September 17, 2007

What Happened Next

Once I'd made the decision to unschool a few things happened:

  1. I started scouring the internet for information on unschooling and discovered the notion of "deschooling." From what I can tell, this is a period of extended summer vacation when your child does whatever his heart desires, and ends up having rediscovered his innate desire to learn. This process is said to take up to one month for every year your child has been in school--that would be five months for mine. Yikes!

  2. I started losing sleep. From about 3:00-5:00 a.m. I lay awake, bombarded by images of the horrible consequences my decision would bring upon my son. Many of these images included him confined to a remedial math class somewhere in the depths of the Los Angeles Unified School District. There was another one where he was in his mid-thirties, working at a menial job that required coveralls and Lava soap. The worst one, though, had my son getting killed at the age of 16. I can't remember how he died but it was definitely because I had decided to unschool him. After a couple nights of laying in bed with these wildly irrational thoughts, I got out of bed instead and started reading unschooling blogs on the internet, which is where I discovered the "Unschooling Basics" Yahoo! Group.

  3. I joined the "Unschooling Basics" Yahoo! Group and learned that unschooling is not just a method of educating, it's a parenting style. As far as I can tell it advocates giving children a huge amount of freedom to make their own choices about how they spend their time. This includes letting them watch as much television as they like, and not requiring them to contribute to household chores. Since I'm not really keen on either of these ideas, though I might Possibly (with a capital P) give them a try, I'm guessing that our own form of unschooling will be uniquely suited to our family. I have no idea what it will look like, but with a good dose of trial and error we'll figure it out.

  4. I told my husband about my plan to unschool J and he said (though he later denied it) "Well, I just don't want him having fun all the time."

Coming Soon...
I'll elaborate on my husband's crabby comment, give you numbers five and six of "What Happened Next," then delve into our first week of deschooling.