Posted by: whimsigal | October 8, 2007

What we’ve been up to

The past few days have been a blur of activity and a lot of good things have happened. As unschoolers, we don’t sit down with textbooks or take weekly exams to check our progress so when one of the kids shows us a newly acquired skill it’s a very exciting time. This weekend, Ryan has been demonstrating that he knows how to read and for people who don’t believe that this kind of learning can happen without formal instruction, please allow me to correct that perception. Ryan has never been to school in fact, if he were in the system he’d be starting kindergarten this year. Well, a couple of days ago he picked up a set of books, BOB Books that we had bought a year ago having every intention of teaching him phonics to help him to learn to read. He had never worked with them before yet he was able to read each and every book in the set. I was floored! I knew that he had picked up some things just through his interaction with his brother and by looking up things on the computer but I had no idea that he could read like he does. Not only did he read the BOB Books but he also read Are You My Mother. It was really wild! A year ago we were still doing school at home and if someone had told me then that by relaxing my expectations my kids would be acquiring these skills without the aid of formal schooling I would have gotten a hearty laugh about it.

I wish more people could appreciate the value of letting kids learn at their own pace. I don’t know how it could be applied to society at large via the public school system. We are so fortunate to have found out about unschooling. It has opened a whole new world to us!



  1. I am so thrilled for you and so glad that you don’t *school at home* anymore 🙂
    Learning is as natural as breathing for those that have never been conditioned.

    I have way too many examples of real learning that I can’t count, my kids are 12,9,almost 8 and 5, always unschooled except for a brief 6 week period with my oldest when he was 6.

  2. It’s funny you say that because my oldest, who went to school for two years has more “trouble” than my youngest. I hesitate to say trouble because it’s just that he’s different but my youngest really just seems like a sponge, ready to absorb everything around him. I still need to deschool too and probably won’t be cured of the school mentality until next spring!

    We’ve been unschooling since February and love it so.

    Thanks for your comment! Glad you stopped back by!

  3. Isn’t it amazing to see them literally pick it up on their OWN! My youngest did this with reading as well – just started reading to himself one day when all we’d ever done is to read out loud to him a lot. He is 7 now and reads Harry Potter books. My other son can read but doesn’t often and we are fine with it. They are all so different. Trusting their timetable is sometimes hard but always good.

  4. Madeline (love, love, love your name) it really is amazing and it can be so hard to trust that things will happen in their own time. Oldest is like your other son. He can read but doesn’t usually choose to do so. If he does, he read Sonic the Hedgehog comics. We’re happy no matter what!

    Thanks so much for your comment!


  5. Go Ryan! That is so cool and encouraging to hear about Ryan’s skillz.

    I am so glad too that you found unschooling so your boys (and you) have the opportunity to bloom spectacularly!

  6. Marin, it really blew me away. He is constantly reading and spelling things, like he’s categorizing them and storing them away for later. It’s fascinating how different he and Iain are from one another.

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