Princess and The Rock

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Thursday, 20 June 2013

I'm a Mummy, hear me RAWR! - The Unschooling Mum

Rachel and her husband, Harry.
The mummy "in question" today is Rachel, the unschooling mum. "In question" because she is a mum who UNSCHOOLS her three children. In Singapore, it is all about schooling and paper chasing, so being a Singaporean unschooling mum is really being unorthodox. BUT being a Singaporean mum who lives in UK and chooses to do so may not raise as many eyebrows.

Her three lovely children just having a great time!

When I asked Rachel what unschooling was, this was what she said, 
"In unschooling, a child is in charge of what they want to learn. It is about honouring and respecting each person's unique individuality and letting their interests dictate what they choose to learn. It's being sensitive and receptive to each other's needs and interests, and responding to these cues. So let's say, if I see that my child is interested in knowing more about giraffes, then I will see if there is anything I can do to help him/her to learn more about it. I might ask my child if he/she wants to go to the zoo next week to look at the giraffes there. I might ask him/her if he/she would like a trip to the library tomorrow to see if there are any books to be found there. I might ask if he/she might want to go onto the Internet and find out more about giraffes. I might go on the internet myself and find something about giraffes which I think might interest my child, and ask my child to have a look and a listen and see if that's interesting to them. At any point, if the child tells me or looks to me like they are not interested in a particular activity suggested by me, I back off until they ask again. I might suggest to them something else to do. Sometimes they'd say yes and they'd like to stop. Other times they'd say no they don't want to, and I'll try to find out what is bothering them so I can see if I can make it better for them."

What struck me most from her response was how she was willing to let her children guide their own learning and trust that they have an innate interest in learning. Although I am a homeschooler myself (also a minority here), I still get quite nervous if I feel my children have not achieved their daily goals (maybe they are really my goals) or complete the assignments I've given them. 

Her relaxed and conscious attitude towards life, parenting and education never fails to inspire me. Through her blog, I get a glimpse of how it's possible to trust my children to be their own educators, how getting to know my children deeply and sincerely can enhance their self-confidence far better than engaging in any form of mompetition and that nature at most times creates more opportunities for learning and exploration than a formal curriculum.

Being at one with nature

Here is a little more about Rachel:
Camping in their caravan!

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