We have talked extensively in our blog about what unschooling really is.
Unschooling is not only about taking your child out of school
IBut the approach where a child gets to live more of his childhood and follow a SELF directed learning model. Also, questioning the too much of ACADEMIC in schools which takes 90% of the childhood time and energy space.
Are academics so important in life?
Is nt there a life / professions beyond academics?
A child is taken away from all other career and professional choices in schooling system. And is presented with standard 5 subjects.
Schools don’t innovate and add new options because it is run as a centralized controlled by the government which has to standardize the whole process so it can implemented at larger scale.
to implement something at scale, it has to be simple.
The opportunity cost
The time we spent in doing ONE wrong thing, is also the the time we DID NT spent doing something else and not only make losses, but also loose on profits.
If we go into the wrong direction. Not only we waste the time going in the direction, but also would need extra time to cover same distance in the right direction.
Even if a child wants to take up any other non-academic profession. He is expected to study math,science and all unrelated topics. All that he will forget anyway.
What is the opportunity cost for this?
All this effort will have NO positive impact/use ever in his life. For the career or profession he wants to take up.
What is the value of THIS time?
that he could have spent in doing things that could help in his career. Or enrich his mental and soulular development?
Yes, general knowledge about things is important. You need to know what metals are, what acid is. What is voting, how elections work.
But to learn these things for general everyday use, you don’t need to study the history of chemistry and names of who invented the periodic table.
Or you don’t need to memorize verbatim definition of things to understand what they are.
What is school doing? that can’t be done without it?
Besides, today we live in a world that is full of information and exposure. And learning about day to day things, like elections and governments can be done just by browsing social media and watching TV.
You don’t need schools for majority of the basic general knowledge. We are not still living in 1920s
Schools are from different Era
Schools were made in the times when TVs were not part of the household and internet did nt existed. Books were not accesible everywhere. Newspapers were limited in printing.
And schools are still run almost 90% the same way as it was run years ago.
The whole idea that a child can learn about things, (esp things related to general knowledge) only in school is hollow that does not even need an counter explaination.
The minimum basic knowledge needed to sustain life can be well learnt outside of the school.
the only thing school teaches which a person would probably not acquire naturally through observation is literacy (ability to read and write).
But this was also only relevant when a majority of population was illiterate. Today, this has changed. A child is taught alphabets/words at home even before he is sent to school.
Once, a person acquires literacy he/she does not need instruction to what to read.
It is like helping someone walk and then controlling and ordering someone where to walk.
If a child has developed the ability to read and comprehend. And if he does has any doubts or lack of understanding he can try different sources or talk to people around. He does nt need to sit in the classroom for this. Or even need a book for majority of this.
You don’t need a time table, specialized teacher for generic general knowledge about everyday things.
And you also don’t need to study a subject deep if you are not taking it as a career.
Coming back to certifications, the core subject of this article. There’s a common misconception that one cannot take exams, become a doctor if not go to school.
The legal aspect
Laws and boards in most countries offer ways to get senior secondary certifications even if you have never been to school.
There is a growing trend of certification option for unschoolers by the government.
For example, in India there are open boards. The open university offer 6 months preparatory programs.
One can enroll in them with a simple self declaration letter that you are ready for the exam. No other certificate is needed.
Yes, a single page written that i am ready for exam is all is needed to take the exam WITHOUT any schooling background.
So the arguement that you will loose out on certifications/degrees without going to school is baseless.
The knowledge aspect
Now, taking exam is one thing and passing the exam is different ball game.
This is where our main arguement through this blog is. We believe that even if you want children to do better in mainstream certifications and degree programs. Unschooling is better way to prepare for them.
Schooling does not provide the most healthy and individualized environment to prepare and excel in these exams.
Schools are standardized and trying to do everything. It is a factory model which does not cater to individual learning speeds, needs, and goals of the child.
The certification exams check for memorization. And memorization done for the sake of memorization is sluggish and hard to sustain. This is how schools prepare your child for exams.
If you want your child to prepare for such exams and excel, then get the basics right. And by basics i am not saying basics of that subject. But skills and mental development needed to excel in those exams.
Have you ever wondered how a child even if studies harder does not do good as someone who studies much less than him.
The reason could be the academic mental development of a child.
This is a whole different topic that requires its own separate article. But to give you an idea. That many children do well in exams even if they start late, and if they study less.
Esepcially the toppers in engienering and medical exams are people who don’t go to school to prepare for tests.
So both the ideas that schools are important for certifications and passing exams is highly questionable. And mostly unreasonable.