Before I even began this post I was trying to figure out -for days- why I even wanted to write it in the first place.
I don't, right this minute, feel compelled to explain or sell Unschooling.
I don't feel that I have to justify anything to family or friends or The World At Large about the Whys or the Whats or the way we do things.
I don't feel sad -today, right this minute- that the children -people- of the world are suffering needlessly and tremendously in the way they are being educated or raised.
(Understand that these are oftentimes concerns of mine generally, just that I am not saddened and affected by them today.)
So why write about the Way at all?
Maybe it's just because there are a few folks who drop by here for a visit, to peek in to see what it looks like for us.
And maybe I just want to say that it looks like This, and it looks like This, and it even looks like This, too.
I wrote a list of things that we have on hand (surprisingly) for Trev as he moves into the next stage - into the stage of Mediumhood. : )
We have loads of things for Littles for building and creating and sculpting and measuring and estimating-- but what do we have for the next step??
Thus, the list.
To remind myself that the answer is "Quite Enough".
That we do, we have, and we are - Enough.
A couple of weeks or so ago -around the time that I started that list I mentioned- I tracked down (and it took some work to find it, as I hadn't done so in two or three years : ) ) our local "this is what all children should know" list according to our state laws and core curriculum.
My intent was not out of any fear, you must understand-- but more of a "are there some things that I am blindly neglecting, and that are important?"
"Things that are simply just not on my "radar"?"
"Are there some good ideas that I'm not considering?"
I don't cotton with grades, and it's probably pretty apparent (I hope -wicked grin) that I don't have much respect for the status quo.
I don't play and learn with my children out of a sense of fear or ego (pray God), but rather for the Joy of the thing, and to be a good Mama and to provide them with tools that I think will be helpful in developing their greatest selves, and their personal Truth.
what does The State say?
I realize I'm meandering and walking slowly and weaving - but bear with me - this is the way my ordinary conversations in my life go, too-- be thankful we're not talking lying on the grass or on the telephone ; ) -
Putting aside the fact that I don't put much stock into formal education (be that private or public schooling), and that I take to the ideas of John Taylor Gatto, John Holt, David Albert, Naomi Aldort, et al, and that I feel that public school is a moot point as well as the need being obsolete,
what I read upon the State's Pages...
leaves me nothing but feeling content and comfortable and Knowing.
A year or more ago I had a pocketful of money, and was looking for Juice, so I went into a local teacher's/educator's shop.
I walked around, picked things up, read the back.... picked up shiny, slick workbooks, lesson type notes, looked through games, beads... you know the stuff.
I walked out without buying anything.
We can just dig in the garden, instead, I thought.
I could make this, myself.
Why buy this when we can use real money?
But - they (my children) already ARE in possession of fabulous vocabularies.
But - we don't need a list of directions... we already know how to do this.
And so it went.
It was much the same at the state's site.
I must admit that I had a tiny moment of fear as I first checked in - like I was being judged for my competency, and even more painful - that my children were going to be judged and be found lacking in their intelligence.
It didn't happen.
Now certainly I give a certain amount of credit to their inherent intelligence -
for instance, Maddie doesn't know all of her letters. I'm not worried that she never will.
Trev doesn't write - as in penmanship.
It doesn't concern me.
They are not familiar with terms and words such as Conjunctive and Phonological Awareness and Syllabication and Digraphs.... but somehow we manage to muddle through. [rolls eyes.]
Science, for 4th grade, looks like weather and the water cycle and forms of water and soil and rocks and fossils.
Social studies looks like our state and its ecologic conditions.
Just as if we didn't know -by personal experience- what our state is made of.
There is dance.
and Phys Ed.
There is Library Media - this is the Wikipedia Kid, remember-
and there is Mathematics.
?? - Not so worried that it's fretful with this one -
We play Hex. And Carmen Sandiego Math Detective. And Math 1-2. And with cuisenaire rods. And Blokus. And Qwirkle.
And we measure things with the scale.
We don't do long division or too much multiplication, yet - but it's not a concern and put anywhere near the "Never Will" list.
So was there anything?
Any cause for concern,
Well - upon reading that list, I did get the idea of putting together a bunch of materials for making a story with sound effects -
locks, water noises, animal noises, roars, steps upon the earth, growls...
and then yesterday morning Trev mentioned that he'd like to create a film with sound effects.
A prehistoric film.
My camera, his imagination.
What can I say?
and find out
We use all of the things around us, near us, and offered to us to do so.
I cannot and will not apologize for that.
And I certainly shall not say that it isn't enough.
And now I really must go swim with my family, and then get ready for the African music and dance concert.
We'll see you in a few hours with today's Doings.
Love and Joy, friends.