Learning Happens Spontaneously: Beatrice's Interview

Beatrice and her family live in Hamilton Ontario and she's been involved in Radio Free School, "an all volunteer weekly radio show by, for, and about, Unschoolers/Home-based Learners."

1. How long have you been homeschooling (or if finished, how long did you homeschool)?

I have three daughters ages 14, 12 and 11. My two older girls started public school a little over a year ago. Prior to that they had never been to school. My youngest is still at home with me.

2. One of the main benefits of homeschooling is the freedom and flexibility it allows. Can you give us a few examples of how this
freedom and flexibility benefited you (your family)?

Even though my oldest two go to school now, we still practice 'freedom in learning' at home. I let them sleep in and skip school if they so wish to and they can tag along if there's a particularly fun outing we are planning. This happened just the other day when daughter no 2 skipped school to go cross country skiing for her first time with daughter #3 teaching her how it's done.

They had a great time together making snow angels, throwing snow balls at each other, climbing trees really bonding as sisters-something we miss when she goes to school.

With my youngest we are able to plan our day (given some restrictions such as my work and her scheduled classes) as we see fit. If we decide to go to the art gallery, or ice skating there is no one to stop us! It's great because learning happens spontaneously in this way.

We are talking for example, and then the question comes up in the conversation "how long do turtles live?" We go straight to the computer and find out. We don't need to wait for a teacher to answer the question.

This leads to other questions, related or not, so we have a picture of what authentic learning is like-it is meaningful to the learner herself. We can delve into information as deeply or as little as we like. Keeps learning and being in this world fresh and engaging.

3. Another benefit of homeschooling is the fun factor. Can you give us a few examples of some especially fun times you had as a result of homeschooling?

Fun is always good and I personally am guilty of not having enough of it!

Still when I see my daughters laughing together with their father over a youtube video of crazy trampoline mishaps or when we get together with other families for skating and hot chocolate while other families are off at work and school, it makes me feel lucky we have this kind of a lifestyle.

4. We all have funny experiences while homeschooling. Can you share one of yours with us?

When we still had the weekly radio show we put on for over 7 years, we had the opportunity to visit an archaeologist at the local university and held a 2 million year old piece of poo from a cave in China! Not funny exactly but we had a lot of fun joking about it!

No comments: