much like an estuary, the family is dynamic, in a state of constant motion with many elements acting upon it. the soil is rich and delicate here – it is a place for feeding and resting – it’s occupation is one of balance – filtering through the sediment left over from movement and the moment, which is elusive.
this blog is a place where i plan to share our adventures in free learning (many call it unschooling). i live in the mission district of san francisco with my husband and two girls who were born in 2006 and 2008. we have chosen to pursue an alternative path to compulsory, curriculum-based, standardized education.
in thinking about this project, i have been wondering how to lay it out? since it will inherently be a work in progress, i have decided to start with quotes from the work which precedes us and which resonate with the vision we have.
this vision is one that fundamentally allows children to grow and learn without prescriptions, boundaries, or guidelines. an education which is self directed by them as young people and facilitated by us as parents in collaboration with the community around us. we as adults are the curators of themes held in focus by their interests. as appropriate we step away more and more and allow them to continue to believe in themselves, their desires and their abilities.
the intention is by no means to shelter our children, quite the contrary. we want them to be aware of how what they learn folds into the experience of living. they are already living in this world and making choices that affect those around them. we want them to understand how important this is to their own happiness and health – and equally important, how it affects the community they live in – and for that matter, the world they live in.
my hope with this blog is to share our experience and facilitate the search for others who are beginning this path – the path of questioning the appropriateness of compulsory curriculum-based standardized education. the path for us has been challenging, enjoyable and enlightening as has all the learning we have done as adults and continue to do as parents.
history, contemporary thought, and the experience of parenting, have helped shape our feelings about young people and the way they learn. many before us and along side us have questioned and are questioning the institutions which aim to shape young people and the foundation of our culture. we do not agree with many of the goals of these institutions.
it is has been affirming, and useful in the expression of our thinking, to surround ourselves with the thoughts of others that reflect our understanding and intention. a list of our influences you will find in the column down to the right.
it is best to start reading this blog from the beginning, starting with the first post. these posts are the foundation and framework of our evolving thought.
photos of our life up until a certain point: http://familiarconversations.blogspot.com/
if you feel inspired, say hello.
here we go…
(sonoma coast, 2012)