It is clearly absurd to limit the term ‘education’ to a person’s formal schooling. – Murray Rothbard
It took a while for my brain to slow down the first year of not going to public school. My head was still swimming from the horrors of the earth and the burden to deal with them and “save the world.” Environmentalism, disease, slavery, holocaust, cancer, anti-drug/violence campaigns, presidential campaigns, eating disorders and maniacal cops coming in to scare us straight. This was just before school shootings were highly publicized.
Did anything good ever happen in history? Was there ever anything to get happy about? Oh yeah, the teachers got excited with the cloned sheep called Dolly and we were temporarily excited by the Macarena. Then there were the deadlines, the heavy books, peer pressure, following the rules, harsh punishments laced with shame, worrying about clothes, popularity and judgement from teachers and students. There were a lot of troubled students. For various reasons, my parents were not heavily involved in my unschool. We didn’t have curriculum. I want to emphasize this – no guidance, no curriculum. I felt embarrassed at the time because I was still trapped in comparisons and my homeschool friends had curriculum. I didn’t know it would turn out awesome. I didn’t know that resting from public school would bring peace and true desire for knowledge, understanding and wisdom (Trivium). The institution break served as a sling shot and there was no going back after launch. Seek and ye shall find.
Most of my high school education came from just a few resources that didn’t take much time to read. Most of what’s in high school is complicated, unnecessary, and wasted time. The rest came from sheer desire of knowledge and reading tons of things I was passionate about. It’s amazing what intense interest can do to plow through obstacles – the obstacles being what is considered necessary information for college and adulthood. I was at college level by the time I entered a private high school to finish senior year (not necessary to do but that was one way to finish high school).Before my reading took off, I tried practicing with SAT and ACT test books. I couldn’t answer much and forgot about it. Just by reading tons of classic literature (my main interest) and discussing them with my homeschool friends at our book club, coming back to the test books was completely different. I got a great score and read a couple math books to bring that score up. I found my own learning technique to soar past years of text work. As it turns out, I never had to take those tests to start college. The undue pressure on students is really ridiculous once you see past it.