Friday, April 12, 2013

My unschooler is interested in...

At the Wide Sky Days Unschooling Conference in 2012, Pam Sorooshian and Laura Flynn Endres gave a talk together and did a really cool thing: they put up posterboard around the room; asked people for kids' interests to put in as headers for the boards, such as Harry Potter, acting, Fibonnaci sequences, whatever; and then gave sticky notes to everybody in the room (about 100 of us, I suppose). We all went around the room putting sticky ideas onto the boards for ways kids can deepen their involvement in and exposure to the posted interests.

It was a remarkable experience, the hive mind at its finest. We created such a vibrant, varied library of resources. I wanted to do more and more.

So, after we got home from San Diego, I started a Facebook group that runs along the same principles. People create posts about something their kids (or they - we're not age-ist!) are interested in, and other members put in ideas for learning more. I have discouraged commentary on other people's suggestions, since you never know what a given family will find enriching and many families might use the same posts for ideas. I have also discouraged discussion of unschooling philosophy itself. There are many other places where that can happen; I don't think people need one more place to argue.

The result has been pretty freaking cool, far beyond what I imagined when I got it started. In a little over five months, we have gathered 1250 idea-makers together. People post topics ranging from... Well, I'll share a few of the ones at the top of the group today. That will give you an idea:

- physical comedy
- Japanese
- boats and water
- g.a.m.e systems and a.p.p.s (trying to avoid spam)
- narration
- Legos
- and much, much more.

It is fun, inspiring, and WAY too busy for me to keep up with. Fortunately, with so many contributors, people are assured of having some collaborators whenever they post.

If you're interested in some ideas for your kids or yourself, come join us. My unschooler is interested in...

7 comments:

Jen Armstrong said...

I love reading about the origins of "My unschooler is interested in...". I want to offer up my thanks. After you began the group, my son, age 12, became interested in disaster relief through an anime he had watched. I posted to the group, and another member connected us with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services coordinator for disaster relief for N.J., N.Y. and Puerto Rico - only 10 people in the country hold such a position. He was so gracious with his time and experience; we learned a lot!

Ronnie said...

Great story! Thanks for sharing it with me.

michelle said...

We LOVE my unschooler is interested in...

We've gotten lots of ideas from your FB page and are so grateful that you started it.

I will bookmark your site. I found it through Sue Wolf Patterson's Unschooling Blog Carnival.

Heather Booth said...

I love the My Unschooler Is Interested page. Thanks for putting that together and keeping it on topic.

Christy said...

I love your facebook page! Brilliant :)

Unschooling Blog Carnival said...

So glad to have this post in the Unschooling Blog Carnival. Thanks for writing up and running the page on Facebook. It's lots of fun!

~Sue
www.unschoolingblogcarnival.blogspot.com
www.suepatterson.wordpress.com

unboundedocean said...

My favourite unschooling FB group EVER!