Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nothing lazy about natural learning

Nothing lazy about natural learning, that's for sure. For our family it means a very busy, productive lifestyle full of exploration, investigation, experimentation - full on being and doing.

An example of why I love how we home educated our kids:

Robin and I were installing a wardrobe at my parent's house yesterday and had left our two sons (age 22 and 26, both unschool grads) at home to install our new and rather complex pull-out pantry. We arrived home to find little progress. No problems there, but Roger was excited about what they'd been doing instead...

He'd hunted down a blow fly and dropped it into our inside fish pond. The fish were interested and started nibbling it, but a spider dropped down from a web above the pond and started 'fishing'. They watched and took photos as she reinforced her web, attached lines to the fly, poisoned it, and began the process of hauling it up out of the water. They had questions like 'would she be able to break the surface tension of the water?' They described to us in the detail how the spider had made the web stronger, how she drew out the web and wrapped it around the fly. The spider was a fraction the size of the fly. We think she is some kind of widow spider, related to the redback. I reckon she could be a juvenile redback...

This kind of observation and learning about what is happening around us goes on all the time at our place. I'm rapt that natural learning and unschooling didn't stop when my kids turned 18. My kids are appreciative that they could do this kind of thing all day instead of book work. They make time to learn about the world, are observant and reflective. They know that they are always learning. They want to learn. How cool is that?

A lot of people would have simply seen two fellas shirking work, larking about instead of completing the job they were supposed to do, being lazy...