“Deschooling myself”

Interesting series of articles I happened across today:

1. What is Unschooling? Peter Gray, Psychology Today, 9/15/2011

Academic researchers have steered clear of any serious study of unschooling, just as they have steered clear of Sudbury model schools and all other innovations in education that deny the value of an imposed curriculum.

2. The Benefits of Unschooling, Peter Gray, PT 2/28/2012

It should be clear to anyone reading this report that this is not a random sample of all unschoolers. Rather, the respondents are those who in one way or another found the survey form and took the trouble to fill it out and email it to me. One might expect that, as a whole, these are among the most enthusiastic unschoolers, the ones who are most eager to share their experiences. The general claims I make here apply only to the group who responded, not necessarily to the whole population of unschoolers.

3. What Leads Families to “Unschool” Their Children?, Peter Gray, PT 3/26/2012

“School was awful for the whole family. Homework. Hours. Social issues. Lack of physical exercise. Lack of family time. Discipline problems…. I was literally dragging my kids to school they hated it so much.”

By the way, this particular article has a useful section on “influental authors” that led to some respondents’ decision to unschool; a good starting place for unschool philosophy/intellectual origins, I hope.

4. The Challenges of Unschooling, Peter Gray, PT 4/11/2012

“Coming from academia, probably the biggest hurdle was my own schooling or more accurately, deschooling myself and letting go of the belief that a ‘good mom’ provides endless ‘educational’ opportunities, without which a child is doomed to mediocrity. Learning to see learning everywhere, and understanding that learning has no connection to teaching.”

I don’t think I agree that learning has no connection to teaching–but maybe that’s because I’m not adequately “deschooled” myself yet….



2 responses to ““Deschooling myself”

  • Christine Whitley

    I flirt with the idea of Unschooling every six months or so. My child is in what is supposedly the #3 Elementary School in Chicago and yet….I hate the fact that there’s SO MUCH homework and SO MUCH “sit down, be quiet, don’t talk to your neighbor, etc.” I hate it when she says “I hate school” and she’s only in 1st grade!

    Interested to hear how your journey goes.

  • tedra

    Good luck with your kid. We did have better luck in elementary school by switching to a school with low test scores where the principal basically didn’t give a shit, which meant the teachers could ignore all the homework and test prep. But schools like that are probably few and far between…

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