Everyday Unschooling: Plans for 2017
Being an unschooling family, we follow no curriculum except the curriculum of life! Our children are free to follow their curiosity, and learning happens naturally as a result of that. I don’t plan what we’re going to learn every day, week, month, or year, it’s entirely up to them! It’s wonderful seeing the things they become interested in and learning along with them.
At the start of the year we usually talk about all the things we have done the year before, and our ideas/hopes/goals for the year ahead. Last year the girls wrote/drew a list of all the things they wanted to do in the year and we looked back over them and saw that they had accomplished most of them. There were a couple that they were still yet to do, some they wanted to, and some they had lost interest in.
They were keen to make a similar list this year and, with their permission, I’m sharing it with you!
Miss (almost) 6’s plans:
- Learn more about dinosaurs,
- and machines
- Be an astronomer
- Practice freestyle
- Go to the beach
- Learn about tornadoes
- Play the keyboard
- Go to South Bank to swim
- Buy new earrings
- Study feathers
- Go to the duck pond
- Learn more about our bodies
That little person doing freestyle is my favourite! I also LOVED how she wrote ‘be an astronomer’ instead of ‘study astronomy’. I want her to know she doesn’t have to wait until she’s grown until she can BE something. She is someone now.
Miss (almost) 8’s plans:
- Have her own veggie patch
- Make her own perfume
- Invite people over and run her own cafe
- Design and make costumes
- Do more jobs around the house (e.g. sort the washing, feed the dog, make meals)
- Make a fairy garden
- Ride her bike more
- Be able to read any book
- Listen to more audio books
- Learn different loom band techniques
- Learn more about wildlife like Steve Backshall
- Raise money to save wildlife
- Sew kangaroo pouches for animal shelters
The list took a couple of weeks to write because she kept being inspired by writing it down and having to do things straight away, ha! She’s already planted a veggie patch, made perfume, and sewn an outfit.
What a fabulous year we have ahead! I can’t wait. And I’m sure there is many more things to come that we can’t even anticipate yet. I love how each of their lists are so totally them. There’s no standardization or cookie cutter education here.
How’s your year looking?
“I want her to know she doesn’t have to wait until she’s grown until she can BE something. She is someone now.” Bravo!
Our year is shaping up in the same relaxed way. We’re really not aware that a new year has started. Certainly it’s a new season, (our rainy season here in San Francisco), and that has inspired some interests. Also, everyone is getting bigger, becoming able to do more things, and becoming interested, both in more, and different things.
I totally agree with this. My daughter takes ballet lessons and everything is about dancing right now. We read Angelina Ballerina before bed last night and I turned to her and asked ‘would you like to be a ballerina when you are older?’ My daughter, without missing a beat said, ‘I already am a ballerina!’ She was so right and I realised I was wrong to even ask the question. We shouldn’t focus on what they want to be when they grow up but what they are now. Thanks for the reminder.
All adults (including me) must be reeducated at once on this one.
“so, little Sammy, you’re three now, what do you think you’d like to be doing when you’re thirty three, hmm???”
This is so inspiring because I think I sometimes feel that letting my kids follow their own interests means not making any plans or goals (which feels out of control and haphazard to me :)). What a wonderful and fun way to let them make their own plans and goals and have them written down to look back on, perhaps when there is a lull in activity. I think I’ll try something similar!
I just love following you and your girls, you inspire us so much (we home educate in the uk) My eldest has just turned seven and I used to really worry about her progress and writing (I had my teacher head on) but seeing your daughters beautiful drawings and lovely handwriting reassures me that doing things our way in our own time really does work. It’s just beautiful to watch them grow and learn at their own unhurried pace!
This sounds wonderful. I think my kids would love this also. I don’t understand how to do this and still meet the legal requirements for homeschooling, I’m in SC. Any advice?
Jaimie, I’ve researched the laws on homeschooling for SC and I struggle to see how you could unschool under that kind of system, which is extremely rigid. I’ve experienced unschooling in the UK and I don’t consider my education to be in any way deficient. I think it’s important to spread the word about alternative forms of schooling so to aid in this campaign I’ve published an eBook called Unschooling: A Teenager’s Experience (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XQMZJQQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1489864055&sr=1-1) documenting my years as an unschooled child which were wonderfully positive.
The message I take from SC laws is that children cannot be trusted to learn, an extraordinary reach given that children learn from the minute they’re born. Somehow the lawmakers have assumed that the moment a child reaches formal schooling age they suddenly lose the urge and desire to learn and have to be pressured and constrained to do it. I blame formal education for the loss of the ability to think truly and accurately, otherwise where did the lawmakers come up with such bizarre ideas?
I love how Miss (almost) 8 did her list in picture form. A very efficient way as the brain naturally process in pictures rather than words.
I just found your site and was browsing, I only just read last years post for this.
If you haven’t yet you should review it. Its great to see, even just from this tiny glimpse at plans how much they are learning. ie: learning to sew – desighning and making costumes