Something I have learned along the way during my journey into radical unschooling is how hard it is to step away from schoolish thoughts.
It is SO hard to separate school from “the real world” these days. School has been a part of our society for so long it itself has somehow become part of “the real world” and when someone steps outside the box they become the ones no longer living in “the real world.”
It then can become very, very challenging when trying to explain that really *we* are the ones living in “the real world” and not the other way around.
This is when all the questions start rolling in ,which I can understand when you choose to do something different you are going to get questions.
“How are they going to learn math?”, ” How are they going to learn responsibility?”, How are they going to be able to make it in the real world?”
I have been getting pretty good at steering away from negative articles or posts about unschooling. I myself know unschooling works and no longer have doubts.
In these past few years I have seen a child learn how to read and learn all kinds of mathematics, some she wouldn’t even have learned yet if she was in school. That’s been easy for me to document. Being that she was 5 when we started unschooling and she was just learning her letters being able to see her progress has been easy.
What about the other one though, you know the one who will be a teenager this year, what is she learning? What is she learning by playing video games or drawing all day?
This is when taking pictures and documenting becomes a little harder.
Take this picture for instance,
what doesn’t get photographed is the time she spent on-line researching Native American, Asian, and Indian artisans. What doesn’t get photographed is the influence Fruits Basket and Final Fantasy played into her researching Eastern cultures. What doesn’t get photographed is all the research she did into geometric shapes and angles that help influence her designs. What doesn’t get photographed is all the time she spends working on the tiniest details over and over until she feels she has mastered it enough to add it in her drawings. Like feathers, from collecting them to finding pictures of them, or drops, or flowers. Then there is the research of ancient civilizations armor, weaponry and the documentaries oh and the movie research, like trying to hunt down a copy of Taiwan’s Legend of the Sacred Stone, I couldn’t possibly leave those out.
There is SO much more knowledge she is soaking up behind the scenes than what I could ever capture. These are the things that I also get to see that helped me overcome my doubts too.
If I was to measure her learning with other children in school her age she could be behind in some things but way ahead in others( like way ahead). One of the great joys of homeschooling is we don’t need to use school to measure our children’s knowledge. We don’t need to hold to someone else’s standards of what children ages 12 or 7 should be learning. We can individualize our children’s learning around them.
Like mathematics or grammar. Do you know how much time teachers spend reviewing the same concepts year to year hoping those behind will catch on? Do you know how long it took me to explain to Little Sis sentences start with a capital letter? Sometimes she still forgets but I guarantee it will not be a problem when she is Miss Sky’s age. The more she types and writes the more she will catch on and she won’t need to spend days filling out worksheets to remember. It will happen by doing real things in “the real world.”
Peace for the journey.