Saturday, June 19, 2010

Learning Important Things

Most actual learning doesn't happen inside of the confines of a classroom. The most important things I have learned have come with travel and exploration, raising kids, being married, in ever day tasks, and with my community.

I was private/parochial school educated my whole 12 years of schooling. I had what most would consider a proper education. Unfortunately, I didn't retain most of what was coerced into me.

In school my strong points were reading and spelling. I sucked at math (still do) and never did nor still do I give a crap about history. Most of it is probably embellished or politically correct lies anyway. And Bible/religion...well, Bible was and still is torture for me.

In hindsight I don't believe my schooling is was what made me excel in reading, writing, and spelling as it was that it was something I just had a natural inclination for.

The really important things that really taught me and helped me grow as a person took place out of real life with all different kinds of people and situations.

In school I learned how to do as I was told, feel insecure about my looks, what I wore, categorized by my grades and social class, to sit down and be quite and listen to some stranger that most the time didn't even like me or know anything about me or what interests me pour information into me that I cared nothing about and for the most part have never used to this day.

Everything I learned in school I learned for that moment. I learned it long enough to get that "passing grade" and approval from my teachers and my parents that I had done a good job memorizing useless knowledge. My goal was to make them proud. Sad. if a grading system made me who I was and who I would be...

When I remember my school experiences what sticks out most in my mind are the holiday parties and field trips...not my multiplication tables, what a homophone is or what happened in 1602.

The more I separate myself from the social mass school mentality the more the whole damn thing seems ridiculous. I wonder why otherwise intelligent people are blinded by the results our society is reaping since the implementation of forced education???

I have to cringe when I hear some clueless souls discussing how kids these days are they way they are because "we are taking God out of the schools." HA! Kids are the way they are because for the past 100 plus years parents have been shipping their kids off to a babysitter everyday....the classroom.

The family unit is being broken because families spend very little time together. By the time kids get out of school and do assigned homework and extracurriculars very little time is left for family interaction. Children need to be home with their families learning about the world around them and living and learning with each other and friends of their choosing. It's not up to "God"'s up to us.

I'm sure it would disappoint my parents to know that that expensive education they paid for was pointless in the outside world. By the time I graduated from high school:

I had no idea how to cook or grocery shop. I didn't even know where to begin. I couldn't sew a button on a shirt or operate a washing machine or dryer.

I had no idea how to manage money. I didn't learn how to count back change until I was 24 years old and couldn't do simple addition and subtraction without the use of a calculator. I couldn't read the little lines in between the whole numbers on a ruler and was not familiar with any fractions other than 1/2.

I couldn't relate to anyone outside of an authoritarian figure or someone of my own age group and social class. I couldn't place an order by phone or carry out everyday business activities. My husband had to do all those things because I didn't know how to talk to people in the "outside world". Oh you say, "but school kids are so socialized"...BULL SHIT!!!!!!!!! They don't teach kids social skills in school, they teach them how to obey authority figures and do as they are told without asking questions.

I won't bore you with anymore of my embarrassing discrepancies even though there are many more.

In unschooling my daughter my goal has been to help her survive everyday life. Anything else she needs to learn she will learn as she needs it. She's not stupid and as her mom I have faith in her abilities. She will learn everything she needs to learn in the time she needs to know I have seen her do in the past several months. I refuse to treat her like she's dumb no matter who may agree or disagree with my methods.

I have had enough life experiences to know better than to let other people's fears influence the decisions I make.

One recent accomplishment Sum has made is learning how to pump gas. To pump the gas she also has learned how to insert the debit card to make the purchase. She familiarized herself with the debit card a long time ago when she learned how to scan and pay for our purchases in the self-checkout isles.

She can also place her own order in a restaurant. She can ask for assistance in a store if she needs help in finding something. She can prepare meals and knows how to work a needle and thread.

I don't force her to do these things, she eagerly volunteers to do them.

In truth, I hate to pump gas and I have managed to pawn the chore off on any family member that is with me at the moment of refuel time. Lucas learned to pump gas at an early age also and still gets the "pleasure" when he is with me.

I am her mother and know her better than anyone. I trust that she will survive and grow up to be a contributing member of society.

1 comment:

  1. Did we go to the same school???? :-)

    I was missing many of the gaps you mentioned...except for the grocery shopping. Although I find I am getting a better understanding and, yes, even enjoying subjects like history and math now that we homeschool. I guess it's all in how you approach it. :-)