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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.

Chicago politician promises

On Mike Dariano

I wonder at what point the campaign promise that we need to fix our schools and need to fix them now again enters the national debate. My guess for the national level is 2020 but Rahm Emanuel is trumpetting the charge in his Chicago Mayoral campaign.

Rahm Emanuel made a campaign promise last week that if elected mayor, he would install a new math and English language curriculum in Chicago’s public schools by the end of his first term. (link)

I'm not saying outright that Chicago schools are good or bad but do believe politicians use these promises for election purposes rather than educational ones.

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