The Carnival of Homeschooling – Anniversary Edition…

is looking for submissions.

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.

5 thoughts on “The Carnival of Homeschooling – Anniversary Edition…

  1. I have always had a hard time believing that anyone really buys that “unschooling” actually works. I know there are some who do espouse it. Maybe it’s because traditional subject matter is not something they care if their child learns? It certainly would not have worked for my children. LOL

  2. Hi Michelle!
    There are families in my homeschool group who swear by the method! However, my dd would have spent the last 4 years riding her bike, drawing, and making clothes for her dolls. She might’ve thrown in a science project and some books about animals on her more scholarly days. She certainly would never volutarily learn anything about grammar, spelling, or writing…and I sure don’t see her developing a burning passion for learning how to write a research paper or factor an equation in the next 8 years….

  3. I’m sure I would have earned a degree in English or History if left to my own resources. Math was not my strongest subject in my younger grades. There’s nothing wrong with a degree in English or history…but I’m pretty proud of my BS in Engineering. Sometimes we need some pushing to discover our talents.

  4. I have read a few unschooling books, but found that in the process that NONE of the kids written about learned higher math. They all seemed to gravitate toward the social sciences.
    As a parent of a likely future engineer (at 18 months he studied hinges intently, and has just progressed from there)I prefer to stick with the tried and true and also gain satisfaction from checking off those boxes!

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