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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......

Friday, July 28, 2006

Another post and storytelling

We met John and Mary at the Storytelling Center yesterday for some delightful Irish folktales by Pat Speight, who has the strongest Irish accent I've heard! He's an energetic and most entertaining storyteller. You can tell he loves what he does.

When we were getting ready to head into Joneborough, Jalen asks about coming along. I explained that we were sitting and listening to stories. "Oh, I'm tired of sitting still, that's stupid" he says. It made me laugh because he has rarely EVER sat still
in his entire life, not even when we eat out.:) But it convinced him to stay home with Dad and Trevor which was better for all parties involved.

Here is a fantastic post I collected from AlwaysLearning today. Not sure why I've been into collecting posts lately, but there's so much great writing out there and it's fun to pull bits of it back here to share:

From Joylyn at AL:

~"If you ask a surgeon if surgery is necessary, I bet she or he would
agree it is. But if you asked a holistic healer, she or he would have a
different opinion.

Schooled parents HAVE to buy into the myth that diplomas
will be the answer to everything. What choice do they have?
If they stop believing that, then their children are wasting
time in school.

Many years ago someone explained to me that parents who were
spanked as children have to go on spanking as parents themselves.
IF they say that spanking is wrong, then they are admitting that
what their parents, whom they love and trust, were wrong. Many
people cannot admit that their parents would make such a wrong
choice, a choice that physically and emotionally hurt them as
children and as adults, and a choice that they are making and
that perpetuates that violence on their own children. So
they go on living the lie, hurting their own children...

School is like that. There is a myth that in order to be
successful one must go through the process--k-12, all the
right classes, college prep, standardized tests, scoring high,
sports or other activities, etc. then college... If this is
all wrong, then the parents wasted their own time
in school, as their children are wasting theirs now...

Years ago I realized that many students were being taught
math, the same math, over and over. It was as though if we
repeat a thing often enough students who were not cognitively
ready to get something would get it anyway. Instead, we have
a lot of students who have no understanding of math failing at
higher math. Those millions of problems they did as children
did not help them gain understanding. It was just busy work
and memorization. Years ago I took kids who had failed at math
for years and in two or three months taught them basic math--
1st grade through 9th grade math, without them doing hundreds
of practice problems. I learned that if a student was ready to
learn something, it could be learned quick, without all those
practice problems. The next step in my thinking was that if people
just waited until a student was ready to learn something and
wanting to learn it, and had a reason to do so, then maybe all
that practice was unnecessary. So, this led me to realize--all
those problems I did, every day, hundreds a week, every
week, for every grade, for 12 years--that was unnecessary. A
waste of my time! It was hard to admit that.

So, I guess my point is that these parents, and their children,
MUST buy into the idea that school, graduation, college, graduation,
etc. are the ONLY way to success. For them to accept their are
alternatives that would be less difficult for their children
would make all they have done and all their children have done,
and will do, a waste of time, is too much for them to comprehend."~

1 Comments:

Blogger Deanne said...

The post from Joylyn was awesome! Thanks for sharing it. I can see now why some people are so "afraid" of accepting the principles of unschooling. It seems so natural to me, that I never considered how "earth-shattering" it could be to others. I mean, I know it's radical, but this post really got to the heart of it. Thank you both!

6:44 PM  

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