Posted by: crudbasher | February 11, 2015

Interesting Article About UnSchooling

Wired wrote a nice article about how many people in the tech community are either home schooling or unschooling their kids.

H/T Wired

The Cook family are not just homeschoolers but unschoolers. They don’t prefer homeschooling simply because they find most schools too test-obsessed or underfunded or otherwise ineffective. They believe that the very philosophical underpinnings of modern education are flawed. Unschoolers believe that children are natural learners; with a little support, they will explore and experiment and learn about the world in a way that is appropriate to their abilities and interests. Problems arise, the thinking goes, when kids are pushed into an educational model that treats everyone the same—gives them the same lessons and homework, sets the same expectations, and covers the same subjects. The solution, then, is to come up with exercises and activities that will help each kid flesh out the themes and subjects to which they are naturally drawn.

I completely agree. My son just turned 2 and he is an amazing learner. I can see his brain just feasts on what he is exposed to. He does things all the time that I have no idea where he learned it. You can show him something once and he will apply it days later. It’s truly remarkable.

And yet, I used to teach university classes with students who often times viewed learning as a chore or an obstacle that had to be overcome. There were things I could have done to help alleviate this and yet most of the damage had already been done from 10 years of public schooling.

Is this for everyone? I think that depends on the parents. Certainly some people thrive in public schools but do they actually learn anything? Colleges are having to deal with high school graduates who can barely read and yet they were given a diploma.

I think the homeschooling trend will continue to grow at a rapid rate.

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Responses

  1. Unschooling indeed is not for everyone, but it was for us. Oh, we didn’t start out that way, we more or less evolved into it after creeping one toe at a time from public, to private, to supported homeschool and then all on our own.

    It is fear that keeps most of us from homeschooling and especially unschooling. Geez, what if we fail? What if our kids can’t get into college? Yes, fear and our own egos that get in the way.

    When we finally took that leap of faith into the unknown of unschooling it was not only just fine, it was great. We traveled, we began to really enjoy each other and the learning soared, along with the opportunities. All that fear for nothing. We’d do it again in a heartbeat. In fact, we’d have done it sooner if we had known that the unexpected benefits.

    Your children will learn. Your schedule will be your own. Your student can get into colleges, universities even–they know a great learner when they see one. Come to the dark side, my daughters says, we have cookies! (That’s an inside joke in the unschooler world.)

    • Well if there are cookies, you sold me! 🙂 We are planning to homeschool. It’s a bit scary but it’s even more scary to give my boy to the public school system for processing.

      Nice to hear from you again Darleen!

      • That first step into homeschooling is the scariest. Rest assured it is easier than you think. The transition for your family won’t be that hard, as I assume your child has not attended a brick and mortar school first.

        There are so many curriculum available and always the choice of not using any at all. Take your time. We used so many different plans, changing them year by year as the need arose. Discover more about how your child learns and use what ever suits your family. Be open to learning experiences outside the home as much as in. Learning can take place anywhere and anytime.

        Be more concerned about what your child does well, as in what they don’t. We all need basic skills of course but do we really want generalists? I wish I would have encouraged that more.

        When your child is old enough consider a year abroad with something like Rotary Youth Exchange. They encourage homeschoolers and even though it is technically an educational exchange which means your child will attend a school, know they only have to attend part time and all the club activities come first. (Going abroad was incredibly fun for my daughter and she now earns good money as a French tutor while going to college.)

        There are so many engaging homeschooling groups and conferences out there. Find your local groups and they will provide support, ideas, materials and group field trips. The best field trip I ever took was to the Department of Juctice with a group kindergarteners all the way up to college kids. They were helping one another and spent eight hours riveted to the guide.

        Oh, and an unexpected consequence we noticed from homeschooling was how well we all got along and the close bonds we developed. Homeschooled children mingle with adults as easily as their peers because they are not segregated most of their days. You’ll see. It’s nice in the homeschooling world!

  2. Well said.. here in Australia im doing rigging courses (construction industry) and most students 20 to older cant do basic algebra. School has become glorifies babysitting… and politicised oh yeah and you het to put condoms on cucumbers and stuff.

    Little wonder steve jobs skipped college. .

  3. That’s fantastic info Darleen, thanks for the encouragement! My son just turned 2 but we are already thinking about it. 🙂 I imagine in three more years there will be even more options for homeschooling.


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