So my son started his first day of school. His first experience of agendas, exams, deadlines, and a structured class. He has been unschooled for grades 1-12 and taught himself various high school classes through online and self-directed in preparation for a career in STEM. Last week, he began a 4 course load at university in sciences. He has to get up, take the bus, and attend a campus of 30,000 other kids. He has 4 courses and each has a lab which is a pretty full schedule. He went from sleeping in until 1 or 2 pm and playing video games with studying 1 or 2 courses at a time, to a full schedule outside the home.
You are probably wondering how he is adapting. Well, when kids need to do something that they want to do, they learn and adapt. I can’t say it was easy, but last week was okay and this week is hard with all the labs starting, but he is stepping up to the plate. He sets his alarm, gets to the bus stop on time and puts in a full day.
That is the key point in unschooling. I can’t tell you how many times people would say to me, “Wait until they start school (or work) then they will have to get up at 6 am and won’t they be in for a shock.” Kids step up to the plate when the time is right and it is required of them and they are motivated to do it. We don’t have to “train” kids in a work ethic when they are young, so they will have it later when they are older. This is the whole point of homework in schools, which is so misguided. Kids can learn when they need or want to learn and the time is right for them.