Filed under It Takes a Village

No Lazy Bones About It

Our cultural emphasis on being “naturally smart”, instead of learning, makes kids lazy. Our cultural discouragement of reporting truth makes the honest child an outcast and ostracized as a “tattle tail”. (Plus see must-read book Nurture Shock‘s chapter on the many ways we actually encourage children to be dishonest.) All this adds up to justification for the untruth of cheating, the lazy path to gain praise in order to feel valued. Not the plan for my child!

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!

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?

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.

Convenient and Unquestioned

“The founding fathers in their wisdom decided that children were an unnatural strain on parents. So they provided jails called schools, equipped with tortures called education. School is where you go between when your parents can’t take you and industry can’t take you.” -John Updike

Finding my way by following

So this little one loves the process, but not the product. She wants to make tea but not drink it, or cook an egg but not eat it. And so instead of getting frustrated as I throw out or attempt to consume so much, I’ve decided to channel her energy and desire to do/make/learn. It finally occurred to me to instead of just asking if she was actually planning to eat it what she wanted to make, and instead of saying no because i know she isn’t going to, that I could redirect that towards something productive and thus have a secondary positive lesson in that she could also see her efforts benefiting others. Tonight, I suggested to her that when she doesn’t actually want something but wants to make something, she could say something like, “mummy, can i make a tea for you?” if not this, then I can think of something I need to make that she can actually help with. I wonder, how could this principle apply in other situations in an unschooling life, so that encouragement and learning can continue rather than be shut down? And how can I recognize my mistakes sooner?!

If I build it, will they come?

Having failed to find a local unschooling community, I have decided to initiate one myself. The scary thing is, people are signing up! So thank goodness for this inspirational article to help me on my way to creating my dream community!

Inspirational People – Little People

Unschooled Vet

The veterinarian at work.

Having a child will beat one’s apathy to a pulp! Here is my little Veterinarian, and my inspiration, performing an operation on her very patient patient, the family dog.

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