I think Carlo Ricci is one of my favourite mentors (I don’t think he knows he’s a mentor; perhaps I should address him as “muse”, instead).  I agree with him on just about everything when it comes to education.  The only thing I’m not so sure about is his attitude toward educating the educators: he’s going for a jump-in-the-water approach, while I’m of the start-with-one-toe-and-you-won’t-be-scared approach.  When freaked-out, frustrated parents phone me for information on homeschooling, telling them to unschool is probably not the best way to calm them down; most parents can’t wrap their minds around breaking the traditional schooling methods at this point.

I always mention unschooling, though.  I think most people do some research on the subject at one point or another.  It’s a fascinating idea, and parents who are already breaking stride by thinking about homeschooling are generally open to radical ideas.

I really like the concept of unschooling.  The Sudbury Valley approach also interests me.  Of course, all means of education interest me (the Waldorf Method is quite alluring), but child-led learning strikes me as the best.

Interestingly enough, I didn’t unschool my children because there was always the chance they would go into the school system again, and I wanted them to be prepared.  They are both in the public system, now, by choice.

Ironically, had I been left to my own devices as a child, I would likely have ended up teaching myself in much the same way the public school system does now.

Carlo has recently begun putting some of his lectures on youtube.

One response to “Unschooling

  1. I wanted to homeschool my first (who is now 12.5), but eventually I had to come to the realization that different children learn in different ways and this kid was the sort who learned best in a way that I found personally horrifying – in a traditional school with all the soul-crushing trappings. Okay, they were soul-crushing for ME. She thrived. I realized I wanted to homeschool her because I was trying to do what would have been best for me as a kid, not what was best for her.

    Now, the second kid would probably do much better homeschooling, but when I brought the topic up, he thought I was insane. Plus his dad did too. In another life, I guess.


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