Beyond School  by Wendy Priesnitz Life Learning Magazine
The digital magazine for homeschooling / unschooling / life learning families
subscribe or renew

Home       Subscriber Services       About Us       Back Issues        Read       Write       Advertise       Blog

Sign up for our free
Life Media E-letter

to keep in touch
with Life Learning,
unschooling news, our home education books, and our other magazines.

Sign up here


Life Learning July/August 2014
July/August 2014

Life Learning May/June 2014
May/June 2014

Life Learning Mar/Apr 2014
Mar/Apr 2014

Life Learning Jan/Feb 2014
Jan/Feb 2014

Life Learning Nov/Dec 2013
Nov/Dec 2013

Life Learning Sept/Oct 2013
Sept/Oct 2013

Life Learning July/August 2013
July/Aug 2013

Life Learning May/June 2013
May/June 2013

Life Learning March/April 2013
March/Apr 2013

Of Swimming & Schooling
How Unschooled Kids Learned to Swim
By Rachel Gathercole

swimming and unschoolingI have three children – an eleven-year-old, a seven-year-old and a baby. In our family, this will be remembered as the summer they all learned how to swim. On their own. When I was barely looking.

There I stood on that fourth day, dripping and watching silently by the side of the pool, where I was once again reminded of the simple beauty of allowing my kids the freedom to learn at their own pace.

And that’s no small thing. For starters, my eleven-year-old, Saul, hates getting his face wet. Oh, how he hates getting his face wet. How does he hate it? Let me count the ways. Showers, baths, sinks, the ocean, lakes, rivers, pools. Sprinklers. Rain. Tooth brushing. He did not swim for eleven years because for him there was (it seemed to me) nothing worse in the world than water on his face. He’d rather sit on the dry ground and watch.

Sadie, my seven-year-old, was fine with getting her face wet, but was small and scared. You know, not wanting to drown and all that. And the baby, Luke – well, he just hadn’t been around very long yet. Six months, to be exact.

Now, I will admit, the older two have been working on it, in their own ways, for years. They have long been able to scoot about in the water in life vests that they could not survive without. And last summer when we got an above-ground, three- foot-deep “junior” pool in our yard, they began playing in that water without vests (since they could always reach the bottom.) Sadie accidentally discovered during that time that she could float; Saul learned how to “doggy-paddle.” Still, they were far from true swimmers.

But then came baby Luke. Luke loved the water. He adored it. So, in June, I did the unpredictable, at least for me. I signed my baby up for lessons. Yes, my six-month-old. It was a mother-baby class, and it was definitely an anomaly for us, neither of my other two children having ever taken swimming lessons except for one day, two summers ago, which amounted to nothing beyond the realization that they weren’t ready. But this baby wanted to be in the water, and I was interested in learning what fun, non-traumatic things I could safely do with him, or let him do, in the pool. During our lessons, my other two kids had nothing to do but play in the other end of the pool and stay out of the way. I knew they were safe in that pool, which was shallow and supervised by several life guards, and I paid little to no attention to what they were doing there. We were there exactly four times. On the fourth day, I found out what they had been doing: learning to swim.

Here is my understanding of how it happened . . .

To read the rest of this article, please subscribe to Life Learning Magazine. Back issue access is included in your subscription.

Rachel Gathercole is the mother of three beautiful, delight-driven, self-starting children, and the author of numerous articles on homeschooling, unschooling, parenting and children. She is also the author of the book The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling, which addresses the question of homeschoolers’ socialization in the depth that parents need. Look for Rachel’s book online at www.mapletree.com or your favorite online bookseller, or check out her website at www.rachelgathercole.com.

Subscribe to Life Learning Magazine

 

Natural Life General Store

Natural Life Books

Natural Child Magazine

Natural Life Magazine

Life Learning Magazine

Copyright © 2002 - 2014 Life Media

|  About Us  |  Contact  |
|   Contribute  |   Privacy Policy  | 

subscribe or renew

Marketplace
Child's Play Magazine
Life Learning - the book
Northeast Unschooling Conference
Free Range Learning
Challenging Assumptions in Education by Wendy Priesnitz
What Really Matters by David Albert & Joyce Reed
For the Sake of Our Children by Leandre Bergeron
School Free: Your Homeschooling Guide
A Home Business Start-Up Guide
Unschooling reprints from Natural Life Magazine
It Hasn't Shut Me Up by Wendy Priesnitz