If you ask me how school is going I’ll probably give a friendly smile and say it’s going great and they’re learning everything.
Just don’t ask me to elaborate, because I have yet to find a pleasant and succinct way of telling curious acquaintances what we are doing for our kids’ education in a reassuring manner.
I have the alarming answer down pat. A breezy, “oh, we’re not really doing anything” is about the opposite vibe you want to give when representing your ability to educate your children.
Right now, our kiddos are absorbing stories, numerical reasoning, and the basics of science simply because they are motivated and curious about the world around them. They are playing outside and inside, taking hikes in nature, investigating bugs, making art, participating in STEM club with other homeschooled kids, being read to, observing their parents have interests, and simply creatively playing, collaboratively and independently.
From observing me and Israel in our endeavors, they are learning about art, rocket science, aerodynamics, crocheting, cooking, physics, hiking, running, back-country safety, pursuit of writing, love of reading, family life, faith, etc. In a casual way, most of the time, but every now and then a specific topic gets a fair amount of clarification.
Which, when you write it all down, seems like enough for a six year old, a five year old and a three year old.
If I were forced to give a well-known name to our approach, it’d be homeschooling. The less well-known, but more accurate, is called unschooling. But the name ‘unschooling’ makes it seem like we’re actually not doing any school at all. They learn so much on their own at this age it’s not that inaccurate, but, personally, I find the idea a little demotivating.
So I’m renaming it, at least in my head.
I’m calling it Us-Schooling.
Because it really is about what interests us, and what works for us, and teaching us to be better humans in the world. All of us together. It’s a household-wide encouragement of freely learning, investigating, and pursuing what is interesting. It’s more catered and specific to the way we are approaching learning in our house. Not just for the kids, but for all of us.
It is a way of approaching the kids’ education where it actually matters if the parents are learning and growing, too. It matters if the parents have interests and that they are pursuing them. It matters that the kids get to be in on it. It matters that we all exist in a family and not just as separate people. It matters that they see us doing things that matter to us and make a difference to people around us.
And then it matters all the more that they get to do the same.
We all learn from each other, we all inspire each other, and we all grow together.
I’m starting to get excited about this.
What is your favorite way to learn with your kids? I love reading with mine! :)
This month I am joining the #write31days community to explore the idea of the Whole Together Family because I believe we get be who God created us to be – together. Find the whole list posts here or click on the image.