From And the skylark Sings With Me by David Albert:

Where we differ from some homeschooling families is that their main objectives appear to be to protect their children by narrowing the range of available experience. As parents, we too strive to protect our children, but frankly we never apprehended the school system as a threat to our children's innocence or understanding. If anything, we perceive the range of educational experience offered by schools -- starting with the segregation of children into age-bound classes -- as far, far too narrow.
Our vision of the perfect learning environment is a library, but like none we have ever encountered. The library would have books and videos and tapes and computer linkups, but that would be just the beginning. [...] There would be a vast exchange of skills, from basic mathematics to auton mechanics. There would be lending libraries of tools and materials, from carpenters' saws and hammers, to biologists' microscopes, to astronomers' telescopes. [...] There would be large gardens and orchards, staffed by botanists and farmers, where students could learn to grow fruits and vegetables, and home economists who could teach their preparation and storage. There would be apprenticeships for virtually every kind of employment the community requires.
Now that is something I would be happy to put my tax dollars toward. That is something useful: and what it is, simply, is opportunity. Rote learning of subject matter uninteresting and not relevant to the learner is not opportunity, it is a waste of time and resources, a monstrous one when it goes on year after year after year.

I disagree with him, however, when he says, "[...]all users, both children and adults, would be required to contribute time (not just tax dollars) to the library's success." That is where it would fail. Because once something becomes a duty, even more so if it's mandatory, an entirely different energy gets brought to it; it loses its vitality, its goodness, its truthfulness. I'm guessing it would not be unlike... school.

Last night I was at a gathering of unschoolers, and a young girl related to us how much she's always enjoyed writing, that it's easy for her and she's good at it. She said that the words just fly out of her. But recently she's been taking classes, to work toward her dream of a certain vocation that requires certification and therefore degrees, and in one of these classes she is being given writing assignments. She related, the dismay plain on her face, how suddenly writing had become unpleasant, difficult, and worst of all inauthentic.

Who hasn't had that experience? That something, good for its own sake, was robbed of its integrity because somebody said, "you have to"?