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Unschooling > Aftermath
Shaista's Avatar Shaista 06:15 PM 12-11-2011

Hi everyone,

 

Well, I didn't think I'd be needing support for unschooling our son anymore, but I kinda do....

 

We took our son out of pubic school halfway through grade 3.  He was having migraines and stomach pains.  He was being bullied by teachers and he basically refused to go any longer.  I used to say that the only way we could have gotten him to school was by dragging him behind the car.

 

We lived in a small town with no other schools to choose from but this school was considered excellent.  To me-- it was simply his personality unable to reconcile with the school system.

 

I completely understood, as did his father-- we both hated every single day of school and would have given anything to not have had to go.

 

I started by ordering the curriculum, intending to teach it to him.  But Stuart refused to do the work.  So I thought that maybe he needed a period of deschooling and allowed him to run the acreage with his dog and just be a boy.  He caught bugs and we looked them up, he read many books and he did play on the computer.  But most of the day, he was out exploring with his dog.

 

I loved watching him grow as nature had intended.  We had to put up with the usual family members insisting it was paramount to child abuse, but we stood our ground.  Stuart came with me as I went places for my business and basically, we just allowed him to be a kid.

 

His grammar is excellent (no "me and him"), but he knows little math-- or rather, he doesn't know formal math.  He can get an answer to an equation on his own.

 

He probably knows more about social studies and history than I learned in school, from watching Discovery channel and so on.

 

He's a great young man-- still super stubborn, though. ;-)

 

Here's the thing.  He is now 24 and completely blames his father and me for not forcing him to go to school since he thinks his options are limited because of it.  He does have a well paying job but it isn't what he wants to do.

 

I encouraged him years ago to go ahead and get any courses he needs and just get going on it.  Basically, he's had many excuses not to but I think a lot of it is because he is afraid they'll think he's "stupid" (which he is not-- not by a long shot!)

 

Tomorrow he has an appointment at an adult education place to get tested to see where he is in their estimation.  I have to admit-- it worries me.  I know I shouldn't care what they say about us (we went through that enough and stood up to it!) but there's that scared part of me that wonders if we'll be made accountable.

 

If I had to do it over again-- I'd do the same thing.  To me, my son's psychological health is far more important than a formal education.  Frankly, it did nothing for me-- I would have loved to have learned the way I wanted.

 

Yet, I'm sure most can relate to that part of me that wonders....

 

Any thoughts?



Swiperoo's Avatar Swiperoo 08:06 PM 12-11-2011
sounds like a stressful time. Theres good news though, these are all normal life challenges. To me, this sounds like it has nothing to do with how he was raised. Lot's of twenty-somethings have uncertainty about their career path - school or no school. People of all ages change directions for all different reasons.

Remind him that hes young and he can still pursue anything he finds interesting, even if school is for some reason now required. The most important thing is that he picks something he really likes.

the fact that he's starting with the assessment shows you that he's taking a mature approach to getting what he wants - so you taught him well, be proud of that! Whatever the results, he's on the right track.
Shaista's Avatar Shaista 08:16 PM 12-11-2011

Yeah, thanks Swiperoo.  I actually started feeling better when I started rereading about unschooling and remembering why we made the choices we did.

 

And I know that we all go through blaming our parents for whatever (and he's pretty adamant about that).  I blamed my parents for making me go to school!  Of course, they had no choice back then.

 

Our older son was given the choice to stay home when he was horribly bullied but he refused.  So of course, he was against our keeping the other one at home.  My dad (a PhD) was concerned that Stuart would blame us (uh huh...) and my in-laws actually called the authorities on us!  (Then discovered it was legal.)

 

So there was lots of icky things dredged up. ;-)

 

Thanks again.


Piglet68's Avatar Piglet68 12:28 AM 01-05-2012

I'm sorry you are going through this. It must hurt to hear that from your son (for reasons he probably wouldn't understand not being a parent himself). 

 

Ultimately, by unschooling him you gave him responsibility over his learning, so really he has nobody to hold responsible for his current situation other than himself. 


mattemma04 06:14 AM 01-08-2012

A lot of adults who went through 12 years of basic schooling and 4 years of college are working jobs they do not like.Many college grads are working at the mall or in restaurants not in their field of education.

 

It is disappointing when someone places the blame of their unhappiness on others,but it is commonly done. Your son had choices I am sure and HE chose what paths to take. He has the freedom to learn and make the changes he wants. He can do different for his kids if he feels your choices  for him were inappropriate.

 

Personally I think it is selfish to blame the parents when the child has just as much say in the direction of his education.A good parent will make different choices for each child based on their needs and wishes.

 

You are right when you say that kids will find something to blame their parents for. You did what you felt was best. If he is unhappy he can make changes. Blaming you for his  education is not constructive in any way. Does it make him feel better to blame you for things? He really needs to look into WHY he is saying what he says and what he expects will result from it.

 

Best wishes on working through this with him.


SweetSilver's Avatar SweetSilver 06:34 PM 01-11-2012

Hopefully your son is able to separate his blame for you and what he needs to do to move forward with his own life.  It is not your job to erase all struggles that might arise.  Of course he can blame you for the choices you made for him.  Damned if you do, damned if you don't!  I don't know if you'll ever convince him of this, but you might have saved him from a more dysfunctional state.  Hopefully he will let this go after he's won all the battles he wants to fight.  


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