Monday, February 20, 2012

just when you think it won't happen, it will

Regular readers here know that we unschool. That means I don't sit down with the girls and have them do copywork. We don't work on penmanship or any sort of writing, really, unless they ask.

I trust that they will learn. Both the Hubster and I write on a regular basis. The girls see us writing letters (yes, even longhand from time to time), notes, grocery lists, etc.

I first learned about unschooling way back in the mid 1990's when the boy was just a toddler. I read John Holt's work and then when the big girl came along with her unique challenges it was abundantly clear that I couldn't hand her over to an institutional education system. I mean no disrespect for those dedicated teachers who might be reading this, but the system just isn't right for my daughter.

Over the past two years the big girl has asked about writing various letters of the alphabet. She's been curious. She wanted to imitate us. She wanted to write like we wrote. She wanted to practice writing every day for a period of time last year and then really had no interest in it for a while. She loved tracing them, but hated that she couldn't write them as clearly as she wanted to write.

Then she moved on to wanting to learn how words were spelled. She'd ask the Hubster and me how to spell words and then she'd walk about the house spelling. Seriously, that's how she chose to spend her time. :) She'd use magnetic letters to spell the words, but rarely would write them out.

Until recently. She has a renewed interest in writing. Last night while I was talking to the Hubster on the telephone (he was off in Seattle attending his uncle's memorial service) she pulled out the chalkboard and chalk and wrote "Mom" and "Dad" on the chalkboard.

For me it's a really exciting moment and that's why I'm sharing it here on the blog. We've been there to help her as she asked for help, but she taught herself how to write. She did it in her time and it's her accomplishment. She has a passion for learning and, while she grows frustrated with various tasks and is especially frustrated when her desire to master something doesn't quite match up with her developmental stage yet, she never gives up. Then, when I least expect it she'll show me what she's mastered.


  1. That is an awesome accomplishment! How exciting!

  2. Inspiring. As a parent who will not be doing 'school' it's so nice to read other peoples experiences and hear that the kids actually do grow and it isn't just some theory that I've cooked up. My kids are 4 and 2. So this hits my idea of a 'some day' thing. Thank You Thank You.
    Andrea @


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A 40 something mama meandering through life an 8 year old girl (the big girl) who is a ball of lightening and a 5 year old girl (the baby girl) who brightens our lives with her smiles. I'm grounded by my 40 something husband and partner (the hubster) whose quirky mannerisms brighten my days. Our family is rounded out with with an eclectic 21 year old boy-man (the boy) who I hardly ever right about now since he's off starting his own life.

I've been a single mama, married mama, divorced mama, career mama, SAHM, and WAHM. There was a short time of my life when I wasn't a mama, but that was a LONG time ago!

I hold an AA, BS, and MA and most say I'm wasting them by devoting my intellectual capabilities and energy in the nurture of the wee ones that I've been entrusted to raise, but there is nothing else I'd rather be doing these days. :)

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