In 2005 I created An Unschooling Life, a blog detailing our unschooling experience after adopting our three children. Over time, An Unschooling Life became a hub for unschooling support and advice. The blog has been featured in print and digital media and was home to the popular Unschooling Carnival. I’m in the process of updating and moving all the posts to this blog where they will be housed under the An Unschooling Life section. This post was originally published on April 8, 2006.
I re-read a bit more of Guerrilla Learning by Grace Llewellyn this morning. She writes about what she considers to be the five “keys” of Guerilla Learning. The first one is opportunity and this is what she has to say.
“Read. Write. Talk. Play music. See dance and theater and paintings. Read poetry, write poetry, get poetry refrigerator magnets. Spend time in nature. Build things. Go to museums-and not as a “class trip”, but for the love of things you find there. If you’re not already doing these things, it’s only because you’ve arranged your life so you don’t have time and you’ve begun to believe that learning is something that happens not in life, but in school.”
I create lots of opportunities for my youngest daughter to explore her interest in space and astronomy. She borrows videos and books from the library. I find interesting web sites for her to browse. I buy space books (I buy good quality and up to date ones and older ones at thrift stores) that she reads over and over again. She and Billy made a planet mobile for her room. We’re planning a day trip to the Kennedy Space Center. She watches astronomy shows on TV.
I think that the other side of this is creating opportunities even when a specific interest is not there. I like to buy computer software and books on a very wide variety of topics and put them on the shelves or in a basket and let the kids know it’s there. One that I bought was software on the Civil War….which they were really interested in.
Later on in that chapter, Grace Llewellyn goes on to say;
“We want our kids to learn not what to think, but how to think. One way to increase your children’s chances of developing this skill is to give them real projects, (not academic exercises) where an outcome in the real world is intended and where the result, (not the assessment of an authority) is the ultimate judge of the project’s success.”
And then towards the end of the chapter;
“At the heart of Opportunity is Engagement. Stay passionate, involved and interested in life and in learning. Your enthusiasm will transfer to your kids.”