This week would be the week for another unschooling carnival. For this carnival I’m asking you to consider writing a post (and leaving a comment on this one) about one of two subjects:
- Unschooling feels, sounds or appears like a good philosophy to follow, but ________ prevent me (or make me hesitant to) follow through with it.
- Unschooling my child(ren) has enabled me to see ________
If you can spare the time to write a post on one of those 2 subjects, it would be great. Both subjects would allow us to share the 2 sides of the coin and perhaps we can help one another see our way through one difficulty or another
I have 7 children. Six of them are at home and one is at college. The ones at home are ages 3 to 17. All are very different in personality and interests. Frankly, there are not that many things we can do all together that span those ages and ranges.
So, there are two of my unschooling concerns right there:
One, how do I make allowances for my personality factor: that I do best in most life experiences when I have some predictability, some preparation, some over-arching goal in mind? How does that fit in with unschooling? Can you plan ahead, set goals and still be an unschooler?
Two, how do I do justice to the wide family variety I have in an "unschooling" way? When I am being more structured, it's pretty easy. In a word, checklists. I give them out to my kids; I use them myself. Can you do checklists with unschooling?
These are about logistics and how unschooling works in a larger family system.
I also have a philosophical concern. I have an ideal of what education should look like. It is definitely NOT what standard schooling looks like nowadays, but it is little emphasized in unschooling circles, either, as far as I have seen. (It may be an implicit undercurrent; that is something I am still trying to figure out). Historically, it was called "paideia". ... the enculturation of a child into what it meant to be a person. Obviously, this was an ideal, and not carried out perfectly. But the idea of paideia gives an idea of a dynamic, of an interaction between what society is, what human nature is, and what the individual child is meant to be.
The late Pope said in relation to a family's mission: "Families, become who you are." I want to give my children a chance to become who they are, who they are meant to be. That's in many ways, essentially, an unschooling mandate. But part of who they are is what they were born into, and the place they are meant to have in their particular society. That implies to me that there IS a role for parental direction. The details of that -- when, how, why we interact with our children to help them become what they are -- continually boggle my mind.
For further discussion on this, read an unschooling thread on 4reallearning