Lyndsey over at Motherhood Moments wrote this blog post about unschooling. I am so inspired by it and had to write my own ideas down about it.
My schooling was okay, there was nothing majorly wrong about it, but it left me uninspired and even though I could have gone to whatever college in Michigan I wanted to on a great scholarship, I didn't go to college. I was burnt out on playing the game of school. I was always getting negative comments on my report cards about bothering other kids who were still working. I would whiz through whatever we were doing and I'd be bored, so I would try to help my friends along so they could be done, too. Teachers didn't think oh here's an intelligent kid, they just said oh, here's a nuisance, we need to shut her up and slow her down. So I began to think I was doing something wrong. Teachers would tell me I was going too fast, I wasn't reading the directions clearly, I wasn't double checking my answers. Yes, I was! I was just really fast!
And don't get me started about middle school! As a girl it is hell. Absolute pure hell. I would not wish that on my daughter for anything. The gossip, the dirty looks, the backstabbing. I had a group of friends in 6th grade, one of whom was a neighbor girl I would play with often. One day she decided she didn't like me, so she talked all the other kids into not liking me, either. Suddenly I was left floating in a class with no friends and no idea why it had happened. Luckily I was switched to another class and found girls I am still to this day friends with! But how awful to go through that, right??
High school was not much better. I was "good" at school because I would do the work, but I wasn't interested in any of it. Most of the classes were spent trying to quiet people down, then teach a little, then make us regurgitate what we were told. If you had a good memory, you were "smart." If you didn't, then you weren't. By my junior year I was over it. I stopped playing the game, I stopped going to class, I was this close to dropping out. Everyone thought I was on drugs, or hanging out with the wrong crowd, they never stopped to think that a 16 year old could just be sick of school and all the drama that went along with it!
One thing I remember is that older friends that had graduated would say stick with it, college is so much better! You know why they thought it was better? Because they had freedom to learn what they wanted, take classes they wanted, and people were there because they wanted to be there. There are those classes with people that have to take a requirement, but most classes are filled with people who chose to be there because they wanted to learn that subject. You know what that sounds like to me? Homeschooling! Why make my kid wait until she's burnt out with "normal" schooling? Why not just teach her that way all along?
I remember our family friends switching their kids to a new charter school. They went to an info night and when they got back with folders of the new curriculum, I was so jealous! Sixth graders were expected to read the classics! They got to take interesting science classes! I said that if I had a chance to go to a school like that, I wouldn't have almost dropped out of school, I would have gone to college right away, I would have enjoyed learning. I still remember that, and if I can't find a school like that for Ingrid, I don't want to send her anywhere. She can stay home with me and read whatever books she likes, and we'll go to museums and movies and look stuff up online. She can take music classes or dance classes or whatever she wants to do.
Yesterday we were at the park and there were some older kids playing on the merry go round. They were going a bit fast and Ingrid wanted to join in. I thought for sure the girls would give her dirty looks and not let her play but right away they said HI! Do you want to play with us? We'll go slow, come on, let's play! I was amazed, and completely happy. Then I met their mom--she has seven kids and homeschools. The kids aren't raised to see kids as younger and therefore inferior, they just see...kids. That want to play. How lovely!
This is a bit of a rambling post, but it's stuff that is on my mind so much. Part of me wants to "get rid" of Ingrid at 5 so I can focus on sewing and stuff, but that's a small selfish part that comes out on the days she acts up and is a true 2 year old! Another part wonders if she's learning enough social things, and if she'll be okay with other kids if she's not in a preschool or whatever. Even though I know she's learning social skills from me, I wonder. And she's just turning 2 so I have time to figure stuff out, but Lyndsey's post inspired me, so here you go!