Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Unschooling - the expanded version

The last six weeks have seen an expansion of our household, in the form of our children's two cousins visiting from South Africa. I found the experience hectic, hectic, hectic, with my desire to share with them all the exciting experiences around here clashing with the inertia created by six children aged from 3 to 12, each with his or her own needs and wishes.

For example, my 11 year-old nephew was happiest in front of the computer playing his newest action game, while my 12 year-old niece could be relied on with out fail to ask me every evening, "So what are we doing tomorrow?"

I had some reservations about whether there would be any philosophical clashes (well, they do go to very good private schools and their parents place great import on good grades). On the first night, in answer to a question from my niece, I explained that we don't "do school" but follow our interests, even when they don't look like anything academic. "Wow!" she said, "That sounds really cool."

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