3 Misconceptions in Raising an Unschooled, Secular Child

Posted by Javan Poblador | Posted on August 9, 2020

3 Misconceptions in Raising an Unschooled, Secular Child

by Jong Poblador
Dumaguete City

 

He turned 12 last June. He makes the best oatmeal cookies, talks to his imaginary friend named Fred, crazy hooked on Internet memes…and oh, he’s got long hair (way up to his waist!).

His name is Jad, he is un-schooled and raised secularly.

Jad is inquisitive, speaks his mind, curious about the world around him. You know, pretty much like any kid his age. People that he’d meet would be drawn to his precociousness and would ask me the question – ‘Where does he go to school?’ I would tell them – ‘Oh, he’s unschooled.’

There would be a few seconds of silence and I’d be met with either of these questions, with a look of horror on their faces:

  • Unschooled? What’s that?
  • Why would you not send your child to a regular school?
  • ARE YOU CRAZY?!

And after this initial reaction, people would ask more questions – curious ones and ones that are slightly accusatory – ‘Your kid would reach his full potential if he’s placed in school’.

There are a lot, and I mean a LOT of misconceptions around unschooling AND in the secular way of raising kids. Let me briefly talk about the top three:

For me, it’s important for my kid to learn to be able to think and behave independently rather than knowing to stand still in a line or sit quietly on a chair for hours because they are being told to.

Misconception #1. Unschooled kids would have delays in learning. 

Kids are curious creatures. given a warm, supportive environment they will learn; they will educate themselves. It is not the kind of learning you see in traditional schoolrooms. And because their learning is not through rote memorization, they see things holistically…all 3D. Everything for them is interconnected. And for me, this is the best kind of learning because long after the lesson is done, they would still remember the concept’s application.

Misconception #2. Unschooled kids would not know how to socialize.

Ha. Anyone who has spent time with unschooled children will surely find this untrue. Unschooled kids in reality meet more people and socialize more. They don’t have schools to attend so they are literally everywhere their young bodies (and mind) take them to! They’re not typically shy with adults and therefore get along with different types of people.

Misconception #3. Unschooled kids do not understand structure, thereby lacking discipline, drive, organization.

What is our definition of being “disciplined” by the way? Does it mean following everything we tell them to do? Are we raising kids or automatons? For me, it’s important for my kid to learn to be able to think and behave independently rather than knowing to stand still in a line or sit quietly on a chair for hours because they are being told to. I’d rather they understand their individuality before being part of a group.

There are more myths and misconceptions surrounding unschooling. True that unschooling may not be for every family. But seeing unschooling in an open perspective, an unschooled child has more opportunities for learning and educational time compared to a child who attends school in the four corners of a classroom building.

 

Other good reads...

Humanism through Acts of Random Kindness

Before the year ends, the Humanist Alliance of the Philippines, International (HAPI) helped organize another successful event called the Act of Random Kindness (ARK) Project. Approximately 200 people attended both the morning and afternoon events of the project. The morning event was for the rural community in Talisay City for 70 children. In the afternoon […]

HAPI JR’s Project Handong

The youth is said to be the hope of our future and one of the most powerful forces of this generation. With this in mind, the Humanist Alliance Philippines, International Jr launched the anticipated Project Handong last May 21-25 at San Esteban Homes, Zone 12-A, Talisay City. This project is the replication and localization of […]

Sinulog in Cebu: Political in nature

The Sinulog is Political: – its religious symbolism and meanings are meant to reinforce the legitimacy of the Roman Catholic Church as a key institution of society. – its cultural performances and artisitic interpretations are not only displays of parts of Cebuano identity but a potent projection of soft power on a domestic and even […]

Un Mensaje a mis Amigos Costarricenses

Esta próxima elección presenta a un candidato que está despertando a gran parte de la población, en una dirección que parece ser “justa” y que sigue “las leyes de Dios”. El tema de la corrupción política, cuando se observa desde una perspectiva histórica, se convierte en un punto discutible en contraste con las implicaciones del […]

HAPI Founder spotlighted in “The Fil-Am” Magazine

Marissa Torres-Langseth, HAPI Founder and Chairperson Emeritus, was featured in the October 2019 issue