Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom
So, maybe they're not as threatened by unschooling as a method. They may just feel threatened that they suddenly don't feel that they have anything in common with you.
That is definitely a possibility. I don't find myself threatened in similar situations, knowing that I am living in a very different way than most of western society, but then again, I am extremely introverted and I've made my choices with full knowledge that I'd be most often going-it alone. Perhaps if I had expected to be supported by a larger group, when I came into contact with people who would not be viable support, I might also feel threatened. I don't know; I don't function that way at all.
An example off the top of my head would be a dire one, where people are working together to rebuild after a major tragedy- natural disaster, for instance. In my participation, it is a given that my activities are supported by others doing the same for a common purpose. If someone came along and said "I'm doing it all my way, and it's just as good or better than what you are doing," regardless of whether or not that assertion were true, that dissent would be a threat to the solidarity the rest of us anticipated and upon which we'd based our participation and purpose. That person may well have a lot to offer and we may well have very much in common, but in the majority situation, the one who dissents (even if rightly) threatens the whole.
I personally do not think that way, and am truly fine with the dissenters (I'm one
), but it is common and even very beneficial in society for people to desire concensus; I just think it has to be properly placed, and oftentimes it isn't, imo, but that's perhaps another subject.DirtRoadMama
, I was public schooled, and I'm going back to the math thing here.
I decided on my own to pursue higher maths and when I was 8 yrs old, taught myself algebra and finite maths during my summer break, to the grade 12 level. Then I went back to school and was told by my teachers that I couldn't import that understanding into my math work because we wouldn't be covering that in grade school. I was required to show all of my work in long division, fill in my multiplication tables and record every step, as they taught it, even though it was the elementary way of doing maths that typically is eventually absorbed by higher operations- which I had learned.
My point is that even though I was highly discouraged by my teachers, I still went ahead and learned what interested me. I did that with everything, and in truth, the first and only time I learned something academic in school that I didn't already know, was in grade 11 chemistry. This is excepting learning the french language in a francophone school in grades 7 & 8; but even then, it was the language and not the subject material that was new to me (and becoming fluent was my own doing in my own time because two years of schooling at that level doesn't afford full fluency to the majority).
I could not be stopped from learning because my appetite and drive were so great. I did the bare minimum for As all the way through to and including college, but lived very much like Mark Twain who wrote that he never lets his schooling get in the way of his education. School was something like a pest to me, one that I could keep at bay by satisfying its paltry requirements; I learned in spite of it and tossed in my 'work' at the required times while being focussed elsewhere.
There is a whole spectrum of personalities, from those who cannot be squelched (like me) to those who cannot bear up under the emotional strain of institutionalisation, and of course everyone else too. For at least this reason, I think that the manner in which one approaches education must be as inclusive as possible, and this is why I cannot agree with your sentiment that ps works for some, hs works for some and u/s works for some. I think that ps is the least inclusive of the range of experience of human beings, hs is in the middle and free-learning or U/S potentially has the most inclusivity built into it. If you are only considering yourself, then by all means, limit yourself to what suits you personally, but if you are considering others, at least recognise the arbitrary limitations that you are placing on their education for what they are.
I see the limitations of free-learning, but I find those to be healthy limitations, so I accept and embrace them. The limitations of ps and most forms of hs to me, are restrictive and their limitations are unnecessary and potentially/actually detrimental to my family, so we don't do those things.
I don't think there is child alive who would not benefit from a more inclusive approach to his/her education than public or mass schooling affords. If there is, then there is a type of human being with needs so divergent from the rest of us, that a new classification may be necessary in order to discern it from the rest in that giant chasm of difference.
Life circumstances notwithstanding of course. No doubt there are lots of children who benefit from the relatively safe environment of the school in contrast with their unsafe home environments, but that is another subject.
That you were underestimated because others didn't understand how you approached your education is not at all exclusive to hs'ed children. I was ps'ed, and I was underestimated as a matter of course- all day, every day, and not just when I came upon people who were ignorant of my institutional
experience. What you experienced on occasion was the day-in, day-out experience I had in the classroom. I think it is the usual experience of ps'ed children with the distinction being between those who recognise it and those who don't; either way, it is the way of institutions to marginalise their constituents, so everyone is thereby underestimated for efficiency's sake, at least.
I doubt that you and I felt
the same way about how we were treated; we're different people. And I assume that you didn't have the sheer quantity of interractions that I did each day given that you were hs'ed and I was ps'ed, in a classroom full of others and spending my days with teachers who didn't know me. I am assuming you were with your parent(s)/family at least the majority of the time, so that your experience with being underestimated by people who misunderstood hs was relatively less than my experience with teachers who misunderstood/grossly underestimated my potential and abilities on a daily basis. I recognise that I've made assumptions, and that I may be incorrect, so please do correct me if my assumptions here about your experience are inaccurate.
I am not competing for sympathy here; I am hoping to illuminate the reality that what you experienced as a negative result of hs, may well have been a negative result of a society that underestimates the human organism as a whole, and not just those who are hs'ed. I see regularly how children and adults alike are treated as though they were inept. A usual trip through the grocery store illuminates this, likewise any public building or employment situation.
I think it was Annakiss who wrote in this thread that genius is far more common than we tend to consider*; it's everywhere and in everyone. Its recognition
is the less common reality, imo.
ETA: *Annakiss's post #35, pg 2.