Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Tao of Un

I haven’t really talked about it here a lot. I don’t find that I really talk about it a lot in my life either. But we are lunatic fringe radical unschoolers here, no bones and no apologies about it. I believe everything about school and schooling is evil, harmful to all who take part. I see that even most who call themselves unschoolers orchestrate the minutia of their children’s time, activities, lives, never just allowing them to be.

There seem to be two different and compounding pressures out there in the "normal" world – the pressure to be the same and the pressure to be different. For example, everyone is supposed to go to college and get a "good" job – there is an extremely narrow range of expectations. But while you are being the same, be sure to be "different" – change your hair color or wear a dog collar, anything you think might shock someone but that is of no real consequence.

Here is what I think matters: passion. Is there some passion you have in your life? Is there something you know more about than God? Not like naming bands and knowing lyrics and being a "fan", but like playing the music you love AND knowing about it?

Educational reformer John Holt said that any single interest, pursued to its depth, would lead to a complete education. And that is unschooling at its core. Be interested. Be curious. Be.

I am so glad we are us, and that we are different. We don’t even think about fashion or fitting in or age/grade norms or scope and sequences. Of utmost importance to us is US, our family, each other.


madcapmum said...

Sometimes I wonder what other people mean by unschooling, because I hear them talking about "finishing the bookwork in the morning", and their kids seem to be involved in a heck of a lot of activities to "fulfill requirements". I think maybe they mean something more akin to "not using Alberta curriculum" than they do uschooling. We need to present a small writing assignment three times per school year, and that, along with all the kids' self-determined, mostly home-centred activities, satisfies our school-boards requirements.

Last summer at a homeschool network park day, they were all talking about getting their education plans done for September, and someone asked me what format I used. I said I hadn't made one in the three years I'd been h'schooling, and I didn't intend to start now, and there were some very scandalized faces around the park bench. I suggested they try my method and save themselves some hoop-jumping. I wonder now how many did.

the Contrary Goddess said...

None. That'd be my guess.

rolling eyes. shaking head.

justrose said...

hey cg, you've been on my mind a dozen times lately, and i just got a moment to come over and tell you so. hope all is well.