Sunday, 7 December 2014
Unschooling could leave Australian children without numeracy or literacy skills!
People see things from their own perspectives whatever the story and however positive a picture you paint for them. I always found it interesting that when my family appeared on The Project about unschooling it didn't matter that they interviewed my son (who had been unschooled) and was interviewed by them at the University where he is studying a software engineering degree (having gained entry at 16) and he answered their questions politely and articulately. They also came to our house and met my then 6 year old who again showed no signs of neglect whatsoever and lives her life with a happy inquiring free spirit with a broad range of interests. Our house showed that both my children had access to many interesting "educational" resources should they so wish to access them as well as an abundance of social opportunities (for those worrying about socialisation! :P) and I like to think that I came across as a well rounded supportive parent but still the presenters of that program ridiculed us and said how ridiculous unschooling was and we were also subjected to comments from the public such as "well we all know who will be pushing trolley's at Coles in 10 years time" with regards to my daughter (not that there is anything wrong with pushing trolley's in Coles if that is what she wants to do - but they were not writing that comment with a positive tone!). It just showed me that people will see what they want to see and anything that goes against the "norm" is met with fear and distrust and many people are unable to see beyond that. It changes nothing for me though with regards to my total belief in unschooling other than pointing to the fact that more and more people who turn to it will try and fly under the radar - and who can blame them when after a full inquiry they read findings like this that really are still quite unsupportive of those doing things differently (and they are usually doing things differently because what has gone before just has not worked for them!) We came to unschooling through trial and error (or perhaps it found us when we desperately needed it), but however we came to it it has worked for my family beautifully (and we have tried school at home, project based, distance school etc) but letting my son do what he wanted and allowing him (with full support) to follow his passions was a lifeline to us and I am sure it will continue to be for many more whatever the bureaucrats deem from all of this....