Unschooling in many ways, goes against the grain and questions the major beliefs that are dominant in our culture, at this time anyway. It is a lifestyle that is impossible to take on without a major paradigm shift. What I mean by this, is it blows a lot of concepts, theory and standards out of the window! It forces you to question everything and everyone including your own conditioning, upbringing and belief systems.
I'm writing this because my family are Unschoolers. We didn't start out this way, but we chose this path after we struggled with the schooling experience. I'm in no way condemning school, I'm certainly not bashing teachers. I wanted to write about how we live and how it has had a remarkable effect upon our lives.
It took about a year, for me to feel completely comfortable with what we were doing. I have had many a panic about what we chose to do for us and our children. But I realised after each panic, whilst consciously going through pros and cons, that every time I panicked, it was due to a few things. Generally these came from either judgement from others or my own conditioning. I always went full circle and weighed up all the facts and so we carried on. In that first year, I dealt with so many thought processes myself, I felt like I changed my outlook completely on life, society and people. Because schooling is at the centre of conditioning and conditioning is where we learn behaviour and create belief systems within us. These belief systems, in turn create who we are and what we do within society. I began to realise something, it had always been there right under my nose, and yet it had taken this shift in perception to see it! I had to stand outside of my conditioning to see it and at first it scared me..then excited me, then scared me again! You can do you want with your life! It's my choice!
Unschooling is allowing a child to learn with their development stage understood and allowed for. It is very spontaneous and real world in its nature. There is no testing...at all. Depending on what you think of first when you read that sentence will say a lot about your conditioning! Testing does not prove learning! Testing at its best, proves some individuals can pass tests! But, we are conditioned to believe testing is intrinsic to getting a job, having a proven intelligence, being a member of society! Yes, unschooling is radical, perhaps antiestablishment (as the establishment stands today), and maybe a bit too much for everyone and that's fine! I'm not writing this to convince anyone to take it on personally, I'm writing this to get you to think about other ways to do things, because when I started, I couldn't stop! Question everything. Question everyone. Realise you are conditioned...because we all are! And Instead of just surviving, raise the bar and choose your life because everyone has the power of choice. I encourage everybody to Unschool their beliefs and by this I mean question what they are and why they are. Don't be Schooled into thinking certain ways, it will suppress your potential and your belief in yourself.
In the words of John Holt, the man who coined the term Unschooling, "if children are given access to enough of the world, they will see clearly enough what things are truly important to themselves and to others, and they will make for themselves a better path than anyone else could make for them"
And using this theory in our own lives, each day, we will enrich it and bring purpose and power to ourselves. Believe in yourself and everything is possible!