If you have to work at a job, I’d like you to take a few seconds right now to imagine a special kind of vacation.
Imagine that you are allowed to learn whatever you want at work and didn’t have any deadlines to prove you learned it. No meetings to present tomorrow, no reports to write by Friday, no mid-year performance review, no plan to submit for approval by month-end.
That’s the kind of daily vacation my wife and I are giving Charlotte.
Of all the advantages to homeschooling / unschooling compared to school, what stands out most to me is that there are no deadlines for learning.
When I look back at my schooling, I was confronted by a deadline in some way, shape, or form countless times a day for 270 days — for 12 years!
(For the sake of argument, let’s call “countless” 20. That’s 64,800 times.)
Even if they weren’t spoken, they were on my mind:
* “This paper is due in two weeks.”
* “The test is this Friday.”
* “There’ll be a quiz on this sometimes this week. You won’t know when.”
* “The homework is due tomorrow.”
* “Your projects will be judged at the end of the month.”
* “Mid-terms are in 4 weeks.”
* “You have 10 minutes left to finish Exercises 5 to 10.”
* “Raise your hand when you know the answer.”
* “Jon, I haven’t called on you yet. Can you come to the board and diagram the answer to question 7?”
Each time I had to show to an authority that I knew something by their timelines because that’s what was convenient for them. I’ll bet a majority of schools don’t (or won’t) operate on what’s convenient for kids. That means they’re inducing some form of stress.
If it’s true that “stress is working hard doing something you don’t want to do” and “passion is working hard doing something you love to do,” I’m proud to have a wife who is setting up Charlotte right now to have day after day of following her passion, not hour-to-hour of managing her stress.