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SLOW SUMMERING by Kerry McDonald, M.Ed.

One of the very special things about “slow summering” (as I have come to call applying the principles of unschooling and self-directed learning to summer, whether kids attend school or not), is that it allows for serendipity. Summer is full of serendipity, but only if we are open to it, only if our days are not cluttered with planned activities and adult-led lessons. Summer is an enrichment opportunity unto itself. In summer, there is so much to fill our days without the need for camps and classes. Farms and farmers’ markets, sprinkler parks, pools and lakes, beaches and trails, time with

extended family, gatherings with friends: there is so much learning and doing that happens naturally, organically, in summer, as we move slowly through our days welcoming it all in. We really have to ask ourselves what we think the meaning of childhood is. Is childhood a race to some amorphous top? Or is it a gradual discovery of one’s own distinct interests, talents, and contributions to society? Embracing a slow summering mindset, devoid of structure and full of play, cultivates the latter. It allows the time and space for children to play


June 2016  
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