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Alexandria Satkowski
Catholic unschooler
Catholic unschooler


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Most of these last few days have been filled with me trying to accomplish what I think I need to and learning how to let things go. It's not easy. Especially when it comes to teaching my little ones.

Lately it has been learning by youtube and It has proven to be a valuable tool when teaching my children, but not because it provides them with answers. Instead, they see a song and come to e to ask for more, so we explre a little bit of musc theory. Or they like a story or are confused by an animal, so away we go to another source to read and learn more.

It is a good way to help the kids threw rainy days and insipre them to ask questions.

No, I am not getting paid for this.

LESSON OF THE DAY: Learning happens everywhere, but can be the mos fruitful when a parent is engaged in playtime with their kids.

Any comments on this or the website?

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A big challenge no matter how one decides to educate seems to be motivating the child. There are extensive articles, blogs, ect on the subject.

Perhaps this is too frank, but what about motivating the educator? Of course in home-schooling environments the parent(s) wants to educate the child(ren). They long to give everything to the their child(ren), out of love and sense of obligation. The big picture seems easy enough, but the details, the day to day, is not. Everyday is a new challenge: how to teach? to show? Can you teach? Can they learn?

Distractions for them are abundant. Distractions for you are easily found. Whether it be for pleasure or work, chores or a painting in process. But unschooling seems to offer a good answer, a good fix: even when you, the educator, can't motivate yourself to pick up the textbook, picking up your book or painting can still be an incredibly helpful and educational moment for you and the student(s). They see something you enjoy doing- reading painting, whatever and are more likely to at least try it. Nothing seems to motivate a child to help do something even as boring as dishes tan having them see you do them daily. Read daily, and soon they want to read next to you. Paint daily, and suddenly they learn how to get creative with paint or crayons or play dough right along side you. There will be days when you and the kids are in the right mode and ability to burn through textbooks and there will be days when neither of you want to go near the bookshelf. Use both modes to help your little student(s) and peace shall be quickly found.

Yes, sometimes you need to m=force yourself to pick up the textbook when the student asks for it, because you are their oarent and their is real sacrifice in parenting. But there is also the times when you don't need to force both of you into it for the sake of a goal, especially since it will be at the expense of peace and the students' love of learning. It can also cripple your love of teaching- so don't!

LESSON FOR THE DAY A: Keep alive your child(ren)'s love of learning and your love of teaching alive by never forcing both you and your child to "do school" all day when both of you are mentally or physical incapable- try something new that day! Whatever comes to mind.

LESSON FOR THE DAY B: Be patient with your student(s) and help them to learn everyday, even when it is doing something you don't really feel like doing that day. You are educating for them, not for you.

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What does success look like?

When using more traditional methods of school, grades seem to supply a greatly desired and relatively quick answer to the question. When implimented right, it could quite helpful. But if grades is all you see then success is not something you can probably achieve. I say this because, ultimately, an a test of paper isn't the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to have a happy, educated person.

Man that sounds so great, but patience can be so difficult. And it feels like such a gamble. But I suppose that is where faith is suppose to come in. Not just faith in God, which is fundamental, but faith in your child. Faith that he or she will have the ability to learn and grow into a "successful person," whatever that looks like. It is scary not having the clearest picture at the end of the road (what will they grow up to do?, as an example), but I suppose we honestly never know what the end of the day will hold for us, never mind the end of a year or a decade.

LESSON OF THE DAY: Success is not so easily defined. Have patience and faith, then decide if report cards are required.

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It seems as though, to whatever degree you unschool, record keeping is still a must and a pretty handy tool. I  found this one that seems decent and, like unscooling itself, is simple, to the point, yet wide in it's range. So, here you go. If anyone wants to share an equally good or better one, please do!

Does anyone have any fun summer-time scavanger hunts that young kids can do to help them learn about.... well, anything. Nature, math, anything. y kids love the outdoors and I am hoping to help our walks be more fun and more educational. Thank you!

It has been said that when you teach, you end up learning a lot from your friend(s). I think that is very true of unschooling, whether it be a lesson I was prepared for or not. Lately, as the girl learn about why rolly-polly bug curl up and un-curl, they taught me a thing or two about myself. Mostly, how much I don't let myself (or even them at times) just stop and enjoy a flower... or worm, butterfly, squirrel, bunny, ect. So that is exactly what we did while just trying desperately to get the kids to finish the short walk to the front door. We all stopped and enjoyed what there was in nature right then and there. Sonja couldn't get enough. Una asked questions. Eve watched in wonder at her big sisters.

I am learning, slowly, since I am stubborn, that if I am to unschool to any degree, or even just successfully help my kids learn, I need to slow it down and let them wander- let them find things for themselves and enjoy it all.

LESSON OF THE DAY: Stop and let everyone smell the flowers.

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Too often when discussing our children or when we are called to change our minds on an idea, we have very little humility.
This article does not point to how to build up in humility, but does point out what needs to happen first: recognize potential signs of arrogance. From there, as individuals, we can start our journey to true humility- be it with a prayer only or extra help from a friend, a book, whatever.

LESSON OF THE DAY: One must unschool your self to humility, using only prayer as a potentially required tool.

Brand new to blogging? Yes. Brand new to unschooling? Yes. So why not start both at the same time? I am sure I will found out eventually. In the meantime, I will give it my full ADD-attention.

You can tell already that the so called "schedule" of our household is a bit odd, since we have really just begun to unschool our 4 year old... at the beginning of summer. Why? She is a kids who craves knowledge and so who am I to say she has to wait until Fall for her "school" to official start? Likewise, why wait for a reasonable hour to start blogging, when lately I can't seem to sleep anyways?

Today, much like this post, we stumbled our way into learning. I asked my 4 year old, Una,  what she wanted to learn. While she sat there baffled by my question my sweet 2 year old, Sonja, chimes right in with "I want to go to the pool!" I say we can, but what new thing would like to learn today? "Ummm.. math!" Sonja happily replies. This led to Una happily struggling through her first set of math problems and Sonja coloring a beautiful picture of carefully drawn scribbles. Una enjoyed the new experience just as much as she loved to tell me about the story behind each line she drew.

Was it a success? I am not sure. Una did learn she can write her numbers  on her own better than she thought she could and I hope Sonja knows how proud I am of her fierce determination.

But every time I try and force an "unschooling moment" I am humbled by how much they learn when one comes up naturally. Today Una and Sonja probably learned more about carpenter ants watching youtube videos with their dad than numbers with their mom.

Lesson of the Day: Don't control, just take a deep breath and be ready  for them when they need you.
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