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The Worry That Your Unschooler Isn't Learning What He Should Be Learning

By Leo Babauta

It seems that many parents here in the U.S. (and very possibly in other countries) are worried about how much their child is learning by a certain age. Does my kid know everything that a 2nd grader should know? Is my kid learning as fast as other 3-year-olds? Does my sister's kid know more than my kid does?

I think the traditional school system encourages this (there are non-traditional schools that break away from it). Schools have decided that all kids need to know X, Y, and Z by age 6, and then U, V, and W by age 7, and so on. How does this get determined? Who are these oracles of education who know exactly what our kids need to know by age 18, and can predict what the future will be like at that time? It's impossible. None of us could have predicted what 2013 was like in 1999, and we certainly don't know what the world will be like in another 10-15 years.

So I've stopped worrying so much about learning X by a certain age. I've also decided it's pointless to compare my kids to any other kids. What's the point? Life isn't a race. It doesn't matter who learns what by any age -- what matters is that we're preparing our kids for life, and that they have the tools to be happy and do what they want as adults.

That's what matters.


On Mint Poodle

A few weeks ago I ordered some books from TwoChois, an online store specialized in Korean textbooks. It took my parcel more time than expected to reach my country and, to be honest, I was worried it would have gotten lost between Korea and Portugal as that is the most sensitive part of the journey. However, I'm happy to announce that it reached Portugal on Friday, and I will probably receive it on Monday or Tuesday, so it all ended well.

I am also very pleased with TwoChois, as they were the first ones contacting me about the delay and promptly reached out to the Korean post office to know the whereabouts of the parcel. Thanks to their attention I didn't feel like my parcel was left crossing the Eurasian continent “on its own”. I'll be sure to review the books once I get the chance to use them.

On another note, today I canceled my enrollment in one of the two graduate schools I had applied to. Both are really good, but the one I am in now has an exchange program in São Paulo, Brazil, and since that's where I want to go... I feel bad canceling everything now when classes start in September, but I've just secured my place in the other this week. On the other hand, I suppose they have already calculated a percentage of students that eventually give up.

With classes approaching, I feel slightly nervous. I hope I get on well with my classmates and I hope I integrate easily. A lot of work is to be done in groups, so that makes it an imperative. And apart from that, I hope I perform well in business school! うまくいきますように。

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