Women are highly competitive. I don't know if this is true or not, but it seems to me that women aren't friends the same way that guys are friends with each other. Don't get me wrong - women get together, and often women are best friends, but in general it seems as though women are motivated by the sense that if another woman does something better than they do, it makes them feel inadequate.
This is definitely true in the homeschooling world...mothers compare notes and remark about the educational milestones of their children, which would be fine if there wasn't the sense that at some level there is judgment and comparison. For women, I believe this is a perfectly natural and instinctive way that nature improves the species. But, it can make it difficult for women to just feel relaxed around each other.
I realized the other day that homeschool graduates have a unique perspective on homeschooling (duh? right? lol). Unlike the mothers who are throwing their children into it, looking to the future and hoping that they come out of it unscathed, I am looking backwards. Homeschool mothers discuss methods, philosophies and curriculum trying to figure out by trial and error what will educate their kids, or they carefully avoid the topic if there are unschoolers and homeschoolers in the same group.
I, on the other hand, don't really care what other people are doing and I am really only interested in a good book recommendation. I judge all curriculum and methods based on how much fun it is, and how much I remember from it. Why the apparent apathy from someone who's motto is to kill apathy for the fun of it?
Because in the end, all homeschoolers and unschoolers turn out the same. ALL of them have something in common with the picture above, lol. Yes some go on to Harvard, and yes, some go on to be a clerk at a gas station. But there is no predictability to it. Unschoolers may go to Ivy League schools or may not be able to write an essay. Homeschoolers may become Senators or may end up in jail. It all averages out, and all children who are taught at home will simply gain one unique trait: they all think differently from the mainstream. They may be social butterflies or they may be really shy, but even the very socially able will appear unique and a little bit on the geek side.
So, from my backwards perspective, homeschooling (and unschooling) isn't about the academics. It's about helping the child foster independent thinking, a love of learning, and an awareness of the people and places of the world. A child with deep empathy and a love of learning will be successful without being able to diagram a sentence.
2 days ago