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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

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Location: Jonesborough, Tennessee, United States

I was born and raised in the far north of Fairbanks Alaska where the moose trample your garden, northern lights dance and darkness rules the winter. I adore raspberries, tea, body painting, lazy nights watching movies and drinking wine, hiking, gardening, beekeeping, writing, creating art and traveling. I live with my husband Keith (the brilliant human behind Keith Dixon Studios) and the five children we brought into our relationship. My current career is in makeup artistry/body painting where I get to meet interesting people and paint diverse faces and bodies.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Rejected comment

I originally rejected this comment for it's mean spirit and attacking style, but decided to blog about it instead.:) This gentleman hates unschooling, is completely opposed to it without knowing much on the topic of course. I have no problem with views that are opposite from my own, but if you come knocking me at my own blog, I'll probably walk through that door!

So here's the "comment" and a link to his blog. Do with it (or don't) as you wish:


~Steve has left a new comment on your post "Ptooey!"

Ptooey is right. I'm stunned and amazed to see what I can only interpret as child abuse being glorified. Well, maybe not stunned and amazed. I have no problem with homeschooling as a correct response to the cesspit of public education, but "uneducating" will have the same net result as public schools, so what's the difference?

I take comfort from the knowledge that if uneducators' kids get jobs, they will be working for my kids.~
(his blog can be found by clicking on his name)

Let's see.....my children have access to information, loads of art materials, interesting people, places and experiences. They hike in the glorious mountains, they play games, they ask a million questions a day, they plant and paint and dress-up and fix computers and know more about history and culture than the average Joe Schmo.
They are invited to share our work and passions with us, they are treated with respect and dignity, their ideas, opinions and expressions are validated at every turn. They are nourished, happy, joyful beings,
sounds like ABUSE doesn't it? sigh.

You know what sounds like abuse? Children who are treated with scorn and derision when they have a unique idea, children that are forced (with distress/tummy aches, frustration or sadness) to attend school when they don't want to, children that are bullied by other children and have no escape, children that have to stand in the freezing cold waiting for a bus every day, children that do not have parents that understand or honor their interests, children whose joy is being cut short all too often.

That is abuse of the human spirit, and it happens every day in this country.
As far as making money? Well, that remains to be seen. I believe that children who know themselves, who are comfortable with their strengths and weaknesses, who have been able to pursue the things they love best, are in a very good position to earn a living doing work they enjoy.

All of my children come up with ideas about making money...they are natural entreupreuneurs!
Sierra is still pissed off because her invention (on paper only) for toothbrushes that extrude toothpaste was already thought up by another person and is being sold by a big corporation.
She wants me to help her patent some of her other ideas, so nobody can use them!!
Trevor has worked at plugit.com with one of the techs, helping network servers and being shown all sorts of interesting things. A local professor (at the university) thinks it's really cool that Trevor is so into technology and wants to help him network with some other tech geeks.
He can build computers, repair most problems, do program modification and is learning HTML on his own.
I have no doubt my children will weave their passions into all of life.

Each of them in their own time and way......

7 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

Ren,
You're obviously a parent who loving takes the time to nurture and guide her kids and I honor you for that. I work closely with many in the homeschool community and you would be the exception rather than the rule around here. To use rough numbers, I'd say 90% of the homeschool parents in our circle are doing a fabulous job and 10% would be better off putting their kids in a traditional or (better yet) private school. Unfortunately for unschoolers the percentages would be reversed. I just haven't seen unschooling parents with near the care or devotion you show.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on his ideas (written in his blog), Steve is a moron. He's not even at a point where he can truly wrap his mind around unschooling. He must have been traditionally schooled or homeschooled, not unschooled. I definitely don't want my kids to turn out like that. We'll stick to unschooling, thanks.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Janet said...

Arrrrg!!! Obviously Steve doesn't know many authentically unschooling families. Anybody can call themselves 'unschoolers; I would hope Steve would be wise enough and astute enough to realize this. It would serve him well to meet and learn from some true unschoolers. I can't control those who call themselves 'unschoolers' but are actually neglectful parents, and it is wrong and narrow minded of him to judge all unschoolers from his small sampling. He needs to investigate what it really is before he makes such comments insinuating abuse.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Glenda said...

Oh my gosh, Steve's comment about how unschooled kids will probably be working for his kids . . . boy how I regret that my son isn't in an educational environment where "one-upmanship" is considered a good thing. Just imagine, whether he's self-employed or working for someone else, he will actually be compassionate and treat his employees / co-workers / employer with an equal amount of respect. Oh the horror of it (rolling eyes)!!

I read a good bit of Steve's blog (current stuff and archives). I'm not quite sure why he feels compelled to keep posting about unschooling on his blog. If he was truly interested in how unschooling works, it'd be a lot more productive to come onto this blog, as well as his own, and ask questions that lead to a discussion rather than to attack Ren in particular and unschooling in general.

Steve, Ren's level of care and devotion isn't any higher today than it was when you posted your original "rejected" comment, yet you came back and did a "backpedal" comment, which comes across as false and an attempt to manipulate. You haven't seen unschooling parents locally with near the care or devotion Ren shows because you CHOOSE not to see them. You make it clear in your writing that you have a preconceived negative opinion of unschooling and I would imagine you present that in person as well, so why in the world do you think unschoolers would have any interest in exposing themselves to you?!! If you honestly want to find more unschoolers like Ren and her family, you have to be open-minded about unschooling . . . and I simply do not see that happening based on what you've put out there in writing. Just imagine, your son will learn from you to generalize people into categories and to form an opinion based on that generalization. Wow, that's something to be proud of . . .

3:41 PM  
Blogger samuel said...

I hadn't really thought of this till Glenda's comment. Don't all people who hold jobs work for someone's children? And wouldn't it be nice if all of us were actually working for the children?

12:35 AM  
Blogger Ren said...

Yeah, it's really not something to look down on...working for another person. Dh and I have both been business owners and currently work for a company by choice. I LIKE not having to deal with a lot of the headaches and paperwork involved in being the owner!!
If my children see life as a choice, if they're happy with their choices, I don't think the fact that they work for someone elses kid is a factor at all.
Different seasons for different work and varying personalities play into all of it too. Our work bringing satisfaction and joy is the more important issue to me.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Sandra Dodd said...

Brett is a young adult, unschooled since he was eight, who is asleep upstairs at the moment. He's 20. Yesterday he was saying one of his co-workers used to be against homeschooling altogether, but she's starting to get it. She's around his age, 20ish, and talks to him about it quite a bit, he said. I said, "Remember a couple of years ago when someone you worked with complained that it wasn't fair that her supervisor hadn't finished high school and she had?"

"That's her," Brett said.

Brett has worked at a cellphone tech/helpline place since he was seventeen. He's been a supervisor since he was 18. He changed jobs for a while because he moved, and then went to EMT school, and they wanted him back as soon as he was available. So Brett is a volunteer fireman, a certified EMT, and the supervisor of at least one person who now thinks (from konwing Brett) that unschooling must be a pretty good thing.

8:21 AM  

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