To some extent you have to believe in it a little in order to see it "working" otherwise it seems incomprehensible that a "normal" child would actually choose to learn something complex or choose to do a rather dull sequential task like figure a Fibonacci sequence or memorize Pi to the nth digit or learn to read and write Tolkien's elvish script.Oh Pi is quite important in our house - we love Pi Day. Pi Day is the occasion for learning a few more digits of pi each year. DS has more digits memorized than I do now.
If you're not already an interesting person with interesting information to share with your children, then you'll have to make an effort to be more interesting. The way to do that is to develop your own sense of curiosity, wonder, fascination, and enthusiasm.
It might have to seem a little artificial, for a while, if it isn't natural to a parent to just "be" this way.
Building an Unschooling Nest
Can there be too much peace? For learning, yes. Learning requires mental arousal. If an environment is so still and barren that one's curiosity isn't sparked, then people might be closer to a state of sleep than of excited curiosity. Life can be too dull and quiet for learning to spontaneously happen.
A Loud Peaceful Home
Sometimes an adult who had learned not to learn, or had grown up to be self-conscious about enthusiasm and curiosity, rediscovers the joy of discovery.
"Mindful Parenting" (about 3/5 the way down)
Get interested in things yourself. Not interested in your child getting educated, but in learning for yourself. Pursue an interest you've always wanted to but never had time for. Be curious about life around you. Look things up to satisfy your own curiosity. Or just ponder the wonder of it all. Ask questions you don't know the answers to. "Why are there beautiful colors beneath the green in leaves?" "Why did they build the bridge here rather than over there?" "Why is there suddenly more traffic on my road than there used to be?"
Let your child know that all the questions haven't been answered yet and it's not her job to just keep absorbing answers until she's got them all.
Five Steps to Unschooling (Step Three)
We do not "school," but, instead, we concentrate on living a life filled with opportunities and possibilities and experiences. Human children are born learners. Literally. What unschoolers aim for is keeping that love of learning and intense curiosity alive as the children grow up.
I LIVE THEREFORE I LEARN: Living an Unschooling Life
Unschooling is the confidence to trust that young people will learn what they need from living their lives in freedom and joy. An unschooling parent is a facilitator and cheerleader who embraces life and learning with curiosity and enthusiasm.
(some archives are here now: Unschooling Discussion)
Wolfgang Marquardt took the German passageway photo
and the other three are by Sandra Dodd.