Thursday, 22 March 2012

Unschooling- Not a Bad Thing!

Today I came across a YouTube video by TYT Network titled "Unschooling vs Homeschooling vs Formal Education." In the video, they showed a peek into the life of an unschooled family. The parents explained why they chose the unschool their children and each of the family members were interviewed about their day to day life.

The newscasters then proceeded to list everything they thought was wrong with unschooling. "You're doing your children a great bit of damage." and, "They won't be able to get good jobs" and "All unschooling children are going to be ignorant." "They have no idea what's going on in the world." They went on to say that no ten year old child is going to want to learn math or science, right?


 I am unschooled. My three siblings are unschooled and have been for most of their lives. My sisters love doing crafts together, my eight year old sister is working on a short story and loves building things, and she also works on math when she wants to. It's not a thing that my mom pushes onto her. She sometimes just gets out the book and starts working.

My four year old sister, while not old enough to be a registered unschooler, already knows the alphabet, how to count to thirty, she's learning to read and she can do simple math problems. She also can write her name and the names of the rest of the family, among other words. She's also learning to draw. Oh, did I mention she can speak full sentences in Spanish? (I guess I have something to thank Dora the Explorer for.)

My ten year old brother is the mini-historian of the family. He reads tons of books on airplanes and guns of World War II and pretty much knows every gun used back then. He hates writing (how is he related to me?) although he is pretty good at it when someone can pursuade him to pick up a pencil. He's a math whiz- he can figure out complicated math problems in his head.

Then there's me... I'm thirteen years old. I'm the writing freak that had finished a novel by the time I was eleven. Now I'm constantly writing fanfiction. I have eight stories up on I've also discovered that I like making movies (I use Windows Live Movie Maker, which is kind of lame) and I use Windows Paint a lot now. I research whatever interests me at the time, whether it's the history of 9/11 or the people of ancient Greece.

What's my point? My point is, we did not learn this stuff because someone forced us to learn it! No, we learned it because it interested us. Kids have a natural desire to learn! You don't need a workbook to learn math or science, you just need to want to learn it. People have this idea that learning isn't supposed to be "fun". But kids actually remember stuff better when they have a good memory to go along with it.

This is what unschooling is about. I assure you that I have a very good idea of what's going on in the world. I plan on getting a good job. There's nothing wrong with going to public school. Homeschooling is great- I know this for a fact. But unschooling isn't the brain-dead way of learning that everyone makes it out to be. It's not going to scar me for life- it's the best thing that's ever happened to me.

It is true that if I want to go to college, I'll read the textbooks and everything required to take the entrance exam. I won't be handicapped because I was unschooled.

Thomas Edison was taugh reading, writing and math by his mother (with no curriculum), but everything else, he taught himself. Look at what he did to the world. Go on and tell me that unschoolers are ignorant. Just remember every time you flick on a light switch that that was an invention made by an unschooler.