Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Just wondering

I have seen several times over the years unschoolers turning to school or some version of school at home.

I can't help but wonder why? What happened? I also wonder if they were really unschooling in the first place. Just because you don't use a curriculum it doesn't mean you are unschooling. For my purpose here I mean learning through living, learning naturally.

I'm thinking that unschooling from the start heeds different results then coming to it later. While I have seen people leave school, deschool and unschool, it seems that some just can't quite get there. They have that niggling feeling that they need to be taught. Maybe they lack confidence in themselves or lack trust in the learning process.

Schooling interferes with the learning process. Teaching conditions people to think they need to be taught.

I'm not talking about structure, some people have the need for their day to be structured, that's fine, I think they should structure it however they wish.

My kids all have different learning styles, abilities, personalities, interests etc...

Yet they all learn, they all thrive, they all don't have the need to be taught. They don't seek out school, they know it's there, their friends go to school.

I don't believe that some people are born with the need for school, I just don't believe that. School wasn't always around so people used to learn without it. I do believe that school has come and messed up the natural learning process and some people just can't escape it for whatever reason.

It does baffle me because I live in a house full of learners.


Show Us The World said...

I can't wrap my brain around it either. And we came to unschooling later in life. At some point, we got it and saw it to be the only natural way to live/learn/be. Beyond my one dd wanting to try school that lasted all of a few days, mine (and we the parents) totally trust the unschooling life. So I don't know that it's about those who came to unschooling later-maybe more those that have some doubts of their own and when the child expresses doubts it then triggers the parent? I have no idea truly. Just tossing out one theory.

Stephanie said...

I do believe it has something to do with society putting so much pressure on people to do good in school.

Cap'n Franko said...

Chloe has always flirted with the concept of school. We talked about A. S. Neill's Summerhill in the context of educational philosophies when they were young and when Chloe was 11 she asked to go there. We applied, she was accepted, and went. For one term. That was enough. Then when she became high school age, she wanted to see what high school was like. She went for one grading period. That was enough.

Melody said...

I think you're right about lack of confidence being a problem. If people are concerned about what other people think, then it will be extremely difficult to unschool. I am the only unschooler I know in my corner of the world. There is tremendous pressure here to send your kids to school once they reach jr. high or high school age, but it has always seemed to me that it has been more about competition between the parents. It's just a way for them to constantly talk about how hard the schoolwork is and how many hours their kids do homework and how fantastic their kids test scores are. Who cares?! My kids are happy and they have the freedom to explore what they want when they want. I'm not competing against anyone. I feel sorry for all these kids who aren't learning anything except a carrot and stick mentality.

Anonymous said...


I am not sure how to juggle total unschooling wrt legislation and this means that we do have to do some things in a more structured manner than we probably would have, had we had total freedom and nothing to worry about ;-)

Luckily, this only concerns my oldest dd for the moment (11yo) and she's old enough to understand that we only do it to satisfy a requirement - and so she's ok with this. But obviously I have to *remind* her to get things done and I also do have to teach certain things. I hate doing this, but for the moment, I don't see any other solutions. I'd honestly rather have to do a minimum of foolishness like this, than risk a lawsuit or forced schooling for my kids!

Do you think that for some people, a return to school or school-at-home could have to do with difficult legislation/problems with state officials, things like that?

cheers, Mette