Thursday, February 14, 2013

Papa Isnt Sold on Unschooling

Papa isn't sold on unschooling-

Back story- Papa travels a lot for work. A lot. So he doesn't see all the educational adventures the boys and I have first hand.

Papa- I'm not sure about this unschooling thing...
Me- What do you mean?

Papa- I just never see Josh doing academic stuff. I see him watching tv and playing outside all day. I'm worried he's going to fall behind.

Me- When you see him playing with kids his age, does he seem behind them to you?

Papa- No.

Me- When you met other kids his age out and about or at work, do they generally seem more advanced than Josh?

Papa- No.

Me- So what is making you worried?

Papa- I don't see him working on academic things. I don't hear about you guys working on that kind of thing.

Me- When you say "see him working on things", are you expecting him to do worksheets, or something else tangible to prove he is learning new things?

Papa- Well... I don't know. I just expect to see something.

Me- If you're expecting paperwork, that just isn't how Josh learns. He prefers to watch videos and have conversations. Remember the other day when we talked about spelling and punctuation sending text messages? He picked up a lot from that conversation, but if I had set a worksheet in front of him he would have hated it.

Papa- Yeah, that's true.

Me- I know it seems like we've been deschooling for a long time now, but I think we still need more time. I really want to focus on managing emotions, communication, negotiations, mutual respect, and other relationship aspects first and foremost.

Papa- But are those aspects coming at the expense of academics?

Me- I don't think so, but even if they are, I'd still want to focus on relationships first.

Papa- Why's that?

Me- Which would actually hold him back as an adult? So what if he couldn't do 3 digit multiplication or hadn't memorized his periodic table. He can use a calculator and print reference materials as needed. But if he has a meltdown because he can't get his way, or can't effectively communicate anything, or can't collaborate and negotiate with other people either at work or in personal relationships, those are the things that would hold him back from success and happiness.

Papa- Good point.

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