Sunday, November 17, 2013

John Holt on Phil Donahue, 1981

Pat Farenga just put this up on YouTube. Some wonderful things: It's a full epdisode, and not chopped into little parts, AND that it was still around, AND that Pat has put it where everyone can watch it. I saw part of that episode when it was new, before I had kids, and remembered it, but that was before home VCRs, pretty well. (I certainly didn't have one until 1986 or so.)

There are comments on the YouTube page, if you want to join the discussion there:

Renee Cabatic shared it on Facebook, and wrote "Did you notice Kirk Cameron in the Hamburger Helper ad?"

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Portuguese interview of Sandra Dodd

Escola da vida, escola em casa
por Rita Penedos Duarte
Fotografia de Reinaldo Rodrigues/Global Imagens

I was interviewed in June, for a long time, and photographed about 120 times during it, posed here, posed there, in sunset lighting. Finally, November 3, the article. :-) The interviewer was very sweet, and I know she had it worked up months ago, ready to go.

It was in the paper copy of the newspaper, too, with other photos. (Might have a PDF in a day or two.)

The article doesn't exist in English, sorry.

Friday, November 01, 2013

HSLDA, German homeschooling family, questions

I have rarely put a comment in this blog, preferring to link to news, articles, video.

Several times in the past two years, though, I have been asked personally and as the owner of discussions to "support" German families (one, I think, really) who were having legal trouble because of Germany's laws.

First, I don't involve myself in legislative issues at all, only in learning and parenting ideas. And HSLDA is all up in the German situations. I don't want to support them. AND I don't want to explain that to everyone who asks me to get excited about German law. The family is a fundamantalist Christian family, which is why HSLDA is helping them, thought that isn't mentioned in mainstream/secular panic-reports. HSLDA is using that family as a pawn in a larger, darker plot that isn't about children or families or Germany at all.

Today, reading an unschooler's blog, I followed a trail to this, and it's worth putting in a less text-dense place where it can air out:

JAMES DOBSON (Alliance Defense Fund), MICHAEL FARRIS (Home School Legal Defense Association,
JERRY FALWELL (Deceased, Libety University) & MARVIN OLASKY (World Magazine)

Based in Powder Springs, Ga., American Vision also produces reams of material that push Christian Reconstructionism, a form of fundamentalism that argues for a re-writing of American history, dismantling secular democracy and constructing an America governed by "biblical law." Reconstructionists seek to impose the criminal code of the Old Testament, applying the death penalty for homosexuals, adulterers, fornicators, witches, incorrigible juvenile delinquents and those who spread false religions. Despite its overtly radical theocratic agenda, American Vision is allied with some of the Religious Right's most powerful outfits. This year's conference was cosponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund, a well-funded Religious Right lawyers' outfit that James Dobson and other religious broadcasters helped create; Michael Farris's Home School Legal Defense Association; the late TV preacher Jerry Falwell's Liberty University School of Law; and World Magazine, Marvin Olasky's influential evangelical Christian periodical. (Christian Reconstructionists Are Trying to Take Dominion in America -- and They Have Powerful Friends By Jeremy Leaming, Church and State, AlterNet, Posted July 2, 2007,
Pre Millennial And Post Millennial Doctrines Do Not Mix
by Sandy Simpson, 7/13/07

Most people who don't know or care about fundamentalist Christianity glaze over and ignore such things. That's probably for the best in many cases. But for anyone wanting to think that HSLDA really does just want to make homeschooling legal everywhere, it's worth pointing out that homeschooling is a small aspect of their real intentions and plans. They what to homeschool their future world leaders so those kids can be kept from worldly information and other opinions.

But then I thought maybe 2007 was too long ago, and looked for something more recent. Here: This is NOT Homeschooling: Is HSLDA Part of a “Bible-Based Cult?”

From that, a quote, from a "church leader" and former HSLDA attorney:
We will lose this movement and this work of God, men, if we do not govern our households. And that means lovingly shepherding our wives. The less you love your wife and the less you shepherd your wife, the more you create an open door for the female sin of the internet. The male sin of the internet is pornography. The female sin of the internet is gossip-mongering…Dear friends, we don’t live in the type of communities where our wives tend to go from house to house gossiping. They tend to go from blog to blog gossiping. And they spend their day going from blog to blog gossiping. And some of you are letting them. Some of you are encouraging them. And guess who they’re gossiping about? It’s not the world. It’s Pastor Joe. It’s homeschool state leader Sally. It’s Charlie. It’s my friend John.

It means that the secret agenda is in danger from women admitting what they know about the plans of the male leaders of Christian cults intending to take over governments. It seems crazy, because it IS crazy. There was more.
Guess who’s watching? The world is watching. When the lesbian, feminist, transgender publishing house Beacon Press decided to release their exposé this month on families that believe in large households, they knew exactly who to go for. Go to the internet assassins. Go to the blogosphere gossips and get the information to denounce and divide the homeschool movement directly from the wives who live on the internet, gossiping 24/7. It’s a bigger problem than you realize, men. And it is causing heartache. It is creating problems.

The problem is the evil, not the exposure of the evil.
The problems it's causing is the potential lack of large incomes for these "leaders" and liars.

Heather, the blogger there at "Becoming Worldly" wrote:
This HSLDA/NHERI/Vision Forum/Bill Gothard ATI thing is not a Christian thing. This is not a homeschooling thing. This is an extremist thing. It may even be a cult thing. Yes, as in “new religious movement.” So please, homeschooling parents, run from this crazy stuff so it doesn’t do to your family what it did to mine. Stop supporting these extremists, stop inviting them to speak before congress, stop allowing them to suggest what laws and politicians you vote for or against, stop buying their flawed explanations and liar statistics, stop letting them tell you how to live your lives and raise your children.

There is much more available, from links within those or by a web search for American Vision and HSLDA.
This is less political and more personal, though: Survivor Blogs (many by young adults who were brought up in fundamentalist homeschooling families).

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Interviews in Spanish

The interviewer is María José Cifuentes. She has also interviewed David Friedman about how unschooling was at his house, and that one has the English and Spanish both, in the audio.

Educación sin escuela. Yvonne Laborda responde dudas

Monday, September 30, 2013

Unschooling: the new class of learning

This is over a year old, but was new to me (and my site is linked, but I hadn't seen the article):

EuroNews, 14 March 2012;

SPECIAL REPORTS learning world
Unschooling: the new class of learning

Brief, excellent, has a video.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sandy Lubert, on TVO in Ontario this month

There is an article by Sandy Lubert at
Sandy Lubert on Unschooling
          and deschooling, and changes...

notes for a talk given in Toronto in May, 2006

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Article on Homeschooling, leaning toward unschooling, Southern California

Home school no longer just for the deeply religious, enters mainstream

Not a very good title for the article; I think the editor didn't read very carefully. But Pam Sorooshian was interviewed, and that helps. There's a comparison to some statistics from 2007 and 2012, but it explains why those don't cover everyone. And in neither set was there a majority of religious homeschoolers.

Much of the focus is on how homeschoolers can get into California universities. Wes Beach is quoted, too.

The same article is in the Los Angeles Daily News site, so I'm not sure what the arrangement is between the two. Los Angeles Daily News' byline is "By Rob Kuznia, LA Daily News" and at the bottom it says "Rob Kuznia covers education for the Daily Breeze," so perhaps The Daily Breeze is a subsidiary.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Malaysian news

Zaszima Abu-Samah wrote:
Just want to share what some Malaysian unschoolers are doing at the moment -
The CLiC Experience – An open invitation

And here is one of the recent newspaper article about Malaysian homeschoolers.
Do you have what it takes to homeschool your kids?

Here are the links for Malaysia from Unschooling in the World


Malaysian Homeschooling Network (MHsN), on Facebook

Learning Beyond Schooling

English for Asians, a blog about home education

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

More homeschoolers in the U.S. (WAY more)


The numbers in this article seem odd, because a family can take five kids out and "enroll" them in homeschooling, but in any one year, only one of them would've started school. So there are problems with the counting. Still, the ideas and factoids are good to read and to consider!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Vague memories of the good old days is no basis for a system of education!

Vague memories of the good old days is no basis for a system of education!

Advent of Google means we must rethink our approach to education
We have a romantic attachment to skills from the past which are no longer relevant on a curriculum for today's children

Sugata Mitra, in
The Observer, Saturday 15 June 2013 21.00 BST

"The brain remembers good things from the past and creates a pleasant memory of the "good old days". It forgets the rest. It is dangerous to build a present using vague memories of the good old days."

Friday, May 17, 2013

Playing (Andre Stern)

Short, profound video (French with English subtitles of Andre Stern talking about the importance of play, for learning (and the frivolous nature of "education"):

And a link to an interview, there.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Accuracy in Academia, small article on homeschooling

Homeschooler uprising in America?
Spencer Irvine, May 3, 2013

WASHINGTON – According to researchers, disgust, dissatisfaction and disillusionment with the U.S. public school system is on the rise, so much so that the number of homeschoolers is on the rise.

“Since 1999, the number of children who are being homeschooled has increased by 75%,” Julia Lawrence reports in Education News. “Although currently only 4% of all school children nationwide are educated at home, the number of primary school kids whose parents choose to forgo traditional education is growing seven times faster than the number of kids enrolling in K-12 every year.”

. . . .

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Don't spoonfeed babies

Avoid Obesity and Let Babies Eat With Their Hands

"Babies who feed themselves with their fingers chose less sugar and were less likely to become obese than spoon fed babies, according to a study in the British Medical Journal Open.  It was a small study based on recollection, but the findings were still interesting and give us clues about how children self regulate food."


What this has to do with unschooling is that it's a match for all of this:   The Full Plate Club

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning

from the site:

This journal seeks to bring together an international community of scholars exploring the topic of unschooling and alternative learning, which espouses learner centered democratic approaches to learning. JUAL is also a space to reveal the limitations of mainstream schooling. JUAL understands learner centered democratic education as individuals deciding their own curriculum, and participating in the governance of their school-if they are in one. Some examples of learner centered democratic possibilities are unschooling, Sudbury Valley , Fairhaven , the Albany Free School , and the Beach School in Toronto. In terms of unschooling, we view it as a self-directed learning approach to learning. Free, open access Current issue


Monday, March 18, 2013

Hacking your Education

Hacking Higher Education: Dale Stephens and Unschooling

Forbes, March 18, 2013

Book review/article by Anthony Hennen.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Apprendre sans l'école, Interview in French

Lafamille Laferrière-Meloche wrote:

Voici une entrevue que j'ai donné sur notre quotidien d'unschoolers. La journaliste a simplement rapportée mes propos et son introduction est très positive!

Here's an interview I gave on our life unschoolers in french)! The introduction of the journalist is very positive! Apprendre sans l'école
Ne pas envoyer ses enfants à l'école. Certains le font, dont Stéphanie et Alain, et on a jasé avec eux.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

World of Warcraft in the classroom

Teamwork, interpersonals, vocabulary...

Teacher ditches books for video games

Part of the article:

Words like "quest," "guild," "story," and "epoch" comprise the game's key vocabulary.

"I didn't think language arts could be fun, but this actually makes it really fun," said Cheyenne, a student in the class.

Cheyenne is the only girl in the class, but she says the class is a team and the members are now her friends.

"Since I've been in here, we have been doing quests together and, in a way, getting to know each other better," she said.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Unschooling truly in a class of its own

Unschooling truly in a class of its own

Andrew Taylor
Arts reporter, Canberra Times

Interview of Lauren Fisher, about her family in New South Wales, and some quotes from Beverley Paine and Penny Lewis.

Sandra Dodd comment: Either this is missing some context, or the professional he interviewed for balance (those professionals never know anything about unschooling) totally contradicted himself. It seems disjoint to me:
A senior lecturer in Monash University's Faculty of Education, Dr David Zyngier, does not support any form of home schooling because the vast majority of parents are not capable of teaching their children to read, write or be numerate.

"Children on their own without external intervention will never learn to read and write or do mathematics, the three most difficult things that any child will ever learn," he said.

"That is why we leave these things to well-educated professionals. That is why we no longer go to witch doctors for medical issues or try and fix our cars, fix faulty electrical systems ourselves."

Dr Zyngier said there is no robust evidence that unschooled children are capable of the same academic achievement as measured by year 12 results. Unschooling has laudable aims, but Dr Zyngier said "powerful learning like these approaches need to be offered in all schools to all children". "But such learning approaches if taking place outside of the school will only be possible in middle-class families," he said.

Very many people can repair their own cars and do minor electrical repairs. I wish journalists didn't feel that it created balance to embarrass a professor or psychologist that way. Nearly every article gets some "professional" to embarrass himself or herself that way.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Film about alternative education

This is a film about a film.  The artists would like help, and you can benefit!

Said The Blind Man
A unique and delinquent teenager finds a proper outlet for his creativity and a sense of belonging in an alternative education system.