Unschooling in Action

Bath Abbey

I have been keeping a list of learning as I see it happening day by day with my children. The more I remember to do it, the more learning I notice ‘just happening’ without any pressure at all. The less I attempt to control their lives, the more enthusiasm and curiosity they seem to have. I am not exaggerating when I say I truly am amazed. It is becoming apparent to me that this is the only authentic way for children, indeed anyone, to learn…. that is… on their own terms. I may suggest things and offer ideas and mostly they do accept. However, a large percentage of the learning that I am aware of comes from discussing whatever comes up at the time. I am careful not to push information on them, but very often they are interested and ask many questions which often lead onto other connected subjects. Learning naturally arises from the ordinary everyday occurrences…

  • Making breakfast together
  • Wax resist painting in the garden
  • Playing Minecraft
  • Bike riding
  • Questions: ‘Do animals have eyebrows?’
  • Butterfly identification
  • Making a mermaid purse
  • Paddling pool obstacle course
  • Mending bike brakes together
  • Making Benderoo animals
  • Cooking – Muesli bars
  • Making felt birds
  • Minecraft Discussion ~ On materials, how rock is formed, formation of precious stones and metals
  • Playing boggle word game
  • Discussion about famous people/celebrities and effects of having/being a ‘fan’
  • Discussion about effects of eating healthily or unhealthily. Food intolerances
  • Discussion about the eyesight of flies ~ researching on the internet
  • Jay writing out long list of self-challenges for minecraft
  • Watching 24 ~ we talked about how time is handled in this series compared with other series
  • Watching Olympics ~ discussing countries, flags, national anthems. Cycling, tennis, swimming, rowing, table tennis
  • Dead headless bird in the garden ~ talked about predators, last meal, decomposition
  • Emily made honey bread and fruit fondue from her new cookery book
  • Setting up a makeshift equestrian show-jumping arena in the garden and successfully jumping (on pretend horses) clear rounds
  • Taking part in the library summer reading challenge
  • Identifying birds in the garden: great tits, long-tailed tits, thrushes, pigeons, robins, greenfinches, wrens
  • Observing flying ant day. Recording the sighting on the Society of Biology website. Talking about the mating habits of ants
  • Friends over to play
  • Train trip to Bath – walk around Bath Abbey. Three sightseeing bus tours – we all love doing these – every single summer. So much learning and all right in front of our eyes: the architecture and history of  a city, literature, art, current affairs, geology, geography, religious studies, science – all were covered by the tour guide. Playing for hours in Victoria park, watching bmx, birdspotting. Handmade fudge tasting.
  • Fascinating graphic website Scale of the Universe
  • Playing shops with Emily ~ Working out cash, change, using till. How special offers work. Advertising
  • Picnic in the garden with Emily’s collection of ‘bluenose’ friends
  • Using a compass
  • Drawing cartoons
  • Watching the closing ceremony and music of the Olympic games. Talking about its Greek origins, the ancient olympics; The Beatles; Monty Python; ‘Britishness’; London cabs and buses; The Who and mods on scooters; and different music genres.
Bath Abbey Vaulted Ceiling

Bath Abbey

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