Will children, if left to themselves, learn everything they need to know in order to live in today’s society?
The idea of letting children be fully autonomous in their learning brings many questions and fears to mind. The idea that children can and should learn through natural means rather than formal schooling is a foreign idea in American culture.
We must first ask whether we want our children to perfectly blend into our current society and its views on authority, control, and the human nature. Do we want children who think like the popular media thinks; or do we want something more? It is far better to raise independent, critical thinkers that can discern the lies that television, government, and general opinions tout.
It is clear that home schools and education systems are not creating these types of thinkers. School focuses on academics and acquiring facts that are deemed necessary and right.
“A more ideal school does NOT need to spend much or any time teaching children factual knowledge and academic skills since these can easily be learned in a non-oppressive, non-judgmental and supportive space when the child wants to and feels ready.” – Healing Our Children
Children who are truly free will learn through the example of their parents. Skills and knowledge are gained by copying the mentors in their lives. This is the natural form of education; done without coercion but with love and patience. The child will feel confident and will gain everything needed for life because it will be modeled for them in the context of a real community.
When a child sees his parent reading, he will naturally be curious and will ask to learn to read. If the child sees his mother counting and measuring they will see math as an integral part of life.
The idea of learning naturally in the context of a family is something that was demonstrated by our ancestors and practiced for thousands of years. We must return to the view that learning by example is the best education for producing blossoming, inquiring children who will change our society for the better.