Yesterday evening while Whinnie was in the bath, I sat next to the tub and knitted. I love that knitting is there for me anytime I need to be patient and observant. Knitting allows me to not really care how long Whinnie wants to play and pour and explore….her timeline doesn’t impact a ‘to do’ list if I am already doing what I want to be doing….spending time with her and knitting.

As I knit, though, I find that my mind is free to wander and observe. This is what I love about knitting. A small portion of my mind is occupied, as are my hands, but the rest of my awareness is ‘there’ for my family, there for my thoughts.

I started thinking about how I do enjoy the process of knitting and I enjoy the creation of items that come almost entirely from my own imagination. I make mistakes, of course, but I prefer to make things up as I go instead of stressing about following some else’s pattern.

And it occurred to me that for me knitting is like reading to Theo. I knit. I don’t worry about what I don’t know, because I don’t need to know it yet. Theo reads. He doesn’t worry about what he doesn’t know yet.

There are debates within educational circles about the benefits of learning to read via whole word or phonics. There are huge books devoted to understanding how the brain works and thus how children learn to read.

These books, these debates, are about the mechanics of learning to read. Theo took a detour around all that nuttiness and just taught himself to read over a year ago. And I think he did it by a combination of memorizing words (whole word) and learning how to sound out words he didn’t have memorized (phonics.)

Sure he’ll learn the elements of grammar. Absolutely he’ll one day learn that there are mechanics to the process of reading. But for now, he reads. He reads because he loves to read. He reads for the sheer joy of picking up a book and entering into a world of his choosing.

Someday I’ll learn more of the mechanics of knitting, and especially, reading patterns. But for now, I knit. I knit because I love to knit and because I can make things. I knit for the sheer joy of picking up my needles and entering into this world of my choosing.

My own unschooling approach to knitting? Sounds good to me. 😀


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