Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I belong to an online group that sends me daily inspirational quotes for homeschooling/unschooling, which usually are quite open encouraging. Today, however, I got this one:
I have heard of, read about and communicated with people who referred to themselves as part-time unschoolers, relaxed homeschoolers, eclectic homeschoolers, academic unschoolers and other terms

Limited kinds of unschooling will have limited benefits.

And it made me feel very judged and labeled--especially that last sentence. First of all, I go through great pains not to label myself, my child or what it is we do all day. Now, I recognize that people in the "real" world require these labels and the fact that we are homeschoolers is a label I am willing to wear when we are out there. We take classes in our community that are specifically for homeschoolers, and none of them ever ask me what kind of homeschooler we are, which is good, because there are so many different kinds out there. I know people who have daily check-lists for their kids, I know people who do every subject every day and people who do some subjects on specific days and others at other times. I know people who do unit studies and people who don't. I even know people who, at the beginning of each year, go to the local public school and get that year's curriculum for their child and take it home and do it. There are lots of ways to homeschool...but all of us are simply out there trying to meet our child's needs the best we know how.

Unschooling, which is the label I would mostly wear if I had to, is what works well for us right now. It gives us the freedom to pick and choose what we want and it gives Erin a chance to explore all kinds of things based on what interests her right now. Maybe it will work for us next year too...maybe it will work for us forever...but to suggest that if we don't do it all the time, it will have "limited benefits" or to suggest that there aren't benefits for schooling in other ways is incredibly unfair and, I think, divides a homeschool community that needs to stay together. Homeschooling, like parenting, is hard enough without pinning one kind against another.

Sigh...maybe tomorrow's quote will inspire me to do something cool with my child instead of get on my blog and rant....

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