Sunday, September 25, 2011

Unschooler's Comments on Going to School in Japan

Caleb, an American living in Japan, comments on his new experience attending high school. Here is what he observes:

"Most of my entire life I've been taught through my mother's and father’s experience and unschooling methods--that I am so thankful for. In fact I like it beyond belief, so much so that small words alone cannot express my gratitude towards my parents for not putting me in the underworld of public schooling. Up to age sixteen, home schooling and unschool learning has been my life. If I found something interesting, my parents would enable me to explore it further--like judo, book writing, drawing, cooking, computer programming, dirt bike riding and other varied experiences. At the beginning of my homeschooling, my mother tried different learning techniques, such as textbooks and doing homework on a schedule. When I was young, math always seemed to pose a problem for me and I remember quite vividly complaining that I would not be able to understand it. That was sixteen years ago. When I hit seventeen, just like my mother had predicted, something clicked and suddenly math made sense. So now I would propose that everyone learn at their own pace. Public schooling seems to make you lose two of the most important aspects of learning: the urge to learn and the passion for reading. 
"I can attest to this because in Nihon (Japan) I just went through an American public school for the first time in my entire life. When I first started I had to adapt to being a high school student while most of the other kids had been public school students for their entire life. Even though everything was new, the responsibility and education I had through unschooling and real life lessons gave me an ability to jump right in. Needless to say, I was a 3.5 G.P.A. student, burning though some classes while taking others more slowing, such as my Nihongo (Japanese) class. I am speechless when it comes to public school; in fact it can be a complete waste of time unless you are going there for specific items of learning. Mostly it consisted of me doing nothing for about seven hours of the day, sitting in a chair that was way too small and contemplating imaginary ways to escape the building, which of course I did not really try because I do wish to make my parents happy. Whew! Okay, outburst over. Now for my reason to attend a public school, quite simply I wanted to know if I would do well, being homeschooled my entire life and jumping feet first into public schooling with no idea how things would turn out; but my experience proved to me that I could do well even in unfamiliar territory."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

US Marines Require Extra Testing for Homeschoolers

Here's what one future US Marine had to deal with as a homeschooler. Is this really happening in 2011? Here's what his mother, Kathy, writes:

Hi Peggy!

We received the diploma and the transcript, and the Marines got their transcript, too.  Thanks for sending those out!  Jacob took his diploma in hand the day after it came and gave it to the recruiter to get the ball rolling in joining the Marines. Just yesterday, he passed the ASVAB test with high marks, allowing him to have his pick of jobs within the Marine Corps. They actually require homeschoolers to score 20 points higher than other students to be accepted!  Doesn't seem right, but he beat that score, too!  Tomorrow he must take another test exclusive to homeschoolers, to see if he is "socially awkward" or not.  Wow. Really?  Feels like discrimination to me.  Jacob just laughs it off and is practicing his awkwardness for fun! But really, he'll behave and our homeschooling friends are dying to get the details of what the military deems awkward.