A past discussion with an unschooler on the frustration with a boxed-in idea of how learning happens: In episode 154, Sage, a 13-year-old unschooler, talked about her frustration with the ways that there is this allegedly measurable, observable boxed in idea of how learning happens that is prioritized over an individual person’s process for understanding how they learn, pursuing their interests, and creating their own courses of study, and their own schedules and to a large extent, without the pressure of needing to turn into a job or something quantifiable to someone outside of themselves. This is something Sage noticed from being in a lot of different SDE learning centers and homeschooling and unschooling centered communities and events. She is in a position, as someone who travels with her family to be in community with other unschooling centers and collectives, to hear the patterns of the types of questions and concerns that parents and other family tend to have when they allow children to self-direct their education. Though they want their children to feel “free” schoolish ideas prevail, often showing up as children competing not with other children, but with adults’ fears. School wounds don’t just happen in school, they happen because of the influence of school culture, and can happen at home, too. In this episode, Akilah engages mad question-askin’ out loud , about school wounds, and invites you to do the same.
What is the blade that causes school wounds? Competition! School culture dictates that we must raise children who can compete in the modern world for the limited supply of “good jobs” out there. The drive to be the one to best the others and to shine…not collaboration, or community, or self-confidence… is the focus. Competition is the blade that causes school wounds!
Operating from the space of “not enoughness”: Means our children feel the need to outshine each other. To play to the spotlight. To learn nothing about self-care outside of shine and accomplishment, which is how WE learned. These things later showed up in our own adult lives all the time. Kimberly Foster [runs for Harriet?] referred to a video called “Kevin Hart is Not Okay” talked about neglecting her selfcare needs in the middle of her studies…because that’s what we are directed to do, but realized she didn’t need more work, money or any such thing. She needed care. One of the things we overlook. That emphasis on achievement at all cost … including the cost of that person. That is the blade that sharpens our school wounds.
What questions will you ask yourself to start tending to your school wounds?
What wounds are the children in your life developing now that you can help them address as a homeschooler than can help you transition from the space of schoolishness at home to self-directed and beautifully emergent?
What can you do with what you are beginning to recognize about being enough, and helping children remember how to be and own their enoughness too?