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Homeschool Fiction

Follow homeschoolers Nadia and Aidan as they travel the USA! Each book in this series explores a new state and a new research topic. Along with their parents and pet turtle, they find adventure and learning everywhere.

...and just what is that mysterious device of theirs?

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June 2010
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Topics: education,empowerment,homeschooling,Unschooling

You might call it obsessed, I call it PASSIONATE

The great thing about living an unschooling lifestyle is that we come to truly appreciate our children’s (and our own) passions. My daughters have never been required by myself, my husband, or anyone else, to learn things on a particular timeline or schedule. We’ve never given them tests, quizzed them on their knowledge, or sat them down to teach them information against their will.

Everything that they’ve done in life has been a choice.

Sound scary??? I certainly would have thought so before I had kids, but it’s quite the opposite. It’s empowering for us all. So, what do we do?

What we have done is quite an amazing thing. From the moment my daughters were born, I spent hours watching their eyes wander around the room. When they fixed upon something, I took them nearer to what interested them (or I brought the objects to them). I talked about objects, moved them, helped them touch items, etc. If they lost interest, we went on to something else. As they grew into toddlers, I followed them and did the same thing. I gave them more of what they liked. If it was stickers, I bought thousands. If it was bats, I borrowed books, found movies, gathered stuffed animals, and researched websites on the subject. I filled our home with interesting toys, art supplies, foods, bath toys, books, movies, and more. When my kids showed a preference toward something, I got more of it.

As they’ve aged, my conversations with my daughters have given me more insight into their interests and dreams rather than a stretch of their arms and a gleam in their eyes when they were infants (although I still watch for that glimmer since it’s a very reliable way they show me what they love–plus seeing it always makes me smile).

I’ve recently heard parents lamenting about their children’s obsessions. As I’ve listened, I’ve become saddened that they believe their children are lacking well-roundedness due to their intense interests. What they don’t realize is that people learn best through total immersion. I do, my husband does, my children do. While unhealthy obsessions certainly exist, they don’t in unschoolers. They just don’t, it’s not possible for this to happen with the unschooling lifestyle.

Every unschooler I’ve ever met is shockingly bright and passionate, and that can appear on the outside to look like obsession. Have you ever met a brilliant scientist or a concert pianist who wasn’t passionate about their career? I wouldn’t call it obsessed at all. It’s passion at its finest and purest–just like that in a whole life learner/unschooler/autodidact/life long learner. Try it sometime, or at least allow your children to, and you just might find pure brilliance. When you, the parent, become a student of your child, all doors are opened. I’m a first-hand witness to this brilliance.