A week or so ago, we got a surprise call from a local newspaper looking to interview my mom for an upcoming article about homeschooling. After checking with Emi and I that we were okay with being in the paper, she said yes. The reporter did a phone interview (which kind of annoyed me because I couldn't interject more :-P), and my mom did her best to get across the concept of unschooling. The photographer came today (actually he just left), and got shots of Emi with her Japanese learning book, me with my tribal peoples book, and both of us talking with each other. The fact that a 'studying at the kitchen table' shot wasn't even mentioned made me very happy. :-P and now we're left to see how the article turns out.
Lately, unschooling has been in the news a lot, and because of that it seems a lot of unschoolers are talking about about whether or not the exposure is a good thing! I've seen people say that because the mainstream media never properly grasps unschooling, they shouldn't bother. Or, that the extra exposure opens unschoolers up to more hassling from people who don't understand. The message behind both of these things being that unschoolers are better off staying under the radar, not letting themselves be interviewed, and just generally keeping quiet about things.
I see and understand those points (I'm really worried about how the article we're in will turn out!), and I definitely understand if a family simply doesn't want their personal lives laid open and judged by the careless hand of a reporter, but I don't personally agree with them. If we (unschoolers) want to always be considered the "freaks" of the educational world, the ones held up as the far extreme of the spectrum, then laying low is a good thing. Otherwise, I don't think it is! Knowledge and exposure are the first steps to understanding, and I think unschooling really does need more understanding! Yes, every time that an article about unschooling comes out there will be many people who are horrified by the idea, and proceed to call it child abuse, neglect, plain idiocy, etc. etc. etc... However, there are also always a handful of people who are interested, no matter how badly the article is written. A handful of people who decide to Google it themselves, who look into it and realize that this is the educational path they always wanted, but simply never knew it existed! For those people, having unschooling more "out there" is a wonderful thing. And since Emi and I are too old to get hassled by the government (Quebec has pretty shitty homeschooling laws), our family is the perfect one to do it!
Now I'm just left to worry if it'll be absolutely horrible... If it's not too bad, I'll link to it once it's published! :-P