You Might Be An Unschooler If ...
Karen M. Gibson
... conversations held in the car include such topics as square roots, time and space travel, Native Americans and their participation in the American Revolution, the Roman Empire, mortgages, how retail businesses figure their profit, the latest scenario to a favorite computer game, constellations, basketball history and NASCAR racing.
... your child's science curriculum includes Scientific American and Sky & Telescope magazines, a membership in the local Astronomical Society, email penpal professors from a nearby University, books from the library, and science experiments at home, but doesn't include any textbooks.
... your teenager's music selections for the past month include Enya, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, James Taylor, Alanis Morisette, The Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks, Matchbox 20, with a little jazz and classical thrown in the mix!
... your homeschooling friends simply don't understand how you can possibly teach your children without any textbooks or even a scope and sequence.
... your 8-year-old can't read yet, but he can show you the geographic location of all the NBA teams in North America.
... your extended family assumes that your homeschooling includes all the same subjects as the public schools teach and that you stick to a traditional curriculum, and you don't tell them any differently.
... your child's favorite television station is PBS.
... your child reads Foreign Affairs and Popular Science instead of People and Teen magazines.
... you don't tell your homeschooling friends that you don't "teach" your child because you are sure they wouldn't understand and that you would be thought of as 'weird' and 'strange'.
... your child doesn't understand the concept of homework.
... you don't worry about what grade level your child should be or what a scope and sequence says he should be learning at that grade level.
... you trust your child to learn what he wants/needs to learn on his own timetable.
These are examples from our own unschooling experience. Yours are guaranteed to be different.
Copyright February 1999