As we sat down to lunch today I thought about the children at the end of our street. We hear the bells that signal they're allowed to eat, run around and talk to one another. I wondered what they had learnt this morning.
Our Monday morning consisted of music 'lessons', art 'class', physical education, home economics, some social studies, maths, science and English (to name that which could be put into school-defined categories).
The conversations and activities we covered in one morning can be found in bits and pieces divided into many half hour subject blocks at school. Instead, we covered them as they arose, still half dressed for the day, while nibbling at an aging breakfast.
I am reminded of a beautiful quote from Sarah Parent, said during her third podcast on unschool life: "it's about flow of life". I don't believe it's reasonable to expect individuals to learn the same way, at the same pace. I don't think it's reasonable to expect children to sit still and pay attention to one subject, taught by one person in one particular style for a full thirty minutes. Today Harri soaked up two minutes of music class on guitar and another few minutes on clarinet at another stage. But I wholeheartedly believe that because during those times it was her desire which drove her to pay attention, what she learned will stay with her and be of value in a way it would not, had I enforced a thirty minute lesson.
Likewise, if anyone were to try to make Harri eat breakfast at the kitchen table, within half an hour before starting her unschooling activities I'd have a child who skips breakfast every day. I want her to eat breakfast. But it's her breakfast and it's her stomach. The desire and the action that follows, has to come from within.
As our Monday winds to a close I'm left feeling calm and grateful for what was an easy day. And despite being an easy day, I know that tonight Harri goes to sleep a more educated child than she was when she woke.
I'm joining in Owlet's Unschool Monday