Reading a lot about unschooling and the approach to learning in these families and communities I have noticed a common theme. Learning through experience. In learning through experience children gain a greater level of understanding, they can make connections to things that they already know and can add value and meaning to what they are experiencing.
Experience, by nature, does not isolate curriculum areas, it integrates them. All knowledge comes to play within one activity giving a rounded, more complete understanding.
Being somewhere where curriculum integration is the norm, is championed and celebrated gives me both opportunity and challenge when it comes to planning rich learning experiences for my class. We have the opportunity to follow a question, fully work through a cycle of enquiry with few limitations. I have the challenge of planning for the unknown while still maintaining focus in the form of learning intentions and expected outcomes form my students. A bonus in working this way is that activities and learning are differentiated through the nature of experiences and prior knowledge and the benefit for students is huge in terms of being able to access learning at their level within all classroom activities.
My challenge is to marry paper with practice.
I enjoy reading this blog and in particular this post that discuss the value of experiential learning.