Unschooling to death

So far I haven’t found anybody talking or writing about independent college or graduate level education, but there’s a whole world of literature and resources about independent education for children. Homeschooling, unschooling, self-directed alternatives to elementary schools and high schools. I’ve started with books by John C. Holt, under the recommendation of my partly unschooled friend Isak.

John Holt was feisty. I like reading balls-out manifestos— whether or not I actually agree with them, it’s exciting to see people be demanding— so this is fun. So far, in the first thirty pages of Instead of Education, he has laid out utopian visions of work, life and government, and settled on overthrowing compulsory education and standardized testing as his first strategic move. Balls out! No wonder every book about homeschooling starts by thanking this guy.

Next to the right to life itself, the most fundamental of all human rights is the right to control our own minds and thoughts. That means, the right to decide for ourselves how we will explore the world around us, think about our own and other persons’ experiences, and find and make the meaning of our own lives.

That sentiment has quite a share of ranting for and against it, in philosophical texts (which I will look up at some point). But what I like right now is how applicable that is to my actual investigation of how to die properly. A big chunk of a happy death, especially if you don’t believe in an afterlife, is usually a happy or satisfying life. I get the feeling that all the educational theory I’m about to read will have a lot to say about how to make life meaningful.

I don’t know why I didn’t expect this. Reading about two different topics at once almost always turns them into one bigger topic, right? My friend Matt prefers to read at least two things at once, for the bonus connections. Right now it is sunny, so I’m going to take two opposite books to some place with a patio.