All I can say right now is OMGoodness!!
I feel like I am being dragged into to someone’s crazy nightmare. As someone who doesn’t read the news (or tries really hard not to) or tries not to seek out drama (life brings plenty of that without needing to go looking for it) I figured it was only a matter of time before it would come my way (*way* sooner than what I was wanting really).
It’s all rather sad actually and my heart is feeling very sorry for all the homeschooling pioneers who have worked really hard to make homeschooling legal.
Big Sis (aka 23 years old) while taking a test for a part time job at Family Video:” I can’t believe some of the questions, I mean algebra?”
Yes for a part time cashier job!
“Why do I need to know algebra?” To get a job!
I love radical unschooling! I am the mother of a child who would fail school. How do I know this, because I am her mother. My job, as a parent (homeschooler or not), is to make sure my children can survive in THIS world (not some imaginary world that does not exist)! It is not the school’s job to make sure they will survive but MINE. Schools are set up to educate children, if you choose not to send your children to school it then becomes *our* (parents) job to educate them. Sounds like a no brainer right? Well unfortunately for some it is not.
As someone who has been surrounded by very irresponsible parents (2 members of my husband’s family alone don’t even have their children, the state took them away) I have *never* agreed that “just anyone” could homeschool.
Radical unschooling has been a life saver, truly, for my daughter. Before when we schooled at home she fought me every step of the way. It’s who she is. Do I wish she could learn more like how the school system is set up? I will not lie and will say yes sometimes I do. It has not been an easy journey and I have shed many tears for an imaginary daughter I never had. We don’t get to pick our children though.
So we tried Waldorf in the beginning it worked great. She tends to be on the “later” side of learning. Without being too negative about everything that I think is wrong with Waldorf education I will just say cutting out “screens” was a huge mistake in how she learned. Cutting out “twaddle” did NOT help my daughter learn to read. She has learned by me following HER way. This is why I love radical unschooling SO much. It helped ME find HER way. Not Charlotte Mason’s or Montessori’s, or Steiner’s but MY daughter’s way.
However this still leaves ME responsible for her education. Just because we are radical unschoolers does not give us an excuse to not be a part of our current society and in our current society my children need to know algebra! The difference is changing your point of view of *how* one can learn these things, not them never learning them. The girls still need to follow our state’s common core standards to get a diploma. There are several ways for them to get a diploma one is getting their GED but they still need to pass the test!
As radical unschoolers I question arbitrary rules. I ask why? Why does one need to eat 3 times a day? Why can’t I trust my child to make her own choices? Why can’t I have a good relationship with my children without being their “boss”? If any of my answers are because that’s how the world works then those are REAL reasons not arbitrary. Do I agree with all of them? NO, can I change them? No, I can show other ways to learn and write all I want but if someone comes along and passes a law where I live that all homeschoolers need to be tested then I *must* follow those laws.
There are some wonderful examples scattered through out the web of homeschoolers whatever their method and there are some really, really (really) bad ones too. As someone whose life and child’s life has been changed because of homeschooling and radical unschooling I would hate to see it fail because some couldn’t get their act together.
Remember we can have a lot of impact on a person’s choice to homeschool positive or negative (whether we want it or not). I am not perfect and my children are not perfect ( that’s life) but let’s at least strive for positive.
Wishing peace for the journey (and I hope I never feel the need to write a post like this again).