I think the point is supposed to be that kids will begin to search things out for themselves if you don't "make" them. I think if you Fill your house with books of all sorts, paper, pen, art supplies, and science kits. and remove TV computer games, and other "mindless" forms of entertainment, kids will eventually get bored and start using the things provided in an entertaining way.. and they will learn from it. However, even if I was locked in a library for the rest of my life with no other option of what to do, I'd sleep before I'd choose to study certian subjects.
Some kids just have that personality to persue learning, Sami is like that. She wanted me to teach her to write and she was only 2 1/2 When I wouldn't teach her she would go practice it herself when I wasn't looking. She picked up her pencil numerous times when writing an S but it was an s none the less. I was faced with a delima.. did I say "That's a Beautiful S honey!" and leave it at that, or do I begin to show her the correct way to write an s as well as the other letters. Maybe had I left her alone she might have figured out S's were easier without picking up her pencil in a few months, or it might have been years, or she may have just invented her very own writing system.
I guess I would
have a problem with her having invented her own writing system if it was the only way she knew how to write. Kids really have only so long before they have to Go out of our homes and off to College or carreers. And we have alot of things to impart to them. Waiting a few years to show her the right way to do something seems like missed time that she could have long figured it out by now. And then when we finally do get to showing the correct way, wouldn't we also have to unteach the wrong way, in order to teach the correct one? That would take even more time. And as for the fun of it all. Sami ended up making her own "font" anyways. She knows it is for fun and I let her write that way for whatever she likes except if she is writing for writing practice. (Her font she calls 'Princess Writing" and it includes lots of dots on letter ends and flowers.) All of that to say I don't think I took away any of her love of learning or made her miss any important lesson because of this.
If a kid takes until they are 12 to begin to understand how to read on their own... will they have time to be well read before college? Some kids will take that long. There are illiterate adults in this world!
Every kid I have Taught in classes and every kid that has come to my haouse for daycare and the ones I babysat over the years.. they all wanted me to teach them things. They wanted to understand things easily!
The unschooling idea seems to be "Don't force kids to learn, they will do it on their own anyhow." That is true they will but a good
teacher, a mentor, an appreticeship will take them to heights they couldn't have gotten to alone.
Look at some of the people considered the greatest thinkers.. they were usually students of other gret thinkers! If everyone starts from scratch each time, less knowledge will be gained overall.
Self-learning isn't bad unless you exclude other forms of learning entirely, IMO. I encourage Sami to choose what she wants to work on, to work on things without me and to know how to find answers indepentantly. I won't always be with her and I want her to feel learning something new each day is just as imporat as an adult as it was as a child. I hear people say "Kids go to school to learn and that is their job, I go to work and fo my job there." That comment makes me sad.. You have a job so you don't have to learn anymore? Very sad!
Anyways, I'll stop preaching now. LOL Here's some more articles on unschooling: