- I told my husband about my plan to unschool our son and he said (though he later denied it) "Well, I just don't want him having fun all the time." Even though my husband (I'll call him WG) tried to deny this comment, he really is concerned that J will spend his days having fun and end up not learning anything. Anyone that's been through thirteen years of school knows that "fun" is not a regular part of the curriculum, so I understand his concern. However, even though unschooling is probably best practiced when both parents are of the same mind, I'm forging ahead with my plan. I have asked WG to trust me and he has, sort of, agreed. He didn't actually come right out and say he agreed, but he didn't say he didn't trust me so I'm taking that as a yes. I'm also thinking I might ask him to refrain from asking "What did you do today?" It's way too much pressure.
- I decided to join an Independent Study Program (ISP) with leanings toward unschooling. At first, I thought I wouldn't join because it costs a couple hundred dollars a year and I'm quite capable of doing my own paperwork and taking care of the legalities of homeschooling, which are the main sevices they provide. Now that I'm unschooling, though, I really think I'll need their other service--helpful advice. The couple that runs this program unschooled their two children. Both of their kids went to college, are leading happy, presumably fullfilling, lives and neither of them was killed at sixteen as result of their parents decision to unschool. Phew!
- My grandmother bought J his own laptop. This put my commitment to "deschooling" to the test at once. Naturally, all he wanted to do was play on his new computer. This was about as far as you can get from what usually goes on in our house. Let me put this into perspective for you. J spent the last five years at a Waldorf school. Waldorf schools advocate a strict ban on technology for all children. Our family never adhered too stricly to this idea (I hate being told what to do) but we did limit J's time in front of the computer and television to two hours on the weekends. He has never before been free to choose how much time he spent on the world wide web or gaping at the "idiot box." For the first week, since the computer was new and since I'd heard about "deschooling," I decided to give him the freedom to use it at will. I'll tell you how that went later when I get to our first week of "deschooling." For now, I'll just say he's no fool. J took full advantage of my change of heart. He was one happy boy.
September 18, 2007
What Happened Next (part 2)
I left off yesterday with number four on the list of What Happened Next. My poor husband ended up sounding a bit curmudgeonly (or entirely sane, depending on your attitude toward learning), so I'll go back and try to explain where he was coming from.