Archive for August, 2011


Ramblings On Natural Progression. Lifeschooling.

August 29, 2011

(These are my personal thoughts, not an attack on anyone or anyone’s beliefs 🙂 )

My beliefs are very much grounded in nature. A lot of this derives from the way I grew up, mostly in solitude, mostly outdoors. Most of my energy was devoted to nature and essentially unschooling myself as I grew up. I grew up fairly transient, as we moved often. I attended public schools. Looking back though, most of my “education” was what I learned on my own. Sure, I learned math and a few other things in public school, but the real core of who I am, the real core of things I know, I unschooled myself on, even though I had never heard of unschooling before. I only realized this recently, when the question was asked “what is your schooling?” amongst homeschooling friends. It is yet another thing about myself and my beliefs that I just followed my gut with, and so I didn’t realize it “was something”.
Guts. Instinct. Natural progression.
This is how I raise my kids. I follow my natural, primal, gut instinct. I breastfed all five of my babies, most into toddler-hood, because “that’s just how its done, why wouldn’t I?”. I try to parent as non-violently as possible (in action and word), because it just makes instinctual sense to me, as my kids are people too. As much as possible I try to use natural consequences ad talk with them as logically as possible, and with truth, again because they are people and that is what makes sense to me. I allow for a lot more freedom of expression than I see most parents around and about, because that is what I needed a lot more of growing up.
I am, by no stretch, perfect. I try, and I hope that my kids recognize this eventually. You do the best you can with what you have available at the time. I am a work in progress as much as they are.
Where is this going?
Homeschooling. This, to me, is a natural progression. The book “Homeschooling: A Family’s Journey” by Gregory and Martine Millman, has a chapter that I found reiterates my belief of this. (From the chapter):
“Mothers and babies pay attention to each other in ways of which they are not even conscious. Their bodies communicate even after birth.””In order for the baby to enjoy all of the advantages of breastfeeding, the mother must hold the baby and pay close, and even automatic and unconscious attention. Its not difficult to imagine communication between the mother and baby occurring in many ways, still undiscovered and unmeasured by researchers.””For many mothers, this relationship naturally grows into homeschooling. It is probably not a coincidence that the rising interest in Lamaze births and breastfeeding in the 1980’s was followed by a surge in the homeschooling movement.”
When I look through the past, women have been naturally birthing and breastfeeding for millennium, we were made capable of it (in most cases). Through history, children learned through a natural progression, from the parents, families, small communities and environments, not in “cages” (institutional). These are natural progressions. This is what makes instinctual sense to me.
Homeschooling is a multi-hued term. It means so many things to so many people. You simply cant categorize everyone who homeschools into a single, or even a few different, definition/s. There are as many variants to the process as there are families who homeschool. From the un-regimented, child-led unschooling to the very regimented, just a step away from institutional schooling, with different beliefs, religious influences (or none) and goals.
I want my kids to be educated wholly. Not in the fragmented, non-sensical facade of institutional schools. I consider us eclectic homeschoolers. I pull from different sources and beliefs into an amalgamation that is ours. Some is classical education, some is unschooling, some is in-between. To me, though, all must make sense and have context, and I want it to largely be based in history, science and literature. this is not to say that there is no room for math, etc. Just that history, science and literature are the context for all learning, and all of life.
I have recently dubbed it “Lifeschooling”. It just makes sense to me.
Through history, children learned by living, experiencing and the stories they were told. That is what comes naturally to us as humans, that is at our core. To me, that is what “Lifeschooling” is, learning by following our primal core.