Friday, January 30, 2009

Unschooling analogy

I have always loved the analogy of the vegetarian in regards to unschooling.

You have read about being a vegetarian and decided that you agree with the principles and you want to find others to talk with.

You join a group of vegetarians and you say that you have read about it and believe that it's a good thing. You want to eat healthy and change your lifestyle but you really can't give up that weekly cheeseburger or chicken a few times a week.

So you ask other vegetarians how they came to completely give up meat. You are really interested, you believe in the principles and want to implement this lifestyle.

Some people tell you that they aren't completely vegetarian and they think it's ok if you eat a little meat a few times a week. Do what is right for you don't worry if other people think you are a vegetarian or not...

So basically do what you want, eat meat and call yourself a vegetarian.

Bring this to unschooling...

Someone has read about unschooling and believe that it makes sense and want to meet others that unschool.

So they join a group to meet unschoolers and ask a question, something like this.

I really want to unschool, it seems right for my family, it makes sense but I just can't give up math. I used math because it seems to be one of the big hang ups.

So people say well it's ok, I'm not really an unschooler, you don't have to give up formal math lessons or anything. It's ok to limit and control your child's life and to implement lessons. Do what is right for you, who cares if others say you aren't really unschooling.

Why is it that people seem so willing to give advice on something that they aren't even doing?

If someone wants to be a vegetarian than help them, but if they decide they just can't give up meat then that is their decision but they are not a vegetarian.
They can eat more vegetables and choose their foods wisely.

If someone wants to unschool but just can't get out of the box and just can't shift their paradigm, fine.

Don't call yourself an unschooler, if you can't let go of traditional school plans then relax a bit and be a homeschooler.

Why do some want to carry a label when they aren't actually living it? I just don't get it.

So if you really want to get unschooling, read, research, ask, shift, get out of the box and find others who are really unschooling and pick their brains.

Same if you want to be a vegetarian, which I'm not so I can't give you advice on that.

I like meat :)

I am a full fledged unschooler though :)


justjuls said...

Finally taking a minute to read blogs - great points here. I like the analogy.

Donna said...

You tell em Stephanie! I used to be a Vegetarian, and I know people now that tell me they are vegetarians but they eat chicken. Duh? It drives me crazy when people do that. I agree with the homeschooling/unschooling thing as well. Don't call yourself an unschooler if you are doing school, period. I get ya : )

unschoolermom said...

I can see that point - as a twenty-year vegetarian and a three-year unschooler. I do think there are radical unschoolers and not-so-radical unschoolers. Usually I am pretty radical, but I do not stop my sons from doing traditional work if they so choose. It's been an interesting journey to becoming more and more radical. I'm enjoying it, though!