While we believe in “unschooling”, in that much of what we have learned may need to be unlearned, we still believe in schools.
A school is a loving container for learning. It’s a community to support curiousity. While we playfully call ourselves an “unschool”, we still have curriculum; we still teach; we still have goals for what we want the students to learn.
But above all we care about the children. Are they curious? Are they engaging with the natural world and their fellow humans? Are they developing interests, passions, self-definition? Do they manifest compassion, awareness of others?
Nothing about testing, lecturing and stress enhances our goals, so these things we do not do.
We are evolved to be hunter-gatherers, living in small tribes. While our lifestyles have greatly changed in the last few millenia, our genes have not.
In such societies learning is accomplished through mentoring. Children watch, practice and participate in the work of their communities.
We still learn best with our senses and the engagement of our bodies. While most schools teach to the child from the neck up, we make every lesson into a visceral experience.
We have a few mottos around here:
“Rewild the Child”.
“Nature does not belong to us; we belong to Nature”, and
“Learn to live.”