A thread was brought up in the Always Learning radical unschooling group (created by Sandra Dodd) about strewing. There seems to be a bit of confusion surrounding the differences of feeding an interest and what strewing means to unschooling (myself included 🙂 ). I could not have written this any clearer than Joyce Fetteroll herself (author of the website Joyfully Rejoycing ) and thought I would share.
“What you described is supporting their interests.
Strewing is something different, something separate from their interests. Sandra coined the term as it applies to unschooling. And it’s not a good one to use to apply to supporting their interests and explorations. The ordinary use of the word strewing suggests disconnection. And moms should not be disconnected from their kids when they’re supporting them in exploring.
Strewing even in its common use is not done to or with someone. It’s done to the environment. And that’s what strewing is in unschooling. It’s leaving interesting things out where people might stumble across them. They may pick them up for a moment or an hour or ignore them entirely. Periodically they’re cleared away. Periodically new things are strewn.
Supporting requires being connected and interacting with them. Being aware of what they’re doing with their passions enough to be their support and ask interested questions and understand what they’re talking about when they share.
There are several parts to creating a rich, vibrant atmosphere for learning:
1) Support their interests, as much as *they* need. Which involves getting them the stuff they want and need. Share what you know. Run related ideas through their lives. Listen to them talk about their interests. Be interested in their interests or at least appreciative of their passion. *Not* taking over their interest 😉
2) Connect with them outside of their interests. Do things together. Have conversations. Tell them stories of their childhoods and yours. Go through old photo albums. Invite them to do household tasks with you, go shopping.
3) Take them places. Introduce them to new things. It doesn’t need to be big deals. Grocery shop in new grocery stores. Drop into thrift stores and antique stores. Farmer’s markets.
4) Be curious yourself. See the world through your kids’ eyes. Wonder about things.
5) Strew. Sprinkle their environment with things to stumble across. (Bathrooms are particularly good for this.)”