Sunday, August 25, 2002

Accelerated Unschooling

I have always equated unschooling with simply living one's life in a mindful way, free from the shoulds, oughts, tests, timetables and other prescriptions and proscriptions of the schooling world. So when a concept like accelerated unschooling comes along, I am truly dumbfounded.

Why would anyone want to accelerate life? I snarkily wonder if that would mean you'd end up dying younger. Ha!

Sure, if you or your children are bored, it might be nice to find more interesting things to do. And if you're just not managing to get things done that you really want to do, then arranging some sort of support or schedule to help you focus more on that could be just the ticket.

But the notion of a parent taking over the "motivation" (read "compulsion") aspect of learning because their unschooled child's interests just weren't quite varied enough, and their natural learning pace wasn't fast enough to suit the parent, is altogether different. Not a lot of trust involved there. The only remnants of unschooling in accelerated unschooling appear to be a nod to the child's interests, and maybe a lack of textbook type materials.

More often than not, I find my family wanting to slow down and take everything in, rather than find ways to amuse ourselves more and faster. And the risk is ever present that we might, in our excitement over something, sacrifice depth, understanding, mindfulness, and real connection, for speed and distance traveled.

Accelerated unschooling implies that living and learning is a race. It's not. That concept is totally foreign to our family's unschooling way of life.

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