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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......

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tidbit from a list

Sandra Dodd wrote the following in a post at Always Learning and it really resonated with me. So many people ask things like "Is it ok for unschoolers to _________?" which worries me. It worries me because it seems that unschooling has become some sort of club to join, rather than a philosophy/lifestyle to discuss. It worries me because if someone is more concerned about doing what an unschooler would do, they aren't really examining the issue critically. It's not a great way to wrap your mind around a new idea, it's just a way to "join". Rather than be concerned about whether something is "unschooling" or not, maybe people could question whether it's respectful, whether they are focused on what their child needs and whether it brings peace and joy to their family.

Here's what Sandra wrote:

~~NVC is all about rules, though, and labeling
people with new labels and using jargon (redefining
words for the purpose, such as "violent,"
just as NCP redefined "coerce."

For those unfamiliar with these initials, NVC is
for "non-violent communication" which says
"Do things our way or you are a violent
jackal." NCP is "Non-coercive parenting"
which says "Do things our
way or you are coercive."

I have tried for a long time NOT to say "do things
the unschooling way," but do things that make sense,
that aren't arbitrary, that make you a more peaceful
and generous person. Still it's pretty common
and perhaps human nature for some people to come,
take a glance, get excited about something (like
"No BEDTIMES!" and tell their kids "You
never have to go to bed again! NOW we are
UNschoolers!")

People like rules and touchstones and proofs
and flags to wave.

I think "the rule" should be "think," and the
touchstone should be a child's head, touched
gently.~~

4 Comments:

Blogger laura said...

sweet...

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Faline Franes said...

Hi Ren,
Is it ok to cut and paste tidbit from a list for a discussion with other RUs?
It sums up so well the thots I've been having over some unschoolers questions about "how to do it".
You can check out my profile on RU if you want.
Thanks for sharing your blog :) And I also enjoyed you and Laura's radio interview.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

"Think".....I love that! But even as you say that to people...they still want a "how to" plan or map to follow with steps. I have in-laws who have read Alfie Kohn's "Unconditional Parenting" and say: "It doesn't tell me what to do as a parent, though!"

1:07 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

"Think".....I love that! But even as you say that to people...they still want a "how to" plan or map to follow with steps. I have in-laws who have read Alfie Kohn's "Unconditional Parenting" and say: "It doesn't tell me what to do as a parent, though!"

1:07 AM  

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