One of the reasons that families are afraid to pursue life without school (unschooling) is that long term ‘success’ is not guaranteed.
However, if we are being honest, we would have to recognize that nothing is guaranteed. No matter how many classes, schools, tests, and workbooks an individual has ground through, no outcomes can be promised. The future is so elusively ethereal that way.
The point is: life is a risk, one way, or another.
We choose our risk: the pains of freedom, or the pains of 'the system' (conformity). They both have consequences.
We are risking on the side of freedom.
I look at my teens, now: joyful, diligent, creative, hard-working, growing-in-wisdom, hilarious, co-operative, kind, generous, avid learners. Lots of rough edges are still in the mix, but aren't we all a work in progress?
They are pursuing life each day as it comes. Opportunities to serve, work, learn and grow find them every day, and they rise to the challenges.
They are living abundant, beautiful lives right now. This is their reality: to be plugged into the joy of a creative, productive, peace-filled life! They have an appetite for discovery, adventure, inviting atmospheres, good music, cultivating good economic sense, learning languages and business, stimulating conversation, apprenticing and serving.
They are doing life. Now, already.
Why do we expect that at some magical point between 17-25 they will lose this glorious momentum? Why do we assume that if they do not get some letters behind their name, or a fancy certificate, that their trajectory all of a sudden dips, or their potential maxes out, or the goodness of God somehow wanes?
Getting a degree or diploma can be a great investment, for the right kid, who chooses it. But, why do we spend two decades orienting our entire family life around an application process for a college experience that may not even deliver for most of our children?
There’s no right or wrong in choosing to attend university. However, as a family orientation point, it feels off. Our kids don’t need the stamp of approval from giant educational corporations to thrive. They can win at life in a million ways.
Yet, who will be brave enough to try?