By Leo Babauta
One of the hardest things, and the best things, about unschooling is that everything is uncertain.
You don't know if you're doing the right thing by unschooling. You don't know if you're learning anything useful, if you're going to be horribly ignorant as an adult, if you'll ever get a job, if anything you're doing is right.
Unschooling is rife with uncertainty.
Then again, so is everything else in life. Including going to regular school.
But with regular school, it feels less uncertain, because experts have decided for you that this is the best track to take. They give you some assurance (even if I believe it's false assurance).
With unschooling, there's no pretension of assurance. You face the uncertainty raw and in your face, every day.
And I think this is beautiful.
Why is not knowing so beautiful?
First of all, learning itself is about not knowing. If you are aware that you don't know, then you can learn. If you think you know, then there's no learning. So being aware of your uncertainty is a good thing if you want to learn anything.
Second, when you're uncertain, you have to face fear. And only by dealing with fear on a regular basis does the fear ever go away. We do something, and feel the fear, and find out that we're perfectly OK despite the fear. And repeat. This builds trust in ourselves that despite feeling fear, everything is OK. Imagine having that trust built as a kid -- wouldn't that be a huge gift?
Third, when you're an adult, unless you get a job that's perfectly secure, you deal with uncertainty all the time. Am I making a huge mistake building my business? What should I do today? How do I plan for an uncertain future? These are crucial questions, and they are ones that unschoolers deal with every single day. They learn how to deal with them. They get pretty good at it.
All young adults will face these things someday, maybe when they graduate from high school, maybe after college. They'll be a bit unprepared, in my experience, but unschoolers will be ready.