Fortunately, they’ll take things that were written in the last few months. I had to go back a ways to the last time I blogged about homeschooling. We’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. I recently read an article about unschooling. In this past month, I can say that perhaps unschooling would work for my daughter, Katie. Katie nags me to death to give her work to do, to teach her to read, to give her projects. She can barely be convinced to take the weekends off. Yet, still, I say only perhaps unschooling might work for her. I’m sure that her love of learning a particular subject might wane should the work prove to be a bit tedious. And math, though I do really love math, is tedious.
Unlike Katie, my boys would be quite happy to ride bikes or scooters or skateboards or roller blades all morning long. In the afternoon, for a change of pace, they’ll play football or baseball or basketball. If pressed to sit at the table, they may be inspired to draw pictures of Batman or pirates or the characters from Star Wars. It is possible that a die-hard unschooler may say that I need to encourage their creativity and point them to a career in comic-book illustration or animated movie production. Alas, the dialogue between characters would be unintelligible. I know. Bill and I have puzzled over some of the speech bubbles on their drawings. It’s a bit mysterious, and that may make it interesting…or it just may make it completely worthless for entertainment.
In their teenage years, said Grace Llewellyn, author of The Teenage Liberation Handbook, unschooling kids can study biology with a textbook, in a community college or with software. Or they can befriend a doctor and brainstorm on books to read or projects to do. Or they can volunteer to work in a veterinarian’s office.
Or they just may never learn biology at all. If they get to choose what to study, naturally, their interests may not direct them to certain subjects. And I don’t think that’s a good thing. I have a hard enough time trusting that the classical education approach is enough. I believe it in my heart, but honestly derive much comfort from checking the blocks of education, from the memorization of facts and data, from the passing of tests and the writing of dissertations. Unschooling is not for everybody. It’s definitely not for me, and I think it’s probably not right for most.