More and more people are coming to the realization that conventional, compulsory public school is a travesty of “education” and ideas like unschooling are taking off.
Modern public schooling closely resembles the mechanized system of an industrial factory setup. It’s not even remotely in line with the current gold standards of research into human learning and cognitive function.
Most systems of education treat the human mind as a commodity–to be controlled and molded. Predictable responses to common inputs are valued over thinking outside the box–but why?
Because our economy is built to thrive on the export of a steady stream of minds trained to placidly obey the advertising messages they’re served with.
Former New York Schoolteacher of the Year John Taylor Gatto famously said that modern schooling “doesn’t work, because its fundamental premises are mechanical, anti-human, and hostile to family life.”
So really, it’s not surprising that the average American is not particularly talented at thinking for oneself, or coming up with new and useful ideas.
We know the US ranks embarrassingly low in international measures of education, and American culture seems more and more to be glorifying stupidity.
Many families who are serious about changing this narrative are keeping their kids out of the compulsory education system.
Outside of the logistical trappings and top-down control of school, kids have access to the tools and freedom to learn anything they want, unfettered by the limitations and absurdities of so-called public “education”.
An unschooled child’s educational path will not look too similar to what we’ve been trained to recognize as a “good education”.
However, they’ll be much better prepared for living in the fast-paced and ever-changing world the last few generations have created.
Thanks to technology and the miracle of the internet (as we know it), we live in an era of unprecedented information, knowledge, awareness, and access to learning.
Even 30 years ago, if we wanted to learn about anything beyond the reach of traditional school, we were woefully limited in our access to free information.
Get the book here on Amazon!
Physical copies of books might have been pricey to order, or unavailable–and these were printed by elite publishers who controlled the flow of what they considered “worthy” (i.e. profitable) information.
With the rise of YouTube alone, we can now learn more in a month than our parents had access to in a lifetime. Even better, so much of it is realistic, useful information that can positively impact our lives–like this mom who built herself and her kids a HOUSE by watching YouTube tutorials.
Calculus and Latin might be traditional hallmarks of a “good education”, but they simply don’t pack that sort of punch.
People are noticing that while the under-30 crowd might be able to pass tests with ease, they are missing out on all sorts of practical knowledge that’s still relevant and important.
If you spend too much time accumulating knowledge and theories without actually applying that knowledge in the real world, you’re wasting everyone’s time.
Who cares what grade you got in Latin, if you’re unlikely to ever be faced with a problem which requires speaking Latin as the solution?
It’s high time for us to reevaluate what “being educated” really means. Let’s start prioritizing actual life skills over theoretical concepts and rote memorization of dead facts.
We need to make sure our children are learning things that actually matter, like where our food comes from, how to stay healthy, how to build and repair things, and how government and society operates (for a start).
Unschooling allows families to redefine “a good education” as something relevant and practical in our unpredictable world.
For more on the background of schooling in America, please check out this compelling book. It might make you mad.
Get the book here on Amazon!
To learn about how to “do unschooling” with your family, just stop “doing school” and see what happens (yes, it’s legal in all 50 states).
It’s a process, and it’s not quick or easy to understand. In the words of unschooling advocate Sandra Dodd, “read a little, try a little, wait a while, and watch.”
More from the Homestead Guru:
- Want to Liberate the Next Generation? Unschool Your Kids.(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Recently Uncovered – 1930s Map of US Medicinal Plants for Pharmacists(Opens in a new browser tab)
- New Research: If You Work in an Office Your Trash Collector is Likely Happier Than You(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Wifi Experiment is Turning the Heads of Radiation Experts(Opens in a new browser tab)
The picture that pops up when this link is shared on Facebook – who made it and where did it originate? I swear that looks like me. I hope it is because I’m now an unschooling father who has read Gatto and Dodd.
Looks like you? Same clothes? It was probably found on google images with allowance for reuse.
Your comment about Latin is ignorant. 65% of English is derived from Latin, so learning Latin enhances our understanding and usage of English. Furthermore, decades of research supports the numerous advantages to brain development and cognition by learning a second or even a third language. Content knowledge: our kids know nothing about the history and legacy of their heritage. By not sharing this with them, we tell them it doesn’t matter.Rote memorization of dead facts? Scientists demonstrate that memorization is the best thing for developing neuroplasticity. Education isn’t just about changing a tire; it’s about training the disciplined mind and… Read more »
You’re obviously a history teacher, can anyone tell me where in life my child will use quadratic equations?
we are a sovereign family and we educate ourselves! we do not invite the state in our affairs period! as a father of 3 I teach self empowerment by example. Stuart Wilde is my favorite author and has shown me the way of a true maverick. government indoctrination camps suck ass! but we need to stop using the language “its legal in all 50 states” who gives a fuck if Satan thinks what I’m doing is illegal! don’t give them power. Letters put together form words this is called spelling. so in essence you are casting spells. don’t give them… Read more »
I think you’re my favorite commenter ever, Sergio–! Agreed.
[…] A Good Education is NOT FOUND in Schools(Opens in a new browser tab) […]
i am 46 now and i was considered to be a pain in the ass by all my teachers because i was always asking the hard questions that none of the other students would have dreamed of asking. When studying Animal Farm in grade 10 i was the only one who could see all 4 levels of meaning (the other students were lucky to get past level 2) and I could see stuff in it that was not even in the teachers manual. The teacher and I had a number of long conversations about it studying it in detail and… Read more »
Can I ask what year you graduated?
1992 was when i graduated grade 12.
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