Well, because some are.
But other than that, the media likes to portray all unschooled kids as “oddballs” and “weirdos”. They do this by finding the oddballs and weirdos and using them as the poster children for unschooling.
What is unschooling, you ask? It’s living as if school doesn’t exist. Our kids learn during everyday life as well as structured situations. For the most part, everyday life comes first and the structured part of learning comes later (esp. as the kids enter high school).
But there are some kids out there who are oddballs no matter what kind of schooling they have. And they normally wear goofy shit.
I know, I was one of them.
In college, I was totally goth. Now I am elderly and am totally “mom clothes”. But back in the day, had I had an event to go to, I’d had dressed (and acted) appropriately. Getting on stage, being on TV, having a reporter interview me or even a family photo, I’d have worn appropriate clothes. But today, we have these “radical unschooling” idiot parents who think “let them wear whatever they want, 24/7!!” So we end up with kids on Tedx Talks wearing knitted spiked hats and dressing like they are auditioning for the circus. We have kids on Wife Swap doing Wiccan crystal spells and calling that “school” (well, if kids can read the bible for school then why the fuck not??!!) or have 10 year olds who can’t read.
The world sees unschoolers as WEIRDOS because the weirdest unschoolers are becoming the face of our style of schooling! Don’t believe everything you see, people. And only half of what you hear. These doorknobs are NOT representative of the rest of us. And most of us are unschoolers while those fucktards are a sub-sect called “radical unschoolers” (they are the Westboro to our Baptist church—though we aren’t a religion–even though some radical idiots might act as though it is). They are the crazies, the “radicals” (hence their self-given name), the extremists. They take unschooling and apply the idea to their kids’ lives (aka-neglect). “No rules for ANYTHING!” So their kids can grow up to be entitled monsters who don’t give a fuck about anything because they’ve had to before (instead, they are spoiled to the core and have all of their whims met, ALL THE TIME).
And it’s not just what they wear or how they act, but if you go to a homeschool co-op, you can always pick out the unschooled ones (well, not all of them, but you can tell which kids are) by the ones who don’t comb their hair or have clean clothes on. I. AM. NOT. JOKING. We’ve been a part of the homeschooling community in our town for around 11 years and this has been true for every single unschooler we’ve ever met. Even though we are unschoolers, we get along better with traditionally homeschooled kids because most of the ones that are unschooled are either a. perfect and snobby (and normally their parents have some kind of beef with the real world so they are so totally “organic” and shit) or b. unwashed little uncombed heathens or c. kids who are running around with pants on their head and socks on their hands (and they’re 15).
Hmmm, so if that’s true, maybe I need to reevaluate the point of this blog post? Maybe the reason the world thinks our style of schooling is creating oddballs because maybe it is?? Huh. Well, then. I need a new name for what my family goes and distance ourselves from the snobby ass unschooling community and the insane ass unschooling community.
We are unschoolers, but my kids have haircuts (truth be told, my oldest had long hair up until a few months ago….like really, really long hair), have regular dude clothes (though my youngest has the style of Amos Lee on the cover of Supply and Demand when it comes to wearing dress clothes), and know how to interact with actual human beings without snobbery or weirdness (like this kid) and you’d never know they were unschooled (no telltale signs, though everyone guesses they are homeschooled…..mainly due to the difference in being able to carry on conversations with adults and whatnot).
Now, I need to find a new name for what we are. My oldest is graduating next month and my youngest is in 8th/9th grade (traditional school would place him in 8th because of his birthday). I think I’ll steer clear of the “unschooling” title from now on.
We’ll see. But for now, go on be weirdos, unschoolers. And snobs (if you haven’t joined any uschooling groups on Facebook, do so, just so you can see all the assholes in those groups).
Tell me again, why did I even write this blog? *sigh*