Editorial Intern Lynsi Burton wrote about Reschool Yourself for a forthcoming issue of YES! Magazine and found that she personally resonated with the project. Read her blog post here.
Here are a couple of excerpts from Lynsi’s post:
Reading Melia’s thoughts and observations, I discovered that I see a lot of myself in her, which is probably why I love her site and her project so much. She writes about how she developed a destructive perfectionism somewhere between youth and adulthood, in a schooling environment in which one is rewarded for following the rules and doing what is expected. But, after school, when there are no teachers and grades, who sets the rules? Melia discovered that the habits she developed in school were actually inhibiting her ability to enjoy and find personal peace in adulthood.
… I realized that after high school, after the scholarships, being involved in 500 activities doesn’t really matter anymore. In fact, it’s more beneficial to follow your passion and make your skills really matter. Even today I struggle with my tendency to fall into the vicious achievement mentality. And while I won’t stop doing my best at what I choose to do, I still have to reflect on whether what I’m doing is what I should do, or what I want to do. That’s what Melia has learned. Your life choices need to be based on what is possible and what you enjoy, not what your obligations are, which, often, are a figment of our social/academic/professional slavery.
It’s feedback like this that makes the project even more worthwhile. Thanks, Lynsi!
My friend Margaret said that this description, which I left as a comment on Where You Lede, particularly struck a chord with her:
We Type A folks are rewarded so heavily for achievement throughout our childhood, and when we grow up, a lot of us wait for the payoff…and wait…and then realize that it’s not coming.
One of the greatest lessons of Reschool Yourself was that all the striving and sacrifice and stress for achievement’s sake may add up to fancy degrees and gold stars, but it doesn’t necessarily add up to happiness. Doing things for enjoyment and personal fulfillment, on the other hand, regardless of what anyone else thinks, does. It’s not about external rewards, but rather the ones inside of us — the ones that can’t be put on a resume.
Thanks, Melia! Keep blogging as you find the time to! Your blog contains such a wealth of personal discovery, funny anecdotes, and even useful tips (green living, etc.) that serve as ideals I wish to strive for.
Thanks for the kind words, Lynsi. I’m glad the blog has been helpful! If only creating posts in my head would translate them to the page. I’ll be posting this week for sure. 🙂
I found you via Yes! magazine. I loved the blurb I read about your project and have enjoyed poking around your site.
Your project strikes a chord with me — I am choosing to homeschool (unschool) my kids because I’ve reached many of the same conclusions as you about the effects of traditional, compulsory education.
My kids are only six and three years old right now, and I often to work with (against) my own conditioning in order to fully trust the process of trusting them. It is quite a journey, and one with rich rewards.
I am wishing you continued blessings on your journey…
Thanks for the comment, and for taking the time to find my site through the shout-out in Yes! magazine.
Kudos to you for choosing to homeschool/unschool your kids, in spite of the challenges. It takes a lot of trust in yourself and them, and a lot of energy. I looked at your blog and love how you document the highs and lows, and capture the projects you’re doing with the kids. I’m sure that encourages other parents to unschool, by making the process more accessible.
I wish you the best as well! I’m sure we’ll be in touch, as I’m helping to start an organization helping to grow and publicize democratic education, called IDEA (developing site at http://www.democraticeducation.org).