I recently submitted a post about home schooling and I thought this might be a nice tangent from it. It shows us where our world is headed. Supposedly there’s a hot topic in the blogosphere about an unconventional parenting choice called “unschooling.” What is unschooling you may ask. Apparently, as REDBOOK magazine states, ‘it is a way of learning that allows the child’s interests to dictate what he does each day, whether it’s reading a book on dinosaurs or simply digging in the yard.’ No set curriculum is followed, in fact there is no curriculum at all. This is LUDICROUS! Even my eight-year-old son said, “I like that idea (of course, what eight year old boy wouldn’t?), but that’s CRAZY!” If a child can see it for what it is, why then can’t the adults?
I’m imagining what unschooling would be like with my eight-year-old son. Although Legos teach him to design, create, and build I have a hard time with the idea that he would actually be learning substantial math skills. And although he enjoys reading books like Harry Potter I find it hard to believe he would be learning the past and perfect tense of verbs (unless someone pointed it out to him). The whole idea of schooling is that the child needs to learn. Yes, I do believe children learn many things on their own, by doing, but come on…they don’t know what they need to learn unless they are taught.
When I heard about this unconventional way of home schooling it rather infuriated me. I did home school my oldest son when he was in Kindergarten and believe me if I would have just let him learn from play I’m sure he’d be a renowned sculptor of Playdoh but, really, as a parent would I have felt like I did my overall best for him? This gives home schooling parents a bad name. As if home schooling weren’t negatively viewed by society already?
When I read some of the comments by the parents who ‘unschool’ I was outraged to hear how selfish their motives are. One woman indicated that ‘unschooling’ to her meant that she didn’t have to worry about bedtimes and her family could go out on the town any night of the week. She continued to say that it allowed her to decide how to spend her child’s days and with whom. This all sounds rather self-centered and it’s not teaching a child that there are schedules that need to be followed in life. I’m sure when that child grows up and enters the “real world” his boss is going to love the freedom his employee shows by never starting work on time.
Actually, after thinking about this more, the parent really is teaching their child. They are teaching them to be self-centered, irresponsible, and care free individuals. The whole point of schooling is not only to teach the basics of Math, Reading, English, Science, etc. but to teach humans, from a young age, that there are responsibilities, schedules, and directions that need to be followed.
Like most things, I think this unconventional way of schooling is yet another way to ‘push the envelope’. But what about the children? They look to their parents for guidance and if they aren’t being guided and are guiding themselves, how are they possibly learning what they need to be well-educated, well-rounded, responsible grown-ups? Home schooling wasn’t meant to just let kids run loose and teach themselves…..as my eight year old said….”THAT’S CRAZY!” (Check out the FAQ page).