By its very definition unschooling is something individual and flexible, something that will look different to each child and in each family. With the cultural idea that people need to Get An Education, as if it’s something that can be pre-packaged for mass consumption, comes the idea that there is one single education to get: a set collection of facts and formulae that will lead to a well-rounded, competent, and productive adult.
I think there are several things wrong with that idea.
Curriculum varies by geographic location, individual schools, available electives, and teachers.
Even the most ardent attempts at standardization can only affect so large a region. There might be Common Core standards in the USA right now, but what you’ll find being taught in Arizona will not be the same as what’s found in a school in Massachusetts. Similarly, my home province of Quebec has different curriculum than British Columbia. And that’s just talking about North America! While the model of industrialized schooling (along with the accompanying ideas about what education means) has been exported to most regions of the globe, the content taught varies widely.
Add to that the difference between what individual teachers focus on or choose to include, whether someone is in a “gifted” program or not, whether a teenager takes shop class or theater or music…
On the spectrum of home education, few families seek to create an exact replica of school in the home, as most want to create something more personalized or rigorous or otherwise different from what a child would be taught in school. No family and no child will receive the exact same body of knowledge and skills as every other child, no matter where they spend the majority of their days. People and standardization just don’t go that well together, no matter what many bureaucrats and politicians might hope.
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Idzie Desmarais is a grown unschooler, writer, cook, and author of the blog I’m Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write. She makes her home near Montreal, Quebec, with her parents, sister, two cats, and a big shaggy dog.
home / school / life is a magazine for intelligent, creative homeschooling parents. Published four times a year, it offers curriculum reviews, unit studies, interviews with homeschoolers, inspiration, and fun. We have talented columnists who offer encouragement and wisdom, and our features are packed with real research and sensitive reporting for discerning minds. All this, and it’s beautiful too. Find out more at www.homeschoollifemag.com
Source: Home School Life Mag