What Two Days of Unschooling has Thought Me.

I’m sitting here at my dining room table listening to the organized chaos going on in the living room where my oldest child is teaching one of the twins a few ukulele chords. I have never played a musical instrument in my life, cannot read music, and don’t really know the difference between a melody and harmony. Needless to say, I did not teach my children to play music. They also have never taken a class to learn music. They learned these skills all by themselves.

It was something they simply became interested in. So we found an app, and a few moths later beautiful music was coming down the steps from their bedrooms. My daughter plays guitar, my son ukulele, the twins are learning ukulele and keyboard. I did not plan any formal lessons or blocks on music theory or composers of the 18th century. In fact I‘m absolutely sure that if I did they would have given up on these pursuits quickly.

This was the final pull for me towards unschooling, or what we call I.L.L Homeschool (interest-led-learning). Two days ago we kicked off this new chapter in the evolution of our homeschool adventure with the start of the new school year. And even though I spent the entire summer planning units, and lessons I have put those away with the hope that this is the right direction for our family. I have been a little worried about this new shift, because well, let‘s be honest worry is where I live.

I know we are only on our second day, but it has been a radical shift in our house. We started with a trip to the library where they could pick out some books on things they wanted to read about. #2 picked out a book on bees, I would have never thought that would be something she was interested in, but she brought a few books home spent yesterday reading them, and the entire morning today writing about and drawing bees in her journal (formerly called a main lesson book in our house). While she was diving into bees #1 who has been working on writing a play for a few weeks picked up a few books on story development and spent the day writing about that in his journal, complete with story diagrams applying to his current piece of work.

They spent hours on this today. The work they produced was probably some of the best work I have seen them do. And when they finished their journal page, which by the way was not an assignment or suggested task, they jumped right into a math lesson with me without the normal mental exhaustion I am used to seeing in them after a long time period of focused work. They have scheduled their own time, their own lessons and I am absolutely amazed at the difference in everyone’s mood.

I know, I know it is only day two but I have high hopes. Listen I don’t play music, read music, know anything really about music. You know why? Because I was never interested in learning it. If someone sat me down and said today you must learn keyboard, or what these notes mean, I would have done it because I am a perfectionist at heart, I would have passed the tests, and studied and practiced but I would have hated every single minute and worst of all, I would have missed out on finding the things I truly am passionate about.

I’m learning to let go and follow these little humans into this great big world of Interest-led-learning!

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