As a child I remember learning a lot of my summers. I would spend my afternoons exploring our large garden. Along my way I’d pick lima beans, tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, and strawberries. That’s how I learned a little about gardening.
When I was in Spain I’d wake up, meet a few of my friends and we’d play soccer or go on a hike to try to find something we heard about from someone else.
The afternoons and evenings were spent at the beach. On our way home we’d cut through the corn fields and vineyards to borrow ears of corn or bunches of grapes as a snack for later.
The nights were spent just hanging around and getting into trouble. That’s how I learned how to clam. We’d head back down to the beach and go clamming, being care that patrols wouldn’t catch us - we didn’t have permits. On a good night we would bring home 3 to 5 pounds of clams that we’d then split up amongst ourselves.
Gillian has a lot of these stories also. More than I do actually. As we get closer to wanting to start a family I can’t help but think about how we’ll raise our kids.
This weekend I read “We Don’t Need No Education” an article in Outside magazine by Ben Hewitt. You can read it here.
It was an interesting read and while I don’t know if I agree with the specifics of his unschooling method I agree that there’s something to think about here. Here’s an excerpt that stood out:
But, in truth, what I most want for my boys can’t be charted or graphed. It can’t be measured, at least not by common metrics. There is no standardized test that will tell me if it has been achieved, and there is no specific curriculum that will lead to its realization.
This is what I want for my sons: freedom. Not just physical freedom, but intellectual and emotional freedom from the formulaic learning that prevails in our schools.
This I agree with. Throughout my education I found exams to teach me how to take and do well on exams, not much else. Most of what is memorable and I use on an everyday basis came from my own curiosity. I think there are things we all should know, but there isn’t a hard and fast way as to how they should be taught.