Thursday, September 16, 2010

Not Back to School in the Media

Last weekend, the Globe and Mail printed an article about unschooling, a variety of home education based more on the child's intersts and curiousity than on any lesson plan or curriculum choice by parents. Unschoolers help their kids learn when the kids ask to know about something, they provide good resources and experiences, but they don't have lesson time or phonics programs. It's been around since the 1960's, and it works. It's always been the less-travelled path of home education. If you're nterested in the article, here's a link:

It's not so much the article itself that I found interesting. After all the first book I ever read on the topic of home education was Teach Your Own by John Holt. It was far more interesting to read the comments. Interesting and annoying, because so many commenters were focussed on the same things that we have been asked for 20 years. I guess I don't encounter the criticisms anymore, so to read that home educated children will end up on welfare or stuck in dead end jobs, that they are socially inept or overly sheltered, that they won't know how to cope with college was a huge surprise to me.

I have my own success stories to point to, our children who are doing very well in their school and work. I knew that we would be trailblazers, but I didn't think it would take this long to establish the optiojn of home education as good for children and good for families.

Of course there were other comments too, from families with very positive experiences, who are speaking out in favour of educational choice. Their comments were a vivid contrast to the negative ones. All in all, the article plus the comments woke me up again to the need for all home educators to be proud of what we do, and to speak up clearly and often about the good things we are seeing. I am glad to have my daughter home, I am glad to have spent my children's early years with them. It has been good.

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