This series of posts follows my seven-year-old daughter as she learns to read. C has created a beautiful world in Minecraft with a pet shop, swarming with different animals, and a sweet shop with all sorts of colourful delicacies. This morning, I helped her put signs in her shops. These signs mostly say, 'Cats for … Continue reading Learning to read #2
In the early days, when I would quietly admit that our children weren't at school, people would tell me that was radical. And I would agree. Radical indeed! Not many other people are doing it, so we must be out there on the fringes. But radical is a big label. I hadn't set out to … Continue reading Nothing radical here
These learning-to-read posts are really for any parents out there struggling with the idea that children can learn to read by themselves, or looking for some reassurance. When D was just two, I read a book called 'How children learn at home'. That book probably sowed the seeds for our future. I was inspired and … Continue reading Learning to read #1
There's a lovely energy in the air today. Maybe it's the cooler almost-autumn air that feels so good, or perhaps it's because their dad came back after a few days away for work. Whatever the reason, there's a fun buzz about life. In fact, thinking about it, yesterday was very much a cocoon sort of … Continue reading What did we do today?
I often find myself thinking about childbirth when I consider the nature of unschooling. For the last 11 years, I've given prenatal classes to women and couples who are looking to increase their confidence and diminish their fears around labour. Two things we talk about a lot are creating the right environment and trusting deeply … Continue reading Holding the space
We had a friend to stay recently. As we were cooking together in the kitchen, D (13) and E (11) were chatting with us. The conversation was wide ranging, and encompassed gun control in the US, whether Fidel Castro was a 'good dictator', best voting systems, and favourite Roman emperors. Their reasoning was sound and … Continue reading How do they know that?
We're a long way from our hill right now. All the way across the Atlantic in Buenos Aires, here to celebrate Mariano's mother's 90th birthday with her. The last time we all came was about eight years ago, so while D (13) and E (11) have some memories of the city, it's C's (6) first … Continue reading Mi Buenos Aires Querido
Unschooling is sometimes also called child-directed learning or life-learning. Labels can be misleading as they tend to miss out more than they actually say. So, the accent in these particular labels seems to be the 'school/learning' bit. Yet, as anyone who identifies with any of them knows, that really isn't the defining part of the … Continue reading Things I’ve let go of
According to a Gallup poll published in 2017, 85% of adults worldwide hate their jobs. What a depressing statistic! All those years of school, exams and hard work, only to end up hating what you do. There's something up with our system, and stats like these make me happy that we're trying a different path … Continue reading Passions for life
People sometimes wonder how children who don't go to school will make it in 'real' life. That's an odd notion, that school is preparation for 'real' life, whereas 'real' life is not preparation for 'real' life. Hm, that makes my head spin a little. It's possible that they are saying that school is filled with … Continue reading About motivation and robots