September 17, 2007

Me? An Unschooler?

I never imagined I would be unschooling my son. Sure, I'd heard of unschooling. And from what I'd heard it was not right for our family for two reasons. Firstly, I thought it was a scam. I just didn't believe all those people who said their children were studying geometry (or any of the "ologies") for the fun of it. I guess that tells you something about my relationship with math and science. It just sounded too good to be true. Secondly, unschooling would require that I hand control of my son's education over to, well, my son. I wouldn't be able to plan lessons, or even plan our weekly schedule in advance because I wouldn't know what J would be interested in until the moment he discovered his interest. I love planning. I love scheduling. I love list-making, and I love crossing things off my list. Unschooling would require that I let go of all these things and more. I would have to trust. And I'd be putting all that trust in an eleven-year-old boy who thinks butt jokes are the height of hilarity.

So, I found myself at the edge of a cliff. Behind me, on solid ground, was traditional homeschooling. Among the landscape that made up this method were math worksheets, book reports, and english lessons. There were also arguments, tears and frustration. In front of me, deep within the chasm just beyond my big toe, lay the world of unschooling. It was vast and dark and downright terrifying. But my instincts told me to jump.