There was an article in the weekend's Globe and Mail about the unschooling movement. Not homeschooling, unschooling. As in no school, no schedule, no textbooks, no curriculum.
Sounds like a kid’s fantasy doesn’t it?
Unschooling is about letting kids find their passion and helping them pursue it without any formal education. So no memorization, no textbooks, no goal-setting. It is a growing segment of the homeschooling movement. There was even a conference in Toronto last weekend of unschoolers. (I am trying not to make a wisecrack asking if there was a schedule).
The unschoolers make it sound utopian: life and learning are not separated but intrinsically connected. Kids learn by doing, by asking questions and by pursuing their interests sometimes independently and sometimes with a parent. The best case scenario is the kids find their passion and immerse themselves in it, gaining critical thinking skills along the way.
In the worst case scenario the kids have absolutely no skills and find it hard to exist in the world outside of their granola community. This ABC news report makes unschoolers sound like a bunch of kooks:
But I’m not sure that they are. Okay, some of them are, but not all of them. Reading through the blogs for this post, I found the unschoolers' passion to be infectious. Idzie Desmarais is an 18-year old unschooling advocate and her blog is ironically titled: I'm Unschooled. Yes, I can Write.
My eldest son would have loved it and maybe he would have found a passion to store all of his intellectual energy. Or maybe he would have spent the days playing Playstation. Either way, he is on his way to school at 8:25 a.m. sharp.