Homeschooling and Unschooling as Options
As long as schools operate as they do today, and the teacher can not cooperate with the child because she is forced to follow the orders from a central office to teach by numbers, parents have no other option but to resort to homeschooling and unschooling, to protect their children and to allow them to develop into the best version of themselves ready for life by getting the best education they could possibly have by allowing them to pursue their own interests and to go deeper towards mastery of whatever they would like to master, which would never happen in schools because of the too many unnecessary subjects being tackled shallowly and forcing children to memorize without understanding or to learn by rote.
Homeschooling is one where children get their education from home or in some other place outside of schools with the assistance of their parents or some other person acting as teachers or facilitators who follow the prescribed curriculum mandated by the Department. Unschooling is a form of homeschooling but the only difference is that unschoolers have more freedom to pursue their interests because they do not follow the Department’s prescribed curriculum to pursue the things they need to master their chosen craft or discipline.
If parents can find cooperative teachers who will understand that the children have more important things to do with their time instead of being forced to memorize crap from a list the school calls MELC for Most Essential Learning Competencies, which is totally crap, then parents can let their children join school for the good things it can offer, like socialization with friends, but never to allow it to restrain the child from pursuing his own interests by giving him plenty of useless school work. The school system has a way of punishing students who cannot be held back from pursuing their own interests and mastering a craft or being a genius, master, or king at something according to Einstein, by giving him failing grades in subjects the child has no interest in and then shaming him by calling him stupid and a failure in school, only to succeed in life. They are the Einsteins, Edisons, Kurt Cobain, Leonardo daVinci, Manny Pacquiao, Kobe Bryant, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, the list goes on. This is why school is very dangerous and those who succeed at it never master a craft or do not succeed in life, unless you call taking orders obediently, and receiving a piece of paper called a diploma, a success. The masters mentioned above have found a way to break free from the shackles of school, to pursue their interests according to the talents nature has endowed them,, but many students who were potential kings and masters of their discipline or craft were not as fortunate to escape and were restrained and made average by schools.
Almost every year in the name of improvement in education, the Department revises its list of competencies as if the outcome of education depends on it through the teachers in the field who blindly drill it into the heads of bored student from age six to eighteen. What a waste of time and lives for both teachers and students! Just recently they had a new name MELC for it and congratulated themselves that they have improved education because it already contains the most important skills that a child should learn to be called educated and to succeed in life. They are fond of answering the never ending question, “should we include this or that?”. Every year they question each and every item included in the list and introduces new ones but for many decades they never seem to have gotten the point. They ask, “should we include algebra or the solution f quadratic equations?”. They ask such questions over and over again and every time they arrive at an answer, whether yes or no,, which answer changes every year depending on the weather or their mood during a meeting, they proudly publicize that they have finally solved the problem of education for good, only to reverse policy again the next year and another millions of money going to waste. We should understand that the answer to such questions in connection with the preparation of a general curriculum for every child is pointless. The reason is because for a child who will be pursuing a career in the sciences or engineering it is very important and basic that it would be impossible for him to understand the more advanced mathematical and scientific concepts, needed to do his work, without it, but for someone who will be pursuing a career in creative writing or any other craft not requiring more advanced mathematics than arithmetic or the ability to count, it would be a waste of his time and resources, which would have been better utilized in the study of the language, for example, that he would be using to do his writing.
A cooperative and good teacher will not allow the destructive tendencies of schools to prevail but will find a way to let the child develop and pursue mastery of his chosen craft in many ways. He should not be too strict with school attendance and work on some school subjects irrelevant for the child considering that the child may need to absent himself from class from time to time to work on more relevant activities .A child for instance who is interested in science may need to go to the library more often or may need to perform experiments instead of attending class. A cooperative teacher should understand this and should not fail him in gymnastics or in any other subjects as a punishment or give him too many assignments in subjects the student has no interest in. Whether homeschooled, unschooled, or attending regular school with a cooperative teacher, the child should have a mentor who is a master of the same craft he wishes to master himself. If the child is interested in music for example, he should have an accomplished musician, as a mentor very early in life, to learn from. Parents, teachers, and adults, should assist the child in finding one. A child who is interested in computers may get a mentor who can teach him programming, applications, and web development as soon as possible. While learning all these different crafts for each child, they will also learn the basic literacies and it will be in the context of their interests, eliminating boredom and making motivational strategies moot and unnecessary. No motivational strategy has ever worked anyway in spite of all the hype, just to get more budget for the never-ending seminars. Just go to a school any time of the day and observe a classroom for 10 minutes and you will see that 80% of the class is doing something unrelated to what the teacher is talking about, and even the teacher is bored from reading or going through a list provided by the central office and cannot wait to get away from the teaching manual as soon as possible. This is natural because the topic is boring and unrelated to their individual interests. We just have to provide schools with teachers who have expertise in certain disciplines for students to go to and we would have no need of administrators and principals anymore because students and their mentors can manage themselves better. It will be much cheaper to operate public schools. More on what a reformed school should be like in the next p0sts but until we see such a reform, bringing up masters could only be done through homeschooling, unschooling, or through compromise with a cooperative teacher in a regular school.