Filed under Drinking from the River

Unschoolers are truly gifted

The labels we use to categorize children in the school system are just that, by-products of a system that has no capability to deal with diversity. Instead we classify the children that can achieve “good” grades as “gifted” and therefore apparently worth giving a better education. Then alternatively, we classify those that get “bad” grades as somehow deficient and in need of better skills in focusing, listening, etc and furthermore diagnosed with constructed illnesses such as ADHD and learning disabled and then prescribed drugs to make them fit in. Then there is is middle group who just silently move through the conveyor belt of education system. Where in all of this is the analysis of our criteria that define these valued hierarchy. It’s criteria is based on how good or bad you are at getting good grades, or towing the line. It is never a question of the individual, it is always a comparison. Really, how irrelevant?! Now the gifted get more interesting and self guided opportunities and the lower down the grade scale, the less enjoyable it is!!! Wtf
It’s not the children that are in need of change of course, its the system. Everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy learning freely, to explore the world, to be inspired, to get off the conveyor belt. It’s sometime afforded to the lucky ones, the “gifted.” In an unschooling environment, children are given the most precious and true gift, the gift of time to explore, relate, discover and ultimately find the real world in all of its beautiful and undefinable complexity. They are given the gift of context and time. They truly are gifted.

Calling all unschooled adults!

After their interesting survey of unschooling families, they are doing more research and need you!
http://m.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201303/seeking-unschooled-adults-tell-us-about-their-experiences

Cutest Quail math ever

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One of Phoenix’s favourite things is quail eggs she discovered at Le Marche St George because, of course, they’re cute! So today we made a miniature breakfast: sunny-side-up quail eggs with mini quail egg pancakes, and one giant strawberry. And along the way we did some math! Four “cute” quarter-cup measuring cups full of dry mix equals 1 whole cup, and four quail eggs weighs the same as one chicken egg. I admit, serving up a miniature breakfast is fun for me too!

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Life is short. Live it outside the box.

My brother died at 26. In his prime. And yet he had lived 2/3 if his life struggling and much of the time suffering through school. From physical and mental abuse in first grade at the hands of an insane teacher, to the constant misunderstanding of and thus difficulties with learning differences throughout his schooling years, he could not have been more out of place at a desk. But school was the only way, we thought. It just was. Right?
Well change is afoot. Everything is coming into question. We are in the early stages of a revolution, an awakening. We have accepted the authority of the establishment for long enough and begun actually taking responsibility for our reality. And we are realizing our time on earth not only as individuals but as a species may be up at any moment. These times are more uncertain than ever before and in our newly spun worldwide web where we connect to people around the globe on a daily basis, we are more aware of how finite this planet truly is. Every day is a gift. Why ON EARTH would you want to spend it bored in a schoolroom?! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a classroom when I choose to be there and my anthropology studies at university were some of the most exciting and mentally fulfilling times of my life but it was torture sitting for years waiting to get the f**k out of highschool! There were moments that were good, but so much time was wasted too just doing time to satisfy my required attendance quotient and to be there to know what hoops I had to jump through. I’m sorry but no. Our kids deserve better. Wouldn’t it be mindblowing to watch their minds flow and their passions grow as they emerge and witness them live each day as if THEY owned it?! IMAGINE!

Typecasting Unschoolers

Ok so after my last posting about my moto and being born analytical, I started to wonder if this was a common trait among unschooling parents. Not remembering what i tested on Myers Briggs personslity type, i decided to google “Myers Briggs most analytical type” and ta-da, my forgotten type, INTJ. Low and behold, “INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion “Does it work?” to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake…” While nobody fits the mold, I fundamentally cannot choose to deny my shape. And I’m not going to stuff my beautiful miraculous shooting star children into a little lead box.
I’d like to know, what personality type are you and how does your personality inform the choices you make for your children’s education?

The path less traveled

How did we get here?
http://m.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201203/what-leads-families-unschool-their-children-report-ii

I want this

What are the benefits?
http://m.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201202/the-benefits-unschooling-report-i-large-survey

My motto

“We are social creatures, and it is very difficult for us to behave in ways that run counter to what others perceive as normal. In the history of cultures, harmful normative practices or rituals may persist for centuries at least partly because of the stigma, or perceived stigma, associated with violating the norms. These have included such practices as foot binding in the upper classes in China and genital mutilation in many other cultures. Even people who knew that such practices were harmful did them, because failure to do so would mark the family as “different” and therefore aberrant. School is the most predominant cultural ritual of our time. It is a practice ingrained as normal, even necessary, in the minds of the great majority of people. To counter it, one must overcome not just others’ negative judgments, but also the judgments that rise up from one’s own school-indoctrinated mind.”- Peter Gray writes in an article about the common challenges as named by unschooling families. Being outside of normal may well be a lonely path but i believe it is one worth taking. My motto, which I didn’t know until I heard it sung, is “F**k you, I won’t do what you tell me!” (-thank you , you so eloquently spoke my mind. Boy, am I asking for it from my kids! I guess I’m raising them to question everything! Yikes!) As I reflect, I see that it is my eternal inborn drive to question and analyze all accepted “truths” that makes this moto so fitting.

Child seeking unqualified teacher

This Fraser institute study of homeschooling is full of fascinating things to think about. Particularly regarding what i enjoy calling the “unqualifications”that homeschool parents (don’t) require in relation to children’s academic performance (p. 13-14) and the well-loved myth of the “unsocialized” beast that is the home schooler.
http://www.fraserinstitute.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=2953

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