Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Power of Choice

This talk by filmmaker Astra Taylor made the rounds on my homeschooling circles recently. Much is to be said for Ms Taylor's witticisms and for the obviously very interesting life she's led and is still leading. She was unschooled till the age of 13 (by parents I really wish I could meet) after which she chose to enrol in school. I will leave you to watch it and make your own conclusions.

I found Ms Taylor's talk, long though it was (over an hour!) very riveting. Not for the reasons one would think though. I clicked on the link to watch this video thinking that I would probably be extremely inspired after watching it to unschool the kiddo from now on. But no. That's not how I felt after I watched it. Instead, I felt liberated to follow what works for us!

So if you're new to homeschooling, or if like me you've done it a while and worry and worry about whether you're doing it right, it's okay. Yup, it's okay to worry. It's okay to feel something is wrong. It's okay to buck the trend. It's okay to not unschool. It's okay to radically unschool. It's okay to be sticklers to schedules. It's okay to dump schedules or do a 50-50 mix of methods. It's okay. Because that's what works for you.

Perhaps that's where the true power of her talk lies.


  1. That was a great lecture - thanks for linking to it. It had a lot of interesting points and some food for thought.

  2. Kerrie...did you listen to the Q&A? I was pretty sleepy cos I stayed up to watch this (no way I'm gonna get to watch an hour long lecture with the kiddo around) but I'm glad I heard that Q&A session and that's what really convinced me that we just have to do what works for us...or else it will constantly be an issue of trying to keep up with the Jones-es sort of. I think it's a completely different thing to unschool and be unschooled and although being unschooled may probably make you a better unschooler for your own kids, it isn't necessarily so and the rest of us just have to learn as we go along on what works, what makes sense, what is meaningful for our respective families.

    I'm still surprised the video had an opposite effect on me LOL. It didn't make me re-think losing structure but it helped me feel a lot better about the decisions and changes I make. I'm weird I guess.

  3. I just sent you a 'War & Peace' epic email sparked by the video :)

    Yes I listened to the Q&A and a few of the questions resonated with me - especially the only child one. I was wondering if that guy that was an informal student at the uni (ie just hung out in the library) was ever going to get to his point lol. Actually I'm still not sure what his point was :)

  4. LOL...yeah me too!! It was interesting watching the emotions playing on Astra's face when he was talking! I have answered War and Peace my friend and am extremely comforted to have received it in the first place :)


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