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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Unschooling

If you’ve been a regular reader of my blog for a long time, then you already know that I am a homeschooler/unschooler. By that I mean that I’ve never gone to a public school in my life, and that my teachers are my parents, the world, and everyone I meet. For example, my parents didn’t teach me to read, but they read to me constantly. Now I am fervent, speedy, and fluent in both writing and reading. I learn from experience and living, from reading and exploring, and from watching others. If a particular subject interests me (e.g. psychology or ballet) my family and I find a way for me to learn some more about it. I’ve loved this, because I can spend my days with my parents, and with my brothers and sister who are my classmates in the school of life and very best friends as well. I’ve loved this because I learn what I want, when I want it, and because rather than being told things, (for the most part) I see them for myself.

Now that you have a background of what I deem unschooling, or at least how I lived the early days of my life, I’ll take a step further. I have decided that though I wish to write my many stories and have them published, they won’t be able to support me, and because I love learning about human nature, I want to become a psychologist/counselor and write on the side. In order to reach that goal, it can take as many as nine years of college education. I’ve never been in a ‘school environment’, so we found an online high school to give me a feel of how that sort of thing works and that would pay for the first two years of community college if one wished. Mom and Dad made it very clear that they didn’t care in the slightest what grades I got so long as I was happy, and I was unafraid and excited. Looking back maybe I should have been a little apprehensive. I’ve never learned any of the things they’d offered before in a school environment (though Daddy has shown me some algebra and other nuances pertaining to math). Who knew how I’d handle it?


I was very curious as to how it’d turn out. Sometimes it was fun, and sometimes it was really annoying. Throughout it all, however, I do feel I came out with more knowledge. Mommy and Daddy have never put me in a ‘formal learning environment’ (excluding recreational activities such as acrobatics, ballet, art… etc.), so the only things I knew about the subjects were the things they’ve shown me, or the things the world has taught me—yet I’m a straight-A student. I didn’t even have to ‘catch up’ with anything, I just jumped right in and moved along. I’m not saying I didn’t work hard or that the work was easy, but moving from nothing to an online high school was surprisingly simple. I grasped all the subjects, and I was able to learn and grow easily. The one thing I did have trouble with was multiplying negative numbers by negative numbers; it was so hard for me to comprehend how less-than-nothing times less-than-nothing became something. However, I think I understand it now, even if I can’t quite put it to words. That was probably the hardest thing for me, but history, earth science, psychology, and English I was able to tackle relatively easily and quickly.


That started to make me wonder—if that’s exactly where people my age should be, and I’ve had no such schooling my entire life, how comes I was able to do it, and get straight A’s? What about all those years students spend in school beforehand to prepare themselves for ninth grade? What use is it if someone who’s never done any of that can go through it without too much headache? We’re talking hours and hours of children’s lives, spent away from their parents and away from their siblings. Even when they get home they still have homework to take care of. It’s always fascinated me that school-kids can do school, do homework, do extracurricular activities, hang out with friends and still have time for family. I do almost nothing and I’m always swamped. But I’m getting off track here with this whole paragraph; I suppose I’d better get back on it.


All in all, I enjoyed this. It was an interesting experience and I’m going to try to start college this fall to work towards my goal of becoming some sort of counselor and freelance writer. But I don’t feel I’ve missed out on anything during those years of my life that I was unschooled. Quite to the contrary, I feel I’ve had an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. I got to grow up under my parent’s guidance rather than several teachers, alongside my Dear Sister and later my Sweet Brothers rather than classmates, and I have had so many friends all different ages rather than being limited to those who are my own. I’ve let the Earth and Life teach me, I’ve written and loved and learned and grown, and I have no regrets.



Galaxy


3 comments:

Jessica Secret said...

Galaxy, this is my favorite post of yours yet. It makes me feel confident with my unschooling and I loved reading about how easily you grasped it. Thanks so much for the motivation and the story! (And how's your book going? I can't wait to read it when it's available!)

Galaxy said...

I'm glad you enjoyed my writing, and thank you for your kind comment! As for Kings of Darkness, my family and I are proof-reading it together. However, I'm probably going to publish another, shorter book (Project 6-1-2) before I get K.o.D. out there. They'll be available within the year for sure.

Froggy said...

I'm so glad that you enjoyed your online school, and everything else! Good luck with things! :)