Monday, June 13, 2011

Radical Unschooler Success Story

Alright I came across this interesting book at that homeschooling convention:


Here's a bit of the author:


Now not only did I read - Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar....I also enjoyed 20 minutes of one-on-one conversation with Mr. Bach at the bar.

The guy has an interesting story. He came from a broken home and after threatening to kill his stepfather he was actually kicked out of the house and had to subsist by himself on $100 per month at a local motel. Despite plenty of brains, the guy absolutely HATED school and I don't think even came close to graduating government high school.

However, he was far from a lazy Moron. James Bach jumped head first into the computing revolution back in the early 80s. In fact he eventually became (supposedly) the world's most respected *product tester* at Apple. And now he travels worldwide as a high-paid consultant in that field.

So his story buttresses the theory that traditional schooling is not at all necessary for success EVEN in the world of high tech. Bach proudly declared himself *ammunition* for those of us homeschoolers attending his talk in Ohio.

This guy definitely falls in the mold of *radical unschooler* as far as I can tell. And I'm definitely not a full-fledged fan of that philosophy - see my prior post.

Nonetheless Bach's story is compelling; his writing tight; and most importantly he puts forth arguments and reasoning that 99% of the lumpen masses have never been exposed to.

As additional testament to the quality of this book I want to admit that it actually took me 4-5 days to read it - about twice the time it should have. I continually had to stop and chew on little brain morsels...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting idea but even the pirates needed a basic "toolkit" before they became their own captains. Such as knowing when to loft sails, navigate by stars and sun, learning about tides, etc. I'd say when it comes to education you need to be able to read and do rudimentary math. His whole unschooling premise is based on reading lots of books which is a great way to learn but the root ability is being able to read. That probably needs to be methodically taught knowing most kids. When that's done, then you can go off and start exploring on your own and hopefully never lose the will to learn.
Another point to here is he is still passionate about learning himself which is a role model like behavior his son is exposed to. How many other unschooling parents provide that kind of inspiration to their kids?

CaptiousNut said...

I agree. Reading and math upfront and aggressively *taught*...

Then they can unschool to an extent anyway. No video games though!

CaptiousNut said...

The majority of these loud, radical unschoolers are deficient in *people skills*. See also the ultra-rude "Sandra Dodd".

For example, in 20 minutes of conversation with this guy he didn't once ask me a single question. Not even *where are you from?* or *how old are your kids?*. Now I certainly encouraged him to talk but still...

At root it's a philosophy of extreme self-centeredness - which is fine for most things but certainly has its drawbacks as well.

floridakotan said...

Why do you say Sandra Dodd is ultra-rude? I have no opinion of her, good or bad. Just curious.