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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......

Monday, March 26, 2007

Einstein rocks my socks!

So does Danielle Conger...but let's start with Einstein.:)

I got my new edition of Wired magazine today and there was an article titled "The World Needs More Rebels Like Einstein". At first I thought, "well duh" but upon reading the article I found myself grinning. Here's an excerpt:

........."At a time when the US, worried about competition from China, is again emphasizing math and science education, Einstein's genius reminds us that a society's competitive advantage comes not from teaching the multiplication or periodic tables but from nurturing rebels. Grinds have their place, but unruly geeks change the world."


Later in the article:
"As a child, Einstein was slow to speak. This, combined with his cheeky defiance of authority and his distaste for rote learning, led one schoolmaster to send him packing and another to dismiss him as a lazy dog. 'When I ask myself how it happened that I in particluar discovered the relativity theory,' Einstein once said, 'it seemed to lie in the following circumstance; The ordinary adult never bothers his head about the problems of space and time. But I developed so slowly that I began to wonder about space and time only when I was already grown up.'"

And so on. So here's to "late-bloomers" and daydreaming and the freedom to think your own thoughts, in your own time and explore whatever picques your INTEREST.
And here's to rebels, free-thinkers and those willing to forge their own path in this crazy-ass world.

Here's what I think of rote learning (picture me flipping the bird to a schoolhouse about now). :)
I suppose I should add the word "forced" to that, because rote learning for your own purposes isn't nearly so mind-numbing. I actually enjoy pushing myself to memorize a poem or some other useless bit of information, just for fun.

OH, I should also add the closing snippet of this article:
"Other scientists had come close to this insight (it was referring to his Theory of Relativity at this point) but they were too confined by the dogmas of the day. Einstein alone was impertinent enough to discard the notion of absolute time, one of the sacred tenets of classical physics since Newton. 'Imagination is more important than knowledge', Einstein later said.
Indeed, if we are ever going to unravel the further mysteries of dark matter, come up with a unified theory, or discover the true nature of energy, we should carve that proclamation above all of our blackboards."

All of our blackboards? Let's just ditch the stupid blackboards all together and actually see Einstein for what he truly was....an unschooler. Except for the blackboard at Acoustic Coffeehouse where one can leave messages of any kind in the bathroom for future readers and rebels.:)

Our house has become a pitstop for traveling unschoolers this week, all on their way to or from the Amy Steinberg house concert at my dear friends, the Lovejoys in Columbia SC. I can't make the concert, so I simply coerced and bribed and wheedled my friends to come over here and visit me instead. Ok, it wasn't really that hard to get them to come...really.;)

Danielle and her crew were here earlier this week before they headed out to Gulf Shores before coming back up this way for the concert. When she walked in with two bottles of wine, I knew we'd survive the night! The kids had a ball, even with a couple of tense moments between my Jalen and her Sam. With empathizing and reflective listening, we moved past the moments and on to more fun. There was trampline jumping, walks to see the horses, pizza in the driveway, tree climbing, Bratz play, sprinkler running and lotsa conversation.

Sam really loved my meditation closet and would ask us to help him light candles in there so he could "calm my mind". Such profound awareness of self in such a wee man!

They left behind some lovely farm-fresh eggs that we just polished off this morning. The green Aruacana eggs are my favorite!

An ironic moment took place as Danielle and I read at Unschooling Basics from parents with great fear about letting children have access to tv and video games without limits. It was SO ironic, because here we were, in a house with SEVEN radically unschooled kids that were playing, running, laughing, talking and only TWO of them were remotely interested in anything electronic. Trevor and Jared (who are big-time gamers and had nobody even close to their ages here) were the only ones interested in gaming while we had company. Unlimited access certainly doesn't produce the fearful results that people imagine. If they all HAD wanted to watch a bunch of tv and play video games, that would have been fine too. It just doesn't have power to lure children the way people seem to fear. Out of the entire crew, there was a very small slice of time spent watching tv or gaming....playing with friends was more important because heck, you can have the tv or games anytime right?:)

Later this week we'll get the Traaseths and then post-concert the Cleavelands will come through. Those two visits will necessitate a couple of trips down to Acoustic Coffeehouse of course (oh darn) for some good music, good friends and good beer...yeah, maybe some nachos too.


Blogger Brenda Marie Hoffman said...

I agree with you about TV... It's funny, my 5yo doesn't like watching Disney/Noggin anymore. While she likes having the TV on all day she's watching animals and babies mostly. However, right now she's watching about China. In my mind... How cool!

8:22 PM  
Blogger Snavleys said...

I love it when you blog!! Especially when I call ALL day and your phone is busy!! I think I am going to have to quit reading all the unschoolers blogs for a week, at least the ones that are visiting you and the ones that are going down to the concert!! :) Here I am, enduring 25 degrees when it is supposed to be spring!! I'm glad you are getting all the visitors, wish I was there to enjoy it with you! I will try calling again today!! Love you!!

2:49 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

This is a most inspiring post - We used to get Wired magazine, but no more, so thanks for sharing this!

10:59 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...


Yes, but those two enjoying the computer games were quite gracious about allowing Sam to come in and get his fix and get away from it all. Sam just adored Trevor! Well, and you. *g*

I think we're doing the bleach/ dye thing this week.

We had so much fun visiting with you, and I'm so glad to hear that you guys liked the eggs! We'd love to have you visit the farm, but you already know that.

Hmmmmm, I think I need to get some Blue Moon and orange slices for our Memorial Day BBQ.

4:30 PM  

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