Welcome to TwoCowgirls, the blog about our crazy life in Downtown Saint Paul!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Day We Unschooled

There are so many different "kinds" of homeschooling, I couldn't possibly go into detail on the different methods and techniques for educating children at home.  One way that I was certain wasn't for us, was unschooling.  This is a method of educating the children by allowing them to explore the world by their own devices.

Have I mentioned how much I love planning?  My *slight* obsession with planning is what gets in my way of allowing my kidlets to explore and learn on their own (I prefer the term interest led education, personally)  Here's a snapshot of my teachers planner.

Notice the date?  I plan the entire year at once, and stick to my plan.  Granted, life has never thrown any curve balls my way to cause me to get off course, and as of now, I've been able to stick to my plan for over a year.

Well, all was good until yesterday when I ran out of steam.  We spent the day at the library, then had a picnic and watched some ballet at the Landmark Center.  By the time we got home, I was ready for a nap.  Sticking to my plan was the last thing I wanted to do.  I mean, I can normally push through, but I was exhausted.

Millie mentioned that she really wanted to look at her plant under the microscope.  So, I got out the microscope, a slide making kit, and some prepared slides.  While I napped, Millie explored the microscopic world.  She learned what all the knobs on her microscope do, what happens when you use a cover slip, etc.

Elise made her own microscope out of a styrofoam cup :)

So, I guess we had an afternoon of complete unstructured schooling.  Honestly, I think she learned things that I couldn't have taught her that day (problem solving, for example).

Now, if there was only a way for me to put down my planner and allow for some interest led education, or "unschooling" on a more regular basis, I think we'd all be a bit happier.

Hi.  I'm Leslie and I finally gave up my planner for part of the day.  ;)

I'd welcome tips from experienced unschoolers on how I can loosen up and allow learning to take place naturally, without being a slave to my planner.  Anyone?


  1. I am scheduling one day less every week, leaving wednesdays open for catching up, unschool days and field trips. I also schedule the curriculum for one month less than we actually teach. That means we can be flexible, unschool or take a few days vacation every now and then without ruining the schedule.

  2. Holy planner! WOW, I have the year planned in my head, but not written out day by day! I'm not much of a planner though and to be honest, if I felt like we could actually get things done as unschoolers I'd be all for it, but alas a little planning in my book goes a long way. Like the previous commenter, we usually reserve 1 day a week for interest led learning. I know that if I'm feeling burnt out, the kids must be too. There is no reason not to, that's the fortunate part of homeschooling! Yay for you and your nap though, I wish I could stop my brain for a moment to actually try it LOL!

  3. I am with ya! As a planner and control freak I, too, have a very hard time with this unschooler thing. But, I love the concept. Please consider linking this up to my end of the week feature - Its A Wrap. Maybe someone else can help us with this issue. -Savannah www.hammocktracks.com