Unschooling For Mastery

For the past two weeks, G has been obsessed. I bought a subscription to Code Kingdoms, which teaches you how to code on Minecraft and Roblox. We actually learned about it two years ago and were sufficiently impressed to buy a one year subscription for E. She liked it, but E being E, she tired of it after a month and we forgot about it.

But then a few weeks ago an ad popped up and I thought of G. He did the free trial, loved it, so we started in slow with a one month membership. It’s good too because L has turned out to also be really interested, so once that expires I think we’ll get the one year family subscription. It’s a pretty cool program.

But more to the point: like I was saying G is obsessed. He has spent hours upon hours the last couple weeks immersed in the world of coding. Is there a better way to master something?

In contrast, it calls to mind E’s school day which is broke up into nine half hour periods. How can a person get anything done in a half hour? It makes for an interesting challenge when they have gym—everyone is supposed to change (because eleven year olds are stinky), but who has the time? So no one does. But I understand why they do it—keeping people engaged in subject matter that has been thrust upon them, rather than chosen out of genuine interest, is difficult. More so with young children. Enter: 30-minute school periods.

E actually has been trying to convince me to put all her brothers in school. She thinks there are parts each of them would love. I don’t doubt it. But at what cost? She willingly agrees that most of the school day is a big fat waste of time. She stays because she likes being around friends all day every day, not because it’s a productive way to spend her time.

It is just simply the coolest to be able to gift my children with the benefit of a situation where they can immersively focus on whatever passion strikes them. The value of this freedom should not be understated.

I will also point out that this is a great example of the entire philosophy: unschooled children may not learn all the same things as schooled children. But if ever the need arises to know a certain thing, or if ever their interest is piqued, that is when they will learn it. And often quickly too—because they are interested, and they are able to immerse themselves in the material. I would argue that you can’t find a more efficient educational model than unschooling.

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