From the book:
“My daughter loves to dance, which naturally leads to some beautifully choreographed dances she will often share with me. She seems to create dances out of thin air. I have seen her dance to songs she likes giving her interpretation to the words and music of the song through her dance moves. But the other day she came up with something new: she asked me to say a sentence, any sentence, or a word, any word and then proceeded to create a ‘sentence’ of moves inspired only by the words and the rhythm of the words. I was amazed; it was as if she was “singing” the words by dancing them. It was also just a fun, beautiful game that let her express herself and her connection to the verbal world. This was something no one could have ever taught her. It reminded me of my younger son’s discovery at around age five: “I have a calculator in my head that only I can use” he said and then proceeded to enthusiastically ask me to give him some math problems for his very own calculator to solve while he was jumping on the sofa…
Creative realizations and expressions require privacy and freedom but also an audience. The audience serves to welcome the idea or creative expression into the world, almost like a midwife welcoming a newborn baby. It helps to bring it out of the inner world of the child and into the outer world. It helps to make it real and allows it to now grow on solid ground.
In unschooling, one of parents most important roles is to be the audience. To be the person that asks, acknowledges, listens, and interacts. The “social entity” that lets a child be part of this world rather than on their own with only their thoughts. Most parents, whether unschooling or not, provide that role for their children, but often tend to discount how important it is to do so, putting much more emphasis on teaching. Never-the-less, being there for your child, being the audience, is as crucial to learning and solidifying learning as any other role you may have. It’s not that you constantly have to hover around your children, but when you are called, are you able to put other things aside and be there? It mostly calls on you to be clear about your priorities. A simple “my children come first” choice would do, and everything else will fall into place around it.”