Thursday, October 29, 2009

what is real life?

you know what's funny? people talk about how children "need" to go to school to learn how to live in "the real world" but nothing about the way your average school is operated is anything like my real life. (one i am told i am lucky to have and which, indeed, i am Very Thankful for. but this is available to many people with the ability to choose it, but that's another blog post.)

what is this alleged "Real Life"?

real life is fully integrated, rather than divided into subjects (baking cookies is not about math and reading comprehension, it's about making cookies.). real life happens all the time (24hrs a day) and people (whether they know it or not) have a choice about what they do when they do it. in real life everybody doesn't know all the same things just because they are the same age. in real life everybody doesn't need to know everything and be "well rounded". no one thinks accountants should know about biology or french. no one expects nurses to spout off calculus facts, solve quadratic equations or random pieces of information about history at any given time.

in real life people learn the things they need to learn when and HOW they need to learn them. in real life, even though someone may know more about something than me, it doesn't make it okay for them to treat me like with contempt and/or disrespect. in real life, i am responsible for myself. i make decisions and live with the results and learn (and grow!) from my mistakes. in the real world i am not a bad person because i don't know something and people don't test me on what i know to decide what to think of me (and if they do, those aren't the kind of people i would choose to be around!)

whatever this 'real world' is that school is supposed to prepare people for, it's not what i want for my children. i don't want them to learn that one person has all the answers, that they are simpletons incapable of discovering things for themselves, that they are less than people who know more about something than they do, that they have no valid opinion, that when a bell rings it's time to go to work or time to stop. that a person's worth lies entirely in their performance. that people don't get to do the things they are passionate about because other people don't approve.

but let me shift that too the positive point of view:

i want my children to trust themselves. i want my children to understand how they learn best and what works best for *them* and to know how to teach themselves whatever they want to learn. i want them to find their passions and pursue them. for them to connect with living beings as equal citizens of the planet, like them. for them to have a broad worldview. for them to feel free from the confines of harmful social constructs (socio-economic delineations, popularity contests, fitting in because it's easier).

maybe it sounds like i'm saying that all children who go to school will learn all these things. it's not what i am saying. people (children in this case) who feel gotten and supported and encouraged to find their own path at in their home environment can navigate the traditional school system taking what they need and leaving what they don't. lots and lots of wonderful, world changing people have come from school. LOTS!

and lots and lots of wonderful, world-changing people have come from un- or de-schooled backgrounds too.

just think about what percentage of what you "learned" in school you use today; right now. Parallelograms? Literature? Chemistry? of the parts that you do use, what could you have learned without being coerced anyway?

school isn't the be all, end all. school and academics aren't the recipe for success. academics can and do change the world, to be sure. but even Hitler was educated. as were the doctors and nurses that created and maintaned those heinous gas chambers.

everything good happens within the framework of Love. for me, that is the real world. real life. Love is.

Love is. only Love only Love

only Love.


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