Saturday, May 9, 2009

Well, that day in the sunshine proved to be wonderful. Kya spent the entire afternoon wading in a creek looking at plant and animal life, digging in the sand, and just having fun with her friends. On the way home she told me about the tadpoles she'd found, their various sizes and colors and wondered aloud what type of frogs they would grow into. She observed, all on her own, that not all tadpoles are the same and therefore made the conclusion that they come from different frogs and will mature into different frogs. I know this seems very basic and obvious to an adult but I can assure you that this is a "lesson" that would be taught in school with worksheets, text, and maybe a few pictures. All of that would be followed by review and tests to ensure that the children "learned" the information. At the end of all that lesson some kids would still not necessarily understand that we were talking about an entirely different species of frog, not just different attributes of the parents like children with blue or brown eyes. Some children would grasp the understanding and forget it as soon as the test was taken. A small minority would understand it as well as Kya demonstrated in that 5-10 minute conversation and then remember it as well as she will because she discovered it for herself and it was important to her for her own reasons, not an artificial importance based on a grade. For us there will be no test, no review, just the understanding that she learned something new because it came to her in a meaninful way through her own powers of discernment.

1 comment:

sunnymama said...

This is the reason I am so excited and happy to be unschooling! It's a lovely post and I love how you say in the last couple of sentences about how she learned something new in a meaningful way. This is true learning :)