3 responses

  1. sally lloyd
    November 27, 2013

    I love this post. It is so true to my experience. I have noticed, however, that children who have always been in control of their own learning do not hesitate to explore a new environment, not requiring prompt or direction. The hesitation you describe is a process of ‘healing’ from the ‘shoulds’ that children have learned in controlled situations and institutional settings. Otherwise, they explore naturally, in a process that began and extended from discovering a fist with their mouths, observing facial expressions or discovering by accident that they could move a limb of volition. Of course this is how it is. We are naturally primed to do this. 🙂 The impact of our training of children can be incredibly stifling. (How many times did I have to experiment just now to get the correct spelling of stifling?????) lol.
    Indeed, 13 years into unschooling 3 of my 4 daughters and I have come to see any attempts I may make to structure or influence their learning as tantamount to something like giving formula milk over breast milk! I have so often found that it has been serendipitous that I didn’t manage to divert them from what they would otherwise be doing, with my ideas of what they might otherwise do … because in retrospect the thing I was going to suggest really did not answer, organically, and naturally … and at the right moment, any question or need they had in the moment. What they devised and carried out was so much richer that to have missed it would have been a travesty. 🙂 lol.
    That is not to say that they don’t end up doing things that I’m doing. Indeed, part of being in this kind of relationship involves doing, with integrity, something which truly interests me for my own sake and own reasons … and maybe comes to interest my children by osmosis. I really do believe that if we live a rich and authentic life, which satisfies our individual interests and needs … whilst being willing for others (our children) to join us if they feel like it, but otherwise letting them live their rich and authentic, parallel life, undisturbed and undiverted …. interacting with them without an agenda, but just because it takes our fancy … that we cannot but be allowing them to ‘breastfeed’ an ‘education’ far superior to anything we could bring about by formula feeding (including the concept of ‘strewing’).
    You speak of the difficulty arising in personal, internal battles! That is so true. My personal, internal battle with what I’m describing has been truly difficult … but I find it impossible to deny that any contrived interference … be it ever so subtle (even to the point that I wasn’t really conscious it was contrived) … is very quickly picked up and rejected by my children, who instinctively feel that it is both inauthentic and disruptive and they seem to instinctively protect their ‘education’ with a force field. lol
    However, they respond so well to my personal, authentic fascination with things (including their things) … being happy to listen to me rattling on for quite some time. 🙂

  2. Shy Shaun
    December 4, 2013

    Really good article Lily..There is a need to get past your own ego and take a step back

  3. Lily Horseman
    January 6, 2014

    Sally, Thanks so much for sharing your experience and thoughts. That concept of ‘strewing is one that fascinates me. That opportunity to leave something in someone’s way that they may find useful.. and thanks Shaun! I always enjoy getting feedback.

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