Sandra Dodd

Please don't go looking for the person I'm quoting. It's not someone I know. I want to bring it here as an anonymous example.

On facebook, a longtime unschooler posted a cool quote about kids reading pictures before they read words, basically, and that parents should appreciate that.

One of the comments she got was:
Each person is different. My son refused to 'read' words until there was a sign telling us about a great circus coming to our area. After that he read every sign he could find. I love that life teaches you what is important.

I responded:

-=-That sounds cruel. He wasn't "refusing to read." You could tell that story in a positive, uplifting way, that he happened to figure reading out when there was a circus sign, and found after that that he was actually reading! Instead of crediting life for teaching him, you could give him all the credit for having figured it all out.-=-

If the person who wrote the first part (who might be on this group, which is fine; don't out yourself) were to say "I didn't mean..." or "I didn't say..." it would be indefensible.

Using the phrase "my son refused to..." means he knew how but wouldn't perform, or maybe (at best) that he would have been able to if he had only tried. Neither is helpful for someone who wants to be an unschooler. (Neither is helpful for someone who wants to be a loving parent, either.)

When someone writes "I love that life teaches you what is important," I think it means she hasn't thought much about learning, and doesn't want to acknowledge her son's learning as a rich part of HIM, of himself, of his growth into a grown man who will look back and remember his mother in various ways.

I've tried to invest in my children's future in many ways, not the least of which is that I want them to be able to live their entire lives with few regrets about their childhoods. There are some, there will be more, perhaps, when they are parents and look back. But I now too many people whose stories of childhood cause their faces to show pain, dozens of years later.

Perhaps add that consideration to your unschooling tool box.