Below is a post I wrote for The Open School: I was talking to a 7th grade math teacher the other day and the topic of Minecraft came up. “What’s Minecraft?” she asked. “Umm, really? Don’t you teach 7th grade?” I didn’t meant to be rude, but I was a little shocked she hadn’t heard […]
Category > Musings
I was thinking tonight about the presumption that unschooling is a lazy option for parents, and an easy option for kids. It would seem, the logic goes, that if parents are not preparing a curriculum or forcing their kids to complete homework assignments, they are doing nothing. And, doing nothing, is incredibly easy. As for […]
Recently I asked you about the type of adults we want to create, and I got some great answers. Many of them have been the same as my answers, and some are different. I want to address education from this point of view because the conversation can get so caught up in the details, the […]
I’ve finally reached the last in my series of blogs addressing a reader’s questions. The other posts can be found here, here, here, here, and here. This post covers two questions, mainly because one of them has already been answered in a previous post. 6) Many of the blogs/ articles I’ve read about unschooling demonize […]
Whoah, how is it mid-May already? Well, back to that post series I am writing based on questions from a reader. Next, Zoemaster asks: 5) What if your child just wants to watch tv? This is not a new concern, nor is it one that has been unanswered. Almost every unschooling blog has addressed the […]
I’m taking a break from my posting series to talk about a really disturbing story I read the other day. Unfortunately, it’s not the first of its kind, nor will it be the last as long as our educational system has its priorities upside down. The story, which you can read here, is about a […]
As I proselytize the gospel of learner-centered education, I have come across the same concern over and over. I shouldn’t be too surprised, it would be a concern of mine, if I were still thinking from a traditional paradigm. The question is, “After democratic school (or unschooling), what do kids do? How many of them […]
Trying to distill unschooling or free schooling into one coherent thought can be challenging. We can go on and on about the benefits of child-led education – how it allows them to learn to learn, how children are natural learners and we just need to nurture that. We could talk about the huge problems with […]
Unschooled kids complete tasks that they find difficult all the time. But, they do them because they see the reason for it and have a larger goal. They might want to create their own video game, so they go through the laborious process of learning a programing language. They may want to write a novel, so they spend hours and hours at the computer. They may want to win a Lego competition, so they learn about geometry and physics. If forced to do any of these tasks, they would find them pointless and frustrating. But, because they have set their own goals and have the freedom to pursue their own interests, they amaze us with their stick-to-itivenss and determination.
But, here’s the thing: every child is amazing at something. Okay, maybe we can’t place every child on the prodigy pedestal because that’s really reserved for kids who are better at something than most adults will ever be. But, isn’t it possible that we are hindering every child in his pursuit of his gift by forcing him to go to school? We are trying to make all of our kids mediocre in everything, instead of excellent in one thing.