Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Day it Clicked!

I love the idea of allowing my kids to learn according to their natural curiosity. I kept saying that I wanted them to unschool.
Then, I found books, blogs, and articles to read on unschooling. I found out real quick that I am not okay with the entire life style of freedom and choices. I still believe in bedtime, mealtimes, eating healthy, and some kind of accountability. 

What I did like was the freedom to explore and learn at their pace according to their interests. I needed a balance. 

We were already using journals from The Thinking Tree. I just hadn't figured out how it all was going to work for our family. I knew that I wanted it to work, but I was still a little skeptical. My littles are 7, 5, & 3. The idea of them doing school, or creating learning opportunities on their own was hard for me to grasp. 

It was a Monday, we were not actually 'doing school' that day. The house was a mess and I was overwhelmed with getting it caught up and trying to teach. I called a free day and began cleaning. The kiddos were busy playing with various toys and were keeping themselves relatively entertained. Around 10am they started a movie on Netflix. I made lunch for them about the time the movie was over. After eating Brother Bear and Sister went down for a nap. 

Then it happened, no notice given, Popper brought me a paper airplane that he and B made. I remembered a book that my mom had bought them with paper airplanes in it. I went and got it for them. For the next 3 hours those two boys followed directions and created paper airplanes and space shuttles.

boys, unschooling, learning, homeschool

Next, Popper found a thermometer that usually hangs outside. He brought it to me and asked how to read it. I spent a few moments explaining how to read a thermometer. He was super excited. He asked if he could put it outside to see what the difference was in temperature between inside and out. After a about 10 minutes he brought it back in and read the temperature to me. He asked what the difference was. We discussed how to find that out. He grabbed his journal and began to write down everything he was learning. He was even able to figure out that there was a 32* difference. Excitedly, he put it back outside explaining that he wanted to check it first thing in the morning to see how cold it was going to get 
funschooling, The Thinking Tree, temperature lessons

When I least expected it, learning happened! Popper's curiosity lead to a lesson in math, science, and data recording. His creativity was given freedom as he created paper airplanes. His deductive reasoning skills went to work when he was trying to discover how to make the planes fly further and longer. 
That night at the library he had no trouble getting 9 books! He wanted books on temperature, Egypt, and space. Then he found one just for fun! 

funschooling, The Thinking Tree, journaling

All this without my prompting, without me teaching, without any pressure to 'do school', learning just happened!

That is the day that I finally became a believer! I get it and I want it to continue! I never want to go back to workbooks and table lessons! Let's get messy, crafty, and continue to be curious! I love this!  

I am linked up with Homeschooling 6!To find more great posts about funschooling with The Thinking Tree click the link below:



  1. How fun! My kids love making paper airplanes. They use to have a book where they pulled out full color airplanes then they had to follow the directions with how to fold them. Some were pretty tough that even I had to read those directions over and over ;)

    Thank you for linking up!