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Postcards of Unschooling

September 9, 2010

“It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom. “
– Albert Einstein








“Children do not need to be made to learn to be better, told what to do or shown how. If they are given access to enough of the world, they will see clearly enough what things are truly important to themselves and to others, and they will make for themselves a better path into that world than anyone else could make for them”

— John Holt

Fabulous Links:

Awesome Books:

{My disclaimer: I am posting this while at the same time stifling shame and guilt for not posting about how INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT AND VITAL SCHOOLING IS in so many parts of the world, including my own, for so many children. But that is another topic, not this one, though I couldn’t hit “publish” without first apologizing for my lack. Over and out.}

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Edzell permalink
    September 9, 2010 6:58 pm

    Maryam, you have just added a LOT of reading to my already long list. I will get to these pieces soon, though, because they have been given a free ticket to the top. 🙂

    As you might know, I just finished my student teaching in high school science a couple of months ago. I went into it with grand hopes of bringing science back to life for kids. I was completely bored by science during grade school. It wasn’t until college that I realized what it really was and could be – just spending time looking at, appreciating, and trying to understand this awesome thing that is our physical reality. And so I set out to do things differently, and maybe save (or resuscitate) the “holy curiosity” that seems to be nearly universally snuffed out by public schooling somewhere around the age of 11.

    I kind of got the wind taken out of my sails a few weeks in, though. Our public school system is so not set up for the kind of time and exploration inquiry requires. I’ve decided not to give up entirely yet, though. And maybe reading this stuff you’ve suggested will give me some ideas about what I CAN do.

    Thanks so much!

    P.S. – Good luck in your own homeschooling adventures! I so admire and honor you for taking on that challenging task!

  2. Ticia permalink
    September 10, 2010 12:47 am

    I love love love unschooling, but I don’t like the name. If I were to tell my mother in law that we “Unschool” she’d flip her lid (She already hates the idea that we home school.)

    So, we just call it home schooling and leave it at that. 😀

    When I first heard about unschooling I thought some pretty uncharitable things about the people who follow that philosophy of learning, but *only* because of the name. I had no idea what it was about. It wasn’t till I learned that my midwife unschooled her kids that I did more research into it and discovered “Hey! This is exactly how I feel about home schooling anyway, yay!”

    Heh, so, here I am, eating my humble pie.

  3. September 10, 2010 2:04 am

    ticia, hello! i understand about the unschooling name—i think its wonky, too. i just read somewhere that i think if i’m remembering right john holt got it from another country or person (obviously i’m real clear on this) who had the phrase deschooling. he thought unschooling sounded more like what it is. i MUCH prefer life-learning or home-learning or child-led learning (i say that one when people want to know what unschooling means), but unschooling rolls off the tongue a little more easily. it’s the name other people use, i find, and so at least i can insert us SOMEPLACE. usually when i say we homeschool, people go “oh so you buy a curriculum?” and all i want to say is “no dude, i spend our money on art supplies and ice cream.” but i don’t say that. LOL

    edzell, hi! i love that you are choosing to stay hopeful. i think it must be very difficult to remain passionate and idealistic and have to work within the school system. but the teachers who manage to do this matter so so so much. i can remember the handful of teachers i’ve had who i really felt embodied a love of learning and exploration and respect for young people. sadly there were not enough of them for any to slip my mind! i hope some of the links lead you onward. 🙂

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