Willed Learning (or Unschooling) and Art/SEL

Kharazmi, L. (2020). Willed learning and art as a way for young people to express their feelings. Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning, 14 (28).

The author of this article homeschooled her son through COVID 19, and decided to switch to a more willed learning, or unschooling type approach. She documents this time through journaling and self-reflection.

In March, when COVID 19 closed schools, Kharazmi and her 6 year old son were planning to homeschool. While everyone was transitioning, mom studied while her son played. She did experience some guilt in not formally “homeschooling” and so shared with her son that soon, they would start “school”. Son, through his drawings (which are shared within this article), was visibly upset. Of course, one could assume that the emotions were not only geared towards school, but also towards the entire situation – as everyone’s lives have been affected by COVID.

With homeschooling not working, mom decided, with her husband, to try a more willed learning (or unschooling) approach she had been reading about. Throughout this time, she documents her son’s adventures in nature, art, and clay. She notices that learning in unschooling is not linear “Some days he wanted to learn about the galaxy, the next day he wanted to play with his play doh” (2020, p. 43). But he was clearly happier (and she publishes his drawings as an example). Throughout this reflective article, Kharazmi describes her own process of reading, reflecting, and “deschooling” herself.

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