Friday, February 08, 2013

[Something] Radical Unschooler

There’s been a lot of discussion in my feed lately about foo radical unschooling. It’s making me a little twitchy, so I’m gonna write this commentary.

We’re Christian/Jewish/Muslim/LOA/whatever-belief-system Radical Unschoolers. Everything we do, every moment of our existence, is informed by our belief system.

We’re Vegan/vegetarian/paleo/raw/lactose/gluten/whatever-belief-system Radical Unschoolers. Everything we do, every moment of our existence, is informed by our belief system.

We’re Voluntaryist/libertarian/anarchocapitalist/conservative/liberal/whatever-belief-system Radical Unschoolers. Everything we do, every moment of our existence, is informed by our belief system.

We’re Offended by TV/movies/videogames/whatever-belief-system Radical Unschoolers. Everything we do, every moment of our existence, is informed by our belief system.

Etc.

Well, this is my blog where I sometimes speak bluntly. Having read hundreds of comments recently, I’m gonna push back against your self-labelling and say that you are NOT really a radical unschooler. Sorry.

You are an LOA believer (or libertarian or vegan or videogame hater) who talks about unschooling and folds it into your LOA (or whatever) when it’s convenient and when it fits your weltanschauung; but radical unschooling is not a genuine part of your core weltanschauung. It’s an add-on. It’s one more app you’ve bought for the iPhone which your life and you don’t really understand it and you certainly don’t know how to use it except in the simplest of terms; but you bought it and feel that you own it and can use it however you like. You own "radical unschooling," by the gawds, and can do with it as you please.

You demur that you’re not some clueless newbie, you’ve read Holt, Sandra’s site, Joyce’s site, Pam’s writings, and an endless string of other long-time unschooling writers. You’ve read the discussion lists. You’re au courant.

Again, I push back against your assertion. If you think that telling your kids that refined white sugar is poison and preventing them from eating it makes you a nutritionist unschooler, I say you’re wrong. It makes you a “nutritionist” who makes claims to unschooling which you cannot support.

Years ago, Australian unschooler Arun had a lengthy “discussion” on his blog. He and his wife were/are organic farmers but they were radical unschoolers, so when their kids wanted to eat white sugar, they did. Arun’s friends, farming peers, and assorted “nutritionists” bombarded him with the warnings that he was poisoning his kids. He simply couldn’t do that, in good conscience. It was WRONG!

But Arun was a radical unschooler who was also an organic farmer. He was NOT an “Organic Farmer” radical unschooler. His weltanschauung was radical unschooling.

So, my opinion, which you are always free to disagree with, is that you should think long and hard before labelling yourself a [Something] Radical Unschooler. Seems to me that your “something” has a strong propensity for getting in the way of your relationship with your children.