Friday, November 4, 2011

How do you know if/what they're learning?

How do you know what your children are learning? If they never take tests, or get evaluated, how do you know they've learned anything at all? These are common questions people ask when they find out about unschooling. And the answer is so simple, and easy, I can't believe it eludes them.

I know my children are learning, because I pay attention to them. As unschoolers, I spend a lot of time with my children. I may not always be actively engaged with them, as we don't enjoy all the same activities, but I am always aware of where they are and what they are doing. I pick up on the little cues that tell me they are learning, or have mastered a new skill.

Example 1: Nico has been working on figuring out time for quite a while. He was constantly asking what time is it? how long until? and other such questions to help give himself a better understanding of how time moves. I know he is mastering this skill, because he has stopped asking so many questions, and has started making statements about time. In two hours, it will be... Only five minutes until...

Example 2: This morning Lucas read the number 1100, off the playstation screen. He said "Mommy I scored eleven hundred points!" I didn't know he could read numbers that high, so I walked over to check, and sure enough he had scored 1100 points. Now I know.

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