deschooling: not an all-or-nothing experience

[Ed note on terminology: Let us not pretend I oppose the existence of institutions of learning that employ knowledgable instructors providing course material either voluntarily or for a wage. This is absurd. What I mean by “school” for all my alt education writings is the following: a state-run institutional edifice where children are required to attend; also, the resultant culture that has sprung up in and supporting such institutions.]
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I’ve recently had the good fortune of receiving a moderate volume of calls, emails, and texts from parents who are curious about homeschooling and unschooling for their children. Part of the increased activity may be the small community ripple our thirteen-year old daughter made this fall when she tested into, and enrolled at, our local community college. Regardless of the factors behind this increased interest, I love the subjects of homeschooling, unschooling, parenting, and living with children. I am honored when adults and children alike trust me enough to share their concerns.

Today I’ve fielded texts from a mother to six who is trying to navigate her family’s first year of home- and unschooling. She tells me her family spent a year deschooling – living without books and curriculum – and now she’s worried, because they’re “behind”. She was feeling upset because in an online unschooling community she brought up these concerns and was told by members of the group that she “hadn’t deschooled yet”. This kind of thing can be unschooling-speak for: “you’re still part of The System! Bad unschooler, bad!” (Meanwhile those unfamiliar with unschooling are probably scratching their heads thinking – “What in the WORLD is ‘deschooling’?”)
 
Let’s think about my friend’s position for a moment.

Glass Case of Emotion!

thanks for checking in, because holy hell

Glass Case of Emotion!
The last thirty hours or so have been intense. I’ve written about all I want to, publicly, on my Facebook page (sadtimes if you don’t have FB, but I don’t have the energy to write it up again).  Developments today – a meeting and formal apology, and then re-enrollment for my child in the classes she’d qualified for – have helped, but we are still rather frazzled. Ralph and I feel like we’ve had an ass-kicking.

I am not new to the non-traditional, autodidactic route. Readers. You know this. Recent events weren’t a surprise, but were shocking and hurtful to us – for obvious reasons.

Moving on. Without further incident. I hope. At least for a day or two. Maybe?