Saturday, December 28, 2013

See Zon Run (A look at Child-Led Learning)

How has unschooling been for us in the early stages? DD is now 5 years old and has not been forced to do lessons, flash cards or other structured schooling methods. What does this look like in our home, and how is she learning?

DD needs me to wait for her cue. She does not like to be interrupted or directed in her learning. She wants to explore and think about things on her own, only coming to me for minor assistance. "How do you spell this word, Mama?" "Why does this letter make more than one sound?"  "Alright, Mama, go away!"

I receive a tolerant smile before she goes back to carefully storing
her treasure: her first microscope!
She's growing in leaps and bounds right now, sounding out words left and right, making up rhymes on her own and writing everything down on her doodle board and notebooks. I picked up an entire box of notebooks from after-school clearance at Target so she can write to her heart's content.

She has received actual workbooks from traditional homeschooling friends and she does like them. But I have not drilled her. I have not prodded her. I have not made her sit down for lessons or made her fill out the workbooks. Her work and progress are hers alone, from her own motivation and her own dedication to learning. She seems especially predisposed towards math and started completing equations before she was verbally able to process terms such as subtraction and multiplication.

Maybe that explains why she loves baking??
Art of course is a given and must come from DH's side of the family because I can't draw or craft for my life lol. I remember as a toddler, if she wasn't holding a drawing apparatus, her fingers would still begin to wiggle uncontrollably and she would trace her fingers on the ground, walls, seat, anything!

What five year old begs to go to the art museum
to see Giovanni Paolo? This one!
It's interesting to watch her growth spurts in reading, music, language, math, etc. Because this is how she has been with other things since birth. For example, one day she decided to walk. No amount of coaching or guiding would have helped, and she was offended by offers to help.

Or another example, around age 3, I bought her a 2 wheel bike and encouraged her to ride it without training wheels. She was capable, but unwilling. I waited. I backed away. Sure enough, one night she took her bike out of storage and began balancing on it in her bedroom, then demanded to ride it outside. Off she went as if she had been riding it the entire time!

Even at her birth, she taught me the same lesson of letting go and trusting. Wait, wait, wait, Mom. Give me space, Mom! She has a plan and she's going to stick to it!

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