Nonetheless, when I used the term “unschooling,” they needed an explanation.
“There’s no good soundbite to describe it,” I said, “just as there’s no good soundbite to describe school. But generally speaking, unschoolers don’t send their kids to regular school and avoid teaching by curriculum. You won’t find them at the kitchen table every morning doing math, then reading, then geography.”
I went on to explain that unschoolers believe in letting a kid’s curiosity, interests and natural hunger for knowledge guide their learning.
“So are you unschoolers, then?” Julie, our friend, asked.
Brad and I exchanged glances then gave vague yes/no head waggles.
Ms. Rendell, herself, outed laid back unschoolers and it seems that some of Babble’s readers were initially outraged.
But outrage isn’t what Babble’s editor-in-chief saw. She saw readers who are either ‘behind the power curve’ in cool, or who perhaps are rocked (in the not-cool way) by reading about a child who is allowed to ‘be.’
The Anti-Schoolers, 15 October 2008, The New York Times
In Ms. Calhoun’s opinion, “what got people going,” was a sense that these readers “were being out-hipped or out-cooled,” as she put it, that they were “feeling jealous on some level that Joanne had the opportunity to stay home with her son.”
“And then the other side were comments just being totally critical of what they saw as not taking proper care of him,” Ms. Calhoun continued. “They were morally offended by this child sleeping late.”
If he has no appointments, and his family has a less-structured schedule, why does he need to wake up early?
In any case, the minimum compulsory school attendance age in New York is six (see “Compulsory school attendance age“), so however Benny is being raised (barring actual neglect or injury, a caveat I include because some people see anything outside their own style as a reason to call the authorities), the point is moot concerning schooling, whether it’s un-, home-, private or public.
I hope Benny and his family enjoy their time together.
** To every thing there is a season, but I do miss my all my kids being home (helped along by a little musical nostalgia from Chris).