Thursday, September 6, 2012

Life Learning

"There is no difference between living and learning... 
it is impossible and misleading and harmful 
to think of them as being separate.” 
~ John Holt ~
Reece should have started school on Tuesday morning. He didn't. We have chosen to keep Reece home for school, yes, we are homeschooling. I much prefer to call it Life Learning.

We knew before Reece was born we would homeschool. At first this looked very much like school to us - lesson plans, curriculums, math, printing, spelling, and so on. Bascially it was going to be school at home. All of that has changed.

I began reading about homeschooling, brain development and our current education system. I talked with other homeschooling families any chance I had. I read blogs about homeschooling families. The more I read the more my view of homeschooling shifted.


Something else happened too. I witnessed Reece on his journey, leading his own way and succeeding along the way. I watched him explore and play. I watched him grow and develop. I watched as he learned to walk, talk and use the potty, all without my direct assistance. Yes, I was there to facilitate and guide, but the "learning" was all him.

I began to trust Reece and I began to trust myself, to let it all unfold organically, as he wanted it to be.

So here we are, enjoying our days...playing and exploring, crafting and reading, swimming and skating, cooking and cleaning, hiking and gardening, tending to chickens and walking the dog. These are life lessons and within them we learn, both Reece and I, every day.


We may not be learning as the system says we should, be we are learning in our own way and enjoying every minute of it.

21 comments:

  1. Love it Kim - watching learning unfold on its own is magical.

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  2. You sound confidant and happy, and I'm sure Reece is too. I'll be picking your brain as we near the schooling decision in a year or so. I learn towards home learning, Steve, however is not so sure. But I trust that we'll make a decision that works for all of us when the time comes. And I remind myself that 3 years ago he thought homebirth was absolutely crazy...then he met our midwife and now he can't imagine any other way to welcome a babe into the fold. ;)

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    1. I am and we are :) And feel free to pick away. I am pretty lucky in that Justin has understood from the get go my reasons for home birth and homeschooling, now life learning. We are in it together and it is going to be so great!

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  3. Your method will bring about success. As we know, the system does, on occasion, fail and I sure that you, as his Mama, know him much better than any teacher and know how he learns. I'm sure Reece, and his Mama, will thrive. I look forward to watching the journey unfold.

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    1. Thanks Melissa, I can't wait to see how it all unfolds, so exciting.

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  4. Dear Kim, I love reading about how you raise your son!
    When my children where growing up homeschooling here in Europe was and still is extremly complicated. It would have been a fine thing to do and I am sure we all would have loved it. Because I am exactly your opinion living is learning and children learn as they go a long and they learn more at home if you let them than they do in school! I am a KG teacher (KG here is from 2 to 5 yrs) and I am trying to create a "home" for my KG kids and not interfer with to much teaching in our daily life and that is when the learning is starting, when I let the kids explore and that is also when I learn from them when I "lean back" and observe them and! It´s a great job and I enjoy every minute of it! Magda Gerber and Emmi Pikler are sources of inspiration as well as Maria Montessori for me. I see you have a book written by M Gerber on your list! It also makes me happy to see how many swedish books for children you have listed as I am swedish and I love Elsa Beskows stories especially The Sun Egg!

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    1. Awe, thanks so much Karin-Ida :) It sounds to me like you are an amazing KG teacher. I first read Magda Gerber when I was pregnant and loved her and her writing. I now follow a few RIE instructors in the USA and learn so much from them every time I read their blogs. We love Elsa Beskow - good old fashioned stories with great art work. The Sun Egg is Reece's favourite, it is a daily read in our home.

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  5. Well timed post Kim. I was just conjuring up a similar post in my head. We've had all of our friends go away to preschool and I have said no way. So we are dealing with that change and hoping to find a new group to play with. But we to do so much learning everyday. In fact S declared it "learning day" today! We learned about mosquitoes and why they suck blood. She had gotten a mosquito bite at the orchard and keeps asking why it happend. So we explored that today. She loved it, I loved it.

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    1. Sounds like you had a good day! We are working to create a little homeschooling group here, it is just getting off the ground so hopefully it will work out.

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  6. Welcome to the club! I had a slight freak out moment as the school bus pulled away last week, as J is now 6 and of compulsory age, but then it all went away when I realized the amazing journey that was ahead of us. As you said, the key is to follow the led of the child while creating a comfortable and safe place for them to learn and grow. They will fail and succeed in things, the difference with them being home is that no one is there to label or judge them. they are free to blossom and grow at their pace. It is amazing journey Kim, and you will be great!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. "Blossom and grow at their own pace" - I love that!

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  7. What beautiful thoughts and reflections you have written here, that echo my own :)
    I love the quote at the top of this post.

    John Holt has been a real mentor for me as have John Taylor Gatto, Charlotte Mason, Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner. All share the belief that a child learns best when learning naturally and in a relaxed environment surrounded by those he loves.

    I know that you will do an amazing job. Your little boy always looks so content and peaceful :)
    He has everything he needs already :)

    How exciting!!!
    xx

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    1. Thank you! You have listed some of the people who help give me the confidence to follow his lead and enjoy his learning.

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  8. Wonderful thoughts in this post! I am also a homeschooling mom and do believe that life is our teacher. I often worried (and still do) if this is the right thing, because it is so different than the norm, but it just feels right to have them home and to allow them to be kids, learning at their own pace.

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    1. Thank you Tiffany. And so nice to "meet" another homeschooling mom. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "it just feels right" that is exactly how I feel. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. Congratulations and best wishes on your homeschooling journey! It sounds like the perfect fit for you!

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  10. it always amazes me how my babes have learned so many things, so naturally, from our day to day adventures. i look forward to sharing your life learning adventures with you through your writing!

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