“You know we do school everyday, mom.”
This is a comment my son made to me last night. I stopped what I was doing and listened to him continue.
“Even on the weekends when our cousins come over we still do art, math and write….”
I agreed with him and told him that yes, that is very true. School is a daily thing for them. I smiled to myself because for me, it signalled a goal that is being attained in homeschooling/unschooling our children.
My children play a lot. For an outsider looking in, the majority of their time would look like play. Which is what it is. I laughed out loud one time when a relative dropped by unannounced. She knows we have a fairly free homeschooling environment. My children had a cousin over and one of them had opened the door for them and then went right back to what they were doing (being characters in a world they had created). I was in a far unseen corner of the house. I heard our relative loudly announce after a minute, “who’s supervising you guys??”
To someone that is used to the traditional form of school, it may look like my children don’t do much of it. School, that is.
But to someone who understands that learning doesn’t have to be in a hard-core structure, they would see that their entire world revolves around learning. Building forts, filming home movies (even writing scripts, editing, filming), playing outside, pretending they are queens, kings, princesses and part of the royal court, baking, reading, building rocket ships, drawing, Minecraft, painting, “playing school” and more – it is all part of their learning process. Sure, we have some sit-down time at the school table to work on projects and areas that the kids want to expand into more, but that does not take up an entire school day, or even an entire morning. We may not even sit down at the school table at all for days.
What I am happy about in my son’s statement is that he gets it. School time is not structured sit-down time. It does not mean worksheets and text books, and regurgitation. School time is learning time and learning time is fun. It is playtime, it is quiet time, it is time outside, it is “playing school”, it is dancing to Wii, it is playing with the dogs and cats, feeding the pigs, it is watching a documentary. It can also include time at the table, working on a math problem, editing a story, researching, or working on grammar, if they so wish. But he understands that he doesn’t have to be sitting at a table doing a worksheet to be in school.
He understands that his learning is continuous.