Google+ Authentic Parenting: Learning From Life

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Learning From Life

Welcome to the September Carnival of Natural Parenting: We're all home schoolers
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how their children learn at home as a natural part of their day. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

When I read this month's topic for the Carnival of Natural Parenting, I kind of had a chuckle. If you ask an unschooler what their children learn outside of school, the answer is very simple: everything. My husband and I often joke that our daughter is learning too much and that we might have to put her in school to stunt that learning.

So I wondered if there was any use in me participating in this month's carnival. I found there is, because a lot of parents do struggle with the idea of learning outside of school, so here it is.

Children learn with everything they do, even the silliest, seemingly non-educational things they do add something to their knowledge.

Little child playing in a swimming pool. Work by Dutch artist Peter Klashorst. 
When my daughter and I go for a swim, she can learn about the weight, mass and the ability to float (physics), she is also learning to swim (physical education), she might learn to try staying under water and learn about her lung capacity (biology). And then there are probably ten other things I forgot to mention, all of which she learns from an hour's worth of splashing in a pool.
The same goes for any other thing we do or don't do during the day, wether it is cooking or going for a walk or watching TV or reading a story... Learning is everything and everywhere.

This is why unschooling 'works'. Children learn from life, from experience, and with unschooling, they get to choose what they're experiencing and benefit from their genuine interest in that experience.

At two and three months, my daughter will continue learning the way she always has, no matter if school has started for other kids, no matter the place or setting or structure she's in. She will continue to make giant leaps that never cease to amaze her father and me.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated September 14 with all the carnival links.)



  1. I love seeing how my son learns throughout his day in just the same way. It's so freeing for the parents as well! You sound very confident in your choices.

  2. I really struggle with the concept of 'unschooling'. I mean, I like it in theory, but not sure about practice. I really did very well at school, despite being exceptionally bored most of the time, but I loved the thrill of exams and so on... but then I look at everything I spent 20 years learning and I realise how little of it I have ever used again and I think I might have done so much better with unschooling and doing the things that let me follow my passions! I might have actually been really good at ONE thing rather than pretty okay at many. Hmmm... food for thought. Thanks.

  3. Yes, LAuren, I think over the past year we have become more and more confident about unschooling... though that doesn't mean that I never have a slight parental panic attack, but I guess all parents have those

    Lushka, I was quite the same, I did tremendously well at school, but hated it and was very bored most of the time. I had suggested to be unschooled to my parents when I was 14, but my mom was opposed. If I now see what opportunities my child will have and how whole she will be in her learning, I smile and feel happy. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask

  4. Unschooling really makes sense to me right now, as the parent of an almost-preschooler. I've not had the opportunity to see it in action with an older child (other than to hear that you let your child follow his/her interests). I *think* we'll be doing a lot of unschooling, but the teacher in me will also want to have some kind of structure - we'll see where that gets us :)

  5. ok, Dionna, you're a teacher! A lot of things start making sense now :)

  6. I love how much we learn from life itself. Especially when our heart is in it. :)

  7. Learning from life is the stuff they retain. They don't need to know what a diagraph is!! While we are not 100% unschoolers, I do believe in child lead life learning! Great post!

    I am now following you! I look forward to reading more!

    Melissa * Your comment group buddy*


I love comments! Drop me a line