In a few weeks, I will be speaking at the HENA (Home Education Network of Arizona) conference in Tempe. My talk will be titled: “Unschooling Everything?”
This title comes from people saying, “We unschool everything but math.” Or, sometimes they say, “I get how unschooling can work for everything but math.”
The thing is, if you could unschool everything but some one thing, then WHY would you choose math to be that one thing? It makes no sense. Math is the one subject that schools do the very worst job on. The WORST! Every schooled kid takes math for many years, and the end result is that math anxiety is so common that Marilyn Burns calls it, “a national phobia.”
If you’re going to school just one thing, shouldn’t you pick something that schooling doesn’t seem to so very thoroughly and consistently screw up? Music, maybe? Art? Drama? Tennis? Lunch?
People are so anxious about math that even those who fully trust their children to be curious and natural learners about anything and everything else, don’t trust them when it comes to math.
WHY so much anxiety? Schooling is to blame! You can’t trust your child to learn math naturally because of your own school-induced anxiety.
School-style math instruction has truly terrible consequences. While it is true that a few so-called “math brains” appear to make it through unscathed, it turns almost everyone else into math avoiders. How do schools accomplish this? I’ll save that for some future posts, but, for now, just ask yourself why you would want to unschool everything but math?