Thursday, April 22, 2010

"What Do Unschoolers DO?"

One of the most common questions that I see being asked around the internet after the lousy segment on Good Morning America, that only focused on what unschoolers *don't* do, is quite simple: "what do unschoolers DO?"

Here's my answer: I wander, explore, read, write, discuss, laugh, play, run, hike, create, grow, garden, identify, search, talk, listen, swim, hang out, organize, breathe, gather, touch, work, participate, watch, help, ask, meditate, daydream, wonder, connect, think, learn.

I'm fascinated by: people, earth, sustainability, writing, food, learning, unschooling, anarchy, freedom, art, community...   

"No, really, what do you DO?"

I live my life.  For most people, the concept of "education" being a separate part of life is so ingrained that they can't see things working any other way.  But for me, and for other unschoolers, learning really is nothing more or less than living my life as fully as I can.  Life and learning don't have to be separate things.  As I wrote a while ago, "Learning IS living, and living IS learning, so why differentiate between the two? If I'm living, I'm learning, and obviously if I'm learning, I'm living!".

"I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma." -Eartha Kitt   

And I'm quite happy with that, thank you very much.



  1. LOVE it. This is what I want for my homeschooled/unschooled kids.. to think for themselves, to live and enjoy the world, to thirst for information rather than have it shoved down their throats until they abhor it, to see learning as a never ending part of life, to ask questions and seek their own answers, not accept the status quo. Not to grow up in a box and hate their lives and the drudgery that society says is necessary and normal. More power to you. :)

  2. Sounds so simple, huh? But people who have been forced to go to school have been trained to think that learning is hard and definitely not fun. Why else would they have to be made to go there? They think that the stuff you've written about is what one does on the weekends, after school work has been completed. You - and the families who've been in the media lately - are demonstrating that's not so, that the need for school is a big scam. And people don't like to admit they've been taken in by a scam.

  3. And, really, that's what we unschoolers have done for many years and will continue to do in the near and far future.
    Love this!!

  4. Well we wanted public and now we 'got what we wished for.'
    It was inevitable: sooner or later mainstream folks were going to get to finally hear about unschooling. It's just to bad that so many people were introduced to it in such a rotten way.
    But like Idzie, more and more young people who were unschooled will demonstrate that unschooling works beautifully.

  5. perfectly sums up my feelings about life and learning too.. beautifully said

  6. Keep writing, Idzie! I always enjoy hearing you.

    What do *we* do? I could go into a litany of activities but I'd really like to say that the thing we do that truly differentiates us from folks who hafta spend their days chained to a school schedule is that we can take the *time* to sit and think slow, deep thoughts. That's something our culture seems to avoid but I find it necessary for my psyche. Sitting and thinking is never a "waste" of time.

  7. Sometimes I wish I could just click "like" on a post. This is wonderful!!!

    unschooling mom to 2 beautiful kids

  8. I cannot articulate how much I love this post, Idzie. I saw the GMA thing on unschooling too (who hasn't?) and I was just sickened. Honestly, I'm not really sure what to say to it. The whole thing just makes me sick. How can people look at us, and how we live, and say the things they're saying? How can the media twist things in such ways? But you, my friend, put it wonderfully.


  9. Love it! Idzie, you are great. :)

  10. This is beautiful and exactly what I see my own children doing. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Thank you to everyone!♥ I'm really glad you liked this post.

  12. You know what? I am an unschooler! My kids go to public school because my hands are tied and I have to work to support my family. But they go to school so I can work. I unschool them when they are home with me. I will be taking the leap with my 11 year old this coming school year though and be keeping her out.

  13. I love the Eartha Kitt quote so much that I just shared it on Facebook.

    I just ran across your blog today and have been reading up a storm. Thanks so much for sharing!