Thursday, November 30, 2006

unschooling blah, blah, blah

Fancy me saying the following, but if you are going to rant against something, you might actually take the time to know something about that which you are going to rant against. So we come to unschooling. This is only partially prompted by that dumb fuck Dr. Phil who seems to have a PhD in being a loudmouth jackass more than anything else.

Most people who have opted for any variety of homeschooling have plenty of experience and knowledge about public and/or private schooling which may or may not have prompted their decision to alternately provide for their children's education. We know of which we speak.

Of course the whole concept of education needs to be discussed, another point I'm not quite going to bother going into here. I could go into it because I have fairly strong opinions about it. What does education really mean in a time when most of what we think we know can easily be expected to be outdated and proven unnecessary in very little time?

It seems that unschooling is the newest horse that is going to get beaten past the point of no noticeable pulse, and those horse beaters are not really in a position to have a say. And if it ended there many of us on the pro side wouldn't care. The path to shitty laws, like the road to hell, is paved with the very best of intentions (see prohibition for more info) which makes the anti crowd think highly of themselves and their opinions, but they seem to forget the whole "to hell" part.

Please understand that we welcome everyone to their opinions. That's the beauty of a free society, that people can think any outlandish thing they want (see young earth creationist for more info.) That same freedom gives me the right to tell people that they are idiots.

Unschooling is lots of things to lots of people. Like anything in life, there are some people who claim authority to decide what is and isn't unschooling. For some it means fairly broad avenues of freedom for their children to be and act in any way they want. For some it means that they do schoolwork sitting in the floor instead of at the table. For some it might mean a fairly active life full of options for them and their kids to learn as much as they can and want to learn. That last one most accurately describes most homeschoolers and unschoolers.

Many people would say that we unschoolers are lazy parents who allow our kids to watch tv all day with no input. I'd say the lazy parents are those that let the school educate their kids and then blame those schools for their kids problems. See how that works, how I generalize about parents of public school kids? It isn't accurate for all public school parents, and I know that, but I like to make blanket statements about things even though I do know different. It's different from some bloggers who make blanket statements without the knowledge.

I know families involved in all the varieties of childhood education. I know families whose children all attend public schools and would never even consider homeschooling. I know families who homeschool some kids while other kids attend school. I know families who school their children very formally using one single curriculum. I know families who school fairly formally using a variety of educational options including curriculum for certain areas as well as a piecemeal approach for other areas. I know families who don't use any sort of recognizable schooling, families who completely unschool letting their children learn as children do when allowed, and that's the option that we've chose for our kids. I've seen all of these approaches work. It's not my place to tell any of these families that their chosen option is wrong or right.

I wasn't going to write this post, though because of the Dr. Phil fallout, it's been stuck in my brain wanting to get out. I am daily amazed at the misconceptions that people dream up and call fact. If I called fact everything that came into my head, this blog would be a far more fucked up place than I've already made it. You people don't realize how lucky you are that I practice some self control. At least I try to pretend I've done some research before I freak out on paper (okay, not really paper, but anything else ruins the flow.)

And finally, totally off topic, but Blogger needs to figure out that homeschooling and unschooling are indeed both words and that I have not misspelled them several times. I'm tired of the little red underlines from Firefox as well. I know how to spell damn it!