Originally posted at The Mahogany Way.
When I got to university, I got involved with a teacher’s assistant in Physics. He got me interested in the basics of Physics, and he helped me along when I had to make a website for some course. I got the hang of stuff like Dreamweaver and Firefox.
Later on, I did an internship with a marketing agency, and all these skills that I had picked up haphazardly came in handy. It is rare to find a Communication Scientist who actually knows computers, beyond the basic word processing and excell sheet.
But the reason I picked up these skills - and the topic of this article - is not because I was passionate about them, or even looking for them, it was because I was passionate about the people that were passionate about them. That got me interested. The mere joy of doing something like that together made the exchange pleasurable, and made it a moment of learning too.
And this is where I want to get to in this article: all learning is influenced by the relationships we have with the world, but more specifically with the people around us. Wether we want it or not, it’s our grandmother’s passion for knitting that gets us taking up a few needles and yarn, it’s our mother’s hours behind a sewing machine that develops that passion in us. It’s a friend’s love for “The Hobbit” that gets you to pick up Tolkien’s books.
No man is an island, and certainly unschoolers are no exception. We are colored by the interactions with the people in our lives.
That’s why the claim that unschooling would stunt socialization is such an ignorant remark. The devoted parent of an unschooled child will actively look for interesting social interaction, will seek stimulating conversation, will circulate in environments that promote ideas - within the measure of his/her means of course.
Life learning does not happen in a box, it happens in ‘life’. And for the social being as is the Homo Sapiens, a lot of life is interaction.