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Unschooling Part I

With my last two posts I got excited about the homeschooling/unschooling topic and felt compelled to write this bit below.  I am also working on memoirs for my daughters.  Memoirs of their childhood from a mother’s perspective.  This is part of the book and I thought I would share since it is on topic with my last two posts.  I feel something is off with the point of view but I am content with it for now.

 

“Supper is ready!” I yell to my oldest daughter, Sherese, in the basement. Everyone else is already at the table. Emily is staring at her homework on the table wearing a face so deep in sadness you can’t help but notice the despair behind her eyes. You can see it in her whole body. It is sunken in and swallowing itself. She carries herself like she has given up. The homework she is staring at is difficult for her. She is suppose to present personal information and is really not looking forward to answering or sharing these thoughts about herself with her classmates.

“What are some of the questions you have to answer?” I ask gently because I feel she could crack any minute.

She is sitting at the end of the table and looks at her papers a bit. She just stares at them for a minute. Tilting her head a bit to each side. Sadness thick in her eyes. I notice her jaw start to quiver and then her bottom lip is pulled in over her top lip and I know she is about to cry. She takes off to her room grabbing her binder like it was her diary left open for display.

“I can’t do this again.” I say to my husband Craig. “I can’t watch her cry for a year, hiding in her room, never smiling. God, I know it is hard on her but it is torture on me. I am pulling her out of school. That is it. I am done with this. She was like this all last year and I can’t believe I put up with it as long as I have. I thought summer would have changed things but it hasn’t. We are into our first week of school and she is already crying at the table.”

I see Craig’s look of panic. He is not her, or her sister Sherese’s biological father, but he is against it. He wants what is best for them and that is public school. “What?! Where will she go to school? The city? I’m not driving her.”

Going to the city would be a good option I suppose. It is a half hour away and Craig drives there every day for work. He would have to leave a half hour earlier than he does now. My concern is what will she do after school. I know he is being difficult now by saying he won’t drive her but when he calms down he will be okay. My issue is the two hours after school. Where will she go? I don’t want her hanging out at a mall.

I don’t say anything to Craig but I am thinking of homeschooling. Unschooling to be exact. I had read in a magazine about unschooling the previous year. It seemed to be a type of learning that permitted kids to learn what they what to learn when they were ready to learn it. I know I learn best when I want to, when my interest is engaged. This whole concept could give Craig a heart attack it is so radical so I do not voice it. I will have to ease into it if that is the route we decide to go. ‘We’ being Emily and I. “I will start looking into things tomorrow. All I know is she is not going back to Clavet. Something isn’t right there for her.”

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