Just learning!


BRIAN POLIKOWSKY
 

Today when I took my seven year old daughter to her Horseback riding class we were waiting inside of the office  and the person working at the office today is a retired teacher ( who has taught kindergarten to College) asked Gigi how was school.
Gigi answered:
" I don't go to school"

"You don't?" Replied the gentleman.

"No I am no school." Gigi said. to which I then said : "We homeschool "
and then Gigi said:

" Yeah. I just learn!"

I am glad to know that my daughter feels that she is always learning. It is so fun to see my kids learn all the time so many amazing things. Gigi is reading. My second child that learned to read without curriculum , classes or lessons. They own their learning. They are not afraid to ask questions and they are  really great about searching online for answers and information. Yeah they just learn!
 
Alex Polikowsky
 
 
 


Lucy's web
 


On 30 Oct 2013, at 04:25, BRIAN POLIKOWSKY wrote:

 Yeah they just learn!

This reminds me of something my older daughter said, when she was probably about 7 too.   Someone asked her: "Does your Mummy teach you then?"   My daughter laughed at this, and said: "No of course not!   There's no teaching in our house.  Just lots of learning!"




cookiesforthree@verizon.net
 

My 12 year old loves to play this game on Steam. While he's waiting for it to open the game gives facts about bananas. He keeps talking about bananas and giving me all these facts and information. Fun and interesting information that I never knew about bananas. He loves that he is helping me to learn new things. It's pretty cute.

Maybe, just maybe, he will be a banana farmer in Hawaii and I'll get to live there with him.....Hey, a mom can dream.

~Jen


tandos mama <tori.arpad.cotta@...>
 

I love hearing stories of kids (or people of any age!) claiming their own learning!

After the first couple of encounters with adults asking about school we talked about why so many adults assume all kids are school. Obi tells them, "I'm lucky; I learn everywhere!" Linka, if she feels like answering, is more prone to sharing a quiet secret about what she learns from spending time with sheep or spiders.

I've been reading here since our kids (now 6 yr olds) were babies and I came to trust that the parents of grown unschooled kids knew what they were talking about when they described how their kids learned. It is truly awesome to experience our kids learning. Reading and swimming (two activities that many folks believe must be taught) arose spontaneously, easily, with joyful confidence. The corresponding joy my husband and I feel----immeasurable!

Many thanks to all of you who share here! This list is a gift.

Tori


 

-=-I've been reading here since our kids (now 6 yr olds) were babies and I came to trust that the parents of grown unschooled kids knew what they were talking about when they described how their kids learned. It is truly awesome to experience our kids learning. Reading and swimming (two activities that many folks believe must be taught) arose spontaneously, easily, with joyful confidence. The corresponding joy my husband and I feel----immeasurable!-=-

Tori, I want to start a page with this, on people's "own certain knowledge" that their children can learn.

As you say, it starts off trusting other people's stories, but at some point, with each person, it becomes personal. Maybe they used to think it could happen. Then one day they *know.*

One of the sessions I led last weekend was about that very thing. Here was the description:

_____________________

Your Own Certain Knowledge

Vague interest can turn to trust in others' accounts of learning and of parenting successes. Trust in those stories can give us courage to experiment, and from that we can discover our own proofs and truths to share with newer unschoolers, who might find courage from that to try these things themselves. Faith in others can only take us a little way, though, and then our own children's learning will carry us onward. Some ideas become theories. A few theories might turn to convictions. Some early thoughts will be abandoned; others will gain substance. After much thought and use, what is left will be what you believe because you have lived it.

Share (if you wish to) a moment when learning surprised you in a profound way.
________________________

It went well, but it wasn't the time to be taking notes. At least three people got tears in their eyes. I did a similar one (less tearful) last May in Minneapolis.

If anyone else wants to write something for me to preserve there for others to read, please do. Here, or send it to me.

Sandra


Colleen <3potatoes@...>
 

****Share (if you wish to) a moment when learning surprised you in a profound way.****

Last night around 11PM, my 10 year old was sitting on the couch watching an episode of Seaquest DSV on Netflix.

Our pug was in his lap :-)
On top of the pug, he had a page we'd printed off the internet a couple weeks ago - a chart of the Greek and Roman names for a bunch of gods, with a description of each (what they were "god of," who they're related to, etc.).
On the arm of the sofa, he had his Audubon Birds of the East Coast field guide.
On his other side, he had my iPad.

He was using the chart of Greek and Roman gods to explain to me that the writers of the show had made some serious errors.  The show was calling Neptune a Greek god, and had him involved with Minerva who they were also saying was Greek.  Then Medusa (actually Greek) got involved - and he was wondering who one writes to when a show has already been taken off the air, to let them know that it if they were going with a Greek theme, the gods should have been Poseidon and Athena - not Neptune and Minerva.  Then Medusa would have fit well and all would have been good :-)

Once he was done explaining all that :-) and while the show was still playing, he used the index in his field guide to look up a bunch of birds that he is hoping to see in Florida this weekend.  He checked the migration and residence maps for each desired bird in the guide so he knows which ones should actually be around there this time of year.  He then added the ones he wanted to a list he's keeping in a birding app on my iPad.  

He showed me how he'd realized that he wasn't finding things at first in the index because he was looking them up by specific species name, but the index is organized less specifically - so in order to find House Sparrow, one must look under S for Sparrow and then find House under that entry, rather than going straight to H for House.  But in the app, he can look under H to bring up the same bird.  He thought it was pretty interesting how the same information is organized differently, in different places.

As I sat with him, I remembered sitting through boring lectures in school about the Greek and Roman gods, and retaining none of the information past the last Test I had to take.  I remembered the How To Use An Index drills I had to do when I was in school.  Then I remembered the quizzes where we had to properly alphabetize lists of words.  And the old Apple mainframe computer we used once in a while in the classroom to complete prescribed lessons on How A Computer May Be Properly Used, and how huge that computer was compared to what we have now!!

I also realized, as I was doing all that Remembering, that my son has learned to type, to use an index, to use maps, to look things up in alphabetical systems, and to use computers and tablets with fabulously interesting apps and programs - all as a result of simply being surrounded by information he wanted - information to which he was drawn, and information that he wants to use for his own reasons.  And I realized that he had the Chart Of Gods with him so that he could show me what he was talking about - but he didn't need to look at it more than once, as he remembered most of what was on it from reading it over many breakfasts, looking at it when he wants to tell a story or set up a play-scene with battling gods, etc.  The information on that chart wasn't about a test or a quiz or a grade for him - it was interesting, and fun, and he took it all in and processed it and remembered it - and as soon as the character on Seaquest said Neptune was Greek, he ran off to grab it because he saw the problem right away.

It's times like last night that really drive the point home for me, about how kids really can (and do!!) learn *so* much in the absence of school and teachers.  They learn so very well when they are allowed the time to explore and examine, question and Google, ponder and wonder - and they learn even better when they have the support of parents and other such people as they go after and capture the skills and knowledge that they desire.  Pretty cool :-)

Colleen 


 

-=-I remembered the How To Use An Index drills I had to do when I was in school. -=-

And google blows it all away.
I saw a photo this week, somewhere, of a crowded card-catalog aisle at some library in the early 1960's, maybe.  I remember using the card catalogs at libraries very well.  I remember the feel, the smell, the waiting, on a busy moment, for someone else to finish with the drawer I needed.  I remember writing the call numbers down on little pieces of paper, and knowing that the book might be checked out, or mis-filed, or in oversize but they hadn't indicated it in the card catalog because the shelves had been rearranged since it was cataloged.  

Now people can look at things quickly, and all at the same time. :-)

-=-And the old Apple mainframe computer we used once in a while in the classroom to complete prescribed lessons on How A Computer May Be Properly Used, and how huge that computer was compared to what we have now!!-=-

Big on the outside, but probably couldn't do what your iPad can do. :-)
There were computer use lessons sometimes in the 1980's that were on paper.  There was a computer in the classroom, but before someone was allowed to touch it, they needed to pass the test about how to turn it on and to access a program, which was all paper-and-pencil.    What a contrast to the hole in the wall experiment in India!  http://www.greenstar.org/butterflies/Hole-in-the-Wall.htm

Sandra


Tiffani <tiffermomof5@...>
 

My family was big into school when my second son asked to be homeschooled. We decided to give it a try. We started off recreating school.

We joined an unschooling parkday group and I was introduced to unschooling.

Skip forward a few years. My youngest son has never been to school and he hasn't had to do school work at home. When he was 5 I thought how is he going to learn without worksheets. He and I were in the bathroom and he moved in front of me and declared "I am in front of you." Then he moved next to me and said "I am beside you" and so on. That was a huge aha moment for me. This exercise of positions was a kindergarten worksheet being done in real life not on paper and just because he figured it out. I have seen many more examples of this as the years have gone on.

Tiffani



From: Sandra Dodd ;
To: ;
Subject: Re: [AlwaysLearning] Re: Just learning!
Sent: Wed, Oct 30, 2013 3:24:11 PM

 

-=-I've been reading here since our kids (now 6 yr olds) were babies and I came to trust that the parents of grown unschooled kids knew what they were talking about when they described how their kids learned. It is truly awesome to experience our kids learning. Reading and swimming (two activities that many folks believe must be taught) arose spontaneously, easily, with joyful confidence. The corresponding joy my husband and I feel----immeasurable!-=-

Tori, I want to start a page with this, on people's "own certain knowledge" that their children can learn.

As you say, it starts off trusting other people's stories, but at some point, with each person, it becomes personal. Maybe they used to think it could happen. Then one day they *know.*

One of the sessions I led last weekend was about that very thing. Here was the description:

_____________________

Your Own Certain Knowledge

Vague interest can turn to trust in others' accounts of learning and of parenting successes. Trust in those stories can give us courage to experiment, and from that we can discover our own proofs and truths to share with newer unschoolers, who might find courage from that to try these things themselves. Faith in others can only take us a little way, though, and then our own children's learning will carry us onward. Some ideas become theories. A few theories might turn to convictions. Some early thoughts will be abandoned; others will gain substance. After much thought and use, what is left will be what you believe because you have lived it.

Share (if you wish to) a moment when learning surprised you in a profound way.
________________________

It went well, but it wasn't the time to be taking notes. At least three people got tears in their eyes. I did a similar one (less tearful) last May in Minneapolis.

If anyone else wants to write something for me to preserve there for others to read, please do. Here, or send it to me.

Sandra


Genevieve Raymond <genevieve.raymond@...>
 

Our oven is broken, and we've been baking our birthday pies at our neighbor's house today.  I was just over checking on them, and my 8-year old daughter came running through the door and said "Mama, is two 7s fourteen?"  I said, "Yes, were you thinking about weeks?"  (We had just been talking about how many weeks until she can take her new earrings out.)  She said, "No, I was thinking about how 7 is 2 more than 5, and two 5s is 10, so two 7s would be two 5s, plus two 2s."  

She and her brother ask things like this pretty regularly, and I think it's so cool that they spend time thinking about numbers and math "just because," and also to hear the different ways that they calculate sums in their heads.  If they were in school, there would be *one* way to come up with a sum, but they get to play around with numbers, turn them around in their heads, and discover the beauty of math for themselves.


On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 11:51 PM, Tiffani <tiffermomof5@...> wrote:
 

My family was big into school when my second son asked to be homeschooled. We decided to give it a try. We started off recreating school.

We joined an unschooling parkday group and I was introduced to unschooling.

Skip forward a few years. My youngest son has never been to school and he hasn't had to do school work at home. When he was 5 I thought how is he going to learn without worksheets. He and I were in the bathroom and he moved in front of me and declared "I am in front of you." Then he moved next to me and said "I am beside you" and so on. That was a huge aha moment for me. This exercise of positions was a kindergarten worksheet being done in real life not on paper and just because he figured it out. I have seen many more examples of this as the years have gone on.

Tiffani



From: Sandra Dodd ;
To: <AlwaysLearning@...>;
Subject: Re: [AlwaysLearning] Re: Just learning!
Sent: Wed, Oct 30, 2013 3:24:11 PM

 

-=-I've been reading here since our kids (now 6 yr olds) were babies and I came to trust that the parents of grown unschooled kids knew what they were talking about when they described how their kids learned. It is truly awesome to experience our kids learning. Reading and swimming (two activities that many folks believe must be taught) arose spontaneously, easily, with joyful confidence. The corresponding joy my husband and I feel----immeasurable!-=-

Tori, I want to start a page with this, on people's "own certain knowledge" that their children can learn.

As you say, it starts off trusting other people's stories, but at some point, with each person, it becomes personal. Maybe they used to think it could happen. Then one day they *know.*

One of the sessions I led last weekend was about that very thing. Here was the description:

_____________________

Your Own Certain Knowledge

Vague interest can turn to trust in others' accounts of learning and of parenting successes. Trust in those stories can give us courage to experiment, and from that we can discover our own proofs and truths to share with newer unschoolers, who might find courage from that to try these things themselves. Faith in others can only take us a little way, though, and then our own children's learning will carry us onward. Some ideas become theories. A few theories might turn to convictions. Some early thoughts will be abandoned; others will gain substance. After much thought and use, what is left will be what you believe because you have lived it.

Share (if you wish to) a moment when learning surprised you in a profound way.
________________________

It went well, but it wasn't the time to be taking notes. At least three people got tears in their eyes. I did a similar one (less tearful) last May in Minneapolis.

If anyone else wants to write something for me to preserve there for others to read, please do. Here, or send it to me.

Sandra



barbaramatessa
 

Sometimes I have a hard time thinking on my toes, but in retrospect, here's what I wish I'd shared at the symposium about natural learning: 


I taught first grade for several years.  One of my most struggling students was a boy named Martin.  Long after his peers had finished their worksheets, Martin would be dawdling, confused and uncertain with the arithmetic or phonetical task at hand.  I would dutifully help him, while he'd look, wistfully, at his classmates during their time of free choice.  


It wasn't until the very last day of school that I realized Martin's true giftedness.


Another student had brought in a mechanical carousel to share on the last day of school.  Unfortunately, it quickly broke amongst all the eager hands.  Each student, in turn, had a time of playing with the instrument, to see if he or she could fix it.  The carousel was passed around, looked over, turned upside down, opened up... and all day long it failed to turn or play.  


Martin was the last to have a try.  He didn't give up on the carousel.  He poured his concentration into the mechanics of the toy, determined to get it working again.  And sure enough, right before the last school bell rang, he fixed it.  The toy turned, the horses moved up and down, the music played.  


I regret that it took me an entire school year before Martin had an opportunity to display his true gifts.  All year long I focused on his deficits.  I don't think I could have fixed the carousel, even if I'd really wanted to.  I don't think Martin had been "taught" how to fix a carousel toy.  This was an example of his natural learning and natural giftedness.


Barb

Ben Lomond, CA





---In AlwaysLearning@..., <alwayslearning@...> wrote:

-=-I've been reading here since our kids (now 6 yr olds) were babies and I came to trust that the parents of grown unschooled kids knew what they were talking about when they described how their kids learned. It is truly awesome to experience our kids learning. Reading and swimming (two activities that many folks believe must be taught) arose spontaneously, easily, with joyful confidence. The corresponding joy my husband and I feel----immeasurable!-=-

Tori, I want to start a page with this, on people's "own certain knowledge" that their children can learn.

As you say, it starts off trusting other people's stories, but at some point, with each person, it becomes personal. Maybe they used to think it could happen. Then one day they *know.*

One of the sessions I led last weekend was about that very thing. Here was the description:

_____________________

Your Own Certain Knowledge

Vague interest can turn to trust in others' accounts of learning and of parenting successes. Trust in those stories can give us courage to experiment, and from that we can discover our own proofs and truths to share with newer unschoolers, who might find courage from that to try these things themselves. Faith in others can only take us a little way, though, and then our own children's learning will carry us onward. Some ideas become theories. A few theories might turn to convictions. Some early thoughts will be abandoned; others will gain substance. After much thought and use, what is left will be what you believe because you have lived it.

Share (if you wish to) a moment when learning surprised you in a profound way.
________________________

It went well, but it wasn't the time to be taking notes. At least three people got tears in their eyes. I did a similar one (less tearful) last May in Minneapolis.

If anyone else wants to write something for me to preserve there for others to read, please do. Here, or send it to me.

Sandra


BRIAN POLIKOWSKY
 

My husband is not the kind to talk or discuss unschooling. Years ago he had some doubts, but trusted me for the most part.
He has read a few things and he has met a few great unschoolers and that was a huge thing for him.

Today our Veterinarian is doing a Herd Check on our Dairy Farm. They were vaccinating, pregnancy checking and doing ultrasounds to check pregnancies and sexing pregnancies.

Gigi , my seven year old , and I fed all the baby calves because dad was very busy with the Vet and then Gigi went with that do watch in the  Vet's extra screen  the ultrasounds. So my daughter is  looking at live ultrasounds of calves and my husband says:

" This beats any day in school"

He gets it. He can see all the learning our children is doing. He can even see  all the learning our son does while gaming and he is so not a gamer , my husband!

I like that page Sandra has : You will see it when you Believe it

http://sandradodd.com/seeingit
 
Alex Polikowsky
 
 


Karen James
 

When he was 5 I thought how is he going to learn without worksheets.<<<<<
I thought similarly, especially with math.

I wrote this today on Facebook for no particular reason other than to share something I thought might be interesting for people. I think it applies in this instance as well. Forgive me, I am copying and pasting:

**************
Still suffering from jet lag, I found myself awake again at 2:30am. This time, though, Ethan was standing beside my bed saying he couldn't sleep. So, I got up and climbed into his loft bed with him. We laid (lay, lie?) awake together in the dark, touching the ceiling, talking about the statistics in a game Ethan (and Doug and I) plays. Great Sam! That child knows his material! And, he can use what he knows to make comparisons and projections. He talks in ratios and percents and throws in simple equations. None of it inspired by a single math work page or lesson. All of it inspired by a desire to better understand a game he loves playing. After at least 30 minutes of listening I told Ethan I was starting to get a bit sleepy. He said "That was fun (meaning our wee hours chat). I love sharing my knowledge! It makes me feel good about myself. It makes me feel happy." I slept well after that.
**************

My son, at ten, has a deeper understanding of math than I did after I-don't-know-how-many years of doing math in school. He seems to be like his dad that way. He particularly doesn't care to draw or paint. He's not like me that way. He's very creative though. He's himself. And he finds what he needs to be the best self he can be. Not for teachers. Not for parents. For himself. That's just so cool in my opinion.


Karen James
 

He particularly doesn't care to draw or paint.<<<<<
*doesn't particularly*


BRIAN POLIKOWSKY
 

So my 11  year old son is joking around with me as I am feeding the Guinea Pigs. He is saying that in this city in Russia the Pets are have people as pets because everything there is made of antimatter. I asked him if antimatter was the opposite and he goes on to tell the that there was a lot of both matter and antimatter before the Universe  but and that because there was a tiny bit more matter than antimatter  and when they combine they explode the big boom happened and what  was left was that tiny bit of matter that expanded.
Wow.
 Yep.
 Things like this happen pretty often. It still surprises me how much they learn and know that I had no idea they did. Yes I see a lot of learning  but it goes beyond what I am aware.
Crazy to think you do not need school or curriculum , lessons or "teaching" to learn and be amazed  about the world and all there is to know.
 
Alex Polikowsky
 
 
 



BRIAN POLIKOWSKY
 

Sorry I press send on both emails before rereading this one,
Below is a revised and I hope more comprehensive one.

 
Alex Polikowsky
 
 
 

 
So my 11  year old son is joking around with me as I am feeding the Guinea Pigs. He is saying that in this city in Russia the Pets  have people as pets because everything there is made of antimatter and the opposite.
 I asked him if antimatter was the opposite of matter and he goes on to tell  that there was a lot of both matter and antimatter before the Universe was created  and because  when they combine they explode
the big boom happened. Because there was a tiny bit more matter than antimatter what  was left was that tiny bit  that expanded and became the Universe.
Wow.
 Yep.
 Things like this happen pretty often. It still surprises me how much they learn and know that I had no idea they did. Yes I see a lot of learning  but it goes beyond what I am aware.
Crazy to think you do not need school or curriculum , lessons or "teaching" to learn and be amazed  about the world and all there is to know.