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University without high school

This alternative-education advice (including how to get parents onside) is aimed at teens


 

University without high school“Choosing to leave [high] school is an entrepreneurial move, not a cop-out” is the message of a new book aimed at teens, College Without High School. The author, Blake Boles, the co-founder of Unschool Adventures, writes, “Life is not a pyramid with doctors, lawyers and professors on the top, McDonald’s cashiers at the bottom and school the only ladder between.”

What does a high-schooler “who slaves away at meaningless disconnected problem sets every night become in later life?” he asks. “She becomes an adult who slaves away at a job she doesn’t enjoy, for less money than she deserves, for a one-week vacation through which she would prefer to sleep.” Boles’s book offers teens step-by-step advice on how to drop out of high school to tag tree frogs in Costa Rica or teach basic computer skills in Tanzania. It also shows how to condense schoolwork to meet admission requirements for university later on.

Boles studied astrophysics at the University of California, Berkeley, but left after hitting an “intellectual wall: quantum mechanics.” A book by New York high school teacher John Gatto inspired him to rethink his path. “I’ve noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my 25 years of teaching,” wrote Gatto, and that was “that schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet. The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders.”

To legally leave school, “the quickest, easiest ticket to freedom” is to become a homeschooler,” writes Boles. However, “I don’t advocate becoming a home-schooler in the common misconception of the word. I don’t want you to stay home all day, following the prescribed 10th grade curriculum and cut yourself off from the world.”

Instead of wasting time in a classroom, shuffling around hallways, Boles believes that academic material can be learned in a fraction of the time through online courses, tutors or auditing classes. “Common sense tells you to give yourself plenty of time to get an important task done. Forget common sense in this case. To tackle a big project, begin by giving yourself an unreasonably small time quota.” He suggests students keep their schoolwork hours to a minimum. “If you can learn chemistry in eight weeks at four hours per week instead of 30 weeks at eight hours per week, do it. A short deadline is superior to a long one because it has the psychological effect of making you do more work. This is Parkinson’s law: work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”

Do an internship with a small business, he suggests; the book even includes a script to follow when calling a business owner. Say, “Hi, my name is . . . I would like to do what you do and I want to help. There are a few specific things I want to learn but my first priority is assisting your business in any way I can.”

Wichita State University student Jenny Bowen dropped out of high school in the ninth grade to pursue her interest in ornithology. Boles reports that Jenny became an online authority in parrot forums, enlisted as a zoo volunteer and then interned for three years at an exotic animal veterinary clinic. In 2006, “with little more than a homemade unschooling transcript and ACT score, Jenny applied to and entered Wichita State as a pre-veterinary biology major.”

For other “unschoolers” who want to go to university, Boles advises calling undergraduate admissions and asking if the school has any specific admissions requirements or advice for home-schooling students. “Be sure to track your progress with documentation. In the language of college admissions: if it’s not on paper, it didn’t happen.”

At the University of Toronto, for instance, home-schooled students are welcomed, though they are recommended to “consult with us well in advance since an individual assessment of your qualifications will be necessary.” U of T does not require a high school diploma but does want to see results of standardized tests such as SAT 1 and 11.

“Unschoolers aren’t Einstein-like geniuses,” Boles writes. “They’re normal teens who, unsatisfied with school’s plan for their future, chose to get an education on their own terms.” As for getting parents onside, Boles says he tells teens to find other local unschooling parents. “Seeing at least one real-life unschooling family helps parents for whom the concept is scary. There are definitely Canadian teen unschoolers. I know a lot of them in the Vancouver area. Join a Facebook unschooling group and ask around.”


 

University without high school

  1. This approach has worked for my kids. They did university English, Music and Biology in grade 9 by challenging AP exams. One of my sons took an entire year before university to do nothing but read, write, study Hindi and table, and do drama. They all entered university with lots of credit, and are finishing in record time. They never worked on school work more than three hours a day.

  2. We need many more young people to unschool. we would then have a better world!

    The only thing I would challenge Boles on is when he states: “Unschoolers aren’t Einstein-like geniuses,” Pretty sure Einstein would have unschooled today and or been drugged. Schooling in it’s conventional form isn’t about education, and indeed isn’t for the Einstein-like geniuses!

    Otherwise, great stuff!

    J

  3. And they run the dangers of a ridiculously uneven education.
    Having been dealing with a few of these "unschoolers" for a while now, I've found that what they're good at they're very good at, but you can't ever assume that you have a common base level of knowledge. Which sometimes leads to me having to explain things which are ludicrously simple and should have been explained to them.. well.. back in grade school.

  4. And they run the dangers of a ridiculously uneven education.

    Having been dealing with a few of these "unschoolers" for a while now, I've found that what they're good at they're very good at, but you can't ever assume that you have a common base level of knowledge. Which sometimes leads to me having to explain absolutely basic things which should have been explained to them.. well.. back in grade school.. and it's both time-consuming and frustrating having to go over this stuff that pretty much everybody else already knows.

    When it comes time for employee reviews, that frustration sticks in my memory.

  5. And they run the dangers of a ridiculously uneven education.

    Having been dealing with a few of these "unschoolers" for a while now, I've found that what they're good at they're very good at, but you can't ever assume that you have a common base level of knowledge. Which sometimes leads to me having to explain absolutely basic things which should have been explained to them.. well.. back in grade school.. and it's both time-consuming and frustrating having to go over this stuff that pretty much everybody else already knows.

    And when it comes time for employee reviews, that frustration sticks in my memory.

    • And honestly, you don't run into this with people of conventional education? If there is a weakness in this education it is running into people that are biased against them, in expecting them to be profoundly better educated then their traditional institutional educated peers.

    • I would just like to say that what you describe above is my experience of a University Student. "What they're good at they're very good at". I also noticed they don't have common sense, finance sense, or even basic manners. So I would say that these unschooling kids are just skipping straight to University. Let's face it we live in a world where careers, for better or worse, are very specific. Might as well train that way. As far as learning basics in elementary school or highschool goes, I sort of doubt it. You only need 50% in highschool and most elementary schools now have a No Fail policy so I'm not sure you actually are required to learn anything. I wasn't and I received excellent grades. Everything about life, common sense, hard work, human relationships, ect. that I've learned I learned in the year and half I dropped out in Grade 8-9. I might add that I went back to the public school system w/ no home education and began 2nd semester grade 9 w/ reduced credit expectation and did fine. Apparently they also felt I wouldn't have learned anything in school. My experience with unschoolers is that they are well rounded individuals who are also quite skilled in one or two areas. They are also highly motivated and know how to learn, so whatever they are missing they will acquire quickly if they need it to obtain their goals. My son is two and while he can't count to ten and recite his alphabet, he can enumerate to 4 and is beginning to recognize some of the letters and knows the sound they make. The other day he told me that "There is one growing baby outside of Mom and one growing baby inside of mom, that makes two growing babies". He has now, on his own, discovered addition. He will continue to learn in this manner and amaze both me and those around him. He will not be frustrated by information he is not ready for, and not be limited by the parameters of a curriculum who are not prepared to teach what he is ready to learn. Unschooling, or better put, living and learning naturally is so beautiful and I can't understand why people who choose any other way.

  6. I can see how unschooling would work for a minority of teens, mostly those with clearly defined interests, but it seems like it would be a terrible idea for a lot of students who haven't found a passion yet. One of the benefits of high school is that it is a low risk environment in which you can be exposed to a variety of different subjects.

    I also question how unschooling would work in terms of socialization. Everyone knows high school is really about hanging out with friends, so how does unschooling make up for a student removing herself from her peer group?

    • Yep, there is nothing like being psychologically tortured in a social-darwinian hell for years on end to improve socialization skills.

    • I'm sorry, I can't see the benefits of a social system that involves 25 + immature peers to one (your life won't matter to me next year) adult. Home educated students always out shine traditionally educated students academically, spiritually and socially no matter who is doing the testing or conducting the studies. Homeschoolers and unschoolers educations is constantly under an invested adults watchful eye. Adults that have a vested, direct interest are obviously going to be available and more thoughtful than anyone who doesn't have anything at stake in the end result.

      Often home educated students are involved in community services at a very young age thus gaining a realistic world view.

      • Burella,

        I loved your response. It's a well-worded version of my opinion,; I couldn't have expressed it so well.
        Don G.

    • One of the benefits of being alive, and human, is that all the world is already there. My 8 and 5yo's, given the lifelong freedom to choose what interests them, are already developing themes….my 8yo son loves inventing, reading, and anything having to do with computers, my 5yo daughter is fascinated by animals, writing, internal organs, and dance…

      There is scarcely a lower risk than trying life out from the safety of your own home, or outside of it, but in the company of parents who have your needs foremost. And even better if you have the freedom to pursue your interests any time, without someone directing you, or grading your efforts…poor grades don't feel like a low risk to a lot of students.

      As for socialization, my children are best friends, and get to hang out with each other every day (even on weekends and school breaks). My husband and I are also honored to be their friends. They have same-age friends in public, private, Montessori, parochial, school-at-home, and unschooled. They have adult friends at the YMCA, grocery store….my 5yo daughter has struck up a huge friendship with the mailman, who finds her enchanting. If the hours kids in school really get to spend socializing were added up, i still doubt they'd have the variety of friends or leisure to enjoy them that my children have. And my kids are polite, kind, eager to share and take turns, friendly to other children regardless of age, appearance, or ability. And they are not unique in that regard, among the unschoolers we have met.

      • Your children may very well be the exceptional cases for whom unschooling/homeschooling works; however, I fail to see how such cases can really be used to establish any more generalized claims concerning unschooling versus schooling.

        It still seems to me that there are advantages and disadvantages to both school and homeschooling and whether or not one is superior to the other is entirely dependent on factors such as the quality of the school in question, and personality of the child etc.

        "Idiots" in this particular instance is subjectively defined. I, for example, think idiots are those who are unable to engage in and understand rational argumentation. My dad thinks smokers/people who drive too slowly/people who go into debt/almost everyone else is an idiot. The point is that, no matter how cozy and awesome things are in our own little bubbles, the world is full of people with whom we are going to disagree, people who are going to try to bring us down etc. One of the benefits of sloshing through high school is that we run into those type of people and learn how to cope.

        A lot of the immature adults who populate the real world did go to school. They probably have a lot of other things in common. Correlation is not causation.

        I am neither for nor against homeschooling or regular schooling. I am merely pointing out that there are benefits to regular schooling, that it is possible to have interests outside of school and that it appears to me as though unschooling is probably only advantageous for a minority of students.

  7. What a fascinating, and important, dialogue.

    My own two biggest reservations about unschooling or home schooling are that some of the basics could slip through and not be caught in standardized testing, and that for some of the children, the lack of peer interaction can have social development consequences. Hardly new concerns and usually overcome, but they should be always present in the consideration.

    Another area that I would like to see more dialogue on, is specialized public school programs. The idea that most of our pubic schools continue to use one unimaginative and monolithic model is troubling.

  8. What a fascinating, and important, dialogue.

    My own two biggest reservations about unschooling or home schooling are that some of the basics could slip through and not be caught in standardized testing, and that for some of the children, the lack of peer interaction can have social development consequences. Hardly new concerns and usually overcome, but they should be always present in the consideration.

    Another area that I would like to see more dialogue on, is specialized public school programs. The idea that most of our pubic schools continue to use one unimaginative and monolithic model is troubling.

    • Why do people continue to assume that unschoolers do not interact with other people? They do not live in a vacuum. Gymnastics, trampoline, soccer, basketball, art class, games club, walking the dog, shopping, banking, working part-time, and just hanging out with his friends all provided my son with plenty of social interaction. The biggest difference for him was that his peer group was not just the societal norm of people his age, but people of all ages, from 5 years younger to 30 years older. Very few schooled teens are able to look an adult in the eye and carry on a conversation about something other than "what are you doing in school." All of the 60+ unschooled and homeschooled teens I've known have been able to do this.
      The basics slip through even for kids who go to school (the "No Fail" policy seems to be endemic in all elementary schools now). I'm not sure which "basics" you mean. Reading, writing and arithmetic? At least home-schooled kids have a teacher with a vested interest in making sure their "students" will be able to function in society. And we're much better at teaching our kids common sense, which I think is one of the most important basics.

      • There is no assumption that they do not interact with other people, there is the obvious recognition that they will not be interacting with their peers at school if they are not attending one. As that is by far the greatest social interaction for 'schooled' children, it is clear that unschooled kids will have a comparative deficit to make up. Like you, most parents will work at providing thier children with opportunities, but thinking that they will have the same level of peer interaction seems like burying your head in the sand. I would suggest you connect with more schooled teens if you think:
        Very few schooled teens are able to look an adult in the eye and carry on a conversation about something other than "what are you doing in school.
        To me, that is a ridiculous suggestion, and very contrary to my experience.

        Arguing that either model, shooled v. unschooled, does not come with certain problems is to ignore those problems, and causes the children's education and socialization to suffer.

        • I have seen the type of social interaction that compulsory schooling fosters between children and I have also spent a great deal of time helping schooled kids deal with the negative aspects of that type of socializing. School does provide some avenues of connection between children but in reality, schooled children spend the majority of their time confined to small, crowded rooms while engaging in adult-created, -directed and -monitored activities. It is a rather artificial and limited way to interact with one another — which is likely why there can be so much negative interaction between classes, at recess, or after school. There is a reason why there is a big push for anti-bullying programs in schools — it is a huge problem and the root of it can be traced to how we lump children together without adequate support or normative social-modelling from mature adults.

          To compare the socializing of a schooled child with an unschooled child is a bit like trying to compare apples to oranges. If you want to think about what peer relationships are like for the unschooled or homeschooled child, you may want to think more about what it's like to be on a sport team or in a group like Scouts or playing in a youth orchestra or involved with a program like Katimavik… all of these provide a much more positive avenue for interaction than school ever could.

          If you were to ask a schooled child when they had the most "fun" with their friends, I highly doubt that school (or the classroom) would be mentioned, unless that child has limited access to friends after school hours. They will list their activities in which they can make real connections (often through shared interests) with other children. These are genuine opportunities to interact with one another and these activities form the basis for the social interactions of the typical unschooled or homeschooled child.

          • The last thing that I would try to promote is the idea that there are no problems with how children get socialized in schools. There is an equal danger in promoting the idea that there are not similar problems with unschooled children. When I read someone stating:
            I have seen the type of social interaction that compulsory schooling fosters between children
            alarm bells go off.

            There is one 'type' of social interaction that results from schooling? And why call it compulsory when it has not been for decades. Blaming schools for bullying, when it exists in all those other activities you list, highlights the problem that anti-bullying measures may be lacking in those other activities.

            all of these provide a much more positive avenue for interaction than school ever could.
            You seem to hold universal truths that are not truly universal. Friendships forged within schools and augmented by those same activities you list, form richly rewarding relationships for most schooled children, the most 'fun' experiences may be the 'fun' activities, but that does not speak to the value of the relationships or where precisely the relationships were forged. Schooling may not be for everyone, but that doesn't make it necessarily bad. Suggesting that it is the poorer alternative for all children is way off the mark. You seem to be arguing that there is a superior route, and I would be very suspicious of that position.

          • o.k. – I just have to speak from experience here. I took my daughter out of school at the end of grade 5 because she was starting to get nervous and tense. She was apparently doing well academically, but she felt she didn't understand anything. She was being subtly bullied by other girls in her class but was not consciously aware of it — she knew something was wrong but couldn't put her finger on it. I was hearing the whole story from an older piano student of mine who was my daughter's friend in school. I took her out of school —- night and day!! Within 3 months she blossomed into a confident, happy, relaxed child. Her social life improved immeasurably. Since she was no longer forced to be in the same class with children who made her uncomfortable, she felt more confident to pursue and develop friendships with other children in her choir group, dance groups etc. Her social life changed for sure — for the better! (continued next comment)

    • In Alberta, standardized testing does not pick up gaps. Parents are provided with a percentage mark and that's it. No report says what areas are weak or strong. I have 5 unschooled children who wrote provincial tests and did absolutely fine. They got the same education as the other kids, just not the same way.
      Judy Arnall, author of the Canadian bestseller, "Discipline Without Distress: 135 tools for raising caring responsible children without time-out, spanking, punishment or bribery"

  9. yes, because in the real world, outside high school, everyone is so much more understanding and kinder.

    It is not my experience that after high school the whole social game some how changes. We just become different people in dealing with it. Bad experiences and those awkward teen years teach us valuable lessons too.

    • What a dismal worldview. in the real world as I know it, having a strong sense of oneself and liking who I am tends to be reassuring to others, and they enjoy my company, for the most part without trying to ridicule or change me. but then, iIhave made choices that led to this type of life.

      My 8yo has dealt with playground bullies by "outting" their games, and refusing to play where they could hit him. he's dealt with kids who quiz him by answering honestly, whether he knows what they're asking or not. if he does know, it is almost always in greater depth than what they know on the subject, since he learns to suit his desires, and they "have to learn it to pass the test" – after which they can forget it till finals. If he doesn't know what they're asking, though, he is Ok with that. Everyone in his family, even adults, is actively learning all the time. He knows, at 8, that nobody knows everything. he also knows many different ways of learning things he wants to learn.

      Unschooled kids don't have to "become different people in dealing with it". They can grow up understanding that the opinion of someone else isn't as important than how you feel about yourself. And they can easily accept others as they are…which leads me to wonder if the world you describe, filled with meanness and lack of understanding, doesn't have a lot to do with the fact that most of today's adults were forced into school's artificial reality….and now are wounded adults who feel the need to hurt others rather than realizing that we are *all* fallible humans.

      • somehow I remain cynical that your idyllic world where everyone can concentrate only on themselves, and where everyone accepts one another unconditionally, will work for the majority of children. Universal public schooling has been widely available for about 150 years, if you look at conditions before that, I suspect you would find a much meaner society, so I'm not sure your conclusions of public school creating monsters can really be supported.

  10. The benefit is that it is life. Most people don't care about you. And the majority of people, even adults, are incredibly immature. What you learn in high school, socially, is how to cope with a lot of idiots, what kind of people to avoid and, if you come out on the other end mostly unscathed, that you can survive even the most awkward social scenarios. (You also learn more positive things, like people change a lot in a short period of time, how to work in groups, etc).

    I don't doubt that a lot of students in private schools would in turn outshine the unschoolers/homeschoolers. A lot of private schools make a point of seeing students to well. They also place high value on community service and extra-curricular activities. These things may, unfortunately get lost in bigger public schools.

    Obviously, private school isn't for everyone, but in the case where a student is not fulfilled in a regular school, I think that it will only be in the rare case, when a student already has a particular and non-whimsical life plan, that homeschooling/unschooling will actually help them. Why not be in school AND do community service, take a language course, read on your own etc ?

    • There has only been minor mention of TIME in everyone comments….the regular school system takes up most of the child’s day, requires volunteer time and help from parents but only on the school’s terms, and the time to transport kids to and from school…It just seems like an unecessary multiplication of entitites. Parents are concerned all the while about who and what has access to their children while they are at school. If parents are willing and able to educate their children, learning at home must be better for those families. I agree that public schooling is necessary to provide all with the opportunity to learn, but like our health system, not all are served in the ways that are best for them.

      • We choose to homeschool our children because of the Time factor. We have a beautiful homelife, and take every opportunity with our free time to get out and about and view the world together, as a family. We took a trip to Washington D.C. in, well, September, and enjoyed the time away from the crowds. We visit family, take weekday trips, weekly field trips away from weekend crowds. It is amazing. We sit down to breakfast together as a family. I cannot imagine participating in the daily morning scurrying and hurrying to get the children to class early, and wait for them to get home, eat dinner, and get ready for bed. Homeschooling is an amazing opportunity for anyone who has the time, the ability, and the desire to see their family strengthened, and regain control of their home life.

        • Number two: While there are a great deal of benefites for a private school education, it is only the high class of society who can actually afford this education. Perhaps the quality of the education in a private school may slightly rival that of a one-on-one teacher/student relationship in homeschooling, but is it truly about the 'learning' or about the letter you get on the report card at the end of each semester? I do agree that perhaps private schooled children will set high academic goals for themselves, but once again: the learning or the letter?

          And just to clarify, homeschooling is merely a different word for an even BETTER type of private schooling, where more often then not you have your mother teaching you instead of a total stranger.

          I have been homeschooled my entire life and greatly enjoy it. I have met many other homeschoolers who have gone to school and then started homeschooling later. They all say the same thing: in school, I didn't get it. When I homeschooled, my grades shot up. And not because it's your mom: it's because they were ACTUALLY LEARNING instead of being compressed into the school box.

    • Number One: 'Learning' to cope with idiots' is just a fancy overstatement for what's really a detrimental situation that I can guarantee these people did not want to be in in the first place. What you really have is an unfriendly environment in which teens 'learn' how to greatly change themselves to fit in. Perhaps there are a select few high school students who can continue to hold their own rather then surrender their true selves to 'fit in'; but how much more often do we see young men and women changing themselves to fit into the 'socially acceptable' mould so they will not be ridiculed and exiled as 'dorks'.

  11. This is very easy to do in Ontario. I've spent the last 7 years compiling and maintaining the alternative entry/homeschooling/no high school diploma requirements for the universities in Ontario and have spoken with several admissions counselors at Ontario universities. All Ontario universities are able to respond to applicants who don't have a high school diploma (some have official policies, some admit on a case-by-case basis). Other people have done similar things in other provinces.

    Fear of being shut out of university should not be the reason one chooses against a self-directed learning path for their high school years. There may be other good reasons to go a traditional route, but fear of being rejected by universities simply because you don't have a high school diploma is not one of them.

    I normally wouldn't link to my own site, but I think readers of this article would benefit from my "7 ways to get into university without a high school diploma (Ontario-based)" and from my site, you can find the specific admission homeschool/alternative admission policies (or what they have said in telephone/email conversations if they don't have an official policy) for all Ontario universities.

    http://www.rainsberger.ca/blog/university-admissi

  12. Finally, people are starting to realize that going to school is not the same as getting an education.

  13. Wonderful article. I look forward to reading the book.

    I have worked, as an educator and counsellor, in both public and private schools, including online distance education. We are also a home learning family (no kids in school – just learning at home as autodidacts). The "yeah, but…" concerns that people bring up in response to home learning (uneven education, socialization, "real world", etc.) are not true issues and are not typical of home educated (incl. unschooled) learners. I'm always amused at how fervently people will argue these concerns even though their experience with this population is extremely limited and they have no tangible or consistent evidence to support their claims.

    I am not at all opposed to public education as I believe all kids should have access to information and schools can provide this to children if the parents aren't able or willing to do this themselves. Schools, however, can' t "make" kids learn anything and it's fallacious to think that they can. And the uncomfortable truth is, for many students, schools are a detriment to learning and can have a negative impact on a child's self-concept.

    A wonderful blog on Psychology Today is Peter Gray's Freedom to Learn: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn He's worth reading.

    • Perhaps they're not typical of the children you teach. You've been a professional educator, however.

      Many of the parents who take this on, quite simply, aren't.

      And this is the problem, anything you say is simply countered by anything I say, and all we have is our own experience to draw on because there's no standardization of the kind of education that's provided. Are these unschoolers "taught to the test" or are they taught a wider variety of things? Are they taught how to handle themselves when they're wrong?
      One thing public school will do is give you a solid education in how you can be wrong. Ideally home schooling would do this as well, but too often it seems it's taken up by helicopter parents who've read too much Dr. Spock and decided that any punishment to their darling's self-esteem is too much.

    • Perhaps they're not typical of the children you teach. You've been a professional educator, however.

      Many of the parents who take this on, quite simply, aren't.

      And this is the problem, anything you say is simply countered by anything I say, and all we have is our own experience to draw on because there's no standardization of the kind of education that's provided. Are these unschoolers "taught to the test" or are they taught a wider variety of things? Are they taught how to handle themselves when they're wrong?
      One thing public school will do is give you a solid education in how you can be wrong or how authority figures can be assholes and how you have to deal with this anyway. Ideally home schooling would do this as well, but too often it seems it's taken up by helicopter parents who've read too much Dr. Spock and decided that any punishment to their darling's self-esteem is too much.

  14. There is no assumption that they do not interact with other people, there is the obvious recognition that they will not be interacting with their peers at school if they are not attending one. As that is by far the greatest social interaction for 'schooled' children, it is clear that unschooled kids will have a comparative deficit to make up. Like you, most parents will work at providing thier children with opportunities, but thinking that they will have the same level of peer interaction seems like burying your head in the sand. I would suggest you connect with more schooled teens if you don't think:
    Very few schooled teens are able to look an adult in the eye and carry on a conversation about something other than "what are you doing in school.
    To me, that is a ridiculous suggestion, and very contrary to my experience.

    Arguing that either model, shooled v. unschooled, does not come with certain problems is to ignore those problems, and causes the children's education and socialization to suffer.

  15. Even many of those children who had bullied her before seemed to be able to connect with her now (several of them are in the same dance groups). My feeling is that they no longer felt threatened that she would take over their little niche in the classroom. She is pretty, kind, talented, smart, but there were already specific children who felt they "owned" those slots in the classroom, and no one was allowed to supplant them. As she was no longer a threat to them on the classroom turf, many of them felt happy to be friends with her. She has been out of school for going on year 4 now (she's in grade 9) and has no intention of going back until college/university. (continued next comment)

  16. The big bonus — now that her schooling only takes about 4 hours a day, she has plenty of time to socialize with all her friends (whenever their schedules permit! – after all, they still have 7 hours of school + at least an hour of travel + 2-3 hours of homework or more a night!!) The other big bonus — her education level is far exceeding that of her peers. I just had her write the CATs and CTCS standardized tests for grade 9 and she tested at grade 10 and above in all her subjects, with the shining star being grade 12.9 plus in most of her language arts. A huge jump from school. (continued next comment)

  17. And she has time to study what she loves that school wouldn't offer her: 2 Shakespeare plays/year; Spanish; an incredible core history/geography/language arts that offers 30-40 historical novels/year; an excellent art program; a superior math program that she's finally comfortable with; AND more time to have singing lessons, piano lessons, work on band material (she's in two) that will all help her prepare for a performing arts college. Local school doesn't offer any of these, and if she had to do them after school hours, there would be no time with all the homework. She would be squeezing herself out of the education she would need to pursue her dreams. As it is now, she feels empowered that she is already getting the education she needs, and I feel she will be supremely prepared for anything university or college will throw at her.

    • Good job. We are homeschoolers with an equally positive result for our 3 (now ages 16, 18 & 24) All well adjusted. One is a police officer, one studying nursing and the youngest finishing high school before she dives into University herself. All balanced, content and social (sometimes, too much so!)
      Congratulations. Your daughter's success will be a blessing to your community.

      • Thanks! It was scary to take her out, but so worth it!! (We are the only homeschoolers in this school district!) And she is well recognized in the community as a wonderful, contributing member. She volunteers in many activities (she has the time now!) and is a role model for many younger children. And I couldn't put a price on her level of happiness now! It's always wonderful to hear about other children who made it through and were successful. Congratulations to you, too!

  18. We started homeschool/unschooling after grade 4. I was too scared before that and private school is cost prohibitive. Overcoming the fear was healing for our whole family. We have more real family time. A lot e of people think home schoolers sit at home alone… we gather with other homeschoolers many times a week for fabulous outings and group projects. There are some great schools out there too, for sure, but if you read some Wendy Priestnitz, John Holt, and Ivan Illichyou will get some fabulous insights into the system and how it may not be the best for your child.

  19. I'm not a big fan of "unschooling" but I know for a fact that the education gained in public schools can be done both better and more quickly. There is no point to students staying in school until age 17-18 when they could master the same material and be off to university earlier.

  20. I'm not a big fan of "unschooling" but I know for a fact that the education provided in public schools can be gained both better and more quickly elsewhere. There is no point to students staying in school until age 17-18 when they could master the same material and be off to university earlier.

  21. I'm not a big fan of "unschooling" but I know for a fact that the education provided in public schools can be gained both more quickly elsewhere, and with superior quality. There is no point to students staying in school until age 17-18 when they could master the same material and be off to university earlier.

  22. I'm not a big fan of "unschooling" but I do know for a fact that the education provided in public schools can be gained both more quickly elsewhere, and with superior quality. There is no point to students staying in school until age 17-18 when they could be off to university earlier and be better prepared as well.

  23. I'm not a big fan of "unschooling" but I do know for a fact that the education provided in public schools can be gained both more quickly and with superior quality elsewhere. There is no point to students staying in school until age 17-18 when they could be off to university earlier and better prepared for it, and all at less cost to the taxpayer.

  24. It is a fact that we are living in the stone age of Education. If you never went to a big name university ,you can not claim education or intelligence. Artificial shortage is created , only a certain number of students can get admission in some glorified programs , for example Medical students have to be super smart ,All they do after becoming a doctor is slavishly say yes to insurance companies and Govt , let the patients die , all you need is glory, an easy job and more money than an average person makes, why would you challenge the status quo? We want more power , more water, abundance is always good but for higher education ,it is never a good idea .Engineered shortage of skillful people is the way to go ,If there were too many doctors and lawyers how would they justify the kind of money they make and claim to be super smart above average elite . Self education is a way to go but some one has to recognize it.

  25. Engineered shortage is a term thrown around a lot by people who don't understand economics. if you do a job no one else wants, people will pay you more for it. If you teach someone those skills so they can be that valuable person, they will pay you more to teach them. There's also the simple fact that most people feel comfortable knowing that someone went through a lot and has something "official" to become the guy that's going to transplant their heart. It's all human nature and economics, not gov't conspiracies and social engineering. somehow when things change scale some people believe that all of a sudden human nature doesn't apply, or at least only greed, apathy, and lust apply. It's sad really to be so cynical of a few people who are actually working hard at something they believe in just like you (I assume you're an intelligent person with your own beliefs and goals). Just because they make more than you doesn't make them evil or elitest, it means they're more important to society. Sorry if that makes you feel inferior, I deal with it every day, you can too.

  26. A book by New York high school teacher John Gatto inspired him to rethink his path. “I've noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my 25 years of teaching,” wrote Gatto, and that was “that schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet. The truth is that schools don't really teach anything except how to obey orders.

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  27. I have an important statement. If you can learn chemistry in eight weeks at four hours per week instead of 30 weeks at eight hours per week, do it. A short deadline is superior to a long one because it has the psychological effect of making you do more work. This is Parkinson's law: work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
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  28. You should also take a look at the IB program. It's just like AP and it gives you college credit but it's more challenging.

  29. I personally wouldn't homeschool my kids.

  30. Some kids that are home schooled do end up getting the acquired knowledge but most don't

  31. I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it including all the comments and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  32. This is a great way of enhancing people's ideas and be able to arrive at magnificent and useful inventions. With the support given by the organization, anyone shoud never hesitate to ask in case he or she has invented something

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  33. I have enjoyed reading your articles. It is well written. It looks like you spend a large amount of time and effort in writing the post. I am appreciating your effort.

  34. I did some home school in high school but I prefer going to the actual school.

  35. great article…
    being homeschool is not a beneficial and
    does not provide that good of an education
    but some people prefer homeschooling…

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