Friday, June 17, 2016

Guest Post: Attachment Parenting to Unschooling


I'm wrapping up this week of natural learning guests posts with a story by Talia at Our Crazy Joyful Life. If you would like to add to the conversation and share your family's personal story away from school or school-at-home and toward unschooling and natural learning, please email me at: kmcdonald@post.harvard.edu. I hope to hear from you! ~Kerry

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I have always been someone that fit in best with the nontraditional crowd. I have always been someone who likes to research things for myself, instead of taking information handed to me at face value. This certainly was the case after I had my daughter.

From the beginning I was already doing some things differently from my family. I was the first to breastfeed, the first to follow attachment parenting philosophies. So I suppose it wasn’t too surprising that I decided to homeschool by the time my daughter was one year old. While reading many articles on non-punitive peaceful parenting, I stumbled upon unschooling. From the get go it made sense. I had loved the academic part of school, but hated the social part. My husband had always been a nontraditional learner who struggled with the structure of school in spite of his intelligence. We both wanted something different for our kids. We both wanted the children to love learning.

As my daughter grew, and we welcomed my first son into the world, our initial decision became even more set in stone. My daughter has a very big, sparkly, creative personality. I knew that public school would dim her spark. Besides, she was flourishing already. I was witnessing how naturally kids learn and pursue curiosity. Not only did I see no reason why this path wouldn’t work for us, I was quickly gaining confidence that this was the path that my kids would thrive on.

Now my kids are 6, 3, and 6 months. This upcoming school year is the first one we will have to report to our state as homeschoolers. I love how this upcoming year will not look much different than our life now. My kids will still be exploring their natural interests, and I will be facilitating as best I can. I will be finding cool new things they may like, looking up the metropark programs, checking out library books on the subjects they love. We will continue watching TV that we like, and even learn from it. We will go to museums, parks, and splash pads; play Minecraft, superheroes, and toy trains. We will have playdates with old friends and new. They will have free access to the TV, board games, playdough, crayons, books, toys, and many other tools of learning.

Learning is viewed as fun and very normal in this house. It just happens. It is not complicated. I love this path. To me if feels like a natural extension of our attachment parenting. It just flows nicely.

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Talia writes at Our Crazy Joyful Life, where she shares pieces of her life with 3 kids, the start of her family's unschooling journey, as well as gentle parenting thoughts and struggles.

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