Thursday, October 19, 2006


Public School vs. Private School vs. Homeschool vs. Unschool? What?
I recently read an article about "Unschooling" and just had to let you know more about this. Follow this link
The article titled," A New Chapter In Education: Unschooling", was reported on MSNBC,
By Victoria Clayton
MSNBC contributor
Updated: 3:05 p.m. CT Oct 6, 2006.
The article states ,"...unschooling is more about educational philosophy. It's rooted in the belief that humans are naturally driven to learn and will do so fiercely if left to their own devices."
Most learning, in most schools, is based on a philosophy that a child should know certain things at a certain age. What happens to the child that knows more at that time? That child often cannot progress further. That child is left bored and often becomes the underachievers of tomorrow. What of the unfortunate child who knows less at the prescribed time? Most likely he/she will be left behind, sometimes with no chance to catch up or learn the material at another time, simply because the class has moved on to other things.
What I want to say is that "Unschooling" is not "Not schooling." In fact it is just the opposite. Parents must be keenly aware of their children and their interests . They must watch constantly for areas of interest and be ready to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. They must also be willing to bring up subjects and topics in an interesting way so as to pique the interest . As parents teach they also continue to learn.
I heartily agree that "humans are naturally driven to learn." Just think of all the things people have accomplished, without being forced. What child has grown up and does not naturally have a desire to communicate, to eat on their own, to go to the rest room (eventually) , wash their hair and shower alone? How hard is it to get most teens to take drivers ed? Who made the Wright brothers build an airplane? If people did not have a desire to learn there would be no need for schools of higher learning. Besides, you can not teach something to someone who does not want to learn. Learning requires wanting to retain the information that is being shared. I tell my kids," I can't learn this for you, YOU must WANT to learn this for yourself, I've already learned it."
I also think that parents are the best educators of their children. Most parents care deeply about the education of their kids. Personally, I want my children to succeed in life. I have a vested intrest in their success. If they fail, chances are, some time in the future I will be the one who will have to help them, or at least be heart broken for them. Any other teacher will be long gone from their life. A failure will have no impact upon them personally or otherwise. What infamous loser has ever been associated with their childhood teachers ? Yet many a broken hearted family has been, (rightly or wrongly) associated with the wrongs of their children. Parents must rise up to the challenge of educating their children. They must take seriously the responsibility that God has entrusted them with.
My final word would be this, looking back over the last 25+ years of homeschooling, and at times unschooling, I can honestly say that teaching my own children has been the hardest, and most demanding job I have ever engaged in. That being said, it has also been the most rewarding job I will ever do in my life. Looking into the eyes of a child who "gets it" can only be described as thrilling. That child being your own, whom you love dearly, pure bliss.
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