Today, someone at work asked me why I'm supporting homeschooling, and particularly unschooling. Why isn't my daughter going to daycare and then preschool?
I told him, "So my child can go after her dreams."
That's the sound bite because the story was too long for the conversational situation.
Here's the rest of it.
Back when I was in a structured school setting, for third grade, the teacher told us to do a transportation project. I listened very carefully to this request and spent hours creating a project, complete with graphs, statistics, models, and more.
I was passionate, proud, and unassuming. I did get an A on that project, but right below it in harsh, large letters, the teacher wrote, "TRY TO KEEP IT TO A 3rd GRADE LEVEL." (How many kids have grown to loathe that red color?)
Then the teacher gave an A to every other student in the class, despite grammatical errors, incomplete projects or other issues that even as a child, I noticed. I asked her why everyone got an A and she said, "It makes everyone feel better."
I learned a lesson that day. I realized that I can learn only for my benefit. I could have decided to feel rejected or wronged, and I can easily recall those stinging emotions to this day. But, instead, I decided they were all on crack and from that day forward, I chose to learn things and do things for my benefit.
So, why do I want to unschool?
Because I never want my child for one moment to pause, to wonder if she is working too hard, or to fear she is achieving too much. I never want her to feel that learning isn't worth it because in the end, everyone wins. I never want her to doubt her ability to reach the goals she has set out to accomplish. I want her to live her life freely and fully, not under the measurements and scrutiny of a regulated model that appeals to the bottom line. I want her to know that she can fly as high and as far as her mind can take her, and that I will always be there, cheering her on instead of stopping her or slowing her down.
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