I liked school.
Probably not what you’d expect of an avid unschooler/life learner.
To be honest, the first year I was there, I loved it. I can actually go back through the posts of my blog and find the statement “I am loving school.”
So why on earth, you may ask, did I leave?
Well, first things first, the novelty and enjoyment of school did wear off. I went into school for the first time the day I turned thirteen. It was tiring, but there were so many people and it was lovely! The atmosphere was great, everyone was nice, the classes were interesting….
For about… six months, maybe?
After a while, being with people your own age every day wears thin. Personal space doesn’t really happen in school.
After a while, the once-interesting things being taught become severely boring, the homework takes over any ounce of free time you may have (especially for one with such severe procrastination issues such as myself) and the subjects become repetitive, uninteresting. It was as if my natural, free, wonderfully varied learning slowly transformed into the unnatural, forced, dull and bland learning that fits the system. The system is all that anyone cares about. I stopped drawing. I stopped playing music. I spent all my free time recovering from school.
So, near the end of second year, I realized that I was become just another person in the system, just another number, just someone who would go through life like everyone else, devoid of my natural passions and interests. The worst thing about school was that I hardly ever got to go outside.
When I left school, I had the best summer of my entire life (so far). And since then, that has continued. I am doing what I want, I get to be with the people I want. I am drawing again, I’m writing lots of music, I’m teaching myself the guitar, and most importantly, I get to be in the place I love every day, in the mountains. I sometimes do a bit of maths, a bit of Irish, and I go to French class, but other than that, I follow my passion in the things I love. I’m getting into photography, art, jewellery making, music, and writing a lot more, and I know myself that my true passion is the environment/nature. Where would this be if I were in school? I didn’t even have time for any of this there. Now, I’m free to develop my interests and develop as a human being, among people I want to be around.
That, my friends, is why self directed learning works for me.