By Eric Blair
Producers of NBC’s The Voice present him as a “shy farm boy,” but 15-year-old Sawyer Fredericks’ unique folk sound may be aided by something else. He is unschooled.
Sawyer’s parents are part of a growing unschooling movement that seeks to provide the child with ultimate freedom to explore their interests.
Although the show never mentions this fact, Christina Aguilera, a judge on the show, made a comment following Fredericks’ successful performance in the second round of the show that sort of proves the point of unschooling.
After performing a Creedence Clearwater Revival cover “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” as a duet with a fellow contestant, Sawyer received high praise from all the judges with Aguilera telling him “There’s no teaching what you do.”
Most people can barely wrap their heads around homeschooling, much less understand unschooling. I sense people recoil at just reading this headline, much like I did when I first heard the term. That is before I became an unschooling parent myself.
Unschooling is the practice of life-learning through direct experiences driven by self-interests. Believe it or not, kids are always learning – especially when it pertains to something they’re interested in.
As popular as folk music is from the likes of Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and Tom Petty to name a few, before hearing Sawyer I thought authentic folk music was going extinct with young people – replaced by some ghastly pop-country nonsense. I couldn’t be more glad to be proven wrong.
Sawyer’s first performance in the blind audition on The Voice had all the judges fighting to coach him. Here he is singing his unique version of a centuries-old folk song “Man of Constant Sorrow.”
Eric Blair writes and curates news for ActivistPost.com