Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Unschooling: When Couples Don't Agree.

You know what is right for your children and school isn't it. Your partner disagrees. S/He insists that school is were they ought to be. 

A friend of mine says, "He never agreed with my unschooling philosophy. I did it anyway."

Joanna's children are mostly grown up now. The three oldest are gainfully employed and the youngest, opting to go to highschool is in grade 10.

I ask her how it affected her relationship with her husband. "He didn't agree of much of anything I did. Unschooling was just another area. We hardly saw eye to eye on anything," is her response. 

Yet she stayed in the relationship because of her strong belief that unschooling would benefit her children.

"My husband blamed me for our lack of income. He thought I should be contributing."

Now that the kids are older, she has started the divorce process.

Does she have any regrets?

"I still believe in unschooling as the best learning strategy for my kids. Inspite of our compromised income, our stressed relationship, it was worth it."

Today she is working towards certification as a massage therapist. She cautions, "Make sure you have a way to make an income. I didn't and it was a hefty price to pay."

Another friend tells me that because of the respect her husband has for her, he agreed to give unschooling a try.
He read the materials she gave him, watched videos and even met with some of the "weirdos and freaks," that unschool.

He had to admit that the kids were normal-"bright and confident for the most part," my friend laughs.

When he met a family of grown unschoolers, he was sold on the idea. I think he just wanted to be reassured."

In the end, families will make decisions based on what they can tolerate. I'm lucky in that I never had the problem of an unwilling partner. I should say though, that I was very strong in my position. I never had doubts that unschooling was right for my family. I think that confidence in what I believed, backed up with evidence, made it easier for my husband to be open minded about the idea.

There is always a sacrifice, a price to pay, though. That could be quitting a day job as some have done to work at a home office so that they could be with their children during the day. Some work at night. Some do with less income.

When couples are not on board, it becomes difficult to unschool with one undermining the other.

As one father says, " Unschooling is life changing. It's effects are far-reaching-encompassing all areas of ones life. I couldn't imagine unschooling if my partner didn't support my thinking."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Even if partners don't agree, one can still adopt an unschool attitude when raising kids. I do. I take my kids out of school to go on 'field trips' all the time. I engage in community activities with them. I make sure to really be in tune with their interests and help them pursue them. My husband knows that I value their interests over what the school curriculum is telling them they should be doing. It is a compromise I can live with. Thanks for the post!

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