Being unschooled isn’t sitting around all day watching cat videos. Unschooling is learning about topics that interest you on your own (and sometimes topics that don’t but at least they serve a purpose). For me that means learning about podcasting, learning about western civilization, Austrian Economics, and I dabble and explore whatever ideas come into my life. I don’t waste time on topics that are pointless and don’t interest me. I take traditional subjects like algebra two and Chemistry but I take them in half the time, I don’t waste time with busy work and I don’t take them to pass a test before forgetting the information. This extra time is then invested into marketable skills like computer programming.
Unschooling is having the freedom to fall flat on your face and have no one but yourself to blame. You learn responsibility and how to be accountable to yourself. When you call the shots you become a lot more invested in succeeding. I know that if I don’t complete a goal or do well at something that the only person that could have done anything about it was me.
You get to explore what you like and who you are without having the pressure to make money. Arguably the biggest advantage to unschooling and homeschooling to an extent is that you can figure out where your passions are before you’re responsible for day to day expenses. This gives you a huge advantage over your schooled peers who have next to no idea about what they like to do outside of school.
You also know how to manage your time. In school, almost every hour of the day is scheduled. Someone is always telling you to go and when. Assignments have a specific day to be turned in. Tests are set and for the most part predictable. In the real world, hardly anything is so clean cut. Unschooling puts time management in your hands. Getting stuff done is totally up to you. Procrastination is deadly – when you’re not learning for a test you can’t guess or fake your way through it.
I’m nowhere near the most radical unschooler but I’m also far from run of the mill homeschooled. My particular brand of unschooling I think is preparing me rather well for programs like Praxis http://discoverpraxis.com/ and for starting my own business.
Being unschooled isn’t for everyone. It requires motivation and responsibility. You have to be invested in improving yourself on you own without anyone telling you what do. The most important thing to keep in mind about unschooling is that you will go through a time of listlessness. After leaving the school system I had to deschool. You have to adjust to the sudden freedom that’s been given to you. Plan for this when you think about becoming unschooled give yourself a month to just explore, without any expectations or preconceived notions about what you want to have accomplished but don’t spend this time watching tv. Go to the park, watch a documentary, read – go to the library, just explore and you’ll have a pretty good idea about what your interests are by the end of the month.
Have any questions about what my day to day life looks like or how to become unschooled? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org