Life Without School

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.

Sunny, with her Grandpa, manning my art booth at a recent pop-up sale.

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. 

Duke and Dorian, moving their aunt’s furniture to her new house.

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?

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6 Comments

  • Reply Chana May 2, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    With the way education and higher education is going, it is difficult to see the value when it all seems like self-funded glorified brainwashing.

    • Reply Bonnie May 4, 2018 at 6:57 pm

      I know, right? We pay big bucks for it too!

  • Reply Julie Walter May 2, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    “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?”
    YES!!!!!! We are missing out on life pursuing some idealism that is an illusion.
    Thank you for your work in this world Bonnie. You are changing lives <3

    • Reply Bonnie May 4, 2018 at 6:56 pm

      “Chasing illusions” – exactly!

  • Reply Terri-Ann May 4, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    A personal mentor and public education winner of a Principal award for leadership recently told us at a guest lecture in my Bachelor of Education program that he predicts university programs will be irrelevant and even defunct before long. His hope is that happens within 20 years.

    • Reply Bonnie May 4, 2018 at 6:55 pm

      So interesting! I wonder where it’s all headed…

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