As I garner confidence and drive to pursue the third year of “home-schooling” our daughter, I have found grounded inspiration in the experience of Astra Taylor ( quote and link below). It is an issue of trust and believing in the capacity to provide a rich, meaningful experience, trust in the human nature that drives us to explore, learn and grow. I witness the internal power of both of our children all the time and yet I find myself questioning, whether they will develop, “be smart”, be driven, harness the power to live a life that is meaningful and deeply satisfying to themselves, without going through a conventional schooling. I am pushing towards what feels great, towards the energy that comes with true excitement and interest and not to simply push away from what I found so lacking in my own educational experience. As I listen to Ms. Taylor it reinforces in a thoughtful and bold way that there is far more to our human experience than we explore in most educational settings and that those settings and constructs may even work against the essence of what I would most hope children would be supported in experiencing.
"our parents weren’t trying to limit our exposure to worldly activities with their potentially corrupting points of view. Instead, we always said the world was our classroom. In theory at least, nothing was off-limits.
We differed from homeschoolers in essential ways. We weren’t replicating school at home. We had no textbooks, class times, deadlines, tests, or curricula. Were we fascinated by primates? By rocks? By baseball cards or balloon animals? If so, it was our duty to investigate. My parents eschewed coercion and counted on our curiosity, which they understood to be a most basic human capacity. This is really what the whole debate over compulsory schooling is about. Do we trust people’s capacity to be curious or not?”
- Astra Taylor
The Unschooled Life: Astra Taylor’s Story