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blog What’s Unschooling & Should Black People Do It?

People ask me all the time “What’s Unschooling”?

I know that people who visit our house on a regular think that we don’t do anything all day with our kids.  If you visit my house after 1 pm, it’s very likely that my kids will be:

  • Playing video games (primarily)
  • Running around my house being very loud
  • Doing NOTHING that resembles what most folks consider learning

That’s just what’s real. Honestly though, I never planned to unschool. It initially started because around my third year of homeschooling, I gave the f*ck up.  I was like,

“I do not know what the hell I’m doing, so I’m just gonna do what feels right to me everyday.”  

Some days that meant some worksheets.  Other days we did a science experiment and many, many days we just stared at each other and played more video games.  

That third year was crazy, but it was a real turning point for me in our homeschooling journey.

Mostly because that same year that we spent tons of time watching movies, I spent tons of time working and the kids mostly played video games, my middle son scored above average in just about every category of his Stanford 10 cumulative test.

What I learned that year is that kids are not like adults.  They learn naturally. Think about it like this, EVERYTHING is new to them.  Everyday they are having new experiences, meeting new people, having conversations that they’ve never had before.  They are literally like sponges in every environment they encounter.

Schooling should be more about providing OPTIMAL environments then about test taking, knowing the right answer or constrained socialization.  Because are hardwired to learn organically.

That’s why my boys can read a video game instruction manual and take those same technical reading and phonics development skills into understanding how a lamp is wired.  

For them learning is just the potential and ability to know something they didn’t know before.

So, if you ask me, should Black children be unschooled, I’d say ABSO-F*CKING-LUTELY!

Sometimes we forget the strength of the concrete rose. 

We negate the idea that our kids,  more than anyone’s kids, have EVERY reason to learn.  They don’t need to be told they are on the bottom of the totem pole, trust me, they felt it at birth.

They are NOT stupid.  Put any group of Black boys in a room with a Playstation and TV that doesn’t work and come back in 1 hour…TRUST, they are capable.

The problem is we give them problems to solve that are IRRELEVANT to their success, place in society and immediate needs.  Learning subject-verb agreement is not as immediate to a child’s needs as learning how to make money from a car wash or lemonade stand.

Now as a homeschooling mom of 5 years, what I’ve learned is that if you are an educator who is in tune with the gifts, talents and needs of your students, even in the craziness that is unschooling you will see the opportunities to teach subject-verb agreement when it is relevant to the problems that need to be solved and when the children will be enthusiastic about learning it.  

Science has now proven that our children retain LESS THAN 3% of what they learn in compulsory schooling.  So, even if unschooling is not the answer, what we are doing now, certainly is NOT the answer.

So, should Black children be unschooled: HANDS DOWN SIS, YES!

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