank you to my kids and to my other assistants…our nearly end of Kumon dinner at a local Chinese restaurant.
This is what unschooling looks like.
This is what unschooling strewing looks like.
It looks a lot like life, doesn’t it?
But life strewed with and lived with purpose and intent.
An observer may see no visible signs of learning (You wrote down a sneeze as Health! That tongue in cheek comment!). And yet the observer can know that there is learning and intent. Time is structured, by interest and by strewing, not necessarily by school. And education happens. With the spark or interest in learning retained.
That’s unschooling. That’s unschooling strewing.