Why I will be unschooling. -Hacking Parenthood

What I will be unschooling -Hacking Parenthood

Have you ever heard about unschooling? I didn’t until I watched a few TED talks about it.

I will be home educating my daughter as some of you already know. Many people think this is weird, and see home educating as something hippies do. The hippies of the 60’s knew what was up. They realised that they have just spent all that time in school being told what to do, what to wear, what to know and how to act. Even for the average person coming out of school, it is like suddenly being free. Unless you walked straight into a job that you were prepared for; sitting in the cubicle following orders. Next minute you are quitting your job and having a midlife crisis. It’s not a midlife crisis, it’s that you are only now figuring out what you actually want and giving yourself the opportunity to have freedom of choice.

Many kids leaving school now days are not prepared for real life. They don’t know about bills, tax, mortgages. How to have safe and loving relationships and be confident. How to learn in the way that works for them. Learning is so important for living, it is not about reading something then answering a question on that topic, then never looking at it again because you’ve got the A* to prove you know it. If you had to take all the tests again that you took in school, right now. Would you get the same results? If the answer is no, then you did not learn it. You were just ticking the boxes so you could go outside and play. Playing in the trees, in the rivers, learning about insects and animals. Playing games with your friends, learning about socialising… learning how to be happy.

I’m sorry, I have yet to pinpoint something I learnt in school that has greatly helped me in life other than being thick skinned from not ‘fitting in’. When I left school, I had to learn to learn. I taught myself to research and discover what I enjoyed. I went to university and still didn’t know how to learn. I knew how to tick the boxes so that I passed and it took me 5 years to finish a 3-year course. It was in the midst of university that I started learning about things – this is what I deemed procrastination. Through this, I realised what learning and investigating was. Now I’m learning so many new things. I learnt about nutrition and exercise. I’m learning about love, kindness and empathy. I’m learning to love myself no matter what people say.

Imagine if I knew how to learn like this when I was a child. Imagine all the things I would have learnt and remembered. I’m not talking about things like learning to talk and read. I’m talking about passions. When did you first have a passion where you were given the full opportunity to explore it until you were done. Do you remember a time when you were so engulfed in what you were doing, and wanted to know everything about it. That is learning. School don’t encourage learning. They encourage the ability to be taught. They have a curriculum to follow and nothing is allowed to get in the way of that. Being taught and learning are two different things.

Another example is that feeling when you finally move out of the family home. You feel free to eat what you want, be who you want, do things when you want. It usually takes some time for you and your mind to settle into the freedom. Imagine if that started right from childhood. If you had your parents guidance on being free and letting you make your own decisions consciously. When you leave the family home you already know yourself, you’re already prepared. Life is that same because you’ve been living your life the whole time. Just this time you’re creating your own journey. No shock transitions. It’s all one big smooth transition.

Mainstream schools inhibit this inward growth and the ability to find out who you are without leading you to a midlife crisis. Mainstream schools dictate your life before you have a chance to know who you really are. Our Millennial generation is often called lazy. It’s not that we’re lazy, it’s that we’ve been ticking our boxes our whole life and we don’t just get to walk into a job like our parents did. We’ve been ticking boxes but for what? There aren’t enough jobs for us! We don’t know how to learn and as a result, we seem stagnant. It’s not until after we leave school and finally find out what our passions are, that we think we can pursue the jobs that aren’t readily available. Or create our own businesses to supply our own need.

 

This is the book that really helped me understand the concept and helped family members understand. Free to Learn: Five Ideas for a Joyful Unschooling Life

Schools need to get with modern technology so that the kids today are ready for life. Until then my daughter will be home educated. I will be following the unschooling way. Learning with passion. That’s what life is about. It’s taken me 24 years to learn that, I want it to be innate for her.

Learning is life.

What I will be unschooling -Hacking Parenthood

11 thoughts on “Why I will be unschooling. -Hacking Parenthood

  1. HI there,
    Great article. I’m super interested in this idea and curious to know more. I personally will be sending my son to school come September for kindergarten, multiple reasons, main one being I need to work and also I don’t think I could take on such a big reaponsibility, however- i do agree wih you about the failing school system and the importance of allowing children to explore their passion and find their niche in the world. Schools are starting to catch on and in our region, kindergarten is based in “learning through play” and having the children expand on their interests. I’d like to bring some of your ‘unschooling ‘ ideas into our home environment ( although in feel like we al ready practice a few, I’m interested in learning more about it)

    1. It sounds great that schools are starting to catch up in your region.
      Most of the time you are practicing unschooling before sending your little one to school. It’s how they learn all the things they need to know.
      I understand you needing to work. The second reason of taking on the responsibility. This is got to do with trusting yourself. Many people in this society don’t trust themselves to do many things and rely on other people. Once you start trusting yourself that you are capable. It means many things start changing in your life.
      It’s about handing over the skill of learning, not just teaching everything you know. Once your little one starts learning how find out what they want to know. That’s when the magic happens. You become the catalyst for her education.
      I can recommend reading a book called ‘free to learn’ by Pam Larocchia.

    2. Hi, I feel sad when reading your comment ” I don’t think I could take on such a big reaponsibility”. So many people in life have children with the view to letting someone else bring them up. Not a lot of people get that they took that responsibility on when choosing to have a child. Its not your/their fault of course, it’s just that this generic systematic upbringing has for a long time been shown to us as the only option. It actually isn’t, and we are more than capable of being responsible for our children’s learning in an autonomous unschooling approach because its the same as what we do with them during the hours they aren’t at school, minus nagging them to conform and do homework! Teaching them a school curriculum is probably the responsibilty that you are actually fearing most, but it isnt relevant for the unschooled upbringing, as we are life learners, if we wanted to follow this generic learning path then they might as well stay in school. Have faith in yourself as a parent and reach inside for those inner instincts that we have been forced to ignore 🙂

  2. I have the same perspective, and I’m a mother of a 1 year old. How do you organise your life to do domestic education and to work? (I mean, to earn the money you need for the bills) This is my biggest question because I’m a single parent and there are no network of DE in the city I’m living.

    1. I understand what you mean. I’m lucky to have a husband who earns the majority of the money. But we do keep our bills and expenses really low and live a very minimalistic lifestyle cutting out a lot of expenses. we also live in a very small town where we don’t need a car and I get around on my bicycle. I myself I’m trying to earn money online by doing things like blogs. What work do you do maybe you could find a skill that could be sold online? 

  3. I loved reading this. I am not a home educator but have been looking into it a lot lately…your post completely resonates with me and I definitely relate to some of what you’ve written…”next minute you’ve quit your job and having a midlife crisis” you could have written that for me haha!
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. It was so amazing reading this comment. I’m so glad it resonated with you. This is why I wrote this. 💚💚 please look into it more.
      Thank you for such a lovely comment. 🌸🌸

  4. I enjoyed reading your article because I myself also think school is really not that focused on passion for learning but mostly following rules. I am a stay at home working mom and I run two businesses while taking care of my one year old. Down the road I would consider putting him into a montessori school but also home schooling is an option. The only thing I think he may miss is socializing with lots of kids his age. How do you help your kid with the social aspect?

    1. Hi Anna, thank you for the comment. Talking about the social aspect. This is one of the main reason I will be home educating. I worry about the socialising aspect at schools. Bullying is such a visible thing in schools and I feel she deserves better relationships. Going to local home ed groups and meet up with other home ed parents is important. This way kids learn to socialise with many different aged kids in a more encouraged environment. At schools, kids really on socialise with their classroom peers and not any other older or younger kids. What do you think of socialising at mainstream schools.

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