On Protecting our Kids

The idea of protecting our kids from the harm of school certainly crossed our minds while deciding to help our daughter attend pre-school. Our son went to the same pre-school (in a government elementary school), and had a lot of fun and still chose to come home for Kindergarten, and continues to choose home. He’s almost 9. He had fun. He made friends. It was a positive experience in his life. He’ll tell you that. We try not to curtail our children’s choices, even if they want chocolate cake for breakfast, or to play with fire, or to drive a car at 10 years old. Instead, we inform them of the possible consequences and let them decide for themselves. And of course, we remain at their side, as partners, to help them deal with those consequences (and to help them do their chosen activity as safely as possible, such as playing with fire in a fire pit or driving in an empty parking lot). So long as their actions won’t have negative effects toward anyone else, they are free to act with the knowledge that we are right there by their side to help them along the way. All in all, I just didn’t have a valid argument as to why she couldn’t go to pre-school without resorting to some form of coercion (physical or social), which I oppose in principle as a voluntaryist. And that’s today’s two cents.


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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.