Interviewed for Radio Free School blog and re: unschoolers living and succeeding without college

I was recently interviewed on the Radio Free School blog as part of their series of interviews of grown unschoolers who also chose not to go to college. You can check-out the interview here.

They’ve already interviewed Idzie who writes the blog “I’m Unschooled. Yes, I can write.” and Cameron Lovejoy who ran the Autodidact Symposium this year. (Now you can also read the interview of Jessica Barker, writer of the Life Without College blog.)

For many people, being able to get into college and do well  there is the proof they want to show that homeschooling/unschooling works. Since I started researching unschooling in 1999 this list of colleges that admit homeschoolers was available from the great site Learn in Freedom!. Basically, every college I could think of, including good old Harvard, was on the list. And the list has grown.

But what I find really exciting is realizing that as homeschoolers, unschoolers, or anyone, we don’t NEED to go to college to succeed or prove ourselves. In fact, I see real hope in people trying to find their own path and create new ways of living that actually work. That’s part of what I talked about in the interview.

Awhile ago, I wrote a post called Unschooling College: Many Ways about the many options for people to “unschool college”.

I also recently discovered a great blog called Life Without College. It’s by Jessica Barker, a 19 year old unschooler who has tried some college classes but really found it didn’t work for her. She’s decided for the time being not to go to college and that she in fact doesn’t need it to succeed in life.

She’s actually written two posts about success: Defining SuccessPart One and Part Two. The posts have started an interesting discussion in the comments section mostly about whether college is inherently bad.

Personally, I don’t think college is inherently bad. I’ve learned a lot from and enjoyed the college classes I’ve taken. Just again, it’s people trying to find their own way and creating new things that gives me hope.

You can do that before, after, or maybe even while attending college. But I don’t think it’s encouraged in college. And college really does get you in the habit of thinking and functioning in a certain way.

And at the end of it you’re often in huge debt. Then it’s hard to really explore the world in a free and thoughtful way with open eyes. You’re too busy at least thinking about how you’ll pay off that huge debt.

Anyway, it’s wonderful to see more people questioning college in the unschooling scene. The scene sure has grown a lot over the past few decades.

Many of my readers already saw the family of radical unschoolers on Good Morning America. A local Massachusetts family, who I know from conferences, was interviewed twice on Good Morning America and on the Joy Behar Show on CNN. They did a great job introducing many people to the concept for the first time.

Idzie did a nice post about it with commentary, links to the video interviews, and links to other cool blog posts about it: Unschooling Gets Publicity… in a Big Way!

And I liked the comment she quoted from Wendy Priesnitz’s Twitter account: “In the 70s, people were scandalized by idea of homeschooling; now [they’re] scandalized by unschooling. This will pass. Evolution happens.”

Here’s to all of us continuing to evolve!

4 Responses to “Interviewed for Radio Free School blog and re: unschoolers living and succeeding without college”

  1. Donna Lomp says:

    Great Eli, thank you. Will comment more on facebook.

  2. Eli Gerzon says:

    Thanks Donna, and thanks for your comments on Facebook! Feel free to respost those comments here if you want too. Then others who might not be friends with me on Facebook can read them and add to the discussion.

    (Of course, those who aren’t friends with me and are on Facebook feel free to friend me!:

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Darren Beck, Idzie, Idzie, Eli Gerzon, News Tips 4 Mamas and others. News Tips 4 Mamas said: Eli Gerzon's Worldschooler Blog » Interviewed for Radio Free … […]

  4. Anna says:

    I’ve been enjoying the college discussion, as well. It’s exciting to me that more people are questioning not only traditional education, but traditional certificates and other proof of knowledge.

    The conversation reminds me of the bar scene in Good Will Hunting. Will gets mad with one of the students and he says (I’m paraphrasing here), “You’re getting an education for $150,000 that you can get for the price of some late fees on a library card.”

    Being a few months away from my 18th birthday, I have no plans to go to college. I’m hoping to start my own writing business in the fall, or next spring. And I intend on having fun, learning too much to try to even try to keep track of and being financially stable WITHOUT college.

    It’s getting to the point where you need to spend 4 years of your life and thousands of dollars to be able to “start your life”. I’m not going to wait. I’m starting NOW.

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