What Is Un-schooling? Why Am I Un-schooling?

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Un-schooling may not work for everyone. There are millions of children going to school and they feel fine about it. But I feel happy without school and curriculum and text books. It’s something I’m doing for nearly four years now.

Un-schooling gives me the freedom to follow my interests and passions.

Generally in schools what the teachers do is they give us a few subjects to study during the six-hours school-day. For example, maths. And perhaps, if the student doesn’t like to do it even then he/she is forced. Un-schooling gives me the freedom to do what i want. If i don’t like maths, i am not forced to do it. If the student’s passion is something else other than the subjects the teachers give them, why not let them pursue that?

Like in the library period. Children are given books to read. Maybe the child doesn’t like that book? He/she thinks it’s boring? Then why read it? This is what the library teacher did – for the few days that I went to school. She gave me any book, and expected me to read it. But, if I didn’t like the book and wanted something else, I wasn’t allowed to choose. She said, this book is good for you. And if a child does like that book, why is he/she interrupted as soon as the bell rings? He/she may want to read more.

I don’t need to get confined in the four walls of the class rooms for hours like it happens in schools…

When i was in school (for a very less time) some subjects did interest me, but some did not – at all. I often wanted to study Geography but the teachers used to teach it quite less (and teach Hindi which was most boring to me). And if they did, they used to teach it so slowly I’d nearly read two pages till they’d explain a few lines.

And, as i have interest in travel, i don’t need to wait for the vacations to come so that i can go somewhere. Or do the holiday homework which felt too boring to me when i was in school. Some of my friends had interest in Art and other things which they were quite good at, but they were never able to do that as they had loads of homework, and school and exams.

For math, i don’t need to do formal studies at home. I learn math by everyday calculation, and everyday life. I also learn through online resources like Khan Academy.

By homeschooling i can spend time with Sufiana (my little sister). If i were in school i wouldn’t get much time with her between studies.

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Picture of when i was younger doing art…

My Mamma said she learned Algebra in school but that was of no use in the future. And, in school Algebra is introduced to kids in 6-7 standard. Here, i being 8+ year old, i know a bit of algebra, and other math subjects that even my school going friends don’t know. I learn Algebra and other math subjects on this amazing learning website called www.khanacademy.org. And you can see my post about Khan Academy here.

Learning doesn’t have to be in a formal way, in a schedule. Learning is something you can do outside, and indoors. You learn by traveling, you learn by observing nature, by observing people do their work. Like mamma cooking, my Grandmother doing sewing. And i can do that myself, not just seeing people do it.

Learning doesn’t always happen in schools. If children have so many things to explore around them, why think of school?

You can see my other posts of homeschooling and freedom on Tinker Earth here.

This article was originally published on www.tinkerearth.com on 27 August 2014.

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One comment

  1. Raghav Kumar says:

    Hello Parinita, I simply love the way you & your parents think about learning rather than schooling. I am father of a 1.5 years old beautiful daughter and work for a software company. We build teaching software like digital books and mobile apps. I follow how schooling is evolving in the west (search Altschool on google). People in more advanced countries have already come to realize that teaching methods should be personalised, just like how you feel, let kids learn what they like!

    But I have a question for you. Do you miss the fun of being with friends while learning?
    Would you prefer going to a school if they teach you only what you like? and still enjoy the company of other kids and play while you learn.

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