“You don’t have to teach a plant to grow up. You simply have to plant it, fertilize it, feed it, water it, prune it and be there in case it starts to look a little lop sided…”
The same is true with children.
Through out history, there have been countless stories of orphans, jungle babies and miracle kids who grew up without any parents and outside of societal structures, whom have grown up to be responsible, well educated, civilly constructive individuals. Granted, I am sure those children had very little choice in their parental or roll model short comings, it still doesn’t mitigate the fact that as human beings, we really don’t need that much from our parental figures. Other than from birth to 9 months or more, we are capable of watching other mammals around us, to see how they do things, to get an idea of how to find food, have fun, get clean, get something to eat and find affection.
Even the youngest child proves this time and again. When they cry to get someone’s attention. When they crawl over to the fridge, open it up and dump eggs all over the floor, when they reach for their bottle or grab for your drink on the table. They do what others around them do, regardless of whom those beings are.
The real use of parents, teachers, or parents that are also teachers, is that we guide them away from things that are not good to eat or drink (Mr. Yuck!). We can warn them of the dangers in the world that might hurt them and we can offer them a direction to take when they are lacking in a needed skill. Or we can even be there to help answer questions about the world and it’s complexity.
Many children, if left to their own genius, will learn about a lot of things. They tend to have a lower threshold for attention spans, giving them the ability to consume much more information in a short period and then to move on to the next subject they want to learn about. Just like in school, they will repetitively seek out the same information again and again, if they didn’t thoroughly learn it the first few times. They will ask about it, seek out more information.
On top of that, most adolescents only make it out of high school with a rudimentary education. In most cases, this isn’t because of lack for effort from teachers or supplied curriculum. They get out of high school and continue on learning about what they like, or just continuing a pattern they are happy with. Most get the urge to go to college, which is where they become dedicated to their studies and re-learn everything that they went through in k-12 learning. With the internet, this is hardly a problem, as just about anything can be looked up, researched or asked about.
With this wealth of knowledge available any time of day or night, any time an individual desires it, it is no wonder “UnSchooling” is becoming such a legacy. It follows the natural pattern of human natures, offer the chance for children to learn self trust, self accountability, self reliance and self sustainability.
It also offers parents the ability to be more involved with the life of their offspring. They can provide any needed information, activities, education or entertainment. With unschooling their are no tests, systems, government paper pushers or time restraints. The child is allowed the choice of what they want to learn, which keeps them interested and as they find themselves lacking in certain skills needed to preform a task, project or activity, they learn to discipline themselves enough to learn.
By have such freedom, many children get to grow up with out fearing bullies, peer pressure, cliques, media harrassement or politically driven school propaganda. They are also keep away from army recruitment shams, drug loops and “zero tolerance” evasiveness.
The top to schooling options that rule the nation are Compulsory School (Public or Private Schooling) and Homeschooling. Both are great options for those parents or children who need the structure, but it is clear that UnSchooling is not going anywhere and in fact is growing from a “fad” into a “legacy”.
With Public schooling and the government getting decisively upset about the Rise of UnSchoolers, it is clear that they view it as a threat to taxes collected for public school funding (which I am sure they skim off the top from). Their propaganda against UnSchooling has clearly set the stone pathway for UnSchooling to be very popular very quickly.
No schedules, no time clocks, no tests, no teacher conferences, no federal/state mandated rules, no arguments over who teaches your child what or how they do it, no limitations on how much the child can learn and NO TAXES. In my mind, it doesn’t get better than that.
It offers what homeschooling and public schooling both wish they could, if only they could find a way to get you to agree to paying more for that sort of education…
You make the call, is the “Rise of the UnSchoolers” just a passing ‘fad’? Or a legacy like no other?