Why Choice is Key in Learning Life Skills
Editor’s Pick. Written by Pam Laricchia.
The unschooling lifestyle in support of learning life skills is a wonderful dance of everyday living, relationships, and choice:
- The usefulness of these life skills shows up in the everyday living—eating, sleeping, taking care of our bodies, taking care of our stuff, maintaining our environment etc.
- We live with others in both our family and our extended community, so relationships weave through everything.
- And unschooling learning itself, academic or otherwise, boils down to choice. That is where the best learning is because that’s where the person’s thoughts are swirling, where their thinking is leading them: to make this particular choice. They know the motivation behind their choice and are interested in seeing how it plays out, whether it’s to mix the baking soda and vinegar, to use a particular strategy for a boss battle, or to stay awake to watch the rest of the movie.
This learning through the exploration of their environment is not so much about the individual choices themselves but about the process: our children experience the results and then incorporate them into their understanding of themselves and the world. And from that place of deeper understanding they make their next choice. And they gain more experience. And then they make their next choice, and so on. That’s the process of real learning—learning that is understood and remembered because it is meaningful to them.