July 18, 2010

How long will it continue to be shocking?  How much evidence is needed before I stop being surprised by unschooling?  My children read and write well.  Not only can they construct well formed and creative sentences that effectively communicate, they write legibly.  Yet no one has instructed them.  They have completed no worksheets, taken no pop quizzes, spent no time in chairs with clocks.  How can this be?

The necessity of industrial elementary education is a fallacy.   A fallacy indoctrinated into each child incarcerated.  And nothing more.  Not based on science, not based on reason, not even well planned.  It will persist, of course.   Our society believes (has been taught) we require the free baby sitting.

Industrial education has become somewhat like the eye of Sauron with one ring to bind them.  Who escapes the internalized pressure of judgment, the lack of privacy, the insecure need to perform and prove?   Not one, until they step outside they system.  Because its impossible to see the depth of control until its broken.

Meanwhile, unschooled children all over the world happily work on projects they have chosen for hours, deeply concentrated on their work with no external coercion.  There, they learn happily.  Its a cheerful thing based in reality.  Because the truth of boredom and motivation are self evident to unschoolers.  How simple is that?

Here I sit amazed again and again.  I get to love these children.  I get to reflect their success for them.  And we get to share it all with huge amounts of time for play and relish.  While, off they go learning, I am observing how it works.

"The issue is not whether people are 'good enough' for a particular type of society; rather it is a  matter of developing the kind of social institutions that are most conducive to expanding the potentialities we have for intelligence, grace, sociability, and freedom."  ~Paul Goodman


Cecelia (CC) said...

happy amazement - thanks for the reminder to sit back and observe and appreciate. spent the day teaching teachers, hearing all about how the system is broken to bits. they say so, and they know.

Katherine said...

CC, I know you wrestle with educational theory. I should add, I think unschooling is an elementary success. I think by highschool kids are ready for more challenge and structure. Hell, they should be ready, as John Adams and the founding fathers were, for college. Unschooling can work your whole life through. But its only for the wee ones, that I advocate here. Because small children simply are not well served by drill and dreck. And why do it the hard way when the easy way works so well? For most folks, the answer to that question is simple: Because the teacher told me it must be done this way.

Also, hiya and love! :o)

Anonymous said...

Love it! My husband went out with a friend the other night to catch up and they ended up talking about unschooling. My husband's friend claims school is necessary for it teaches us all the things we need to know to become successful adults. What? Yep...things like math and history. Um, I can honestly say that I don't remember one stinking bit of history and consider myself perfectly successful.
The mass maistream truly buys into school being a necessity and they really don't see any other way. Our son is just about 4 and he taught himself to read at 3 1/2 and to count...into the thousands without any instruction from us, but because he is interested in patterns and sequences. They are involved in everything he does. Seeing is believing - I just wish more people were open to seeing how it works. Thank you for your passion and your honesty. -Debbie

MOM #1 said...

No need to convince me, I COMPLETELY agree!

Lisa Dage said...

I have been following your blog for sometime . I find this premise very interesting. My daughter went to public school and so far she not only went to public school but experienced all that your children have. She started San francisco state last year as a journalism major and already interns for a not for profit news website. This year she plans to start a year of not buying any product from major corporations, yes this means she will make all of her clothes and buy not from kmart etc but small buisness and go to farmers markets. I was a work at home mother and got to experience her whole childhood. I am glad she went to public schools. My point is that you can instill your values in children, teach them to learn by themselves and have them live a good clean life while attending public schools. Its all about communication. And no I did not raise my daughter in Eua Clair Wisconsin. She was born and raised in Riverside california. Not small town in the least. The system may be broken but I never did rely on any system to teach my child. I Did It.

Katherine said...

Lisa, welcome to the blog. You make an excellent point and I thank you. Parenting does matter more than than schooling.

Most of us are taught and believe school is necessary for children to nurture their intelligence and for them to function in our society. Institutional school is free baby sitting. And in terms of human development not necessary at all. Pedagogy is not evil but institutionalizing childhood is ... a waste of time at best.

Cecelia (CC) said...

yes, parenting is the real issue isn't it...and we all are passionate about our kdis and we wrestle with how to be spouses/partners/parents/friendas all the time. I say, offer help to each other, encourage and share our stories, and in the mix we each find our path..but the core is this: teach YOUR children well.