I am a born unschooler; my parents decided to unschool me before I was even born! They found a book by John Holt, and resonated with his theory on how children learned things. As long as I can remember, my mom has been sending me to classes I was at least a little bit interested in. I was a very curious and creative child; I wanted to know everything, and know how to do everything!
My parents didn’t worry about me academically; they knew that I would learn the things I needed to learn, when I needed to learn them. For example: When I was nine, I was in a musical called Thoroughly Modern Millie, and I needed to learn how to read my lines in order to be able to sing along. So, I learned how to read. It was so long ago, that I don’t remember how I learned to read. What I do remember, is that I had fun learning, and that’s what unschooling is all about. Unschoolers learn at different ages, and at different paces. For instance: my brother learned how to read when he was five, and it was because he really like RPG games, and as a result: he learned how to read!
I had really struggled to learn anything beyond adding and subtracting; I’m more of a visual person, I prefer pictures over words. My mom sent me to all kinds of math classes. I had some fun in the classes, because I loved puzzles. I wasn’t able to learn standard math skills like multiplying and finding x, those skills wouldn’t stick to my brain, no matter how hard I tried. But, it turned out that I was just not ready to learn those things yet. When I turned fifteen, all of the sudden, I started to really want to learn math; I felt that I was very behind after shadowing one of my friends at school, and I felt the need to catch up. It was like I got a spell put on me. I was learning math at a rapid speed. Well, actually, it would be better defined as a train experience. I got on to the train, and then the train started moving slowly at first, and then started moving faster, but then I moved too fast, I hit a bump, and my train fell apart. I got tired of drilling math problems. I took a seven month vacation from math. I came back from my metaphorical hospital, and I got onto another train, but this one was a baby bullet train, because I already knew most of my math, and I only needed to polish up, and learn the final things. At this moment, I’m very near the end of the line; I only have one more week of drilling, and then I’ll be adequate and college ready!
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Thanks for reading! ~Veronica