Brandon Malone
English Comp 2010

A New Way of Learning, A New Way of Life

Imagine a world with no one to enforce rules, no guidelines, and no boundaries. This may sound like a vacation in a tropical getaway in Acapulco, fantasy, or a dream. To some people, this is a way of life known as home schooling. In home schooling a child is given the gift of selecting the chosen interest of study, different lifestyle besides school life, and a safe environment.

Freedom to choose your topics of study is the most important reason parents begin to home school their children. According to several families that have written about the advantages of home schooling, they believe that children learn better if they choose the subject and initiate the studying, apposed to being forced. The child’s curiosity is the guiding light, in a type of home schooling referred to as unschooling. For instance if the boy wants to learn about solar systems, read Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and draw pictures, that is the day‘s agenda. The amount of time spent totally depends on the child’s interest. Home schooling parents believe that public school makes for a very passive student, just learning so they can earn a good grade. At home, with no worry of failing or being held back because of not understanding a subject that doesn’t even interest him/her, they have the opportunity of exploring all types of interesting topics. Next, families can use the curriculum, according the state laws, to be the concrete part of the journey, or there are paths that are purely based upon the child’s day to day passions. This is not to say that a curriculum of math, science, social studies, geography, and reading is not encouraged, it is just believed that their are ways of learning, besides answering questions in the back of a book. For example, figuring out the costs of a birthday party, trip to the grocery store, or planning a vacation is very much a learning experience in math and time management.

Not only are the courses different from school, but the total lifestyle is free from the bondage of the school system and open to explore new ways of learning. A popular belief, among the unschooling community, is learning can definitely take place outside of school. Instead of day in day out at school routine, many days are open for field trips. Fire stations, museums, art galleries, zoos, national parks, parks, and any other creative adventures provide the perfect conditions for a pupil to learn and grow. The mentality is you can read about a leaf, tree, or a river, but if you get out and see it and experience nature in its most natural form, not after it has been cut down and printed on paper in a book, that is incomparable to a boring day in class. As well as the setting being different, the child does not have to adhere to a dictorial style of teaching. The child is not mandated by laws, time schedule for material, or tests. Also there is no more work added on top of a 7 hour a day work load. Which gives the student and family more time to spend on extra cirrucular activities.

Finally, being out of the school environment not only has a profound effect on learning and also has safety benefits. More and more we are hearing about shootings, fights, and drugs in our school systems. Consequently, the parents do not want their children to be exposed to such a brutal environment. Next, there is also verbal abuse that kids often inflict on others for a desired laugh and respect from peers. Parents know this because they were around it when they grew up. They can not shield them from the world all together, but since the school is not meeting the family’s academic requirements why risk their child’s safety? Ultimately the idea is to provide the conditions for growth to the student.

I have learned that taking a step out of the school system and into the world of a more free learning is not only a physical step but also a mental step. According to the homeschoolers a child has a natural desire to learn and should not be forced. Also the learning should be more intrinsic rather than extrinsic. In order to achieve such results the parents give the child the blessing of choosing what to study, a lifestyle that does not involve the same building everyday, and a safe environment in which to do so. This way of learning is not for everyone, but the desire to learn belongs to us all.

Can u experts tell me if i have the idea of unschooling. I am trying to explain the phenomenon of people choosing to homeschool their kids. This is a 5 parapraph paper i am turning into my college english class. Umm I have never been a homeschooler but it interests me so I decided to write about this. Thank you for you comments and for reading this.