As part of my new website – coming later this month – I’m putting together a list of the most asked or most controversial questions regarding unschooling, and I’d like you guys to weigh in. (You no longer need to register to comment, by the way, in case that was holding anybody back.)
If you are unschooling, please tell me what question or comment you get the most when you tell people your kids don’t go to school and don’t follow a curriculum. Don’t leave anything out, please! A good anecdote is gold. (And please let me know if I have permission to use your name, or if you’d prefer a pseudonym. I’d never use a last name, in any case.)
If you are not unschooling, please send me either the question you would most like to have answered or what your impressions of unschooling were before you became enlightened by my blog!
For my part, I was asked to answer some questions today in preparation for a conference at which I’ll be speaking here in NYC at the end of this month. One of them dealt with my favorite thing about unschooling. I will tell you that my favorite thing is that my kids are happy. Deep down in their soul happy. The kind of happy that breeds confidence and a complete lack of self-consciousness.
Today was Ben’s 8th birthday, and we made plans to go bowling with his best friend. When we got to the bowling alley, it was closed. Were there tears? No. Crushed faces and frantic scrambling for a replacement activity? Nope. All three kids shrugged, laughing, and we headed to Toys R Us to ride the Ferris Wheel. (Yes, in case you haven’t heard, there is a full-sized Ferris Wheel in the Times Square Toys R Us.) An 8 year old, 9 year old and 11 year old who all get along famously and enjoyed the day. Maya had no problem hanging out with the boys; she and Ben’s friend Jonah have a similar sense of humor, and it’s fabulous to spend the day with them. As we rode around, my friend Anna and I in one car and the kids in the other, we could hear them shouting and laughing and calling hello and waving to random people in the store.
Sometimes when I tell people things like this they are taken aback. What about their education? It is my belief that a happy person learns better and faster the things they want to know than does someone under coercion, forced to learn about subjects in which they have little or no interest.
So my favorite thing? Being happy.
Ok, your turn.