Google+ Authentic Parenting: Why We Unschool (rerun)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Why We Unschool (rerun)

October's Enjoy Life Unschooling Carnival is all about why we do what we do when it comes to unschooling. I had about fifty ideas to write this article, but ended up writing a list of reasons why we unschool, so here goes:

Image: D Sharon Pruitt on Flickr


  1. Schools are not available in our immediate surrounding, thus it would mean we'd either have to move or I would have to live in the city while my husband stays on the plantation
  2. Being an expat would mean that my child would be enrolled in a foreign schooling system, in these parts, that would be the French system, and I do not agree to that
  3. Any school system for that matter is deeply flawed
  4. school does little for the individual and only suits the average... which is not what  I wish my child to aspire to
  5. My child has learned everything on her own so far and she is thriving, why would I change a winning hand?
  6. I don't want my child to be tested like a lab rat, with all it implies
  7. I don't want to outsource my child, nor her education
  8. I don't trust others to handle my child with the same consideration I do
  9. I don't want my child to grow up in an environment where bullying is the game of the day
  10. I don't believe in age separation
  11. I don't think at two and a half years old children are ready to enter the schooling system
  12. I don't see why she would learn things that are imposed upon her
  13. I especially don't see why these things should be imposed upon her by a government
  14. My child should be free to pursue her interests
  15. I oppose coercion, and schooling is just that
  16. My girl can pass on an environment where eating disorders are the hippest thing (yep, I went to a girl boarding school)
  17. I don't think there is such a thing as universal knowledge past the things we all learn in our toddler years, and we do so with or without school
  18. My child will grow up to be an individual
  19. My chid is too much of a miracle to be confined and put in a box
  20. I will not hand over my child to an institution where punishments are part of the routine 
  21. School is a surreal environment that does NOT prepare children for the real world
  22. I disagree with 'bite the bullet'-politics
  23. Children should be with their parents, their loved ones and their extended family
  24. Why should I pay for education if it is inherent to my child?
  25. Even though I was a 'good student', I feel like I've wasted 20 years of my life. 
  26. I don't approve of the hierarchical school structure and its implications.
  27. Coercion kills creativity
  28. The great minds of history were unschooled
  29. I don't want my child to develop herd mentality
  30. Unschooling is the logical next step after attachment parenting
  31. I don't want to be my child's teacher
  32. I trust my child
I know that there are a lot of "I's" in this list, but I trust that, as she grows older, there will be more of her every day. There are probably a million other reasons why we unschool, but this is what I came up with so far, why do you unschool?




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12 comments:

  1. A great list of reasons about unschool. I wish the majority of homeschooling parents could understand that homeschooling opens the door to freedom. The freedom to let your child learn how they learn best.

    Importing the classroom into school is not that great of an improvement over school.

    Herd mentality: Don't want my kids having that.

    I do not believe in age separation eighter. My oldest daughter loves being around adults and has lots to offer. Kids are just adults growing up. Or maybe, we are just grown up kids?

    I like the comment on schools only reaching the average - not what I want my kids to achieve.

    I'm all for helping my children achieve their total potential.

    Thanks for the list!

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  2. Homeschooling I can understand. Schools can be a scary place. But no education at all? “Unschooling”? I worry that it’s a 1 way ride to a life of poverty and missed opportunity. Don’t you worry that by providing NO education for your child you are closing so many doors for her? You say she has taught herself everything she needs to know. Isn’t it YOUR job as her parent to TEACH HER?

    In the U.S. lack of education is the reason so many people have to work at McDonald’s and resort to crime and gangs versus earning an honest living. Getting “an education” is considered a huge privilege--not a curse.

    Unfortunately having no high school or college degree means little opportunity for gainful employment as an adult. Maybe it’s different where you live? And I’m sorry but the likelihood that your child is the next LDV or Einstein is pretty unlikely…She needs to be taught in order to grow. I hope you are teaching her to read and write.

    I read this post over a week ago and I wasn’t going to say anything but it bothered me so much. I do NOT understand the “unschooling” movement. I feel like it’s an injustice to so many children who don’t have a choice.

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  3. to anonymous, just one quick thought:

    i would argue that its not always a lack of "academic" education that might lead to crime and gangs, but also lack of an education surrouding values, morals and social understandings; things that arent necessarily taught at school but are taught by other daily influences in a childs life.

    here, in australia, a certificate certainly helps when it comes to getting a job but its not the be all and end all. of course, i am a 23 year old stay at home parent with no interest in ever undertaking any tertiary education or pursuing a "career" per se so i am sure theres a lot more involved in pursuing a high paying job than i am aware of.

    ive discovered that i learn alot about life, love and society outside of the workforce, and i grow and learn in a deeper way perhaps than those of my peers who are focused on pursuing their careers.

    not that there is no value to any form of schooling or that a career cant be fulfilling, just that there is a lot more out there to be discovered about life than there is in studying and then working in a "real job".

    the movies "to sir with love" and "take the lead" spring to mind.

    i guess my point is that unschooling should be a valid education alternative, and should be taken seriously. maybe we should inform ourselves better of what unschooling actually is and how it can be of benefit to our children, and how we can make improvements in our society from the things we learn about unschooling. i doubt anyone like the writer of this blog would decide to do something considered so radical in some countries flippantly. i am sure that the benefits of unschooling far outweighs the negative, and that the parents have made this decision out of love for their child and not any other reason. i think it is great that these parents have taken their childs upbringing so seriously and decided that this is the best option for their child. it sounds like the education opportunities for their location arent ideal and so they have made a creative decision to make the best out of what they have got. and whats a better teacher for a child than love?

    not such a quick thought anymore, but just i just wanted to add it to the discussion.

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  4. Wonderful comment, Erin! Thank you so much! Makes me miss you even more

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  5. Excellent!
    Unschooling is natural, schooling is artificial :)

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  6. Great list! And I love the name of your blog, by the way! ;)

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  7. Brilliant list! It's sad that some people assume the only way to be educated is to be forced, limited, supervised, assessed and scheduled. Don't knock unschooling 'til you try it, might be good advice.

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  8. Love this list, thanks for sharing. :)

    Nev

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  9. Love number 24 on this list! Too many people have the brainwashed conventional outlook that children start off empty and need to be spoonfed information to become 'filled up' with knowledge. Children are inherently programmed to want to know and understand how the world works and are sponges, you don't need to spoon-feed a child information from on high - with unschooling, the idea is to simply live an interesting varied life full of interesting varied people, opportunities, mixed media resources, etc etc... learning happens automatically. On my wall at home I have painted this Einstein quote

    "I never try to teach my students anything I only ever try to create an environment in which they can learn".

    Unschooling is not a shirking of responsibility, it is rather, taking the matter of education DEEPLY seriously, and recognising how much school time is wasted on stuff that you will never need to know. Unschooling is empowering and actually liberating to the individual and therefore deeply threatening to disempowered people.

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  10. I love this post and I am so glad to have come across this blog. My son is 2 and I want so badly to unschool and avoid all formal schooling with him. I LOVE the quote by Motherfunker! Thank you. I too will put this on my wall. And my main reason for choosing unschooling for my son is because I want him to TRUST HIS OWN voice rather than the voices around him telling him what is right and wrong, what class to go to and when, what subject to study and why, what behaviour is favorable and the consequences if he doesn't comply, when he can go to the bathroom and when he cannot, when he can eat and when he cannot....and the list goes on. I lost my voice when I was little and it hasn't served me well. My son is not an empty vessel needing to be filled. He is a complete being and I trust that he will find his own way...of course with tons of love and support and by "creating an environment in which he can learn". Which I believe is an environment of unconditional love.

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  11. I unschool because I want my children to learn, not be taught.

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  12. Lovely. Trust is number one in this journey! Such a beautiful post and many beautiful replies! Love, Maggie

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