My Unscholing journey started when I was young. But not like you would expect!
I thought it might be good to expound a little further on our unschooling journey. Not only as a family but as an individual. You can find my earlier post on unschooling here.
When I was young, I use to say that I hated learning. Adulthood hit and life got challenging. Turning to books and watching videos, I gleaned from the wisdom of others. I empowered myself by learning all I could, desperate to grow and thrive through some really difficult times I was going through. Quickly did I discovered that I Loved to learn and gobbled up any relevant information I could get my hands on.
I feel that school was a detriment to my love of learning. I did not do well in school and still struggled immensely with reading by the time I got into grade 7. However, my teachers noted that I was a natural teacher… to me this seemed so controversial.
Grade 9 I decided to work on a farm to help my family a bit with finances and have some spending money for myself. I attempted to both work and go to school, but the school was unwavering at allowing me to be a 15 mins late on work days. So I decided to quit the so-called education system at the age of 15 and went to work full-time. Thankfully I had a mom who supported my decision.
OK.. wait a min here..
Yes, I did say my mom supported me.. and yes it was absolutely the best thing she could have done. I learned so much from that job. I loved soaking up every aspect of it. It gave me purpose, increased my self-esteem immensely, gave me a place to focus energies and time on. It was relevant to my life at that time and made working and learning a complete joy! This is what I believe true education should look like. That of Learning skills and information relevant to the everyday life of individuals. On top of that, I retained what I learned, something I had struggled with all of my school years... The organic learning effect is immeasurable!!
School taught me that I didn’t fit in, both socially and academically. I felt I could not succeed as there was no room for individual learning capabilities. Math is a great example of this. Having to show your work is absolutely daunting to someone who is very capable of doing it quickly in their head. Each child learns differently, at a different pace and with different skills. Our education system teaches to a select few personalities, leaving the rest to flounder through, feeling inadequate and frustrated!! Even worse, children lose their love of learning that was so radiant before schooling took the enjoyment out of it
Lets also consider the content being taught in schools now a day.
HOW does all this memorized information pertain to our lives? Memorizing facts, formulas, random information without tying it relevantly into each individuals life, will all to soon be forgotten. The school system helps very little in producing fully functioning adults, in my opinion. It does not teach students real world
skills. Nor how to apply anything they attained while sitting in a desk for 12 years.
Ok, so let’s think about a time when you were hands on learning something and you had that “light bulb” moment. You know, the one where you just put all the pieces of information together. These nearly make your brain hurt from the shear strength of the connection!? It’s that kind of “ah hu” moment that will stick with us through our lives and enable us to build upon a foundation of genuine understanding that will not fail.
Our family has totally dropped off the schooling scale. We follow the lead of our children’s interests, trusting that they will learn what they need to learn when they need to learn it. It really works!! Of course this does not mean we just throw our hands in the air and let’em go wild. We work alongside our children, partnering with them to find their own way. We provide stimulation, environment, opportunities, thought-provoking conversations and interactions, learning through play and exploration and allow them to feel the challenges of life through their decisions. This means that they enabled to test their own bodies, minds and capabilities! All without fear of shame or judgement from us as parents. We encourage them to try new things and to fail, and to learn from that failure!! To make choices and to learn from the choice whether good or bad.
I don’t know about you but I often learned the most valuable life lessons from making wrong choices. Which brings us full circle to relevant teaching. We need understand how important it is to learn in every situation. This is so we can continue to grow and mature. For me this is absolutely one of the most important factors of life. If you are not able to grow and learn from mistakes, than you will continuously make the same one over and over.
Creating a love of learning is absolutely imperative, in my opinion. I can not think of any moment in life where learning will not come into play.
Yes it takes faith and trust believing in your child’s abilities to learn what they need to learn when they need to learn it. But let me ask you these last few questions; What do you want most for your child once grown? Who has more interest, passion, care and wish for your child to succeed more than you do?!! With this in mind, who better to oversee your child’s education than you the parent? You are more capable than you think!
Have you considered unschooling or homeschooling? What is stopping you from taking the leap?