The term Life Learning refers to a form of homeschooling that is focused on the child and avoids the trappings of school.
It is sometimes called ‘Unschooling’, ‘radical unschooling’ or ‘natural learning’. Life learning children live and learn naturally, with the support of their families, based on their own interests and their own timetables, and without curriculum,tests, or grades.
Life Learning is an educational philosophy, a way of looking at the world and living our lives.
Humans have an amazing sense of curiosity that will lead us to learn everything we need.
We are born with a drive to explore, with imagination and a curiosity and wonder that we retain throughout our lives, if they are not ‘taught’ out of us. We learn all the time from everything we do.
Parents facilitate learning in this philosophy and back away when they are not needed.
This is much more than child-led learning, it’s about offering our children a diverse life full of possibilities and supporting them with their choices.
Many people ask: “How will we really know that they will learn everything they need to know?”
Children who have attended school still learn new things on the job, in higher education and after they move out of their parents’ homes. They learn when they need to know it or desire it.
Every day is different for a life learner. It’s a new and exciting adventure to wake up and choose what to do each moment, each day.
Some things we tend to do are: work, play, participate in games or sports, read, write, sleep, cook, eat, experiment, explore, surf the web, ride a bike, watch a movie, listen to music, day dream, problem-solve, paint, create, go to the aquarium and zoo, visit friends, try new things, compose or play, sing, go grocery shopping, garden, and anything else we want to do.
It’s all about living life and learning all the time.
This does not mean that our children do whatever they want with regard to others or anything.
We live in the real world where things need to get done.
As a family, we work together in the way that makes sense to us in a particular place and time.
If there is something that truly needs to be learned, the time will come when it is more of a burden to not know the thing than to learn it.
There is no shame in learning all the time at their own pace. This requires trust in them and the world.
Life learning supports the autonomous, self-directed gaining of knowledge or skill.
It is learning without created consequences and not against one’s will.
Personalized, non-coercive, active, interest-led learning from life.
Sophia Cannonier is a student midwife and birth doula. She also teaches classical ballet, yoga, pilates, Feldenkrais and Conscious Birth classes. Sophia and her husband Michael learn from life and their three home and water birthed children.