Parents Can Trust Kids to Teach Themselves

One thought on “Parents Can Trust Kids to Teach Themselves

  1. I can agree with some of this ‘in principle’ – but I also have a strong disagreement with this, based on experience.

    Plenty of children, if left to their own, will choose the lazy path and will not study. Others might not understand the ‘optimum path’ – and without good parenting, will flounder and not perform up to their full potential.

    I had 3 children that we home-schooled – and we had standards and basic requirements. We set the ‘minimums’ on materials and speed at which the materials (courses) were to be learned, and we encouraged them to work harder and expand their studies into other areas. All 3 excelled – and transitioned from 10th grade into “Running Start” – where they took college courses at the local Junior College (and the state paid the tuition costs – we bought the books.) This helped them transition into an environment of standard classes, standard class work, homework, testing, etc. – and the skills would help them when taking more college courses, and when they went to work.
    Unschooling – NO. Some basic standards and guidelines were given – and we evaluated frequently how well each child was working to meet these ‘standards.’

    OTOH – as a ‘representative’ for a service academy – I interviewed a candidate who had been home-schooled with parents believing in the ‘un-schooling’ method. Trusting that the child would better pick his own path, they had a ‘hands-off’ approach. The young man was brilliant, as seen by SOME course work taken at the junior college, but he was also lazy and unstructured, as evidenced by classes that were started and dropped, or continued with a D or D minus grade showing his lack of interest, and unwillingness to hold himself accountable for completing a course he did not like (after all – his parents never held him to any real standard.) After being rejected for entering the academy or any ROTC program, he enlisted, hoping he could do well after boot camp, and could go into a technical field (and he did have high enough ASVAB scores to be selected for any of those program) – and later try to get into an officer commissioning program. HOWEVER – this young man, never held to any real standards and structure – failed out of boot camp half-way through. His parents did a great dis-service to him by not having structure, by not impressing upon him the need to try to do well in all courses, even the ones he did not like.

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