There is a question frequently asked about unschooling: how on earth will these children ever learn that life isn't all fun and that there are things they just have to do, even if they're not interested in it? I hear this a lot lately for some odd reason. So I thought I would share a few examples from my almost 15 year old daughter's life.
We are not morning people. At all. Especially my oldest. We tend to stay up late and we get up late. And yet, she will plan her night and rise early (ugh, too early for me) in order to get ready for her summer job - walking fields picking up huge rocks for a local farmer. 4 to 5 hours a day of hard work when they call her in. Monotonous work. Dirty work. And that farmer pays her and the other rock picking teens pretty darn well. :)
I also watch this daughter of mine push herself beyond what I'd think her humanly capable - for basketball. Camps, practices, games, conditioning, training, summer leagues, tournaments, back to back games. In my opinion, anything that brings me to the point puking repeatedly into a trash can in front of a bunch of people is NOT on my immediate to-do list.
As we enter the high school years, I am so proud of her as she begins to focus on her plans for the future. She has no clear idea of what she wants to do yet other than play basketball at the college level, but she is partnering with me and making sure she has all her bases covered. I truly admire the diligence she is showing in this area.
People make this assumption that years of forced schooling is necessary in order for kids to grow up and take their place in society. That without it, they just won't be able to function. They won't be prepared. Pish posh and a big load of hooey! They will grow up just fine. They will seek out jobs and careers in their fields of interest and meet goals to achieve that along the way. Even if it's not fun or interesting.
And when it comes right down to it, they'll work whatever montonous, mind numbing, physically challenging jobs they need to in order to achieve their goals...but here's a key factor - someone will pay them MONEY to do it. Nobody pays you to drudge your way through hours and hours of uninteresting, arbitrary schoolwork. Hmmmm...maybe that's where the schools should try putting their money. :)