In noting one’s particular belief or belief system, it is important to establish that this system of beliefs must not necessarily collide with or fit into one of society’s major organized, historical, cultural, and traditional religions, such as Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Islam.
Every person’s unique belief system is different from person to person, even within these larger religious groups, and my own personal beliefs, although able to be described as religious, must not certainly be so described, as each person is definitely unique and learns about life and creates one’s beliefs based on a multitude of personal lifelong and complex experiences, sources, and associations.
In addition to the uniqueness of belief varying from individual to individual based upon the differences in self and environment by which a person moves through life, there is also the element of mental assimilation and accommodation as an ongoing process which needs to be viewed in full consideration. If beliefs change based upon knowledge obtained or formed and events experienced, even also in the biology of the person, then the movement of a person through time and development must also be considered.
No person, place, situation, or belief system is static, rather it evolves and morphs with the colorful variation and change of humanity on a grand scale as well as on an individual scale. The uniqueness and changeability of the universe from day to day lends insight into the uniqueness and changeability of personal views. This is not to say that there are not beliefs and truths which are more constant or reliable, however, one must be ready to adapt these more constant truths to modern human society, which is always in flux.
One belief, out of the hundreds or thousands interrelating ones which I probably have, is the unnecessary nature of school and educational institutions in general. Although this belief may change in time, as of this moment, I see forced schooling as being a ridiculous concept, as are all forced or mandatory activities which strip the individual of free choice.
My belief in unschooling, best illustrated by John Holt’s theories and the Unschooling. info website, basically suggests that each person should be free to live and learn on one’s own terms, handing over the precious responsibility of self direction in education to parents and their children, and rightly stripping from the hands of the government and other agencies towing the line of forced education, learning, or belief structures.
If one must characterize this belief of mine in unschooling as being religious in the sense that it is practiced or believed regularly, then it is right to acknowledge that my belief in and positive regard of unschooling has been fairly regular and constant for the past several years, and I find affirmation in the stories of other people who also share my beliefs. I subscribe to groups, learn from online resources, and mingle with individuals who share this belief system.
The belief I have in unschooling is rooted primarily in my dissatisfaction with other people telling me what to do from day to day for so long in my life, the primary group of which were teachers and professors in schools and universities. Unschooling, to me, is the perfect way to live life and raise children, offering learning and education as a self owned right, protecting the basic right to freedom of thought, for oneself and one’s children.
I aim to support and encourage myself and others in so far as possible striving to embrace beliefs, learning, and thinking as a basic right of human life from conception to death, taking the primary role of learner securely back into the realm of the individual and out of the hands of overlords. Unschooling family members support themselves and one another in lifelong learning which naturally springs forth from both random and purposeful self directed experiences and choices.
There are no topics or subtopics or interrelated topics which cannot be learned from a huge variety of sources and in a huge variety of ways. In is well worth time for universities and schools to reconsiders the musts of their students and for individuals to recognize that learning is their right and under their own control.
Perhaps testing for knowledge or job readiness is appropriate when working with others, however, a diploma or a degree is not necessarily an adequate mark of what is learned, nor is it an adequate mark of what knows in comparison to others without diplomas and degrees. Mostly, it proves one jumped through other people’s hoops and paid a lot of money. So far, I haven’t had any disadvantages to having this belief system, which, supposedly, could be termed as a religious belief, and the advantages are always new, evolving, and ever springing, it seems.
Spending time with my children would be a benefit, as do traditional homeschooling mothers, learning and helping my children to learn on our own terms and in our own ways is certainly a benefit, and liberation of thought from the mechanical systems of education is also a great plus. The perceived downsides which other people may hold but which I do not share is that unschooling requires time and energy for parents of young children, unschooling prevents full time or out of home work for one or both parents, and parents are unqualified to help their own children to learn.
In disputing these what I view to be false downsides, I have to claim the belief that I think spending time and energy on children is absolutely fabulous and to be cherished, that of course children need the constant or near constant presence of the mother or other caregiver and that families can choose to support and encourage this, and that parents are very much qualified to teach their own children. Who else should be the primary judges of what people think and belief, of how they live their lives?
If government or the state is apt to be selected as the answer to that question, then we may very well kiss individuality and the right to personal thought goodbye and swirl into the darkness of force and socialism. The role of tradition in religion in general to keep a group of people together in what they do and how they do things, how they express their beliefs, primarily in God. Traditions in religion such as going to mass at church on Sunday are similar to the weekly unschooling groups of individuals and families at the park.
People need community support in what they do and what they believe, on a very basic level, so that one doesn’t feel isolated and alone. Traditions are fairly regular ministrations of keeping beliefs and ideas alive through purposeful actions. The best thing that I can do in keeping alive the traditions of unschooling is to continue to be active within this society or culture of people, sharing my experiences and beliefs as regularly as necessary through purposeful actions which support and encourage my way of life.
Contributing to groups through conversations and literature are ways in which I can stay connected, either in person or through the virtual online world. It is very important to know what the beliefs of others are, both to keep one’s mind open to new ideas as well as to diplomatically handle differences of opinion and belief when interacting with people who do not share all or most or even a few of the same beliefs as oneself does. It is very often that people differ in opinions and beliefs, and it would even be safe to assume that no two people on this Earth do in fact share all of the same beliefs.
Having two identical minds on one planet seems near to impossible, given the varied and colorful lifestyles and experiences, places and regions, times and spaces, wherein one’s individual point of view springs forth. Although it can be difficult to interact with people who are strictly aligned with a highly structured and formal belief system, it can also be difficult to interact with people who are flip and find not much purpose in any beliefs whatsoever.
To me, a good balance point is knowing what one believes, knowing that beliefs are flexible, and being able to converse on an appropriately calm level about any and all posed ideas with others, unless one wishes to opt out of the conversation or proposed idea, which is also quite ok. References Unschooling. info. (2009). Retrieved on 3/1/09 from http://unschooling. info.