Qualities That Can’t Be Quantified

Writes Kicking it Unschool:

Does unschooling make you uneasy because there is less tangible evidence of learning? Because you can’t keep track of whether your child is “on track” or how they compare to other children their age? You’re not alone…

“We are a nation that prefers acting to thinking, and practice to theory; we are suspicious of intellectuals, worshipful of technology, and fixated on the bottom line. We define ourselves by numbers- take-home pay and cholesterol counts, percentiles (how much does your baby weigh?) and standardized test scores (how much does your child know?). By contrast, we are uneasy with intangibles and unscientific abstractions such as a sense of well-being or an intrinsic motivation to learn.” -Alfie Kohn, Punished by Rewards

It takes a leap of faith to move from this uneasiness to the level of trust needed to unschool. While making the jump, keep in mind all the qualities that can’t be quantified or measured: creativity, critical thinking, resilience, motivation, persistence, curiosity, humor, endurance, reliability, enthusiasm, self-awareness, self-discipline, empathy, grit, leadership, compassion, courage, resourcefulness, spontaneity, and humility, among many others. These qualities are more indicative of success than anything a test can measure.

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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.