Sunday, September 17, 2006

Radical...positive or negative?

In the past couple of years I have been referring to myself as a *radical unschooler* from my understanding this term was coined to show that there are *academic only unschoolers* and *whole life unschoolers*. I really don't know how you can trust in the philosophy of natural learning and then limit everything else your child does. I firmly believe in modeling and in living by principles. We don't separate learning from life, it is what it is, we live, we learn, unschooling makes perfect sense. I have pretty strong objections to compulsary schooling but that is another topic.

I have pretty much always been an attachment parent and an unschooler before I knew that the terms existed. Back in PA I had a friend who was a relaxed homeschooler and she always introduced me to other homeschoolers as a radical unschooler. I usually just smiled and didn't think much of it but I did tell her that I never thought of myself as a radical anything.

In my quest to find other unschoolers I do use the term radical unschooler because I have found that people will use the term unschooling very loosely. I also really don't care for labels much except in the case for furthering my quest or learning about a particular thing. I would really call what we do *living* but doesn't everyone live? So I guess when talking with homeschoolers or people in general I will use certain labels to help them understand the idea. Being on all of these yahoo lists I have seen the importance of certain terms and phrases. I guess that many of my parenting and schooling philosophy could be coined *radical* as in *radically different from the mainstream*
I am pretty much the opposite of mainstream schooling and parenting so if that is *radical* then so be it.

I am not a fanatic or an extremist and I believe that those are pretty negative terms but radical can be a positive thing. I don't go around telling strangers that we are radical unschoolers because they wouldn't have a clue as to what I'm talking about. On the interenet I do use the term and I believe it helps to see where I'm coming from.

I am always learning, changing and growing and it is for the better. I have such a long way to go in my parenting, I am my own worst critic and my expectations really are too high, but it keeps me moving forward.


Leonie said...

The radical term is a hard one - and I, too, am always questioning myself as an unschooler.

I like your blog - thanks for sharing!

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stephanie said...

I had typos, LOL!
Thanks for reading my blog Leonie.
I have no qualms about being an unschooler, totally all the way no academic hang ups whatsoever.

Heidi Snavley said...

To the rest of the world we are radical; I say, yes, radically awesome!!!