Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Recognizing learning

Start noticing the learning available all around you.
There's oodles of science in cooking. Why does heat make the white of an egg turn from clear liquid to solid white? What process turns liquid cake into poofy air-filled solid cake? Don't worry if you don't know the answers. Anyone can look up the answers. Few can ask the questions.
              . . . .
Unfortunately we learned in school that learning is locked up in books and reading is the only way to get to it. It's not. It's free. We're surrounded by it. We just need to relearn how to recognize it in its wild state.
—Joyce Fetteroll

Highlights of the fourth of Five Steps to Unschooling
photo by Vlad Gurdiga

Monday, November 29, 2021

Interest in things

Joyce Fetteroll wrote:

Get interested in things yourself. Not interested in your child getting educated, but in learning for yourself. Pursue an interest you've always wanted to but never had time for. Be curious about life around you. Look things up to satisfy your own curiosity. Or just ponder the wonder of it all. Ask questions you don't know the answers to. "Why are there beautiful colors beneath the green in leaves?" "Why did they build the bridge here rather than over there?" "Why is there suddenly more traffic on my road than there used to be?"
—Joyce Fetteroll
Most of the third of Five Steps to Unschooling
photo by Nina Haley

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Opportunities for expansion

Joyce Fetteroll wrote:

Make sure your child has opportunities to expand her interests. Have books, videos, kits, games, puzzles, music tapes, puppets, nature collections, and other cool things available for her to pick up when she chooses. (Think library, yard sales, and attic treasures.) Take her places as a way to spark an interest. Wander about museums and just look at the cool stuff that interests either of you. (And resist the urge to force an interest in the things you think would be good for her.) Read a book or do a kit even if you're certain it won't lead anywhere. Let her say no thanks if she's not interested in pursuing something right now, or in pursuing something to the degree you think she "should."
—Joyce Fetteroll

From the second of Five Steps to Unschooling
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Following interests

Joyce Fetteroll wrote:

To unschool, you begin with your child's interests. If she's interested in birds, you read—or browse, toss aside, just look at the pictures in—books on birds, watch videos on birds, talk about birds, research and build (or buy) bird feeders and birdhouses, keep a journal on birds, record and ponder their behavior, search the web for items about birds, go to bird sanctuaries, draw birds, color a few pictures in the Dover Birds of Prey coloring book, play around with feathers, study Leonardo DaVinci's drawings of flying machines that he based on birds, watch Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds."

But DON'T go whole hog on this. Gauge how much to do and when by your child's reactions. Let her say no thanks. Let her choose. Let her interest set the pace. If it takes years, let it take years. If it lasts an hour, let it last an hour.

—Joyce Fetteroll

The first of Five Steps to Unschooling
photo by Catherine Hassall

Friday, November 26, 2021

Is this obvious?

I like the words "obvious" and "oblivious." They're not really related, but they seem and sound similar, which can be fun and funny.

To some people the presence of a lizard would be obvious. They would see it, right in their path.

I am often oblivious to lizards. I don't remember that they exist, if one hasn't just run up the wall.

Are we obvious to lizards? If one runs, he probably saw me moving toward him. They come to our compost bin to eat bugs. I bring new scraps from the kitchen. Out in my yard, sometimes lizards can seem to be oblivious to people, or to cats, or to roadrunners.

As the parenting of children goes, it is good to lean toward what is obvious, and to avoid being oblivious.
photo by Karen James

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Right here, right now

"When you’re worrying about something that hasn’t even happened yet, when you’re worrying about the future, you’re not there in the present. What you’re thinking about might never even happen and you were wasting your time thinking about something that will never happen. So focus on right here, right now."
—Marta Venturini
brown lizard on a cinderblock wall
Deschooling with Marta Venturini—interview by Pam Laricchia
Marta said she was paraphrasing me, but I like her wording.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Easily amused, and compassionate

Some people have snow while others have heat waves. Leaves turn red and gold some places while others have year-round greenery.

Some days are full of learning and laughter and others are quieter.

Expect the world to surprise you. Moments, days and years will have different kinds of weather, activity, and learning. The factors are too many to track, so flexibility and the ability to be easily amused or quickly compassionate will serve you well.

photo by me or Holly?
This photo was saved in non-standard fashion; if it's yours, let me know. The image was saved as though it were Holly's or mine, but the lizard is quite green, for here.