Monday, October 29, 2012

Unschooling and doing what we love

One of my primary motivations for pursuing unschooling for Noah and Eli is this idea that we don't actually have to spend the bulk of our lives doing things we dislike. If that is true, and school is primarily drudgery in preparation for more drudgery in the working world, then it makes sense to see what happens if you scrap it all. 

How to Do What You love by Paul Graham is a great essay on this topic. An excerpt:

"If you take a boring job to give your family a high standard of living, as so many people do, you risk infecting your kids with the idea that work is boring. Maybe it would be better for kids in this one case if parents were not so unselfish. A parent who set an example of loving their work might help their kids more than an expensive house."

I'm not sure we're there yet in terms of doing what we love, and conveying that to Noah and Eli. There's some balance here, and it takes a lot of negotiation and give and take, especially as part of a family. We somehow have to balance sacrifice to nurture our kids and provide some minimum financially, with nurturing ourselves. 

One argument against unschooling that's given me pause in the past is the argument around parent's time; that in order to unschool, our dreams have to be sacrificed for those of our children and on and on through the generations. We haven't figured this out yet. I'm trying to find what I love partially outside the house so that everyone else in the family can do the same- find our loves both internally and externally. With the physical demands of two small children, this sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. But I feel quite safe that Noah is learning phenomenal things and that we're staying connected to one another and figuring out what works. I doubt we'll figure it out any time soon. 


CB said...

Do you have any plans or thoughts on schooling say, 5 years down the line? I'm starting to look at options now, and haven't found any that seem ideal just yet; I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Concrete Gardener said...

Hi CB I'll definitely write more about this. Right now we're thinking of unschooling, but I'll write more about how we got to this tentative place and how that might work for us.