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What Homeschoolers Are Missing Out On Lately

I ‘unschool’ my two kids. And I can’t lie, sometimes I wonder what they’re missing out on at public school. So I keep my eyes and ears peeled.

Here are just a few things that homeschoolers/unschoolers across the country — like my own kids — have missed out on recently...


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I was just thinking...

I'm surprised that seeing how we're talking about education nobody has mentioned how stoked they are for Ron's new book to come out (I, for one, am SOOOOO excited!). I only wish the release date was about a month or two sooner so when we tell my husband's parents we're taking our son out of public school we could simultaneously hand them the book to read. "See Mom & Dad, Dr. Paul says it'll all be okay."

I'm reaching up and reaching out.
I'm reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
Spiral out.

Definitely! Thanks for the

Definitely! Thanks for the reminder.

I can't wait for the book.

As to your apprehension about your husband's parents: I can relate. I had some concern about how my wife's parents, among others, would react. To our surprise, everyone was very supportive. In cynical fashion, I expect that many may only have been supportive in a superficial manner, while actually harboring doubts and/or criticism. But even that is more than I expected. However, you may find yourself surprised at how positive the reaction can be.

Even if that's not the case, and others are openly skeptical or disapproving, keep in mind:

As it was with Dr. Paul's influence on many of us on so many issues, when it comes to the issue of education, you can be the epicenter of a paradigm shift of perspective for those in your circle of influence.

"Be the change you wish to see." Or something like that. :-)

But yes, his book should be awesome!

I love getting the socialization comment.

I'm homeschooled (well, technically I'm dual-enrolled at a community college this year, and I'm fairly sure it's an idiot magnet), so it's always funny when it comes up.

Yeah, we don't get enough socialization... which is why I'm on a mock trial team that's going to the national competition, became good friends with every single member of the team, made friends with several South Koreans in a competition in Brooklyn, NY (and am still in contact!) and can easily handle myself in conversation with basically anyone.

Say Jay,

Would there be any advice you might share to someone just starting out unschooling?

I'm reaching up and reaching out.
I'm reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
Spiral out.

Hi Richelle, First, congrats

Hi Richelle,

First, congrats on making the decision to unschool/homeschool. That is awesome.

Mr Charlie beat me to it, and offers some great advice. I would echo his thoughts. And there are no shortage of resources out there, with the magical powers of Google at the fingertips. :-)

In the future I hope to post regularly on the subject at my site with some more personal context. Once I do, hopefully it can serve as an additional resource in that vein.

Best of luck!

Thanks Jay!

Website you say?! Having an online unschooling resource from someone in the liberty community is music to my ears!

I'm reaching up and reaching out.
I'm reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
Spiral out.

X 2

I believe that the public school which my children attend is the best of the best but despite that I'm getting fed up with it and this will most likely be their last year. Unschooling is definitely what I find most intriguing and I truly believe we could make it work for us.

Unfortunately, I think the state may give me problems if I state that "unschooling" is my method... hopefully I am wrong.

Ron Paul convert from the Heart of Dixie

I don't doubt it

Public "educators" hear "unschooling" and they freak. They're so used to the idea of their structured authority they can't even imagine that a parent would know what is best for their own child (lol who'd have thought, right?) Instead they insist that learning is a passive activity that is initiated by the teacher and the student merely participates.

I'm reaching up and reaching out.
I'm reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
Spiral out.

Whatever you decide, I wish

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck.

As to your state's laws pertaining to home or unschooling, you may find this helpful, though I can't vouch for its accuracy (I made the wild guess that Alabama was the state in question for you):


In any case, what they discuss there for Alabama is also how I unschool my kids here in Florida: via an "umbrella school." You should be aware of some of the implications. For instance, the one I enrolled my kids in here in Florida does not provide a diploma nor transcripts of any kind. Not a big deal to us, but each family is different, and so are umbrella schools.

In any case, hope that's a decent starting point. Again, best of luck to you whichever way you go.

Not Jay, but...

Another unschooler here. Not sure if this is necessary, but first, unschooling is a style of home schooling which is pretty much free form and child led rather than 'school at home' where you use typical curriculum. Where you might consider home schoolers 'the fringe', unschoolers would be the 'fringe of the fringe'. So, advice one, you're going to need a thick skin.

General advice - do some research and see what the style options are. Unschooling started, more or less, with John Holt's book _How Children Learn_. Consider what you learn and choose a style appropriate for your family (parents and kids).

Come to an agreement with your spouse about what you plan on doing.

Talk to your kids (if they are old enough). Personally, I don't think public school is necessarily terrible (in practice, anyway - it is always terrible in principle). I home/un- school for positive reasons, not because I hate public school.

Join some local home schooling groups, you can find them with a search engine, meetup dot com, or yahoo groups, to name a few. That will give you a chance to get to know your local home schooling community and they can also fill you in on the local bureaucracy. In some states it's extremely difficult to unschool because of requirements put on home schoolers.

That's about all I've got. In parting, my oldest started college last January and is kicking ass - after 17 years of zero tests or other traditional school nonsense :-)

Good luck!

Thanks Mr. C!

After reading the book "Montessori Today" I decided that I wanted to go the child led route and not just do conventional school at home. I think this will work well for my son as he is very inquisitive and genuinely loves seeking out knowledge. Fortunately my husband is totally on board and we live in the very home school friendly state of Texas. We're hoping to move out onto our family's 200+ acre farmland sometime this year where we're starting our own organic garden and raising animals, so that will give us a lot of great learning opportunities!

I think the thing that appeals to me most about the child led approach is that learning becomes a truly cooperative effort between parent and child. We get to learn together and I'll end up learning at least as many lessons from him as he will from me.

I've been looking into home schooling groups around the area and haven't had any luck so far as we live in a pretty rural area where everyone has a strange level of devotion to the local schools. It's a big source of pride for them, mostly sports related. I suppose I could always start my own home school group. Maybe there are others in my area who just never figured anyone else did it.

Thick skin, I can definitely see how that would be a must! I've always been a little bit unconventional (dare I say rebellious?) and gone against the grain, so I've at least got a head start on that.

Your encouragement has been a tremendous help! Thank you so much! :)

I'm reaching up and reaching out.
I'm reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
Spiral out.

Sounds like you have a good

Sounds like you have a good handle on things. I'm also in TX, it's a good state to unschool in. If you ever pass through DFW or have any TX specific questions feel free to send me a note.

Small world

We're actually not that far apart. I live about 20 miles north of Tyler. I'll definitely keep you in mind any time I have questions!

I'm reaching up and reaching out.
I'm reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
Spiral out.

I neither want my healthcare

I neither want my healthcare nor my children socialized.

I don't know how many times

I heard "You are not here to socialize" during my years in the government schools in the 1960's.

Good one, CarrotTop!

Good one, CarrotTop!

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

so he did all that

with no college degree, no high school degree, while ignoring his teacher.

Seven Lies About Homeschoolers

Must watch...has me laughing every time.


Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. -Thomas Jefferson

It's been years

since I seriously almost spit out my drink from laughing too hard at a video.


This one was a close call, I just BARELY kept my coffee in!!


for the parents and kids and for the public schools hiring such morons imo.

Again, the parents should vet the school staff and not give carte blanche to those principal skinners.


Spotting Typos here and there

I believe the correct spelling is "Public Fool System". Don't be fooled...

as one

who was in public school 6 years of my life, and has worked in the public school system as a bus driver I point and laugh at anybody that says that the school system "socializes" children.

When one socializes a person that means that they are teaching them how to act in society. Sitting in your desk 7 hours a day while not talking to anyone, is not how you act in society, in fact you must talk to people often. In the little time you get to talk mocking other people the whole time which pretty much made us argue the entire time we talked will not be tolerated in the adult world.
That pretty much sums up my socializing at school. anybody have any different kind of socializing in schools?


When I hear the socialization comment, I reply and indicate that imo, fellow class mates typically do not make very good role models. I sooner have children hang around adults who are good role models. When we were in school, we only ever interacted with children in our own class, let alone children of other grades. As such, I found the "social" exposure and experience very very limiting.

Socialization...classic propaganda.

IF my kids are an example of NOT being "properly" socialized well - HALLELUJAH! They are respectful, personable, interesting human beings who can and do talk to ALL ages of people.

They do not text but speak to a person face-to-face. No facebook either.

They will NOT engage in any behavior that ignores the person standing/sitting in their vicinity.

They can actually carry on a conversation on a myriad of topics. Too bad there are so few in their age group that can do the same.

Delightful people and at only 17 and 21 years old they will only get more delightful.

My contribution to a better society. :)

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

Oh Jeez, let me tell you!

Currently my son is still in the public prison-- uh, school -- system (we'll be in a position by summer to pull him out, thank goodness!) and let me tell you just a small sampling of some of the insanity we've had to deal with this year: (Disclaimer: long rant follows)

-In an introduction to the Constitution they were given a cheesy little flier discussing the Bill of Rights and explaining that these are "rights given to us by the government". How lovely! Isn't the government SO kind to "give" us these rights? Well, golly folks, we sure are lucky to have a government that is so generous, unlike some of those mean governments out there.

-Heaps upon heaps upon HEAPS of worksheets sent home every week as evidence of all the busy work they are forced to do every day. Parents are expected to look through this garbage and sign a sheet to send back to the school. Yes, even the parents must show compliance.

-My son's English teacher (in my district they split the day between 2 teachers starting in 3rd grade, one teaches reading and language arts, the other math, science, and social studies) has proven numerous times she doesn't have a strong grasp of the very subject she is responsible for teaching. Writing "Do Friday" instead of "Due Friday" on an assignment, writing in his conduct folder "was suppose to get one ticket, but took two instead" ("was suppose"? Erm, "supposed"), and then, my personal favorite: On a fill-in-the-blank worksheet they were sent home to complete for a Christopher Columbus reading assignment the first question, which they had completed in class, read : Christopher was a young boy about _____ years ago and had red hair. My son had "ten" written in the space. I said "Korbin, that's not right. He wasn't even alive 10 years ago." He told me that's what she told them the answer was. I looked at the answer bank and saw that "500" was the only other numerical option given for possible answers and had him change it after explaining why "ten" couldn't be correct and "500" made sense. When I got the worksheet back in the "weekly pile" she had put a big red X next to that question with the message "We did this one in class", and docked his grade for the assignment. I wrote a very eloquent little note to her explaining how her answer couldn't possibly be correct and that "500" was clearly correct and stapled it to the worksheet for him to send back to her. Korbin said she got a little huffy when he gave it to her and told him she would fix his grade.

-My son was told by one of his P.E. teachers (P.E. consists of little more than the kids running in circles, by the way) that he couldn't wear the sweatshirt he had on to school anymore because it has a skull on it. I checked the student handbook I was given at the beginning of the school year and it doesn't mention skulls anywhere in the dress code, so I called the principle. He informed me that the district has a policy of not allowing clothing with skulls, dragons, and wizards. Fortunately, he at least has some sense and said he would not enforce that rule because he felt there were more important things to be concerned about and agreed with me that it doesn't make sense to not allow clothing with skulls when they sell posters of, and books about, zombies and vampires at the book fair. He told me he'd talk to the teacher and Korbin could continue to wear the sweatshirt, but warned me that the middle school follows that rule strictly.

-(Last one, I promise!) The week before Valentine's Day his homeroom teacher sent home a note about their Valentine's party with names of all the kids in class. It also explained that because February was "Heart Health Month" (this was news to me) instead of candy or cookies or cake, they would be making trail mix in class. I was then instructed to refer to the back of the paper to find the circled items that I was to buy and send to the school. Now, I was thinking the list would include different types of nuts, dehydrated fruits, dark chocolate chips, possibly pretzels. Nope. Peanuts, pretzels, and about half a dozen types of sugary cereals including Fruit Loops, Reese's Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, etc. The healthiest item (peanuts) was later omitted (along with the Reese's Puffs) because it turned out the new girl who had just transferred into the class is highly allergic to peanuts. So glad the kids got to eat sugar and HFCS instead of... well, sugar and HFCS. Seriously, these people are friggin' brilliant.

Alright, I'm done. Sorry for the tirade everyone. Though, I do feel a little better now :)

I'm reaching up and reaching out.
I'm reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
Spiral out.

I heard the same thing...

from public school officials when I home schooled my daughter. "Your child will not be properly socialized", to wit, I responded, "And that's a bad thing?"

Kudos to you ! The more of this insanity they miss..

the saner they will be, and wiser as well! (One of the best benefits of either unschooliing or typical home-schooling is that you can teach them what you think they need to know)

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

It's the old "duck and cover"

from the cold war, re-modernised for now. Keep the kids scared sh*tless and beg the "Government" for safety.

jrd3820's picture

I wasn't technically home schooled

I had a public school education, except for the fact that my Dad often pulled me out of school to teach me what he thought was important. I missed weeks of school each semester because of my Dad. That being said I had tested out of all college general education requirements for college by the time I was 17 and graduated high school a year early simply because my Dad did took responsibility for so much of my education.

The socialization thing always cracks me up, my socialization as a child did not occur in school.

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

2nd that

Mom regularly "freed" me from the public school institution. In fact, I missed the 1st week of high school because I was on a cruise in the Caribbean. Same too, had most of GenEd outta the way by Sr. Year. :) kindred spirits, our parents....