What is Required? Back to the Basics (Part 7)

Categories: Léo’s Insights 2023-2024, Back to the Basics

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One of the most common misconceptions regarding educating children at home is exposed by the question  “What is required?”  I am most perplexed when I hear that query from people actually professing to be unschoolers or desiring to unschool.  This question can only be truthfully answered with a question: Who or what is establishing these so-called “requirements”?

Common sense should inform us that we are the slaves of those whom we obey.  This may not necessarily be bad, but it is true.  When someone other than ourselves determines what is required they are exercising authority over us.  For instance, when someone other than ourselves determines what the speed limit should be on a given road.  While we may disagree, to exceed the speed limit is to invite repercussions in the form of a speeding ticket.  Question is, is this a legitimate authority?  The answer is another question.  Who built the road?  We can assume the government who built the road has the authority to set limits and penalties for breaking the speed limit and so, yes, it is a legitimate authority.

If we follow this line of thinking, we must ask ourselves who “built” the children?  Most certainly not the government, school, church or any other claimant to having authority over the children.  Parents created the children so they have ultimate authority regarding them until they reach the age of personal accountability.  This includes what will be required of them respecting their education.  The only requirement therefore becomes one of safely, carefully, lovingly presenting opportunities for learning.  Until a standard child can be presented, the idea of “what is required” is based on an unquestioned belief that someone or something knows your child better than you.  While this may be possible in extenuating circumstances, it is not likely to be the case with home educators.

To learn more about authority, see the blog series entitled Authority:  https://www.educationunlimited.ca/insights/index.php/category/leos-insights-2019-2020/authority/

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