Every parent wants to ensure that their child is prepared 100% for the future to come. As parents, we always try to make sure that the mistakes we (as parents) made in our lives (careers, education, life choices etc) are avoided by our kids. I mean, at least the wise parents do that.
When our parents bought us computers, when computers were novel (circa 1980’s or 1990’s), it was for that very purpose.
When our grand parents decided to put our parents through a schooling system, it was for that very purpose – a novel way to educate and prepare our parents for the industrial revolution that is to come.
The only problem is, the schooling system has been an amazingly profitable business for those involved. And therefore, has not seen ANY need to change.
Our current schooling system is outdated beyond repair. Whether it be the scientific curriculum, the redundant and useless subjects that are force-fed to the students or the very nature of how education is imparted and measured.
We are educators. My wife and I, that is. And we have a very strong intuition about the “how” and “why” we teach our children what we teach them. And because of these strong intuitions, we are avoiding the current schooling system. It is not because we don’t want to educate our kids, but on the contrary, because we want to educate them, and prepare them… but in a way that we strongly believe is a much more efficient and useful way for the future to come.
Now all the above is fluff talk without any actual facts/examples. I will, haphazardly try to list out various specifics that make the case for unschooling
- Children learn BEST when they are free to move, jump, laugh. Schools, predominantly find those 3 activities in a classroom highly problematic!
- Subjects and topics are segregated in a way that does not create any wholesome and logical learning experience. Even within an individual subject, such as Math, topics are taught separately (only for the sake of assessment and examination) without helping a student understand the connecting commonality between various ideas and concepts.. for example, you teach children fractions and then decimals as though they are two separate ideas. (I can list a 100 more examples but that is not the purpose of this blog post right now)
- There is a strong emphasis on remembering facts rather than being creative and tying concepts and ideas together in fun, meaningful, meaningless, expressive ways. The future world does not want robots. It wants people who can think for themselves. The schooling system of now totally masks that opportunity
- History, geography, social studies and other subjects are taught based on the government, region and political parties in power. Moreover, they are taught in the most boring and dull ways possible. And waste a lot of time. And you are not allowed to think for yourselves, or ask questions and practically any much more wiggle room. So, there is a huge waste of energy on the part of the student who needs to ‘pass their exams’, when that time would have been best used for them to work on their own interests.
- The linear way in which topics are taught has no basis as to why it is taught the way it is taught. There is no way a student interested in say astronomy can continue learning about astronomy and delving deeper into the mysteries of astronomy if they want to keep up with the class. They will need to learn about how a cell splits into 2 and draw boring diagrams while their brain still wants to know about the milky way. Why waste my child’s time if they want to learn about something the school curriculum isn’t covering it. One might say, well, they can do that in their “spare” time. But who even said, they should have a ‘school’ time, so that they can have a ‘spare time’ … school is for education. Their kind of education. Customized to their wants, needs, creative impulses, desires. Not a forced curriculum. That forced curriculum served the industrial revolution perfectly. We are living in a whole new era!
- Stupid rules that schools have for students that make absolutely no sense. And schools run in a way that are almost dictatorial so … a student ‘questioning’ a rule is penalized further. So you are either forced to become a complacent compliant human being or cast as a rebel who the teachers will always either avoid or stress out further.
- I do not trust that all the teachers that are recruited really want to be teachers in the first place. Nor do I trust that a school actively tries to help teachers be better teachers. It’s a business, remember. They will do the least possible to get away with making you feel that your child is getting an education.
- Many other reasons. I am sure the smart among you will be able to extrapolate further as to why schooling sucks.
Now, the second question arises. But what about social life of a kid. What about friends. And how do you as a parent have the time to fulfill the child’s complete educational needs.
That is a question about HOW we unschool and will probably be another blog. It needs to be more detailed. But, I am sure a quick search on the internet will reveal 100’s if not 1000’s of families who have their own styles that work for them.
But just to be blunt, our style is working awesomely for us and thus far, me and my awesome partner could not be more satisfied with the results!