Good Morning 😊
I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend. Ours was busy with family visiting and cleaning out some broken outdoor furniture from the backyard.
Today I thought I would review the book Free To Learn by Peter Gray. I have been reading several Unschooling books and this was the first one I finished. Mr. Gray definitely knows his stuff. He compiled tons of research, even writing about how a tribe in Africa teaches their children. It is very much Unschooling.
I’ll admit he lost me a bit here and there, but overall I would recommend this book. It definitely makes you see how the public school system has changed over the years and why so many children struggle in it. My children are 3 examples. My oldest was not a strong reader and when his Kindergarten teacher made him feel, as he put it, stupid I was crushed 😥 He was only 5!! I didn’t know then what I know now so I pushed him like they told me, which only made him more upset. I had to work and couldn’t homeschool back then. My older daughter was a strong reader but had high anxiety. She struggled socially more than anything. They are now 22 and almost 25. I wish I could have homeschooled both of them.
Chloe’s situation is a bit different. She has moderately severe Autism. We thought she needed to be in school for the special classroom and extra therapies. It went very well at first, but she started getting very stressed by the time she was in Kindergarten. She had a great teacher, but she couldn’t handle the noise, lights and especially not the loud lunchroom . We decided half way through her 1st grade year to bring her home.
It has not been easy. Some days I cry and think “Did I make the right decision “? Then I think of her crying and see another school shooting on the news and I know I did. Finding the right curriculum has been so hard. So a few weeks ago I started doing Life Led Learning or Unschooling. I have to guide her a bit since it’s not in her nature to float towards a specific thing to learn about. So I have been reading books. I agree with Peter Gray our children need more play. They need more time for social interaction at school. We always had recess every afternoon at school where I grew up. Now they rotate PE class every 3 to 4 weeks and may go outside, weather dependent, for 20 to 30 minutes a day. No wonder kids struggle with the wiggles and attention issues. I know I have to move around a lot during the day myself.
I enjoyed this book for Peter Gray’s perspective on Unschooling. I could tell how passionate he is about this way of learning. I didn’t agree with everything, but again I still recommend it if you are thinking about Unschooling.