In this video, André Stern describes how he came to never go to school:
“I never went to school, because of a decision, or more precisely, an attitude of my parents. The attitude of my parents is pretty simple to summarise. They have always been very curious, and their curiosity led them to ask themselves a question: “What will be the next natural step within the spontaneous development, within the spontaneous disposition of the child?”
Curious parents ask questions a lot. A person might not even realise their level of curiosity before becoming a parent. Being in a position where every day requires you to make an infinite number of decisions that directly effect the lived experience of another human is a sure fire way to reveal a person’s level of curiosity. Responsibility can enhance curiosity.
Curious parents like to know what, who, when, where, why and how. They like to explore situations, not only through their own lens, but empathetically through the lens of their child’s experience.
We live in social construction, and curious parents will be questioning that construction and identifying areas that may require improvement. For some curious parents, the very experience of living with and witnessing the development of a person from birth will ignite their curiosity so much that they will want to be present in that experience every step of the way.
What curious parents will quickly discover is that many of the social constructs that effect people from birth do not work in the best interests of those people. Depending on their time and inclination, they may be drawn to research into how things got constructed that way, the historical roots and the reasons for us living in a society with a tradition for marginalising, trivialising and silencing the voice, needs and individuality of humans from birth.
As time goes on and the start of ‘formal education’ approaches, curious parents will notice that a standardised, authoritarian, institutional setting is not in keeping with children’s natural behaviour of curiosity and learning.
They will have watched and partnered with their child in their earliest communications and in their development of rolling, crawling, walking. They will have observed them in their development of speech, witnessed their vocabulary extend and expand. They will have seen their capabilities unfold, uniquely over time.
And they will have realised that what a person needs to continue in that growth is a supportive space, not schooling.
From there, their questioning will develop to consider how as a parent they can hold that space, how can they build community around the concept of that space.
Their curiosity will lead them to discover unschooling, and from there, the possibilities are endless.