Sunday, October 07, 2018

Peter Gray, reservations about an article

First, Peter Gray's statement about the article:

Peter Gray
Sunday, October 7, 2018

I'M HAPPY about this article on unschooling in today's Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. HOWEVER, I AM UNHAPPY about certain statements that were misattributed to me. In the 8th paragraph, and, worst of all, in the caption under my photo, are words implying that I believe that all children "need" or must "study" reading, basic math, and computers, and that everything else should be optional. That is not what I said. In fact, anyone who knows my writing knows I believe that all of learning should be self-chosen and self-directed, and that means optional.

What I actually said in the interview, which was misconstrued in this article, was something like the following, in response to a question about what children in Self-Directed Education learn:
"All children learn the skills that are essential to human life everywhere--such as walking on two legs, speaking a language, and getting along with others. All children also learn the skills that are most essential to success in the culture in which they are growing up. In a hunter-gather culture these are skills related to hunting and gathering. In our culture these include reading, ability to calculate with numbers, and ability to use computers. Beyond that, what everyone learns varies greatly from person to person."
It is frustrating to have one's words turned around, but I can understand how it happens. It is difficult for someone new to these ideas to understand them and it is natural to hear things in a manner that fits with one's preconceptions. All in all, I think Michael Blanding did a good job with this article. It is worth reading and spreading, even though I am embarrassed by the misquotations attributed to me.

Twenty percent of home-schooled kids are getting ‘unschooled.’ What’s that?
The resource centers are popping up around Boston, around the idea that children should get to choose what they learn.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Four Canadian Unschooling Families

Unschooled kids learn what they want – no curriculum, no homework, no tests
September 2, 2018

Article on Canadian families. The Robertsons in Alberta, Royans in New Brunswick, Delage & Flemand in Quebec, Onabas in British Columbia
"Although she doesn’t follow a set curriculum, Robertson will engage in “strewing,” which she describes as an invitation to learning. It’s a no-pressure way for unschooling parents to introduce something new to their children or encourage kids to delve further into a subject of interest by placing various items (such as books, games or other materials) around the house."

click any photo to go to the article

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Unschooling in Canada: Addressing Common Concerns

Addressing Some Common Unschooling Concerns, by Tammy Mackenzie, at the Rédaq webaite (RÉDAQ: Le Réseau des écoles démocratiques au Québec).

This article is a response to the National Post’s article by Sarah Boesveld: Unschooling: Raising Independent Trailblazers or Lazy Free Floaters?
Notes from Sandra Dodd: This Anational Post article is from 2011, and the author interviewed Dr. Carlo Ricci and Pam Laricchia, both unschooling parents in Ontario, and a mom in British Columbia named Anita Roy.

The top-linked article addresses the objections posed by an education professor who (as usual with such obligatory "other side" balancing quotation) didn't know much about unschooling, and is over-selling the current school system, too. So that's not surprising.

The response was written in May 2017, but except that some of the teens mentioned in 2011 being adults now, it's still timely. People will still be finding both pieces of writing years from now, so I'm glad to link Tammy Mackenzie's blog post, to balance "the expert" and his (expected) misrepresentation of unschooling (AND, in this case, of public schools).

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Unschooling article in The Guardian online

The title isn't good, but the article is positive.

Rise of the home ‘unschoolers’ – where children learn only what they want to

Alison Parkes
Tuesday 11 October 2016 02.39 EDT

Friday, February 20, 2015

Unschooling movement takes root

Unschooling movement takes root
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Emma Kennedy,

Not new, but new here.
Sean wakes up in the morning and goes to work. He spends a large portion of the day in a virtual underground mine, hoping to strike a bounty of coal or iron ore. This lifestyle began when he built his first house, which has now expanded to a full village with side businesses, such as a bank and art gallery, to keep the citizens happy. He tends to his gardens and makes sure his pets and property are maintained, but he can’t lose sight of the ultimate goal – expanding his empire. Sean is 7.

Maggie and Dave Simonsen and their son are part of a movement known as “unschooling,” where instead of spending hours a day behind a school desk, Sean learns at his own pace and with his own resources at home.
Nice article, photos (at the link above).

Friday, February 06, 2015

Schooling the World

This is more about culture and school, history and politics, but it's interesting: (The text below has live links, at the site named above.)

A note from Films For Action
For the next month, the film-makers who created Schooling The World have generously made their film available to us in the spirit of the Gift.

Instead of setting a price and transacting before you’ve seen the film, they are turning the tables and allowing you to experience the film and gift back according to your values, your means, and the quality of how the film may have gifted you. Let's show the film-makers that the gift economy can work!

Support the film via PayPal
You can also visit the store to buy the DVD or a digital download (sliding scale - $5 - $25)

All contributions will go towards the recuperation of production costs
and also to supporting the film’s continued outreach and distribution.

Host A Screening
Join Schooling The World on Facebook

Film summary:

If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children.

The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th century when it forced Native American children into government boarding schools. Today, volunteers build schools in traditional societies around the world, convinced that school is the only way to a 'better' life for indigenous children. But is this true? What really happens when we replace a traditional culture's way of learning and understanding the world with our own? SCHOOLING THE WORLD takes a challenging, sometimes funny, ultimately deeply disturbing look at the effects of modern education on the world's last sustainable indigenous cultures.

Interested to read more? Check out the film director's blog for several excellent essays. Questions? Contact the film-maker.

Buy the DVD

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

School's out, this time forever

New Zealand article from December 2014:

School's out, this time forever

Nice article, nice photos.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

the Whole Mother Show, Houston, November 23


Stacy & Michelle Conaway speak to Patricia Jones on the Whole Mother Show about Unschooling.

Originally aired November 23, 2014 at KPFT 90.1 public radio in Houston, Texas

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Violence in video games creates more peace

"The first long-term study has been completed on the link between the consumption of violent media and real-life violent acts, and has found... there is none. In fact, the only possible trend that cropped up over the last century was that an increased consumption of violent video games correlated to a decrease in youth violence."

Yvonne Laborda sent the link to this article: Long-term study finds zero link between violence in video games and real life

Same for "violent movies":
...No link could be made, he found, except perhaps in the mid-20th century.

At this point in history, homicide rates and instances of violent movies both increased briefly, but then the trend reversed after 1990, to the point where movie violence became correlated with fewer homicides. This was also the case during the two decades between the 1920s and ’40s.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Blaming a school shooting on homeschooling?

Eye on the News
Connecticut Targets Homeschoolers
In the aftermath of the Newtown massacre, a state panel tries to restrict parental rights.
5 October 2014

The article begins…
In Connecticut, Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission has returned a curious and controversial draft recommendation: the state should increase its oversight of homeschooled children with emotional or behavioral challenges. The proposal has outraged the state’s homeschoolers, who, like homeschoolers everywhere, are keenly aware of their sometimes conditional freedoms. In Connecticut, as elsewhere, the law allows parents to homeschool if they choose. But the practice has always been viewed as threatening by left-wing academics, social architects, and teachers’ unions—all well represented on Malloy’s 16-member panel. Sadly, this is only the most recent assault on the rights of Connecticut homeschoolers.

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