more on unschooling

So I’ve been absorbing this unschooling way of life through online searches and now reading The Teenage Liberation Handbook. A must read! I’m sure teachers (Barbra!) and everyone can relate.

The author is an English teacher (who quits) and writes the book for teenagers, telling them why they should quit going to school NOW and start living their lives. Very controversial subject I’m sure, but a fabulous read that continues to speak to what we would like to accomplish with our own lives with our own children.

Jason and I are quickly learning we may need to censor our response to questions about school, depending on the situation. I mentioned it at work and got slammed with the “what about socialization?… what about High School?”

I’m not wanting to get into a discussion every time someone asks what grade he’s in, simply for the lack of time. But it is amazing how much traditional school has been ingrained into our culture. Its not much more than daycare and a way to control the whereabouts of children all day, but we attach such importance to it. How could we learn without it? How could we socialize without it?

I think back to all the hours, all the days, all the YEARS I spent in school, only to go home and spend more time on monotonous homework and what did I learn? The little bits of math, science, etc? So little retained except what I need to know to use in my own life. What I learn deeply is the things I choose to learn for myself. What might I have been interested in if my time wasn’t spent fulfilling all of my schooling requirements? What might I have taught myself?

Unschooling is using the world as your classroom. We go to the library and the kids and I grab any book we want. A book about a baby tiger raised in the nursery, after his mother died is interesting AND includes some simple graphs to show his weight changes. I figured we’d just ignore the graphs and read the story at this point, but Isaac wanted to know about the graphs and what kind of story they tell. Math, reading, science, geography…all in one book.

And this goes on every day. No starting his life at 18…starting his life NOW.

2 Responses to “more on unschooling”

  1. TammyT Says:

    TTLH was my first book about homeschooling/unschooling too! It changed me forever.
    You make a great point – why do we have to wait until we are 18 to live “real life”? Why are kids always “preparing” for real life? Why not start today?
    Lovely thoughts. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Val Says:

    We are structured unschoolers. lol… it seems like an oximoron, but the philosophy behind unschooling is to enjoy your life and every moment and for me to do that I have to add in a bit of structure and classical education so I know my children are getting the best of me, and the best of the basics. When I was JUST unschooling I never felt “done”… I always was finding things to do and never finding the time to do them. It is a pattern that I have heard a lot of mamas get into. I do enjoy the time we spend going with our fancies though. Last week we decided to go on nature walks after “school” all week. We collected things, made cards with all the seeds, leaves etc on them and then discovered what they were with a couple books I have. It was GREAT! And she read her first whole book by herself. It was a wonderful week of structured unschooling. 😉
    If you would like some books to read for more information I would be glad to share with you whatever I have read. 🙂 I really enjoy your ideas though… they are very acurate, and extremely insightful. I am glad to have found you! 🙂 (Or have you find me as it were.)
    Val

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