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Unschooling or Just Living Life? – April 15, 2004
I havent been posting to this blog as often as Id like. Thats because I'm too busy – trying to do too much, as usual. These days, both life and business are getting in the way of much thinking, not to mention putting those thoughts down on paper. So there has gone the intention to try and define the term “unschooling” that I mentioned a week or two ago. 

A large portion of my time and emotional energy has been taken up with trying to find a satisfactory living arrangement for my 95-year-old mother. But that process has provided me with a great deal of learning...about how the bureaucratic system works, about how I want to prepare myself emotionally and financially for old age, about the health issues of the elderly, and many other things. I have even added a few new words to my vocabulary as a result! 

It occurred to me yesterday that my current path is no different from the one my children walked as they grew up. By that I mean they learned by living their daily lives, through experience...both that which found them and that which they sought out. They reacted to a need, a duty or an interest by exploring, researching, asking questions, listening to others, testing their ideas and putting them into motion, getting feedback, making the odd mistake and correcting it, and so on. Along the way, they learned how to read and write, how to research and communicate effectively, how to do math and think strategically, how to dance and play guitar, and about science, history, geography, art and computers. Nobody taught them what they learned, although many people contributed to their store of skills and knowledge. Nobody tested their knowledge or measured it against someone elses idea of what was appropriate for them to learn, although it was tested daily by the success of their various projects. It hardly seems appropriate to confine such a rich way of living through the use of such a narrow (not to mention semi-negative) term as “unschooling”!
Posted: 4/15/2004 7:45 AM

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