Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Unschooling

I had heard of the concept of unschooling before, so when GMA did a piece on "unschooling" yesterday morning I was somewhat familiar with it.  My boys, on the other hand, had no CLUE there was some unexplored educational option out there that involved kids being able to do WHATEVER they felt like doing all day...including never opening a book or picking up a pencil if they so chose! 

Well, you can imagine the effect this news had on a couple of bleary-eyed, half-asleep twelve year old guys who were facing a full day of reading, writing and arithmetic.  Eyeballs popped wide open!  Backs straightened!  Faces became alert and excited! FINALLY!  A method of learning they can relate to!

In case you haven't heard of it, unschooling is an approach where textbooks, lesson plans, curriculum, tests and book work are tossed out the window.  Children choose what they're interested in and whether or not they'd like to learn more about it.  Kids are free to decide if they'd like to research deciduous trees today or would prefer to play with their xBox all day long instead.  The theory is that kids WANT to learn, so if they discover along life's journey that they need to know a little Algebra, well then, they'll go learn some.  Simple as that!

Right.  I know my boys.  If given the chance, one of them would CHOOSE to sit on his butt reading books about Dragons for the rest of his life.  The other?  He'd gladly drown in a sea of tiny plastic bricks and never pick up a pencil again! 

So I'd just like to take this opportunity to give a big shout out to the folks at Good Morning America who have heightened my children's awareness to the fact that their parents are unfair, controlling, whip-cracking dictators who expect waaaayyyy to much from them.  It's obviously unnecessary for young boys to waste hours of their precious time each day learning such mundane things as Grammar and Science.  They don't actually need to KNOW much in order to BE grown-ups anyway, do they?  As long as they can figure out how much to hand the drive-thru gal at McDonald's they should do OK. 

Especially since the government will be there to tell them "when, where, what kind and how much" when it comes to buying appliances, automobiles, homes, healthcare and food.  I mean, if the Powers-That-Be are even going to decree how much SALT they need on their food, well, that takes all the guesswork out of life for them.  Why should they bother with 7th grade?!

Unfortunately, I'm just mean enough to force them to learn anyway.  They finished up their 6th grade work last week, but we have to have school for about five more weeks...soooo...no problem!  We moved on to 7th grade! 

Oh, the joy and thrill on their faces!!  The rapturous expressions of preteen twins gazing in adoration at their BRAND NEW GENERAL SCIENCE BOOK full of names, dates, experiments and data!  If I could only describe their pleasure adequately!  Well, you can probably do a pretty fair job of picturing it. 

It's alright, though.  I did compromise with them and promise to let them try being unschooled...for a few weeks this summer!  They'll be able to pick between swimming, video games, books, Green Machine, basketball, fort-building or bb gun shooting!  OR!  Or they can do bathroom-cleaning, dish-washing, laundry-hanging, lawn-mowing and weed-picking!

I'm curious to know...what do YOU think about unschooling??

3 comments:

Hezra said...

well, due to family trauma here, we did a couple week's worth of unschooling. My experiment showed the 5 kids would rather argue, play, and generally pester one another until their mama wanted to pull out her hair AND theirs. MY kids are not going to naturally gravitate to math or grammar. My 10 yr old argued yesterday, but I already KNOW how to read-- why do I have to do MORE SCHOOL! Instead of his 4th grade reader, he wanted to read the cat in the hat. yeah, sure. Challenge yourself there huh?

Hezra said...

btw, the said 10 yr old wants to know if your 12 yr olds are up for adoption. lolol we are possibly looking at a foster care adoption, and he keeps saying he wants a brother HIS age. So, he likes the sound of yours. I told him you are pretty hapy with keeping yours long-term. too bad we don't live closer-- we could borrow and loan occasionally.

a Tonggu Momma said...

Heh. Don't you just love those morning news programs???