Sunday, 24 July 2011

Learning Nothing

A friend on Facebook pointed me in the direction of 'Learn Nothing Day', set up by a lady called Sandra Dodd, one of those americans who seem to have made themselves a career out of home educating their children (I mean one where they earn a living rather than it being something that just occupies their time). Certainly she is a passionate proponent of 'unschooling' and someone who I read when my children were younger. Just a note about the politics of the otherwise movement: 'Unschooling' is a US term, used to distinguish themselves from the homeschoolers, who, over there, tend to follow purchased curricula. Here in the UK we tend to call it 'autonomous education', and it is characterised by following and facilitating the individual child's interests and supporting them in making their choices about what they learn and how they spend their time.

Learn Nothing Day was started to answer the 'don't you have holiday's?' question (one of many that come from random strangers who think they have the right to comment on your lifestyle choice), because, of course, since learning is a natural function of the human brain it could be quite hard to spend an entire day learning nothing. The main trouble with the school system (so many troubles so little time) is that it divides the world into two halves: the time in school when you are 'learning' stuff, and the time outside when you aren't. This is the basis for the government's draconian punishments for parents who take their children on holiday during term time, because if they are not inside the school building they cannot possibly be learning anything. Because something is only really 'learned' if you have written it down in an exercise book and had it ticked off by the teacher.

So here I am desperately trying not to learn anything and already, while blog browsing, I have followed the instructions on how to sew, and put a baby into, a baby wrap, how to do a Colonial knot and how to do a French knot.
Go on, try it for yourself, see if you can 'not learn' today.

1 comment:

  1. Today I learnt, thanks to your links, that Hettie Bunker likes to sing songs.


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