Thursday, March 02, 2006

Homeschooling and Preparing for the University, I

I would love to meet homeschoolers from other countries: obviously their experiences would be nothing like mine. It's no secret that, in America, there are many supporters of non-traditional education that are of the fundamentalist Christian variety. However, there are also a lot of liberal-minded individuals who homeschool their children, because they want to enable their children to actually be 'liberal' or 'free' and learn what they want whenever they want to learn it. John Holt's _Growing without Schooling_ was an important catalyst for the 'unschooling' movement, which actually preceded the larger 'homeschooling', evangelical-minded movement.
I first came across the 'liberal' (whatever that word means anyway) version of 'unschooling' when reading _The Teenage Liberation Handbook_ by Grace Llewellyn. I love that book so very much -- I read it at fifteen and it really encouraged me and inspired me. It made me realise that the real reason I loved homeschooling -- actually, unschooling -- was because I could truly pursue my interests. I read so many books growing up, and lots of 'classics' that were probably way over my head, since I read _Animal Farm_ by George Orwell in seventh grade and _Brave New World_ by Aldous Huxley in eighth grade. One thing my parents really instilled in me was the belief that I could learn and be anything, that I had all the aptitude and smarts necessary to conquer any problem. I was truly fearless.
I really believe that books should never be censored. Even if my parents were very careful about what television shows and movies I watched, when it came to books, I was totally on my own. I read everything I could get my hands on: my favourite authors growing up were Douglas Adams, Piers Anthony, George Orwell, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Roald Dahl, and William Shakespeare. My favourite poets were Shakespeare and e.e. cummings. I am in the process of re-discovering e.e. cummings right now. I want to post my favourite poem of e.e. cummings, which I've nicked from http://www-scf.usc.edu/~thier/ee/ :

if i love You
(thickness means
worlds inhabited by roamingly
stern bright faeries

if you love
me) distance is mind carefully
luminous with innumerable gnomes
Of complete dream

if we love each (shyly)
other, what clouds do or Silently
Flowers resembles beauty
less than our breathing

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Currently Reading...

  • Bill Bryson: A History of Nearly Everything
  • Gabriel Garcia-Marquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude
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  • Robertson Davies: The Rebel Angels

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