Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Art of Unschooling

For those of you who don't know, I have three teenagers and although they all attend a public high school nowadays, we continue with the art of unschooling.
Why do I call unschooling an art? Unschooling, like art is a practice; both require focus, dedication and commitment. Both engage creativity but also the willingness to take risks. To be an artist is to be prepared to meet the unexpected; to anticipate surprise. It also means that you have to be prepared to meet with failure; and you have to be ready to keep going an seeing it through, against the odds.

Being an artist is a state of being attentive. It is a position that engages patience and persistence. It involves having vision and dealing daily with the creative chaos that must be worked through in order to create a work of art; that out of the muddle, something half decent will emerge. In the end, it's the journey that matters-the process that makes it all worthwhile.
Unschooling is an art because like with art, it is a way of seeing the world differently. Creativity is the best thing I know that can bring us closer to freedom.

Some people think it all comes down to talent. But art is work. Obviously, that is a good part of the whole; but more often than not, artists are driven to 'keep at it,' doing something over and over until they get it right. So it is not a question of, "Oh it's easy for you! You have so much patience," or "You're lucky, your kids listen to you."

Of course some people are going to be more talented at the art of unschooling than others. By this, I mean some people come to unschooling with obvious ease while others have to struggle. But even a talented person must have passion, must have skill, must work, must have knowledge. In the end, it comes down to will. It's a question of sticking with it.
Our medium is the world around us. Like an art installation that takes pieces from the environment to bring together and create a work of art, so too does unschooling draw from the surroundings, building on resources around us, creating infrastructures in which to help our children thrive.

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