When it comes to education, there are many different reasons why we have chosen the path we have. We believe that children (humans) are born with a natural curiosity and desire to learn. We don’t think this has to be forced. Forget the word “unschool” for a minute and let us consider why we chose to not send our children to public school. To understand why public school is not an option for us, you must take into account the history of schooling and how it came to be.
Here are some of the books we’ve read and recommend about the history of compulsory schooling.
And this amazing video (the references are a rabbit hole, and we highly recommend exploring it)!
WHAT ABOUT PRIVATE SCHOOL?
Ultimately, the choice will be left to our children whether or not they wish to attend some kind of magnet or private school during their middle or high school years. We remain open to whatever they want to do.
WHAT ABOUT MATH?
How much algebra do you use during your day to day life? No, really, how much? We spend so much time memorizing all this useless information that most of us will never need or use. Also, not every career path requires anything past basic math. We would argue that most careers do not require anything past basic math, and even basic math these days has become irrelevant with the rise in technology. Our oldest learned how to ask Siri to perform tasks for him or search videos on youtube without knowing how to read or spell.
ARBITRARY LEARNING BENCHMARKS
The problem with schools in general, is that they cater to one type of learner. There are over 72 different learning styles that we know of, and we cater to ONE. So what ends up happening is children who don’t learn this way have trouble, and end up either being held back or developing an insecurity. This kills their desire for learning. They end up thinking they are just stupid, when in fact, they just need to be taught in a different way. We group children by age when this is very far from what happens in the real world. It would make more sense if we grouped students by learning styles, development, and interests.
Let's take walking for example. Most children learn to walk between 9-15 months. Thats a pretty big range. When both children are 5 years old, the child who walked at 9 months is no better at walking than the one who learned at 15 months. The same goes for reading. You will notice that most homeschooled children learn to read later than their schooled counterparts, however, they learn quickly, with no pain involved, and they go straight to reading novels.
We truly believe being forced to “learn” about subjects we have no interest in, over a period of 14 years, eventually kills your love of learning. This explains the dullness of most college students who get there not knowing what they want to study. “I’m just taking my pre-requisites until I figure it out”, they say. Fourteen years of schooling and you don't know what you like?! That makes no sense. Yes, there are exceptions to every rule and children who just do really well in school, but we would argue that this is not the norm. If anything, the only thing good grades tell you is how obedient a child is. Some of the most intelligent humans in history were horrible students.
We will leave you with one of our favorite quotes.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” - Albert Einstein
Follow your bliss.