This blog is where we share our homeschooling journey. Our style is eclectic, employing strategies like notebooking, workboxing, and some relaxed unschooling I like to call organic or free-range learning.

Monday, January 7, 2013

We're Back--and Unschooling Again!

Still Livin' and Learnin'
It's been a long while since we've posted to Wonder World Classroom, largely because of a phenomenon we experienced as soon as we joined the charter school we were part of for two years. We joined as unschoolers, a philosophy the school happily told us they embraced. Insofar as was possible for a charter whose funding depends on adhering to common core standards. 

So what happened?

We were required to show that Bri was being taught the concepts her grade level "should" be focused on, an idea which pretty much runs counter to our personal view of unschooling. Gone was spontaneous learning from the process of life and Bri's own interests. Enter mandatory essays, work packets, and (gasp) standardized testing. We struggled to show core standard instruction every month for a child whose heart (and right-brained spirit) is strongly anchored to experiential learning. And I do mean we struggled. Our membership to the local museum lapsed, our weekly trips to the library dwindled to monthly, and park trips with other homeschoolers fizzled. This blog went kablooey. In short, we were too busy "schooling" to get around to learning. And much more important, the fire for learning Bri had found with unschooling fizzled, replaced by frustration, boredom, and many tears.

It's been a long journey, and when the decision was made to pull her out and return to unschooling, there was a lot of parental guilt and soul-searching about whether leaving was the right thing, or whether joining the charter had simply been a mistake in the first place.

And then I remembered what unschooling was all about for us. Living=learning. We didn't stop the past two years. Bri has learned a great deal, even if the specific concepts the school said she "should" have been learning were not mastered. We learned a valuable lesson about the importance of unschooling at our house. It's not only the best course for Bri. At this point, it's the only course.

So we're back! And now that Bri is reading and writing, she's excited about participating herself on the blog. She also plans to launch her own YouTube channel, posting videos about what she's up to. 

It's great to be back...and wonderful to return to the process of learning with the world as our classroom.


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