I became aware of the idea of unschooling early on in our homeschool journey. I’ve never really called us unschoolers because, well, we weren’t. Delight-directed seemed to fit us better, lending itself to Ben’s interests and passions, while giving me the safety net of some curriculum to work with. The idea of unschooling intrigued me, but I was never able to seriously consider it.
Life has gotten in the way of our daily homeschooling schedule. A Lupus flair for me, and now a diagnosis of cancer for my mom, has left us unsure of where we will be from day to day. A couple of weeks ago, I spent a few days with my mom, while Ben was home with Dad while he worked from home. It was during this week that I began to think about unschooling.
You see, I fully expected that Ben would spend those days playing his Wii, watching TV, and hanging with his friends. I never expect my husband to homeschool Ben when he’s working from home . . . it’s just too much. I was pleasantly surprised when I came home, to find that Ben had been doing the following:
- reading about the plagues in Exodus
- watching episodes of Egypt Unwrapped
- digging out every book we own on Egypt, pyramids, and pharaohs
- talking nonstop about all of the above
All of this without instruction or prompting to do so. He just wanted to learn more about Egypt. Mind you, our history focus this year, if you could call it that, is American history, American wars, in particular. So where did this all come from? It really is not like Ben to just take a subject and go with it without my
And more importantly, is it possible that this could continue, should I allow it? Can I trust that Ben will just learn on his own, without lesson plans, without a schedule, without me even here?
I don’t really have an answer to that question yet. The idea of unschooling is just beginning to seep into my brain. But since I know that over the next few weeks, maybe even months, we will be continuing in this way of not always knowing where we’ll be, I think we’ll give it a try.