03 January 2009

A Slice of Unschooling

A lot of people don't get this whole unschooling thing. It's really all about child led learning. Let something spark their interest, and then let the child run with it as far as they wish to take it. Something funny happened at my house today, that looked like a slice of unschooling to me, so I thought I'd share.

My eldest daughter (Carley) asked for and received a game for her DS system for Christmas called Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney. You play as Phoenix Wright he is a defense attorney. I haven't explored much about the game, other than watching Carley play it. She has to gather clues, come up with some kind of defense and go into a courtroom and defend her client. Part of the game is yelling things into the speaker of the DS system, so in the last week I would often hear her yelling "Objection" while playing her game.

Well youngest daughter (Catherine) decided she wanted to play the game too. Thankfully her sister was willing to share. So Catherine has been playing the game for the last few days. Today, Carley and I were sitting in the living room watching TV and we could hear Catherine yelling things in her room. We knew she was playing the game. But imagine our surprise when we opened the door to her room. There she was sitting on her bed, surrounded by her animal court. She had used quite a few of her stuffed animals to lay out the game. She had her defendant (poor little Coconut, of American girl fame), the State's Attorney, the Judge, the witness's and the jury all laid out on her bed. With stuffed animals playing every role. She said it was a visual aid helping her with the game. It was really cute.

Now, to some, I suppose that would seem like no big deal. To some they would think she is just wasting her time playing a mindless video game. But she is learning all about the court system. She knows about defense attorneys and how to build a case to defend their client. And she knows what a State's Attorney is and how they actually function in a court. She knows when to yell "Objection" in defense of her client. She knows who will be a good witness and who won't. She has a sudden interest in knowing things about our legal system. I heard her ask her sister what a Paralegal does. She thought it might be interesting to be one when she gets older. She found something interesting (the game) and it has sparked a desire in wanting to know more. Imagine that. And some people think unschooling doesn't work : )


unschoolermom said...

Unschooling definitely works! I love unschooling!


GregJrsMom said...

Very very cool. I love the visual aids! We'll have to look for this game. It sounds great.