Thursday, August 26, 2010

Christian Unschooling

I've been working on web links and updating Christian resources. This seemed a good place to mention that.

Imagine being a homeschooler and getting pressure from relatives, friends, schools...
Imagine being an unschooler, and getting pressure from relatives, friends, schools and homeschoolers.
Imagine, then, being a Christian unschooler, and getting pressure from relatives, friends, schools, homeschoolers and other unschoolers.

It can't be easy. It is NOT easy. If anyone has resources in addition to these that promote gentle, natural parenting for Christians, please leave a comment with a link.

The pages I was working on:
Overcoming Pressure from Conservative Christians to Spank

Unschooling in the World

Links I've added or spruced up:
Christian Unschooling:

Christian Unschooling (facebook page):

Parenting in Jesus' Footsteps:

Parents for Nonviolent Parenting:
A yahoo group I had listed has disappeared, but here is a search page for Christian unschooling groups on yahoo; this is not a recommendation, just a resource:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Problems from early daycare

Family under the microscope
Avoid putting the under-threes in daycare if you can

Oliver James

The article came to my attention in this paragraph:
In an op-ed for the Guardian, James described a study measuring the amount of cortisol, the stress hormone linked to our flight-or-fight response, in babies left at daycare facilities. On the first, fifth, and ninth days, the babies’ cortisol levels doubled from their home levels. Five months later, the levels, though no longer doubled, were still significantly elevated. And these effects appear to be long lasting, he says: “When cortisol is measured at age 15, the longer a child was in daycare when small, the higher its levels. As high cortisol has been shown many times to be a correlate of all manner of problems, this is bad news.”

...which appears at the end of this blog post at

It's #16 in a series called "Month of Thinking Dangerously." This one is called Parents Don't Matter, and has a pro and con (quoting studies and articles). Oliver James was quoted in the rebuttal section, why parents DO matter.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Deciding to Home-School

I've never seen a more beautiful description of a decision to homeschool a young boy as this, by Chandra Hoffman:

Why would someone decide to homeschool?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Long interview in Spanish

EDUCAR EN CASA – Homeschooling. Entrevistamos a la experta Laura Mascaró sobre todos los aspectos de esta opción educativa

Continuar leyendo en El Blog Alternativo:

Twenty-two pages of interview!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Unschoolers: an interview and a report

A Massachusetts article and video:

Beth, the mom in the video, sent me a note and said, "We recently were interviewed (for over an hour and a half!) and he squished it into 2.5 minutes....but I really think the overall story was very favorable to unschooling."

A quarterly summary by Shannon Burton, of learning activities sorted roughly by subject. (Most unschoolers don't take notes that way, nor need to, but Shan is in New York State and keeps a portfolio.)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Reasons NOT to send kids to college

Seven Reasons Not to Send Your Kids to College
August 2, 2010

You can read the first six reasons, which have to do with finances (because it's a finance/investment article) at the link below, but here's the seventh item in the article:
7. Alternatives to spending $200,000 per kid so they can waste four years of their lives:
  • Give them $20,000 to start one to five businesses. Most businesses fail but that's ok. The education from the process lasts a lifetime and the network you build when you start a business will lead to many future jobs and possibilities.

  • Travel the world. That would be an education that pays many dividends and is much cheaper. Your kids can then go to college with a much more mature view of the world.

  • Work. They won't get the best jobs but they can make money, network, get a "hands-on" education, learn the value of money and go to college in their 20s when they can afford it—and make every dollar worth it. Plus your kids will have a more clear idea of what they want to do in the world.

  • Volunteer. Let them see a side of life that is harder and where they can add value. An education like that is invaluable.

  • Do nothing but read. Get the benefits of a college education without paying the $200,000. I'd be happy to support a child that wants to home school a college education.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Research Finds No Advantage In Learning To Read From Age Five

Research Finds No Advantage In Learning To Read From Age Five

Unschoolers knew this well. :-)

For those who only believe "scientific proof," though, here it is:

A University of Otago researcher has uncovered for the first time quantitative evidence that teaching children to read from age five is not likely to make that child any more successful at reading than a child who learns reading later, from age seven.

The ground-breaking Psychology PhD research, conducted by Dr Sebastian Suggate, has been placed on the University's "distinguished list" of doctoral theses for 2009. Dr Suggate has also been awarded a prestigious Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the Humboldt Association in Germany to the University of Wuerzburg in Bavaria to further his studies into childhood education.

Starting in 2007, Dr Suggate conducted one international and two New Zealand studies, each one backing up the conclusions of the other; that there is no difference between the reading ability of early (from age five) and late (from age seven) readers by the time those children reach their last year at Primary School by age 11.

Comparing children from Rudolf Steiner schools, who usually start learning to read from age seven, and children in state-run schools, who start learning to read at five, he found that the later learners caught up and matched the reading abilities of their earlier-reading counterparts by the time they were 11, or by Year 7.

read the rest: