Ancora Imparo - I am still learning

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Unschooling Misconceptions

A few months ago, I did a presentation on Christian unschooling at our local homeschooling group meeting. So many people commented that I cleared up a lot of misconceptions about unschooling. It was a nice feeling.
Fast forward to tonight at work. I had an interesting conversation with the manger. Kelsey brought Taliesin and Nathanael into work tonight to order a kid's meal for Taliesin. It was pretty cute. Nathanael wanted to come back to drive-thru to help me. :^) It was a very nice surprise to see my three favorite guys. :^) Anyway, when they left, I asked the manager if he had noticed their t-shirts. They designed them themselves with splotches of t-shirt paint a few days ago. I then wrote each of their names and "A Walk in the Park School" in t-shirt paint on each one of them. He told me he had not noticed. I told him that they had made them in school. He jokingingly asked me what, "Kandy's Recreational School?" I answered, "No, A Walk in the Park School." He then told me that they do not go to school because we unschool. I tried to explain that unschooling is actually just natural learning, child-directed learning, learning by following one's own interests. But the conversation was too short-lived for much explanation. A little while later, I asked my manager if he had ever heard of progressive education. He said he had. I quickly explained it is a lot like unschooling. He said he knows, but that's about as far as the conversation went. I still think there may be some misconceptions even to people that hear on a regular basis what fun learning experiences Taliesin and Nathanael are having. I honestly think it's perfectly natural for people who were public schooled to not understand unschooling. It does take a while to get out of the public school mode of thinking. Even people that are pro-homeschooling (possibly like my manager) sometimes have a hard time wrapping their minds around child-directed learning and differentiating between not learning at all and learning naturally.

Oh, well, regardless of others' opinions, I won't change mine unless God directs me to. I truly believe this is the best way to educate Taliesin and Nathanael. (And it provides some interesting things for me, too).


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