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Sunday, June 30, 2013

A New Vision



In the last post, I felt compelled to put my concerns about radical unschooling philosophy and the way it is practiced on the table, without any sugar coating or regard for diplomacy. That was not to judge anyone's choice of unschooling, for I did conclude previously that Christians certainly can apply some tenets of this method within the boundaries of their faith, which to me is the truest expression of freedom, particularly in the form of Catholicism. My research has also led me to conclude that "radical" in the Catholic sense is quite different than the original, secular concept of unschooling. It has been suggested that I don't understand the philosophy, but I think that perhaps I understand it too well. I have read between the lines and found a lack of substance and a host of logical error. In practice, RU, for many but not all, tends toward unparenting, or benign neglect. Unparenting, however, can happen regardless of the educational philosophy which is employed.

I have been researching and applying unschooling philosophy and practices for the past several months, and yes, much learning happens naturally, and I fervently believe that interest-led education and the pursuit of one's passions leads to deep learning and great joy. Surely, that is God's will for our lives, to have life abundantly, as Jesus said. However, the only way I think unschooling could be sufficient is if it is done very intentionally, and if direct teaching is not thrown out the window. There has to be a partnership paradigm that is a balance of parent- and child-led education, encompassing all aspects of life, with the authority squarely in the hands of parents. Some would argue that this is not unschooling, so surely anyone can see this dilemma for the Christian parent? I am taking a sabbatical from blogging for at least this week, so everyone please have a safe and happy Independence Day. When I come back, I'm going to look at the unschooling buzzwords and the problem with semantical hair-splitting and fear mongering that I have witnessed. I trust the Holy Spirit to guide me to the bottom of the well, to discover the pure water waiting there. And I will share the bucket!

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