School Is A Waste Of Time – A Helpful Breakdown

Obvservations about school.

A few observations about school from a 32 year old man who has studied nearly his entire life.


Elementary School: The first half is pretty unnecessary if you watched a healthy dose of PBS, or had parents worth a crap. The second half is the same junk every year.

Middle School: Needs to not exist. They need to send every child away from the ages of about 12 to about 16. Teach them a trade, or something. Then, when their brain cuts back on, they can come back to school.

High School: Is mostly about crowd control. Very few people are learning. This is when the drama part of your brain develops.

Associate’s degree: All the stuff you should have learned in high school, you learn here.


Other (2nd, 3rd, etc) Associate’s degrees: Those are just embarrassing. Why did you even do that? Don’t talk about them. Ever.


Bachelor’s degree: About three classes that blow your mind and change your world–finally! Then you get to repeat that information in about 12 other classes so the college makes money.


Master’s degree: You start learning a whole lot about one little thing. Choose wisely. Also, you take about 3 classes that blow your mind–AGAIN. Most of them will also tell you that what you learned for your Bachelor’s was wrong, for some reason. Then you get to repeat yourself, recycle papers for other classes, and generally want to die for about 5 to 6 more semesters… once again, so the school can make money.


2nd Master’s degree: This is what you get to do when you chose wrong for the first one. You really don’t want to have to do it all again, but that’s what you get for being a dummy. That’s right: You’ve been in school for about 30 years now, and you’ve finally realized that you’re the Biggest Loser. You’ve finally realized that you’re dumb. Good job.


Avoiding doing homework,



What is Strewing?

unschooling strewing


Okay, I sort of, kind of get unschooling, but what the crap is strewing? That’s what we’re talking about all month long over at Christian Unschooling this beautiful September. Click on the link below to read my contribution this month about recent strewing successes in our home and why I think strewing is so important in unschooling.


Strewing and Unschooling


Also, check out my friend Aadel’s ebook on Amazon called “The Art of Strewing”. Quick read and great insights!



Does High School Prepare You For Real Life?

Have you ever thought long and hard about what you really learned in High School and if you ever actually use any of that stuff in “real life”?  Well, I have (thought about it, that is).  Wanna know the conclusion I came to?


Then hop on over to Christian Unschooling to find out.



Dear Graduate, let me whisper in your ear… {Advice for a High School Graduate}

 What is the best advice for a high school graduate?  Here’s a repost from last year with my answer.


So I mentioned recently that my little brother-in-law graduated from High School last week.  And it got me to thinking about the best advice for a graduate.




And, honestly, it’s not the advice I was given.


Everyone that tried to encourage me – pushed college.  And a lot of good their advice did me, because I still was never inspired to stay for two semesters in a row, ever.  One here, one there.  I didn’t really care.  I didn’t like college, I didn’t want to be there.  I thought most of it was just stupid.  And you guys know how I feel about doing things that I think are stupid.


So yeah, if I could only dispense one piece of advice it wouldn’t be college.  Besides, that piece of paper isn’t worth what it used to be, anyway.


But, enough about what I wouldn’t say. Without further ado, here’s what I would say.


*Brace yourself for the insightful and wise awesomeness:*


Pursue something passionately.


That’s it.  Seriously.  Pursue whatever you already have a passion for and interest in.  Read books/websites, make it, break it, play it, paint it, write it – whatever your thing is.


But do it in earnest.  With discipline and focus.


Because whatever your thing is – your talent, or your yearning, or your dream – God put that in you.  And you’ll do well to go after it with every confidence that comes from knowing your passion is your path.  And “education” is in the eye of the beholder…


So, college – schmollege.



What advice would you offer a graduate?



7 Snippets of Unschooling – Star Wars, Howrse, and Civil Rights.

My friend Carma from Winging-It has started a new weekly link up and I thought I’d try it out.  At the beginning of our Unschooling journey I blogged about it quite a bit, chronicling our experience helped me to see the proof in the pudding, if you will.  Once in awhile I stumble onto one of those old posts and they give me warm fuzzy feelings.  My memory is terrible, so if I don’t record these things somewhere I’ll just forget them.  Hence my trying out this linky.



Four Year Old has really been focusing on reading a lot.  He taught himself to write his own name.  He draws letters everywhere, on paper, on a doodle pad, in the dirt.  He’s read several things this week that surprised me. On this day a few weeks ago he copied the words off of his Hardees wrapper.

"Clint hardees biscuit is got from hardees."

He made his own sentence, asking his dad how to spell the next word he wanted and asking for help if he wasn’t sure about how to write a letter.  What amazes me most about his reading and writing is A) He started doing this as a 3 year old and B) We didn’t teach him any of it.


Eleven Year Old started her second website this week. It’s a tutorial site for, a game she spends a lot of time on, so she’s kind of an expert. Her site (which she came up with the name for) is called  I help her design her sites, but all the content is hers.

Her brainstorming tablet.

She also wrote a “paper” this week about all of the math that is involved with howrse.  Here’s a snippet:

“There’s more [to your horse] than just feeding it though!  You have to board it in Equestrian Centers (ECs for short.)  The person who owns the EC you want to board in will name a price, and if you want to board your horse in their center you’ll have to pay it.  But if you want to have a lot of money left in your reserve.  (The money is called equus just so you know.)  Then like I like to say—the more for your money!  Because let’s face it…most of the people who run these ECs don’t understand that, if you make your price really high like 75 equus.  Nobody really wants to board there!  But if you grow some crops for the horses that stay there, hire some workers, buy more boxes and meadows, plus remember to always buy fresh bedding for the boxes—and make your price really low like 10, 15 or 20.  Horses will board until you don’t have any empty boxes!”

She not only virtually learns how to care for a horse on this site (and endlessly memorizes facts about different breeds) she’s learning a lot about practical economics, etc.


Star Wars sparked a lot of play this week with May the 4th being Star Wars Day.  We had a movie marathon and watched all the movies in machete order.  The Wild Boys “played” Star Wars Monopoly by making up games with the action figures and also “racing” their guys around the board by rolling the dice and moving the guys to see who could get around the fastest.

They also watched this a cappella star wars song endlessly and the oldest two memorized it in it’s entirety. Four Year Old memorized … part of it. :)



The Husband pulled down his old foot locker from the attic this week and shared all of his treasures.

Five Year Old was particularly interested in Husband’s old military patches, and where each one came from – Arizona, Iraq, Israel, etc …

We looked through an autobiography that Husband wrote as an assignment as a 12 year old, that was pretty funny.  And looked through his old ribbons and metals and learned what each one was for.


We also spent plenty of time playing.  We went to the lake for one last hurrah before the move.  I’m going to miss having the lake all to ourselves during the school year.

The Wild Boys found a stick bug, we looked at lily pads and their flowers, we watched birds, and we spent a good amount of time talking about alligator behavior because some big ones have been spotted on these fair shores recently.  We were the appropriate amount of paranoid.


We stopped by and saw The Wild Things Papa one day while he worked and explored an elaborate playhouse that he’s building for a client. It’s complete with a balcony inside, and will eventually have electricity, air-conditioning, carpeting, and the whole shebang.



We borrowed and watched a couple of new movies this week.  We honestly don’t watch tv or movies a whole lot so it was kind of a fun movie week for us.  Aside from our Star Wars Marathon we also watched Soul Surfer and Eleven Year Old and her partly African-American friend watched The Help. That started a host of conversations about segregation, the civil rights movement, etc.


Whew!  I’m so used to this lifestyle that living and learning blends together for me now so even I’m impressed at all the learning that takes place in a week when I have to sit down and think/write about it.  And there was a lot more than this, of course.  This is just some of the stuff that I had pictures to go with. :)


Check out the other Unschooling Snippets at Winging-It.




Unschooling Summer

Isn’t all year summer vacation for an unschooler?  What’s so different about June, July, and August?


This was our first year transitioning to unschooling, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when summer rolled around.  I thought it wouldn’t feel any different.  Thought it would be seamless.   After all, nothing academically changed in our house.  My children are still home all day.  They’re still exploring their passions and interests, unhindered.


Obviously, there was a season change though.  So there’s just naturally a level of excitement about that.  Warm (blistering) weather, and shorts, and beaches, and sprinklers, and pools, and watermelons.  So, in that way, things have changed a bit in the atmosphere around here.


But what I didn’t expect, was the sense of relief I felt when the local school system finally let out for the year.  A tenseness left me, that I hadn’t been fully aware of until it was gone.  Because, let’s admit it, unschoolers live with a certain amount of fear of people that would oppose and dramatically misunderstand our way of life.


We fear the questions, and inquiries, and hostility that can come with the territory.


So it feels so good to know that I won’t have to deal with it for a couple of months.  That we can truly live our free life in freedom.  That my daughter can ride her bike down the street without people asking her why she isn’t in school.  That I can run daily errands without everyone staring at me because I’m the only loon out and about with four Wild Things.


That I can say my sons are playing video games right now at 11:00 a.m. without feeling academic condemnation reigning down from on high.


Or go to a carwash in the middle of the day.


And yes, The Wild Things are still learning.  Ten Year Old has spent the last full 4 days typing away on a book she’s writing.  She has woken up every day this week, fed her animals, walked her dog, and then spent the remainder of daylight writing.  Hours and hours of writing, and editing, and learning her way around a keyboard, and spelling, and grammar.


Because she wants to.


Unschooling, and Summer, win.



Unschool Monday – Now, I ain’t sayin she’s a gold digga…

Sunday I was outside watering flowers when I noticed this little burrow.



Which quickly produced this back peddling insect.





So I called Ten Year Old out, bearing my camera and one of our insect books.


Mystery bug entered the burrow again and we sat with our lens focused on him waiting for his reemergence.


And waited.


And waited.


Until – BAM.



He came running out with a beetle! What the what!




Which he dropped a few inches away from the hole.



The beetle acted kind of wonky and slowly started to wander around again.  But then we had to abandon our entomological morning and skedaddle to church.


After a day or two of fruitless googling, someone finally pointed me to an identification: The Great Golden Digger Wasp!


Apparently, it digs a tunnel, creating little pockets in the sides where it inserts a paralyzed insect for it’s larvae to feed on upon hatching.  Which is kind of, you know – Ew.  Don’t know what Mr. Beetle did wrong.  Perhaps he unparalyzed too soon.


The next day I made the mistake of raking over the burrow of death.  And she got kinda mad at me.


Calm down, Sheila.



...sorry about burying your larvae.


Anyway, pretty interesting “science lesson” this week. :)



Unschool Monday–Living is learning.

unschoolmondayWell, I don’t have any adventurous stories to share this week.  All I have to offer you is life.  Just the every day, the typical, the borderline uninteresting.  What did we do this week?  We lived. 

We washed dishes, and washed clothes, and cooked, and read books, and watched tv, and yes – played video games. And yet we still managed to learn quite a lot.  So this week, I thought I’d share some things that you could have heard if you were on a fly on the wall of our Bohemian 1200 sq ft.

10 yo – “Mom, did you know that your brain is 75% water?”

7 yo – “Mom, how do clams make babies?” (After seeing clams in a pond.  Subsequent Googling ensued)

10 yo – “Mom, they tried to raise baby wolves without ever knowing their mom, trying to make them like regular dogs, but they would still howl and stuff even though no one had taught them to.”

10 yo – “Mom, Shetland ponies, and Shetland sheep, and Shetland sheep dogs all came from the Shetland islands in Scotland.  And all those animals are small breeds.  Scottish Shepherds would take their sheep by boats to small uninhabited islands and leave the dogs there to take care of them while they grazed.  But then they brought Collie Dogs over from England when a Scottish Princess married an English King and bred them with the Shetland sheep dogs and the offspring were called Shelties.  They were still good sheep dogs, but they were a little bigger.  I watched this video where there was this one collie and hundreds of sheep and it was like a helicopter view and the Collie started barking and running towards the sheep and they looked like a giant white, noisy, cloud and then it made them all go through this big gate but there were so many of them and they got so close together and were so tightly packed that the Collie just jumped on the gate, and started running on their backs… (anyone with a 10 year old can appreciate a good run-on sentence). 

10 yo – “Did you know that bamboo are actually a kind of grass, and Panda’s eat over 25 lbs of it a day so that makes them one of natures biggest lawnmowers?  And just because Panda’s are cute and cuddly doesn’t mean they won’t be just as dangerous as any other bear?”

I know there was more, but I can’t remember it right now.  You’d be surprised with how much we learn from playing on websites (such as Animal Jam and Pop Tropica and Jumpstart)

Really, there’s so much that can be learned in a week, haphazardly and spontaneously, that without writing it down when it happens, I can never keep up with it.

Like how much I’m watching my Seven Year Old absorb reading and spelling every week, just out of his curiosity to know that things say.

Or Ten Year Old planting these sunflower seeds without me knowing on Friday, and them already being this big on Sunday.


Or digging up worms to feed to our turtle.


Not to mention how much can be learned from a single episode of Beakman’s WorldWinking smile

Anyway, sorry this Unschool Monday is lacking in pictures and adventure.  But let this be a “lesson”.  Life teaches us things, even without the exotic and adventurous.


Show and Tell–Our dog Jake

I forgot that today was Show and Tell over at A Bona Fide Life, or I would have delayed my Love Language post from earlier. Oh wells.

So one of my awesome, Christian, Unschooling, Leukemia butt-kicking, blogger friends does a monthly Show and Tell link up, and I thought that sounded like a world of fun.

So, I told Ten Year Old about it, and waited to see what she came up with.

Turns out, she Showed and Told about her dog.  Imagine that.

So, without further ado –

Scene change: back yard.

And there you have it.  That’s our very first stray-trick-doin-dog edition of Show and Tell! 


Unschool Monday–Sea Turtles

Thursday the Wild Things and I, plus 1, drove the 60 miles to our favorite place – Jekyll Island.  What’s Jekyll Island, you say?  Oh, just a hella-amazing coastal island with 7 miles worth of history, nature, and … general awesomeness.  I’m not the only one that thinks it’s awesome, movie makers like the place, too.  I heard the new X Men movie was filming some there…

But I am seriously off topic now.  My bigger point is, it’s totally worth the gas money to trek over there as often as we can because there’s so much to do.  And this week – it was sea turtles.

There is a sea turtle rehabilitation center on the island where hurt or sick sea turtles get their healin’ on.  It’s not a super large facility, but since we had it practically all to ourselves on a “school” day – we stayed for hours and hours.

We read absolutely everything in the education center.


Did you know that the temperature of the nest determines the gender of the turtle baby?


 And that there are 5 different sea turtles in Georgia?


And that the Hawksbill sea turtles eat toxic sponges so if humans eat their turtle meat, they just might die?

No turtle soup, yo.

And that baby diamondback terrapins are pretty much the cutest things ever?


And that turtles often times migrate up north and get caught in the winter weather and become “cold stunned”?

Like this little guy.


And that sometimes turtles forget how to go underwater and are then dubbed “floaters”?

That’s a floater in the mirror.

There was just so much to learn about sea turtles.  We read reports about the diagnosis of each turtle at the center, we learned about common problems that sea turtles run into, we oohed and ahhed the appropriate amount at the 26 turtles currently in the center.


We watched through the hospital window as they examined several of the animals.




But my favorite favorite part of the day, was when we took a break and went outside for lunch.  As we got ourselves situated to picnic, one of the staffers came out with a couple of tortoises and a picnic of her own.

Note the background turtle.

And, my very social Seven Year Old just walked over and sat down.

How absolutely adorable is this scene?

And then another staffer.  And then another Wild Thing.


And they just kept trickling over.


Until the maximum number of staffers and Wild Things were achieved.

Socialization myth – consider yourself punched in the face.

And as I watched them talking, asking questions, and laughing – I had a Grinch-like moment. 

No – the good kind. 

I felt like I could physically feel my heart swelling inside of my chest.

Spending the whole day enjoying the company of my children, watching them interact with people in the real world, exploring an interest in a hands on, real life way – that they wouldn’t be tested on later.

I just thought my heart might burst.

Unschooling Win.

Have you had any grinchy heart swelling moments with your Wild Things lately?