From Public School to Unschool: Part 2

 

If you haven’t already, please read Part 1: From Public School to Unschool.

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So, why am I being a bit harsh on the current educational system? Well, I’ll tell you one big reason I feel qualified, in part, to criticize the current educational system, is because I am a product of it.

Hello, my name is Jessica, and I’m a Public School Graduate.

I cannot tell you the capital of many, if any, countries besides my own. I still don’t know when to, and when to not, use commas half the time. I rely on my laptop calculator for even the simplest math problems. I use dictionary.com daily. My history knowledge is sort of sad. And I might not be able to name all the planets even if you asked me.

And this is not because a decade stands between me and my diploma. On the day of my graduation, I could not have told you these things.

Yes, I was exposed to them. Yes, I was tested on them. Yes, I even did pretty well on those tests. But I did not learn them.

I did not care about them.

I do not care about them.

But what I did learn, was that a lot of people were better at tests than I was. A lot of people were prettier than me. A lot of people had nicer clothes than me. I was “bad” at some things. Being talkative or passionate was generally frowned upon. And that getting answers wrong was the worst thing you could possibly do. Ever.

Of all the things I wish I had learned in my formative years, none of the above make the list. I wish I had learned: Blessed are the meek. And love your neighbor as yourself. And you are beautiful. And God has a plan for you that does not involve the American Dream. And God has uniquely gifted you on things that you won’t be multiple-choice tested on. And faith can move mountains.

Those things could have actually helped me in the last 10 years. Helped me avoid a lot of heartache. Helped me soothe other’s heartaches. Helped me to understand the purpose to my existence.

Now, I realize some people are going to argue that academic vs. spiritual education isn’t an either/or situation. I understand that. But I do believe that the percentage of people that are pursuing one over the other for their kids is in the 90th percentile, even if they aren’t consciously doing it.

So, I would like to challenge every person, even if they’ve been trained in and for the traditional education system, to really delve and explore the possibility that there may be a radically different, more natural way for our kids to learn that sacred core swath of information. By just living. Living in a free and loving environment. An environment without tests or pre-planned curricula.

And then, before you pull out that “I could never” card from your back pocket, hold your “I can do all things” card in front of you.

And then, consider believing it.

~ Jessica

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