13 responses to “School. Unschool. The Big Question.

  1. I was homeschooled all the way through high school. My whole life, except college. I’m an introvert so I have social problems period, but my brother and sister are VERY social (being extroverts). And they got the same treatment. One good thing about “unschool” is you do tend to get smarter, aka more knowledgeable, children. Plus you teach them how to teach themselves.

    • Which just goes to show that people will be who they are, and the important thing is to give them an environment where they can BE who they are. How do you feel about your homeschooled background? Do you feel it was optimal for you, or would you have liked more structure, or something else? I just always think it’s so funny that people harp on the socialization angle so much, because the homeschool environment is capable of being SO VERY superior to a traditional school environment in this respect. In fact, socialization is one of the big reasons FOR homeschooling, in my opinion. I want to re-draw the comic (because I’m such a great artist, obviously, lol!) to show a Dennis-the-Menace type trail in an unschooler’s day–the grocery store, the library, the park, making dinner, etc.–winding around the central picture of the classroom. When I have time. Ha!

    • I like that idea of a comic.

      Umm, I think of my homeschooling positively. I look at my peers and it seems like they wait around to be taught something, or spend unnecessary money and angst to that end. For instance, I’m a writer and to learn more about writing I just went to B&N and started to buy books on the subject. Whereas some people think they should go to graduate school, which is a waste of money if you just want to learn the art. (You learn art by doing, and the knowledge itself is already in the books and textbooks.)

      The thing that homeschooling did was make me, instinctively, an active participant in my own education. Plus, since I moved at my own pace and wasn’t hindered by the dumbest person in the classroom, I was able to skip two grades and get out of college at 20. Might as well.

      (Although since I apparently do think of some people as “the dumbest person in the classroom,” maybe I missed out on the whole learning respect thing.) 😛

      I didn’t miss structure. My mom made weekly guides for us and we did the subjects we wanted in the order we wanted, checked them off, then played Nintendo or read or played outside. And she knew we’d done the work because of the lists. You could lie about what you’d done, of course, but you’d get hell for it later so none of us ever did. She would grade our tests, so she’d know. We did the standard testing that all schools do at the end of the year, too, to see if we were learning according to pace.

      I guess the only benefit I can think of for getting used to the structure of a school is it prepares you for a 9-5 later in life. But many people don’t even work 9-5s. And why prepare yourself for something inherently miserable anyway.

      I gu

      • That all makes SO much sense to me. I was public schooled, and it worked reasonably well for me. I was an A-B student in high school, A student in college, and graduated summa cum laude. So you’d think I’d be super successful in life, right? lol. One of my mentors, who is also an extremely successful businessman (i.e., he owns several multi-million dollar companies including international ventures and presents seminars to powerful business owners all over the world dozens of times a year), says that he doesn’t know a single highly successful business person who made A’s in college. Why? Because you have to be a conformist to make A’s. You have to say “yes sir” “no sir,” follow the rules, and not take chances.

        I’m learning to take chances, to be self-taught, to rely on authority less, to be my OWN authority, but it is definitely a learning process. I’m lucky that I’m incredibly curious and willing to learn from everyone I meet, so I’m coming along. But I definitely see how my many years of schooling contributed to my needing (in the past) to be told what to do.

        Anyway, thank you for sharing your experience. It is very encouraging to hear from people who have had a successful homeschool experience. This is what I hope for for my children.

        And, by the way, Amen to this: Why prepare yourself for something inherently miserable anyway. Amen, sister!

      • Come to think of it, my entrepreneur brother floated by with Cs… all through his life. And now he’s almost got his first million at 27. Ugh! (I was freaking Hermione Granger.)

      • I TOTALLY identify with Hermione. But it’s the Ron’s and Harry’s that end up making the big bucks in life. Luckily, big bucks aren’t what it’s really all about… … … right??…?

  2. I would love to see your new comic idea come to life. It sounds excellent!

    I love how some people assume my kids are lacking in social opportunities, yet we’re hardly ever home *because* of all the homeschooling social activities.

    • Agreed! We’re home a lot now because my husband and I both work full time out of our home office. But I suspect my kids still get more outings and field trips than the average school kid, not to mention days when their friends are here all day long or they’re down the street at a neighbor’s house, or hanging out with elderly friends, or … you get the picture. I’ll work on that next comic… 🙂

  3. Found you through a comment you made on Skipping School; this comic is just the response I needed when questioned by an older man about how my kids were socialized.

    Like THIS!

    • Thank you!! I’m not much of an artist, but this question is just so laughable I had to illustrate its absurdity. Feel free to print copies and hand them out freely to annoying people, lol! Glad you came by, and I’m looking forward to hanging out around your blog too–because of our busy entrepreneurial lifestyle, I don’t really get to hang out with a lot of homeschoolers IRL any more, and I miss the support. Nice to “meet” you!

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