Thursday, January 31, 2013

"They Need to Learn to Sit Still!"

I see many skeptics of unschooling say things like "Kids need to learn discipline. They need to learn to sit and do their work before they can play. That's how the real world works and one day they will need to get a job and take orders from their boss." Or something along those lines.

Sure, this is true if your hopes and dreams for your children are that they go into the world and join the rat r...ace, sitting in little cubicles working for the man all day, just like everybody else. Is that really your goal? Is that really what your child wants for their adult life?

If, hypothetically, you could hit a fast forward button to thrust your child into independence right now, what would they need to know? How to grow or obtain food. How to prepare said food for consumption. Basic hygiene and cleanliness. How to read. An understanding of economics and money management. How to negotiate and collaborate with people of all ages and backgrounds. How to creatively problem solve to get/do things they want and need.

How do you help them learn those things? Grow a garden together, hunt together, or let them help with shopping. Let them help you cook. Let them watch and help you keep a clean body and home. Read for pleasure. Talk about money. Involved them in the family finances. Model good communication. Let them out in the world. Let them play. Let them play. Live alongside them.

Seriously, no worksheets required. No forcing required. No dangling rewards like carrots needed. Not if your goal is to raise a free-thinking, independent individual.
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