Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Learning isn't a race

All of us with children know about milestones. I think that while milestones can be useful to gauge where your child is at it is also harmful to compare them to other children.

Children are unique individuals and should be treated as such. I don't like averages because it blurs the lines.

My babies all achieved the usual milestones at different ages.

It's the same as they grow and learn how to read, write, add, subtract etc.

Each child has their own unique timetable and their own way of learning.

I believe that schooling squashes the natural ability and the internal timeframe of each individual child. Schooling is in the business of producing, they don't care nor have time to nurture inner strengths and weaknesses.

I also believe that forcing these milestones in a school at home environment is just as harmful if not more so because the child is at home, there is no escape.

I fully believe in natural learning, I believe in Unschooling full throttle. This allows for each child to grow and learn and develop in their own way and in their own time. As parents we have the benefit of sharing this experience by observing and  learning right along with our children.

All of my kids have reached these milestones at different ages and with differing degrees of knowledge.

I believe that Unschooling fosters and encourages the individual and does away with averages and milestones and timeframes that someone else has set as a standard of achievement.


MamaLou said...

I love the way you worded this post. I try and explain it to people...I say "it's developmental" and each kid gets there on their own schedule. Just because the don't read until grade 3 doesn't mean they're stupid. Try and tell that to my neighbor who is stressing as her grade 1 daughter (homeschooled) isn't reading......YEESH!!! I tried offering words of support and politely saying "back off" but I'm not always the best with words, and it fell flat, I think. Ah well, maybe if I keep reading inspirational blogs it will wear off on me ;)

Rana said...

This post made me feel good about what I am doing in our Unschooled life. I feel like MamaLou it is hard to explain to people like my Mother-in-law who doesn't understand my son will read when he is good and ready to read. He's only 6 besides when he's 12 or 15 no one is going to care that he couldn't read at age 6.