Thursday, February 21, 2013

"What have you been studying?"

The other day Josh (8y) was talking to his great-grandma on the phone and she asked him what he'd been studying lately. Our family all understands that we "homeschool" but will be the first to admit they have no idea what we mean when we say we "unschool". Josh (and Papa and I) get questions like this often. "What are you studying?" "What have you learned this week?" "Do you know (insert quizy que...stion)?"

Josh really doesn't understand the questions. In his mind he hasn't been studying grammar, spelling, or punctuation. He's been sending people email. He doesn't necessarily notice when he's learning new things, as it is simply a by-product of him figuring out how to do whatever he wants to do. Asking him "What is the square root of 25?" isn't the normal language of our lives, as it doesn't have an application. Where as if he were playing with 25 blocks and wanted to make a square with them, he could figure out how long to make each side.

It is something we're continually working on, with our families and with Josh. Helping our families understand what we're doing, and how "What have you been up to lately?" would be a more appropriate question. And helping Josh to understand the perspective they have and why.

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