Recently I've been reading books about unschooling, including The Teenage Liberation Handbook.
I have been struck by the number of such books which were published all the way back in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. The information has been around for a long time, but somehow I didn't hear about it until just a couple of years ago--even though I would've been a perfect candidate. If you had come to me on the first day of high school and told me that “homeschool” did not necessarily mean that your mom is your teacher and she assigns you homework and busywork just like school--but that instead I could drop out and learn whatever I wanted at my own pace, and get my friends to drop out so we could start a business and travel together--I would have been out of school within a month. And, with access to the right information, my parents would have let me do that. We just didn't know.
And nobody else who I talk to (outside of the freedom movement) has ever heard about it either. Something is seriously up with that.
Just last night I met a new friend for dinner. I was telling her about the startup I'm working on, and how we want to make it possible for people to prove what they know--to “certify” themselves--without school. At one point she was almost in tears after she realized the full scope of the pointlessness and destruction of school, and that none of it was really necessary. She would have been a perfect candidate for unschooling too.
It seems to me that people who know about alternatives to school really haven't been working that hard to reach people who are outside their immediate sphere of influence. Sure, most of my friends know about this stuff because I talk about it, but only a few of them go on to tell their friends about it, so the information doesn't spread. Now it could be that the information doesn't spread because it isn't all that compelling. But I think the main problem is, for the most part, that people who know about unschooling or other alternatives to school just can't remember what it was like to *not* know about these things. They don't empathize with the people who have never heard of such alternatives and who can't come up with them on their own.
So I'm proposing that we accept there may be more “low-hanging fruit” out there than we thought. How many other people out there are waiting for just one person to tell them it's okay to hate school and want to escape--and that it's possible to escape?
I want to put up billboards, big yellow billboards, telling kids who are trapped in bad schools that they have other options. I want to give unschooling, entrepreneurship, traveling, and other alternatives the marketing treatment they deserve. “Think you need a high school diploma to succeed in life? Think again.” That kind of message.
With the help of a couple of friends, I've already made some good progress on a website and promotional flyers. The “next step” is to get enough “likes” on the Facebook page to be able to run a few low-cost Facebook ads, in order to test various slogans for the billboards.
When the time comes, I will appreciate donations toward the billboard campaign, but for now you can help get things rolling by liking the Facebook page and sharing it with other freedom-loving people you know: http://www.facebook.com/schoolbreak.org
Thanks so much for your help. Let's get started!
"The battle for freedom begins in our own hearts...in our own lives." (Stefan Molyneux)
Intervene in Child Abuse, get out of School, sign up for Knowit, and welcome to the Emerging Renaissance!
If you live in or around San Francisco, give me a shout! I'm also available for Skype calls and such; don't hesitate to reach out :-)