I received this video from a friend of mine a few days ago and she asked my opinion. I finally got around to watching most of it this morning and have to say it was very thought provoking. Although it is a video regarding unschooling, which we do not practice, I found many of her points regarding homeschooling in general to be very valid and worth consideration.
We are, for the most part, a homeschooling family. However, we have always said that we would school according to individual children's needs, so as a result we also have two children who attend a public charter school right now and a daughter in preschool, as well as a couple children considering "trying out" the regular school world this coming year... and a son who is soon off to college.
So my moments are continuously bombarded with school, school and more school. Be it the teaching I am doing with my children, the independent learning my homeschooled kids are doing and that I am checking up on, the SAT prep my oldest is doing, the co-op info we are reviewing, or the homework and projects that come home to be completed by my traditionally schooled children, school is always forefront in my mind.
We are actually in the mode right now of determining whether two of our homeschooled children will attend traditional school next year because they are eager to see more of what regular school is all about. So I had my kids watch this video with me, and listen to her points, and we discussed them. It actually lead to a very interesting conversation.
I do not personally agree with unschooling, for various reasons, but I do love homeschooling. I agree wholeheartedly with her when she says that homeschoolers are more likely to be "self-directed, take risks, and they don't back off." I love knowing that in addition to our curriculum, our kids have the time and the drive to pursue things that interest them. Whether it be taking an outside class or just learning more about an interesting topic at home, our kids have the ability to delve deeper into things they are curious about, without the time or schedule constraints of public school.
I also love that they are learning to be diligent managers of their time as well as independent learners. They aren't being cattle prodded from one class to another, or having their learning abruptly interrupted when they are engrossed in a particularly interesting subject just because the bell rings and their time is up. And, they are able to do most of their learning from "living books"- interesting literature which teaches the science, history, etc instead of boring, dry textbooks.
Anyway, I enjoyed watching this video and listening to her perspective. Although I don't agree with all of it, there is definitely some food for thought here which makes it worth your time. Namely, are we trying to cultivate a group of robots who take in information only because they are required to spit it back out on a test, not because they are genuinely interested in learning, or do we want to cultivate a generation of inquisitive, self motivated, creative individuals who know that the world is their oyster and that all the information they ever wanted to learn is just out there for the taking? That there is more out there to learn which is worthy of learning other than what is deemed "acceptable" by our school systems?
Just a thought. I would love to hear others' opinions too! However, even if you wholeheartedly disagree, please keep them kind :) And please take some time to watch the video above, at least the first 38 minutes or so. As I said, it is very thought provoking.