We tend to see things in boxes and categories, which doesn’t always serve us. When people say “education,” sometimes I like to say, “If you substitute the term ‘life’ for ‘education’—every time you say ‘education’ or ‘learning,’ try saying ‘life’ instead—that might invite you to look at things in a different way.” (I probably stole that idea too, most likely from John Holt I suppose, it all starts to bleed together in my mind at this point: what’s his, what’s mine, what’s some other guy’s).
In broader realms, too, I would love to see us think less in categories: over here we have health; over there we have learning; and over here we have work. What about a life or a neighbourhood that mixes all three together so the edges are rubbed out? I would love to see a less institutional society and a more integrated society.
I have also edited a book about the African-American dimension of homeschooling. Freedom Challenge (1993) hasn’t sold many copies, which I’m sad about. I wish that more homeschoolers in general—not just African-Americans—would read it, because it’s important for us all to be aware of ways that we can be more welcoming, and understand more of what is true for sub-groups of the homeschooling community. I’d love to see more African-Americans reading it too.
In the African-American community, traditionally, there is a high value placed on education and, perhaps by default and through not being aware of other choices, that translates largely to a high value placed on schooling. So, I’d just love to see more African-Americans considering the possibilities, and then including the option of homeschooling in their dialogue about education, even if most ultimately chose to stay within the system. For whatever reason, people are way less interested in that book than in my other work. Nonetheless, I think it’s important, and I very much enjoyed working with the writers; it was a fun project for me.
Excerpt from Chapter 16 Guerrilla Learning with Grace Llewellyn in Natural Born Learners: Unschooling and Autonomy in Education.