Tag Archives: Unschooling

NICHOLAS: 7 year old, future astronaut and doctor!

Nicholas is Natalia’s son and Molly’s brother and he’s the third musketeer of our family! Here’s an interview about Nicholas. Molly is interviewing Nicholas in the recording below! Listen to learn more about this imaginative and intelligent, 7 year old!

Hope you all enjoy!!!

And here are some of Nicholas’s favorite drawings that he’s made:

Molly & Nicholas with the Ipad

Soon Nicholas will be finishing his treatment for Leukemia! He was diagnosed way back in November 2008 and we’re excited to say that he’s an amazing and vibrant, 7 year old boy! We’re so proud of him. We chose to homeschool him last year, because he would get sick in school, but also because the public school education in America is diminishing. We found that Nicholas would become very stressed and less creative. Now we do a variety of things to educate Nicholas. The biggest way that we teach Nicholas is that he’s involved with us through everything. As you heard in the interview, Nicholas even goes with us to our colonic sessions and while my mom and I are busy doing colonics, Nicholas became a very good friend with the doctor and helps her out! Don’t worry, it’s nothing weird, but he likes to greet the other patients and help out in the office.

Homeschooling or Unschooling?

This is a question for many parents and we’ve done our fair share of research. We  tend to just go with the flow. We do have a schedule and we do have one specific book that we use. It’s called the BrainQuest book, which makes learning a lot of fun. Nicholas also does have a teacher who comes in for one hour, but the teacher is provided from the New York City Board of Education. This is something that the Board of Ed provides for ill kids. Other than that, we find that experience is the BEST teacher. For example, whether it’s taking Nicholas to a farm or whether it’s taking him to a museum. Nicholas is always super curious and it’s a lot of fun! We don’t pressure him and Nicholas asks a lot of questions all the time and he does educate himself in that sort of way. I guess, you could say that we do a combination of homeschooling and unschooling.

Reading

The one thing we find to be the most important and that we might disagree with from other unschoolers is the outlook on reading. Typically, the unschooler philosophy believes that when a child feels that they want to read, they will read. Their curiosity will grow and they will ask to be taught how to read. Although, we completely understand this concept and could see how it might work with some children, we are strong believers of reading. We believe that it’s one of the most important aspects of Education and that it is actually being drained out of the American school system. More and more children in public schools are illiterate. Kids aren’t being taught phonics anymore. We find this to be a crime against children. Reading is knowledge and therefore it is power for a person to make some of the most important decisions in life. We do make Nicholas read everyday and we want him to become and avid reader, just as we are.

Anyways, here are some more photos of our excellent, young chap, Nicholas!

Nicholas & Molly at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

 

Nicholas being dug in the sand!

Nicholas on an old 1950's train.

 

Peace & Love,

Molly, Natalia, & Nicholas!

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In 2010, Molly, graduated from high school, almost two years later she still isn’t in college.

Hi everyone – this is Molly enlightening you with a post and basically sharing more about myself. The next post will be by mom, Natalia, and my brother, Nicholas, but for now – I’ll share about me!

So I’m 19 years old and I’m a college-dropout. Crazy thing to hear in the 21st century, right?

I graduated in 2010 from a fantastic high school specializing in arts in New York City and while I was in high school, I didn’t have an average high school experience. I educated myself in so many ways that I’ve only realized looking back, now. I always knew I wanted to be an artist and so aside from going to an arts high school, from the age of 15 I began working at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, where I continued to work for four years and became incredible friends with my boss there, I took advantage of all the free art classes in New York City, including at the MoMa, and I took free pre-college classes at the Cooper Union, where I learned more than I could ask for!

(me, in front of my painting at my high school in 2008)

Finally came senior year! Everyone’s stressing about college admissions. and I’m just making my art. The sculpture classroom of my school became my personal studio during school hours and after hours. If you wanted to find Molly, you came to the sculpture room. It was complete freedom and bliss! If I wanted to order wood for a project, guess what? My teacher would order the wood on his account for me. But anyways, I didn’t really want to go to college, except for one. So I took a bold move and applied to one college, which happened to be the most competitive art college in America. This was Cooper Union. I don’t want to linger on it too long, but I knew a lot of the staff there and even became good friends with them and had personal recommendations, and had basically studied there for over a year through pre-college classes, but at the end of the story, I didn’t get in. To this day, I still don’t know why, but I’m sure glad I didn’t get in.

Well, there I am, the only graduate NOT going to college. I tried to enroll at the community college, thinking that I’d get by with just taking art classes, but that didn’t work out quite well either, since colleges in America want to stuff your minds with useless crap when you’re planning to become an artist, I decided it wasn’t for me. So for a year I looked around and applied to a few more schools, even had a school beg me to attend, and last of all, I tried the free route and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology for a few days in September 2011. That was the breaking point. “Mom, I’m not going to college.” “Dad, I have something to tell you, I dropped out.”

My mom handled it well since she’s been with me every step of the way. My dad felt it necessary to share this with the rest of the world, but eventually he talked to me and got used to it, knowing that I’m an artist.

Unschooling:

What have I been doing since that terrible September?

I have been working my butt off making art, studying art history, philosophy, reading artist biographies, learning Spanish, and even dipping my toes into a little quantum physics. I love it. I guess this could be considered a part of the now popular, “un-schooling movement.” I have been outlining my own education. I have been experimenting the way I used to in high school, with freedom. I’m truly “finding” myself and my niche! Most importantly, I have no fear. In fact, I have a pretty fantastic and adventurous plan! I can’t share yet what my plan is since I haven’t shared it with the other half of my family yet, but I promise to readers of this blog that in February I will share every detail of my plan!

The thing that’s ironic about it all is just the other day I told my mom, “I figured out what I become blissfully happy from and that’s from learning something new and incredibly fascinating. It just gets me so excited and I could talk about it for hours.” I can’t even express how this makes me feel. And  I have a real obsession with art. I am constantly thinking and talking about art – it must get on my mom’s nerves! I want to do so much in the art world, but that will be in a different post! I’ll post some images of my art, the process, and also books I’ve read or websites I use below this!

This isn’t finished yet, but it’s in the process 😉

This is an embroidery piece, part of an entire series. This ones my favorite!

This is a photo from a performance piece called, ‘Become You’, which I performed at the Occupy Wall Street protests.

The great thing is that you can see all of my art on my website here!

Here are some of my favorite books:

  

Here are some websites & podcasts I use to study:

Learn Out Loud

Coffee Break Spanish

Smart History (I actually took an online art history course w/the teacher who created this)

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art Lectures by Oxford University

There are many more podcasts I study and many more books and materials I read and study, but the point is that anybody can find free information online and educate themselves these days, and if it’s not free, it’s usually not too expensive.

The other material I use to study Spanish is Rosetta Stone.

So with all the information I receive and educate myself with, I continue to experiment with my art and plan to create beautiful art for museums and fine art galleries in the future. So until February, I shall let my readers know the official plan of my art, unschooling, and dreams.

“I awoke, only to find the rest of the world is still asleep.” 
-Leonardo da Vinci

Peace & Love,

Molly