How will you make sure your kids learn the right things?
The short answer is: I can't. I will explain. But first let's talk about school.
Schools have long lists of things everyone "needs to know." They spend a lot of time teaching about the things on the list. They certainly do not succeed in teaching everyone all of these things. Think about the process of teaching a concept in school. Teacher spends a certain number of hours presenting and explaining concept. Teacher assigns homework for students to practice concept. When teacher feels like she has explained enough, teacher tests students on concept. Some students do well on test. Others fail. Some clearly still do not understand concept. Teacher moves on to next concept.
If a student fails to learn a concept that is supposedly so important for him to know that he has spent hours and hours on it, but the class forges ahead despite this failure, what does that tell the student about the true importance of his learning?
What is really going on in schools? Are schools really "making sure all the kids know" anything?
Now to explain my answer above: Even if I decided there was some concept my children absolutely needed to know, there would be no guarantee I could make them learn it. Not by sending them to school. Not by teaching them at home. So I won't think of it that way. What I will do is give my children access to lots of different tools and experiences. I will support their interests, and they will learn what THEY need to learn. They will learn the things that are important to them. The things they will use in real life. Their own lists of "right things," not written by anyone else.
So my question to parents of school children who doubt unschooling is: How will you make sure your kids learn the right things?