“When I tell people we don’t do forced curriculum at my house, invariably people ask me how my kids will learn to do stuff they don’t like. Here’s what I think: How will your kids learn to stop doing things they don’t like?” ~ Penelope Trunk
We actually don’t homeschool at our house. We unschool. Most folks have no clue what I’m talking about when I use the term “unschool” so I just use “homeschool” instead. Unschoolers learn through their natural life experiences. Homeschoolers usually work on a structured curriculum at home.
This topic of conversation usually leads to a ton of questions. Here’s the top 3 I get asked.
- But what if she wants to go to college? I’m encouraging her not to go. I am a college graduate so I speak from experience. Biggest waste of money. Largest debt. Just as there was a housing bubble that burst a few years back, now comes the education bubble. College debt has eclipsed credit card debt for the first time in history. After four years of college our youngsters are basically saddled with a mortgage and no home to show for it. Back in the day it meant something to have a college degree. Now, everyone has one. Tuition increases every year but yet where are the returns? College grads are finding it more and more difficult to obtain a job after graduating. How much longer before the higher education bubble bursts?
- What about grades and testing? We use a private umbrella school. In our state, private schools are exempt from standardized testing. The only thing we are responsible for is 180 days of attendance. We report quarterly attendance to our private umbrella school which in turn reports to the state. That’s all…nothing else is required. I pay $25 annually for enrollment into the private umbrella school.
- But what about socialization? social·i·zation (-sh-l-zshn) n. – To place under government or group ownership or control. The very definition of this word makes me cringe. If you’ve ever met my kid, you’d see that she’s not socially awkward. She’s happy and well adjusted. We do go out in public and interact with the world. The landscape of homeschoolers is changing. We’re not stereotypical religious zealots wanting to keep our kids sheltered from the big bad world. My kid gets to hang out with other kids her own age. She’s involved in local group activities with her peers. And how much social time do kids get in school anyways? A few minutes in passing in the hallways? Thirty minutes over lunch?
These are just three questions I get asked most often. If you have a question about unschooling feel free to ask it in the comments section below and I’d be glad to answer it for you as best I can. Unschooling has been the best decision we have made.
Have you ever considered homeschooling or unschooling?