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Homeschool Fiction

Follow homeschoolers Nadia and Aidan as they travel the USA! Each book in this series explores a new state and a new research topic. Along with their parents and pet turtle, they find adventure and learning everywhere.

...and just what is that mysterious device of theirs?

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March 2008
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Topics: education,empowerment,homeschooling,Unschooling

Unschooling Leaves Gaps in Education?

Another odd statement that I hear amongst those against Unschooling is that they believe homeschooling leaves gaps in the education of the “student”. I find this particularly odd since I had a better than average public school education (my parents always picked the “best” public schools for me to attend) and there aren’t enough fingers in this world for me to count the huge holes my education was missing. Where have I filled in some of these holes? Real life. Not college, and certainly not high school, but in living in society and being aware of people and things around me.

Do my children have gaps in their knowledge? Certainly! Yet they are experts on things that few people are, and I am proud they are missing all the things I wrote in my post “Things School Taught Me”.

As for knowing the names of adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, etc. When was the last time you needed to know these words in real life? We use them playing Mad Libs. 🙂 Yet, I’ve never had someone ask me “Which word in this sentence is the noun?” for a job interview. I’ve also never been asked to do a calculus problem or to say which years Lincoln was president of the United States of America. All useful information if you are going to be on Jeopardy!, but most people don’t need to know these things. What is useful? Being able to look things up, being able to find answers, knowing who to ask and/or which books/websites to reference. My kids can do that, thus nothing is lacking for them.

Last time you went to a party, who did you find the most interesting? Was it the person that had the exact same knowledge as you, or the person that had been traveling the world for the past six months? I love to listen to other people talk. I learn so much that way! People learn so much more from living in and around the world than they do from a book they are forced to read. I can’t remember a thing from any of my past school textbooks, but I remember all the details from the books I’ve picked up on my own. I know more about various subjects now than I know of the subject I have a degree in. Does this learning count, even though no one has “certified” me? Yes! Much more so, because I own this knowledge.

There exists no person in this world that doesn’t have some sort of gap in their education. Unschooling, OTOH, is a philosophy — a way of living — that enables the Unschoolers to realize that what they know is completely up to them. We’ve taken our education into our own hands and are responsible for it ourselves. We realize that we can learn anything, if we desire to know it. I originally only called my children Unschoolers, but the more we live this lifestyle, the more I realize that I, too, am an Unschooler. I’m never going to stop learning and I’m never going to put my know-how into other people’s hands. I own it, and you should own yours, too.