Now that I am feeling very decided about the fact that I’m not going to have my daughter attend traditional school, I’ve been thinking about all of the things we do naturally, every day, that teach math, science, and everything else. I realize now that before she is 18, just by exploring the world around us in depth, she will have at least a basic knowledge of the following:
Social studies: Politics, history, geography, world cultures, world religions, anthropology, economics
Literacy: reading, writing, literature, world languages
Science: earth sciences (the plant and animal kingdom, geology, archeology), chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology, health and nutrition, technology, environment and ecology studies
Math: fractions, arithmetic, practical problem solving, measurement, calculations
Life skills: food preparation, vehicle and machinery operational, emotional intelligence, planning skills, household management
Electives: sports, music, art, horticulture, physical activity and anything else she wants to try!
I might have left a few things out. The point is that I’m realizing that through doing things like cooking together, gardening together, and traveling together gives me more than ample opportunity to touch on every single one of those subjects many, many times… because really, they are all just a part of real life! I don’t have to separate her from the real world in order to teach her about it!
I didn’t learn a whole lot from these subjects in school. To this day, I can’t tell you what the chemistry class I took was about. I got an A in it, by the way, but might as well have flunked for all the good it did me at the time and now. The things I currently feel “good at” now are things I mostly pursued outside of school, including what I learned in nursing school. That being said, I’m not anti-classroom instruction. I chose to take an amazing African American literature course as well as a Women in Literature course, and they changed the way I saw the world. You just have to be truly interested in the topic to learn about it.
As it turns out, we all start out “unschooling” our children, up until they attend school full time, and sometimes even after. I just see no reason to take a time out from “real learning” to place my kid in a place which is largely boring and oppressive (always exceptions, of course). If my daughter comes out with a basic knowledge of those subjects above, she’ll be at least on par with the majority of other students who were schooled, if not ahead of many of them!
Disclaimer: I attended public school and university, and liked school for the most part. You can put your kid in a school and he or she can turn out just fine, with a discriminating mind and many passions. These are just my personal parenting opinions, and the best way I see fit for MY child. If you’d like to debate the merit of traditional schooling vs. unschooling or worldschooling, I’m all for respectful discourse.