The best thing about unschooling.

I posted recently about what, in my opinion, is the hardest thing about unschooling.

Today, I wanted to share a snapshot of the best thing: joyful learning.  Learning that changes and expands horizons.  Learning that sticks.

This little 9-year-old wants to build things.

Ever since she saw Handy Manny at age 4, she has wanted to be a carpenter.  She’s progressed from simple book shelves to little wooden toy kits to finally building her own playhouse.

Watching her build a house entirely by herself is an amazing experience.  For both of us.  There are days of discouragement, but inevitably, she wants it bad enough that she comes back to it.

This one wanted to learn to knit.

So, she took lessons and made it look so fun that now we’ve all had lessons and are knitting.  (And it’s SO fun!)

This one has always been a reluctant writer.

She reads like a champ, but she has always hated writing, spelling, and anything associated with them.  So I’ve given her time.  In the past month, she has discovered that she has stories to tell, and that she loves to write them.  She has literally spent days and even weeks at a time on a story.  The spelling hasn’t hindered her…she’s wanted to spell things correctly so that her story can be perfect.  Her spelling, grammar, and allover writing ability has probably improved 2-3 grade levels in one month, simply because she was ready and discovered it in a playful way.  She told me this morning that she spells things to herself in her head at night, so that she can be a better author.  This is with zero prompting from me.

This sweet babe has been my only reluctant reader so far.  I haven’t pushed her.  About two months ago, she came to me one day after a library trip.  All of her sisters were busy devouring new books, and she said to me, “Mom, reading looks so fun, I’ve decided to become a reader.”  From that day on, she has worked on it, unprompted.  She has improved 2-3 grade levels in that short time, and has discovered, truly, that reading is fun.

I’m feeling so very blessed to be living this incredible life, where my children inspire and teach me more than I have ever known.