I started responding to a comment to my post yesterday about Typical Days by momof3feistykids (another Stephanie no less!) and realized that it would probably make a good blog post in and of itself. She said in part:
"Wonderful post! I am not an unschooler, in the usual sense of the word (I make them do plenty of "schooly" stuff that they wouldn't choose on their own). But I, too, pay attention to what they're learning when they're "goofing off" and even document it in my home school records. I have long suspected that one of the biggest parts of becoming an unschooler must be (in Charlotte Mason's words) *developing the habit of attention.* Training oneself to notice what the kids are doing, thinking, and learning during their "free time" must be half the battle."
Obviously she has a great point. Seeing the learning that happens everyday can help no matter how you homeschool. I do know that sometimes it can be hard to value the less formal "everyday" learning as much as the more typical "school-type" learning. After all, we spent 12+ years learning that only "school-type" learning was important. Yet, once we got out of school, did we stop learning? Of course not. And the interesting thing is that I bet for most of us, that learning looks less like school and is most definitely interest driven.
I do not know if we really fall into the unschooling camp…there are so many debates over who/what is true unschooling so I try to stay away from defining ourselves. We are very relaxed in our homeschooling, some things we do look schooly and others most definitely do not. I base what we do on what works for us rather then try to follow a specific philosophy. The great thing is that since we are homeschooling we can do what works for us and adjust if we need to.