Unschooling makes sense to me, but I worry too much about giving my children a well-rounded education. If I let them spend their day only doing what they wanted to do, my daughter would write and draw all day while my son rides or fixes his bikes outside.
Now there is nothing wrong with play. That’s how kids learn! But my children need more than limitless free time. They need to learn how to read even though phonics is not easy. They need to learn to write even though handwriting is challenging.
The definition of “student” is a person formally engaged in learning or a person who studies, investigates or examines thoughtfully. When I started this blog, I named it “Students at Home”. As a homeschooling family, we do more than focus on formal book learning. We study, investigate and examine. We explore, ask questions, hypothesize and engage in learning, whether we are at the grocery store, taking a walk or finishing math worksheets.
Even more than I want my children to learn math, reading, language arts, history, science, music and art, I want them to learn to wonder, question and THINK. Instead of accepting, what they read, I want them to be free to question. And I want them to have fun. Learning is so much easier and productive when we are having fun!
With their ability to question, reason and think, my children will find more than success in school. They will find success in their personal lives. They will be able to say no to bullies or to friends who pressure them to do something they do not want to do. They will be innovative on the job and able to think on their feet as self-starters. They will lead rather than follow in their families, church and civic groups.
In my mind, these traits mean a lot more than straight A’s in school.