I love hearing my children’s thoughts on unschooling and how they learn, and I’ve wanted to do a little interview with them for a while now. It’s so interesting to hear what learning means to them as kids who have never been to school. I was so happy that they talked so much about play and how important it is. Kid’s know what they need! And so, shared with their permission, a little interview with my almost 7 and 5 year olds…
How do you like to spend your day?
Miss 7: Playing in the back yard and figuring out things to do and figuring out little new games.
Miss 5: I like to go to the park.
Do you know what unschooling is?
Miss 5: Yes, it’s homeschooling.
Miss 7: We just go to this group (co-op) and we play for a bit and we don’t have to do the lesson if we don’t want to.
Miss 5: Because we like playing and learning by ourselves.
Can you tell me about how you learn without school?
Miss 5: We learn with practice. We try and we try and we try again.
Miss 7: I think we learn how to do things on our own by looking at stuff and trying our hardest. If we practice and practice and work hard on it every day we’ll finally figure out the answer. We just ask other people if they have any ideas, or we look at our toys and we want to know how they’re made, or we think of what we’re most interested in and think of more questions about it.
What do you like about unschooling?
Miss 7: Unschooling is fun because you don’t have to go to school and no one has to tell you what to do. You can still play schools, but it’s more fun if you don’t go to school.
Miss 5: I like homeschooling because it’s easy and your Mum can come with you. You can play, and play whenever you want not just at play time.
Miss 7: We love to play with our friends and play new games together.
Is there anything you don’t like about unschooling?
Miss 7: No.
Miss 5: No.
Some people think that kids have to go to school to learn otherwise they won’t learn everything they need to know. What do you think?
Miss 7: No.
Miss 5: No.
Miss 7: You can learn from just playing.
Miss 5: Playing on new things!
Miss 7: You can just learn from figuring out things your own way.
How do you know what you need to learn?
Miss 7: We just know from playing.
Miss 5: And we just get ideas from playing.
Miss 7: It’s just important to know everything that you know, and everything that you can know.
Miss 5: It’s not important to know everything. Well it’s not important to know…
Miss 7: Stuff about fly’s legs HAHAHA
Miss 5: Or fairy floss! HAHA
*lots of giggles*
Should all kids learn the same things?
Miss 7: No. Everyone should learn different things, and they can teach the other people to know as well. Like in ballet I was paired up with Claire and I taught her how to go ‘up, down, flex, and point’. And I think it’s fun to get surprised and know different stuff.
How can you tell when you’ve learnt enough about something?
Miss 7: I can tell because I’ve got all of it written down and when I look at other stuff about it I don’t see anything that I’ve missed.
Miss 5: When I’ve learnt all of it and I just know so it’s time to get on learning to the next thing.
Miss 7: I can even recount [what I’ve done] in my head and I’ll see I haven’t missed anything.
What would you like people to know about unschooling or how kids learn?
Miss 7: I’d like everyone to know that it’s fun and it’s easy to do.
Miss 5: I want everyone to know that it’s better than school because the teacher doesn’t have to tell you when you’re finished or not and that you can learn without the teacher even telling you what you have to learn. Kids can play with unschooling and unschooling makes everyone happy, and you don’t have to go to classroom every day.
I hope you enjoyed their lovely little insights. My favourite things to hear were that learning was so connected with play, that their success was measured by themselves, that they thought everyone should learn what interested them and not the same things, and that they were confident in their ability to learn anything that they needed to know.