Thursday, September 30, 2010

"No wonder there is resentment of life learners!"

For years people have said "It's jealousy," or "it's resentment" when someone is complaining vaguely about unschooling being "not fair." Wendy Priesnitz of Life Learning Magazine has explained it very clearly and taken it one level further, into economic realities and the changing world.

Learning Happens
Wendy Priesnitz
28 September 2010
I’ve been having a discussion with an intelligent and open-minded critic of unschooling life learning. She keeps insisting that these kids “aren’t doing anything”…or at least not anything they couldn’t be doing on the weekends and going to school too. For awhile, I was stuck on trying to convince her that the school part is harmful, that there’s not much real learning goes on there, etc., etc. But the more she insisted, the more it seemed like she was whining! And that’s when I realized that her criticism isn’t based on facts, but on emotion – in this case, on resentment. Sadly, she agreed with me.
Read the rest:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Effect of homeschooling on ADHD-labeled kids

Experiences of ADHD-Labeled Kids Who Switch from Conventional Schooling to Homeschooling or Unschooling
These kids and parents manage ADHD better without conventional schooling.
Peter Gray, Psychology Today
Published on September 9, 2010
Several weeks ago (see post of July 20, 2010) I posted a call for stories about children who have been diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and have been homeschooled, unschooled, or "free schooled." I received 28 such stories and subjected them to a qualitative analysis.

My analysis of these stories suggests that (1) most ADHD-diagnosed kids do fine without drugs if they are not in a conventional school; (2) the ADHD characteristics don't vanish when the kids leave conventional school, but the characteristics are no longer as big a problem as they were before; and (3) ADHD-diagnosed kids seem to do especially well when they are allowed to take charge of their own education. In what follows I will elaborate upon and support each of these conclusions primarily with quotations from the stories. But, first, here are some numbers concerning whom the stories were about and who wrote them....

Monday, September 27, 2010

"Two Thoreaus of Sakwa County"

The link below was sent to the Always Learning list by Aravinda. An Indian couple with PhDs moved from a city to the small village of Sakwa, where they have farmed and homeschooled two sons.
Looking at both them, it's hard to believe that they were both professors at an Engineering College in Ahmedabad. Or that he has a degree in Engineering and she studied Physics and Space Science in college. The story of why two PhD's dumped a city life for tribal one, traded in their teaching careers for a shovel and a hoe, and opted to live on 12,000 rupees ($300) a year is an inspiring tale...

. . . .

Raising Children

The two Soneji sons were both born after they moved to Sakwa. Vishwain is 17 and Bhargav is 14 today. Arguably, the biggest challenge for the Sonejis came when Vishwain became of elementary school age: do we home school or send him to an institutionalized school?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sam Fuller, unschooled teen, interviewed

There is a transcript and a photo, and a place to comment, at the KQED radio site here:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

TV interview in Spain, Laura MascarĂ³

Laura MascarĂ³ was interviewed on TV in Spain:

More information on Laura is here:, and her book is linked in the lower left, there.

Friday, September 17, 2010

New documentary: Learn Free

A video by Lillian Mauser-Carter:

Learn Free from Lillian Mauser-Carter on Vimeo.

"Learn Free" is a documentary about unschooling which is a educational philosophy that states children learn best by not attending traditional school, but rather through their own interests and by living life.

Made for an 11 week Documentary class.
Further edited in Advanced Editing.

Filmed on Panasonic DVX
Edited in Final Cut Pro
Motion Graphics in Adobe After Effects

Saturday, September 11, 2010

More families are deciding that school’s out – forever

More families are deciding that school’s out – forever

Kate Hammer
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published on Friday, Sep. 10, 2010 5:00PM EDT
Last updated on Saturday, Sep. 11, 2010 5:46PM EDT

It has been Saturday in the Laricchia household for nearly a decade.

The family's three teenagers, Michael, Lissy and Joseph, have known nothing of alarm clocks, races for the school bus, arguments over homework or report-card angst since their parents started “unschooling” them in 2002.

The small but growing movement the Laricchias have joined is known by many other names, including deschooling, life learning and edu-punk. At base, unschooling is home-schooling returned to its postwar progressive roots, far from the Bible-thumping mould that has come to dominate the modern image of home-schoolers. . . .

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Homeschooling is legal in India

Until earlier this year, there was no compulsory education law in India, and as school was not required, homeschooling wasn't illegal. The pressure there was from grandparents, because of the emphasis on professional degrees as a mark of success.

This week there is a clarification of the law. It will require each state to provide education, but not require every child to attend those schools.


From Homeschooling in India – An Education called Life

Homeschooling – Legal in India as per RTE act 2009


In addition to the half page feature on homeschoolers in India in today’s Times of India Pune edition, there is an important legal article too on the front page titled – RTE: Homeschooling too is fine, says Sibal

Here is what it says -
RTE: Homeschooling too is fine, says Sibal
But States Must Ensure Education For All: Minister
Neha Madaan | TNN Pune

Homeschooling parents can continue to educate their children at home now that HRD minister Kapil Sibal has clarified the ministry’s stance.“The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 wants every child to be in school,but if somebody decides not to send his/her children to school, we are not going to interfere. The compulsion is on the state, not on the parents. Parents are free not to send their children to school, but teach them at home. We cannot be micromanaging,” Sibal told TOI on Tuesday.

The Act stipulates eight years of formal education for all children between 6 and 14 years of age. Homeschooling parents believe in individual skills and want to nurture them in their children at home rather than in schools. The Act, outlining the duties of the parents,says,“It shall be the duty of every parent or guardian to admit or cause to be admitted his or her child or ward, as the case may be,to an elementary education in the neighbourhood school.”

The 25-odd city-based homeschooling families and scores from other cities have been looking at the implications of the Act and seeking clarifications over whether it is a punishable offence. Educational expert Alok Mathur said homeschooling is not punishable under the Act. Mathur, the director of teachers’ education at Rishi Valley school in Andhra Pradesh, which imparts alternative education, was part of a group which met Sibal a few weeks ago in Delhi. The meeting was initiated on behalf of a Delhi-based homeschooling parent. “I accompanied him for the meeting since a group supporting alternative schooling had sent a letter to the minister along with the homeschooling petition. I was among the signatories,” said Mathur. According to him, the minister, at the meeting, had said that the purpose behind the Act is to make it obligatory for the government to provide reasonable quality education to all sections of society, especially the poorest and deprived sections. In the minister’s view, if parents wished to and had the means, they can homeschool their children.

A Delhi high court division bench in April 2010 heard a PIL which said that the Act infringes on the freedom of parents and should be amended for homeschooling. The petition was dismissed, but the bench asked the petitioners to make a representation to the HRD ministry seeking its views on homeschooling. The homeschoolers group’s letter to Sibal asked him to accommodate homeschooling in the RTE Act or clarify its stand on homeschooling and alternative education. At the meeting, according to Mathur, Sibal had said that he did not feel that the government should enact or provide any special provision to cater to the specific needs of ‘gifted and talented’ children. “The minister associated these children with the betteroff sections of society who are already empowered to provide specifically desired education for their own children in the manner they wish to,” Mathur said. Nyla Coelho, coordinator for the Goa-based Taleemnet, a facility to support meaningful and alternative education, said, “The Act is more about giving the masses a chance to literacy. The government would not intervene if parents wish to homeschool their children. I have wanted to convey this to the parents of homeschoolers in Pune to allay their doubts about the Act.”

RTE: Homeschooling too is fine, says Sibal