I'm new to the concept of unschooling, but I'm hearing about it from many directions. I'm intrigued with this idea, and I'm seriously considering taking this path with my daughter, who is now just approaching 3.
A thought that came to me after reading multiple posts the other night by Leo was about how self-esteem may be cultivated/harmed depending upon how one is schooled.
The idea of being in a classroom and conforming to the standards and expectations of what one "should" know and be able to do seems, to me, like a recipe that would be more likely to cause harm to one's developing self-esteem. We know self-esteem and self-worth are big issues in our society. How might schools be contributing to this problem?
There are many factors in our society that don't help us feel good about ourselves and tell us we are not good enough. Is the mainstream system in which we school our children also playing a big role? Having grades and "good"/"bad" students promote comparing one's self to others--not a desire to explore and learn.
Being new to this form of education (but not really because it seems like the natural way to learn), I'm only starting to explore what the implications might be with respect to a child. To me, it seems like a recipe for an empowered and confident child. I imagine the parent-child connection is much stronger in this instance, which I think to be such an essential piece of one's self-esteem. How much one feels unconditionally loved and accepted by their parent(s) plays a huge role in one's degree of self-worth, in my opinion.