Ask Unschooling Offspring

There's a new list in town and some of my favorite people have been writing on it. Cameron Lovejoy started a yahoo list called Ask Unschooling Offspring and it's a place to ask questions of actual unschoolers and not just us parents of unschoolers.

I think it's a grand idea. There are so many inspiring thoughtful voices to be heard and one of them is Abbi Traaseth.
Abbi wrote something that caught my eye and graciously said that I could bring it here. Not only can she write, but she plays a wicked piano, is some amazing level 80 plus World of Warcraft player, and a Rock Band Goddess.

She responded on the Unschooling Offspring list to this question........

"Do you see that same kind of intense drive to learn more and more and
more in your schooled friends? Why/why not, do you think?

Kids in school are told that to learn, they must be taught. And the teaching process is long and painful and can only be done through writing on a chalkboard, being told what is what, and being tested. If they don't read back what is written or don't perform whatever task perfectly, they didn't and aren't "learning".

Ultimately, the only thing this does is shuts down a person's natural and healthy interest to learn more. Not only that, but their interests are being closed off because they're constantly being told that they're not as important as the other things they should be trying to learn. Say they're interested in art? Well, that isn't good enough because you "need" to know history and math too. Think about it... would you, as a parent, child, or human being in general, like being told that something that you like is of less value, because someone else says so? So many kids are being put down and there's nothing they can do about it, so they reel away from the very idea of learning, because they know from experience that it isn't an enjoyable experience.

I know this happens a lot from first-hand experience, and from a few friends of mine who go to school. Typically, they just don't enjoy the idea of learning because of what the definition of the word means to them. As unschoolers, we aren't forced to learn one thing or another, so we're drawn to each subject and interest through healthy curiosity. And not just that! Our passions are being encouraged by family and friends, creating the opposite result school has on everyone. It makes us EXCITED to learn! The more the better! If we find something, learn about it and don't like it, chances are we won't pursue it. But if we strictly *need* to know it, once again, chances are we'll learn it for the sake of a means to meet an end, whatever end that may be: work, college, even a video game that requires you to calculate this and this so you can understand that.

For us, learning just... isn't seen as a bad thing, as most school kids are molded into viewing it as. If you're always told to do something, a person will naturally rebel and want to do the opposite. In this case, when learning is 'required,' it equals bad, and doing nothing (which isn't "allowed") equals good. But when you aren't forced or *told* to do anything, entire lifestyles are changed because you, as a unique person, are allowed to see everything from the neutrality of your own individual interest.

It's a whole different perspective, so it's understandable that we, as Unschoolers, would see the world as something we wish to take in and explore, instead of escape. Please excuse me if I left out any important details out or strayed a little off-topic, because if I haven't mentioned it enough, I'm awfully forgetful and tend to rant. Anyway, there's a couple questions answered from the mouth of an Unschooler! I hope what I had to say helped, even the littlest bit. -Abbi

Abbi is just one of the many voices that are writing and answering questions on this new list. Many of them will take unschooling into the next generation and I find tremendous promise in listening to what they have to say.


~Abbiღ said…
Awh, thank you again for addressing my post in your blog! I'm really honored. :) I'm glad that you enjoyed it. I hope that Ask Unschooling Offspring really takes off!

See you guys soon!

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