In our garden, flowers are for picking. We make sure to leave some for the bees, too, but what fun would it be to have flowers that can’t be picked?
Here is what Mia did with (while I took pictures of) our pick-able flowers the other day:
Watching Mia independently satisfy her curiosity and plan and execute her own projects is thrilling to me. No parental instruction or judgment (praise, criticism, or otherwise) was involved in this flower bowl project.
I told her I thought the bowlful of flowers was beautiful–a sincere comment that came from my heart. I consciously avoided saying “Good Job!” or giving her a grade for a job well done. Mia was completely satisfied; her motivation and her reward were purely intrinsic.
And that is why we unschool. To let her carve her own path. For herself.
Mia learned all kinds of things doing this project. Do I have any idea what those things were? Not really. Not because I am lazy or because I don’t care. But because it doesn’t really matter. Because unschooling is about trust.
Unschooling is trusting that life and learning cannot be separated. I trust that Mia’s desires and motivations are stepping stones to her ultimate destiny. I trust that she needs to draw for hours every day for weeks on end. I trust that sometimes she needs to daydream and be lazy instead of help prepare dinner. I trust that as long as I am closely tuned in, give her love, support, and space, that she will learn what she needs to live whatever life she chooses.