Natural learning works with your child's curiosity and your trust to allow your child to explore that curiosity. It follows the philosophy that it is in human nature that we are naturally inclined to learn just as our children did when they learnt to walk and talk as toddlers. They were not forced into speaking and walking through planned lessons, instead, they followed their curiosity and learnt from their environment and trust you as their parent, that they would walk and talk when they were ready.
So what is natural learning for children exactly?
Natural learning is about slowing down your life, allowing your child to learn how nature intended -naturally. No matter what your child is doing, just know that at that moment they are observing, and they are curiously engaged. They are learning something no matter what they are doing. They are absorbing information and they are becoming that little wiser. So relax this season and watch your curious little human explore.
Unschooling is just a different, holistic way of looking at how to educate a child.
Unschooling is natural learning based on pursuing passions, satisfying one’s natural curiosity, and learning through life.
A list of ideas on how you can help embrace natural learning this season, how you can slow down living and enjoy the simplest things:
1- Do not stop your child from exploring
Sit back and watch them become curiously engaged and learn how things work, if and only if they require your help then step in and lend a hand. This may be at the park, in your home, building with legos, playing online gaming or using dads hand tools, no matter what they are doing - allow natural curiosity and learning to entwine.
2- Let your child work side by side with you
Let your child help cut veggies for dinner, let them help grocery shop, invite your child into whatever you are doing and embrace natural learning with them in that moment. Watch them ask you questions because they are naturally curious and eager to learn, and watch them figure out things because they are watching how it is done by you.
3- Allow nature and the environment to be your child's third teacher
Head outdoors this winter, for a walk in the forest, or maybe a trip to the farmers market and see what natural learning opportunities pop up. Engage and observe with your child what you are seeing. What type of tree is that? Why is the bee on the flower? How many apples do you think there are? What do you think organically grown means?
Maybe a quick google search will provide you with a lot of learning conversations with your little one if you are unsure.(meaning if you do not know a answer to one of their questions) Nature adventures and trips always provide my family with a huge amount of in-the-moment natural learning opportunities.
For more helpful information on unschooling and natural learning, we recommend:
and these top 5 unschooling blogs for more helpful information on natural learning and a glimpse into life of unschooling families.