Unschooling Naturally Follows From Extending The NAP To Children

The Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) is the idea that each person has the right to make his or her own choices in life so long as they do not involve aggression, defined as the initiation of force against others. The initiation of force includes fraud and theft.

This principle can be applied consistently and universally.

This works in two directions.

Firstly, one person does not have the right to initiate force against another. So a parent can not initiate force against a child, and a child can not initiate force against a parent.

Secondly,  a person is free to do what they like so long as they are not initiating force against another. From a child’s point of view, this is quite straight forward. From an adults point of view it is a little more complicated in that neglecting a child is an aggression against that child because the child is not able to take care of itself and was effectively born in to a contract where a parent will take care of them. So the parent does not have the option to not provide food, shelter, medical attention, education to the child. Also a child is not capable of entering in to long term contracts, so there is a grey area of what sort of agreements can be enforced.

The child gets to decide what to do with their body and their time. They decide what they are interested in and are free to follow that interest – so long as it does not involve aggression against others.

The parent is free to help, support, explain, negotiate with, argue with, and persuade the child – so long as it does not involve aggression such as shouting, hitting, dragging or fraud (tricking and manipulation). The child has the same freedom.

With regards to unschooling and schooling:

1. Having a day which is broken up in to 40 minute sections governed by a bell and the threat of violence for not complying does not fit this principle.

2.Threatening to take parents property and eventually imprisoning them for not forcing their children to go to school does not fit with this principle.

3. Kidnapping the children of parents who do not wish to send their children to government schoools does not fit this principle.

4. Enforcing a 12 year contract on a 5 year old child does not fit this principle.

Please, tell me what you think…




Paul King is a happily married unschooling dad of two wonderful boys. Currently living in Bali and working his way around the world. He runs the websites www.mypashmina.co.uk www.hammockheaven.co.uk and www.therealrugcompany.co.uk.

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