It's been a long time between posts, but we're back! (Not before some stern words from one of our fans LOL, I expect to see her comment!). It's a new year, my big girl turns 4 in two weeks. This would be the year that both Sarah Jane's big girl and mine would be starting kindergarten. 2012 is the year I am making one of my dreams a reality: unschool kinder in our local area.
Where we live there are some great programs, groups and activities for children over the age of 6, but for those of us home educating from the outset, I have not found anything for the not-kindergarteners and not-pre-schoolers. But we know that Sarah Jane, myself and our friend "Alemona" are unschooling and have children 4 years and under, and on the weekend we discovered another friend, new to our circle is also considering unschooling and has a child around the same age. My dream is a weekly gathering that changes venue and hosts from week to week. Whoever is host for that week selects the venue and the activities to strew for the children (who can take or leave the activities). It will be an opportunity for home educating parents to connect with one another and share our journeys, our kids will spend time with other kids living the same lifestyle as their families and at the end of the week those of us who struggle with labels like "productivity", "socialisation", "proof of learning", will be able to say "we achieved something this week" :)
On the weekend Sarah Jane helped me come up with a name for our Unkinder and I made a Facebook group for us to keep one another up to date with upcoming events. We decided to name our Unkinder after a famous author who has inspired unschoolers through his works, introducing: John Holt Unkinder:
"My unkinder vision: a weekly gathering of home learning locals during the day when some friends are at kindergarten. Rotating venues: local hubs of learning: libraries, swimming pools, the beach, parks and our homes. Each week a different family strews the path for the group.
1 week the kids might have a craft project at Saree's house, the next week they might have access to Spanish worksheets at mine. Totally up to you what we do and up to the kids whether they do it or not. Whether the kids chose to do the activities offered to them or strew their own paths with each other, regardless, we parents will get to connect with each other on a weekly basis and share the journey.
Meets will be based in our local suburb and surrounds but visitors from afar are welcome. Children of all ages are welcome, strewing will most likely target the 4 year mark, but being free-range types we don't mind if our kindergarteners are 4, 12, or 30."
Our first day of semester starts on Tuesday February 7 with a Not-the-1st-day-of-kinder swim at a local aquatic centre. If you're a home educating family please feel free to join the group and our first event, and let other home learning families know about us. We'd love to meet more local unschoolers, or those considering home educating to know about us.