Something else I have come to understand about unschooling (This seems to be how all my posts start lately but hey we are learning all the time right?) is why it’s not called child-led. As parents we do not wait for a child to become interested in something, instead we make our children’s environment interesting by strewing hands on learning opportunities so new interests are available to light a spark.
At first this seems pretty easy to do. For instance I have mentioned we purchased a Roku opening up a whole new world of television shows, documentaries, and movies to be available whenever the interest may strike.
Then I downloaded a free kids browser to make available TONS of free computer games as well as opening up the internet for child-friendly browsing.
Then of course there was the addition of a video game console which I have to say has been the best purchase we have made in a long time.
Taking a bit of a detour here Miss Sky was lacking in the logical thinking department not to mention her coordination has always been a bit off too. I have seen a HUGE improvement since she started playing video games like Kingdom hearts in her logical thinking and adding a few fighting games(at Little Sis’s request, man this 5-year-old can kick some butt) has done wonders for her coordination, at one time she had problems jumping over moving obstacles. The best part though has been the closeness we have gained by playing together as a family. Then there is the teamwork aspect but I could go on forever.
Something that’s always been available is books. We have quite a nice library going thanks to Goodwill but one mistake “I” made was purchasing books from “other people’s” lists or taking advice on when or if a book may be appropriate for my children to read. I feel like I have missed *many* opportunities by doing this. So even though our home is filled with lots of books many of then don’t interest my children at all. Just because I like “the classics” doesn’t mean my children will. This is when strewing stops being easy.
Now it is up to us(the parents) to be able to find what might catch our children’s attention. In order to do this we need to find out what our children’s interests are. Some can be easier to spot like Little Sis’s love for art but it took me blogging to clearly see Miss Sky’s interest in science. Of course I knew she loved animals but now I see her interest is much deeper than that. It’s up to me to understand this so that I then can find what materials are needed to make our home rich and interesting to her.
A good example of this is once I understood why Miss Sky took such an interest in X-men and The Avengers it made my search for reading materials a lot easier (the only problem now is actually finding “stories” about kids having superpowers, and not the magic type. If you know of any, suggestions are most welcome). I noticed Miss Sky’s interest in Jean Gray’s power, from X-men, and her evolution in becoming the Phoenix.
With luck I happened to come across a read aloud that I thought would be perfect for Miss Sky,The Girl With The Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts, and boy was I right(she can even communicate with animals). So read alouds officially have been brought back off the self by her request(woohoo).
Other things that seemed helpful to have around this week were a sewing kit
There was a need for an animal doctor.
and a subscription to Game Informer.
I think I may finally be getting the hang of this after all :).
Wishing everyone a great week !