Hi, my name is Vanessa, and I am a product of public school.
I hated school. I never placed much personal value on it. But, because my parents and culture placed so much value on it, I tried hard. I got good grades. I was a “gifted” student.
Because most of what I “learned” academically in school was cut and paste – remember the correct answer from the textbook and regurgitate it on a test, only to forget it a week later – what I spent most of my time learning were “life lessons,” if you could call them that.
Making the decision to begin unschooling can be scary for many parents who have been taught to believe that learning the “boring” subjects is something that children must be forced to do.
Though I had my own small fears about unschooling, my husband carried most of the skepticism. He worried mostly about how our children would learn the basics. By default, he believed that structure was needed for children to learn the skills essential for adult life.
He didn’t doubt that they would learn, but he did doubt that they would learn enough to function well as adults. I and most other parents can sympathize with his concerns. None of us want to see our children grow up and struggle with life because of the decisions that we made (or let them make). Continue Reading
My journey to unschooling started off when I was very young. It’s impossible to explain my own philosophy of unschooling without taking you through a brief history of my own schooling. It has shaped how I view education for myself and for my children more than any book or influential speaker.
Apart from the occasional alphabet lesson I gave to my oldest son, under pressure to begin “schooling,” I have never really liked the idea of school-at-home models. They always seemed to interfere with the natural progression of our lives, of fun, of freedom, and of true fulfillment through passions.