Would you consider yourself an “Unschooler”?
This post is to challenge you, cause you to seek out your philosphies, your doctrine, your beleifs in light of Scripture and history.
I would consider the way we do school here at the DeputieTribe household to be more “loose” then Americanized schools run. I would say we are more “child interest driven” then most becuase we beleive and understand that each child has gifts and callings from God.
But as I dug into this study, I followed my unsettled instinct that there was somthing wrong with this “unschooling movement” sweeping our country.
Take a moment to lay aside your bias, and your personal definition of “unschooling” and let’s examine this term in it’s strictest definition. Lets examine the orgions of this movement and what the Scriptures say about how we are to instruct our little lambs.
A standard shouldn’t be made for the exception. There are always exceptions. But the Bible is always true.
The Bible continually speaks of our flesh nature vs the discipline we need in the Spirit.
Things that edify us, things that are good for us, do not come naturally.
Once one is enlightened by the Word of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and taught by God Himself, it is then that a man can choose to do what is right.
What is Unschooling?
In a nutshell, Unschooling is the philosophy that a learner should have the ability and right to choose what activities make up their “education”. Life is their textbook. Experience is their teacher. Interests are their syllabus.
Unschooling believes that a child will show interest in education as their maturity progresses and to push a child to do something they do not want to do, or do not understand, is an incorrect form of education. One should only teach their children to write when they begin to show an interest in letters. One can teach their children to read when they realize all their peers can read so they want to also. It is cautioned to avoid “forcing” a child to read or study something they find tiresome, boring, or meaningless lest you quench their desire to learn.
Education should not be “industrialized” and should not be a “one size fits all”.
School days *sometimes* look like this for the unschooler:
amusement park visits,
educational screen time,
These things are not in of themselves BAD things… but the conversation *sometimes* goes this way:
“What do you want to do today Jonny?”
“I want Apple Pie!”
“Great! Let’s make one! That’s math isn’t it?! I’m so proud of you Jonny!”
I love giving my children the initiative to explore what they’re interested in.
I agree that my children needing to follow a recipe and quadrouple it (we are that big of a family) is actaully related to math.
I fall back on Odd Squad and Octonauts on some occasions.
Education most certainly needs to be rooted in real experiences and shouldn’t be constrained to a “classroom” or a “textbook”.
Real learning is real life.
We believe this with our full heart!
We go to museums, historical buildings, libraries and participate in all the activities listed above!!!
What are YOU SAYING CASSIE?!?!
What Does the Bible Say About Unschooling?
Nowhere in the Bible do you find any of these scenerios encouraged:
“Let a child choose what he wants to do and he will eventually find the right path”
“Only encourage a child in the better things, never force their hand”
“Don’t harm their entertainment factor! If it’s not entertaining, they’re lost forever!”
Reference the Verses Above
We need to understand that a child is not going to choose the hard things (again, there are exceptions, but this is not the normal case).
They aren’t going to choose their spirit over their flesh MOST OF THE TIME, if ANY OF THE TIME.
How does a child learn hard work?
How do they know they aren’t good at math?
Have they truly suffered through the struggle to understand it?
Have they wrestled with a concept and approached it in a large variety of ways? In doing this, they understand better how they think, how they comprehend, they own a concept, they get excited and feel like they can conquer anything that comes their way!
Of course they hate learning cursive writing!
Of course learning to read is a daunting task!
Who wants to redo a chore over and over again until perfection is attained?
Who raises their hand to playing violin scales every single day over and over again?
But they fight against me!
OF COURSE THEY DO! It’s YOUR job to teach them NOT to fight you… that’s the definition of a PARENT!
It is clear that our job as parents IS to push our children to do what is GOOD for them and APPROPRIATE for their age level. Please, unschoolers, give your kids the gift of maturity and responsibility. Checklists and reading assignments. Textbooks and peices of Classical literature. Make them use a dictionary. Make them write in cursive. Make them create peices of art. The majority of things we do in this life are in reality things we DON’T want to do, but we HAVE to do.
Historical Origins of “Unschooling”
Created by Ivan Illich in the 1970’s, Unschooling or “deschooling” as it originally was called, caught popularity from a booked called Deschooling Society. Illich was a critique of Catholicism and of Western society in many areas, but his most famous was his critiques of the education system as he saw it. I think most people can agree there is an issue with the modern education system. Can we agree with Illich’s conclusions though?
Illich had a Catholic father and Jewish mother, and acquired an impressive amount of credentials to follow his name. He chose the occupation of a Catholic priest until he was “thrown out” for his criticism of the Vatican’s stance on issues such as birth control. It was at this climatic point in his life that Illich met Everett Remier of whom he says, “Everett was one of my main teachers. Very few friendships have been intellectually and emotionally as decisive for the person I have become…” (Back Cover of Power for All or for None by Katherine and Everett Reimer).
Why is this concerning? Well, let’s gather some information about Everett Reimer from peices of his books that he is known for writing.
The previous book I mentioned above, Power for All or for None by Katherine and Everett Reimer, was prasied by a professor from the University of Michigan as it being “superior to the only other volume of this kind since the writing of Karl Marx…”
Karl Marx. ENEMY of America, of freedom, of our Republic, and of Christianity.
Looking over a number of Reimer’s other writings such as (many of his writings are not included):
School is Dead: Alternatives in Education
Unusual ideas in education
Reimer is not in favor of “discipline” or “authority” . He believed that education should be put back “into the hands of the families”. This sounds great! But what does he really propose as a solution? Oh wait, he wants to do this through subsidized educational resources and standards …. hmmmm… doesn’t that sound like… oh I don’t know… Communism??
A second BIG influencer on Ivan Illich was the well known John Holt who actually coined the phrase “unschooling”. Holt wrote many pieces on education that ring the same bell as the authors above; however, It’s was alarming to find some of his other radical ideas and beliefs.
In his book Escape from Childhood: The Needs and Rights of Children (1974), Holt protests that children deserve rights! The right to work for money, the right to vote, even the right to choose new parents! In several of his books he is urging parents to find ways to legally divorce their children from schools. Why is this such a big deal? Aren’t we all for homeschooling?
John Holt was a member and supporter of the Citizens for Global Solutions grassroots movement that began in the 1940’s created to support this whole idea of the United Federations of Nations. This idea is immoral, unBiblical, and demonic at it’s roots and too deep to go into in this article.
So let’s take a step back and look at the whole picture.
Taking into account Illich’s background, his experience, his livelihood, and his sudden divorce from the “mass education”, “industrialized” form of education. It was apparent he felt called to reform how the Catholic church approached things. We can deduct that he was exposed to the ways that Catholicism has affect education, and we can agree that this could very well be the fuel that fed the fire in his bosom upon meeting the Communist and Socialist Reimer and globalist, socialist, wack-job John Holt. Hand in hand, these men crafted the works that are the backbone to the modern day “Unschooling” movement that has taken a prominent place in many American schools, many Christian homeschools.
This is a problem.
It threatens what sets America apart from all other nations in the world.
It is NOT an answer to our educational system.
It is another problem that has no substantial standing in the history, nor in the values of Americans, except to bring a people group into the bondage of a Communist and Socialist society.
Just a minor acquaintance with history and one can clearly see how ideas that are based in anything related to the writings of Karl Marx or that share the basic premises of education that Hitler writes about in his writings is ripe for destruction.
My point is this:
Unschooling is in no way solving the education crisis we have in our country. When we were the most sucessful and thriving, the most educated and innovative country in the WORLD, unschooling was NOT the apporach that got us there.
Now, if you identified yourself as an “unschooler” prior to reading this article, and you feel that you don’t line up completely with the idea that a “child should lead and dictate his or her own education”, then I would suggest you to stop using the term “unschooler”.
Children need structure.
They need discipline.
Unschooling, if followed the way that the originators intended, lead to unruly, entitled, undisciplined children that are educated by the government and lead in which ever way their fancies drive them.
What’s Your Solution?
Cassie, you’ve been writing about these things without proposing a solution to them!
My husband and I are still learning as we go. But I do wonder, what happened to the way education was approached at the beginnings of our country? Before John Dewey came in and underbellied/hyjacked the education system? When we were the leading nation in education? This calls for another article…
A standard shouldn’t be made for the exception. There are always exceptions. But the Bible is always true.
Search the Scriptures yourself and find support for this new wave of “unschooling” sweeping our nation.
Find it in histroy.
Whose opinion do you trust?
Or the Bible? History?
PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS, QUESTIONS and IDEAS below!