Thursday, March 15, 2018

An Unschooling Curriculum: Backwards in Time

Unschoolers love to say they don't follow curricula.  I've noticed though, that you can define an unschooling curriculum backwards in time by what the gang, (three year-old No. 3, five year-old No. 2, and seven year-old No. 1), has accomplished in the last week.  It's kind of awesome, going in, we had no goals, nor any idea any of this would happen!

3 developed a love of cooking!
3 asked to attend a pick-up cooking class for kids at the Noe Valley Rec Center.   (I love that San Francisco kids can drop into Parks & Rec classes if there's room.)    She had a blast!  About four days later, when she and I went to the red-hat for our weekly meat and egg shopping, she insisted that we get squid.  She asked to hold the bag while I levered the squid into it.  (This led to an amusing confusion.;  unable to see 3 below the seafood ice tray, one of the workers was concerned I was dumping squid onto the floor.)  When I was ready to cook, 3 wanted in on that as well.  She helped pop their heads off to clean them, and then after I'd sliced them up, rolled the pieces in the batter mix,  3's interest brought seven year-old No. 1 and five year-old No. 2 in on the game as well.

No. 2 started getting ready all by himself!
Five year-old 2 has been wanting to eat breakfast earlier and earlier.  Meanwhile, he's been taking longer and longer to get ready in the morning.  I don't always remember to respectfully parent, but when I do, wow!  It works pretty well!  2 and I took the time before dinner a few nights ago to discuss the breakfast situation.  I explained that perhaps part of the reason for delaying breakfast until after he was dressed and ready to go was because his various caretakers were concerned that it would take even longer to get ready if he ate breakfast and then got dressed.  We talked about my suspicion that if he got ready more quickly and reliably, he could probably eat breakfast whenever he liked.  Then, I suggested that maybe he could lay out his clothes right then, the night before, so that it would be really easy to change into them as soon as he woke up.

The next morning, the first time I saw 2 he was wearing clean clothes, and fairly beaming about the whole thing!  Taking time to make sure we talked through the breakfast vs. getting ready issue, covering what all the parties involved wanted, did wonders!

1 and 2 make the Farmers' Market a Breeze! (Also Baby Broccoli is Back!)
With their independence, and math skills cruising along, 1 and 2 are helping me more and more by splitting off to get things at the Farmers' Market where they know everyone.  In fact, it was their increasing number of Market forays that led me to send them for:  Cheese!

A Wrinkle in Time
On our way to the movie, seven year-old No. 1, who taught herself to read, was heard to say, "I've read the book!  Every word!  By myself!" 

3 Made a Friend!
We have spectacularly vibrant branch libraries here in San Francisco!  The gang almost always finds other kids already there when they visit.  One afternoon this week, 3 who hangs out with other kids all the time, made her first friend all by herself!  She and her buddy were drawing pictures together, singing, and occasionally stopping to talk with each other!

So, there you have it.  A whole week of unschooling, with a math, reading, cooking, and people skills curriculum!

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