A fellow unschooler I happen to know personally was recently interviewed with her children for a public radio broadcast. They did a great job. It was a pretty balanced piece; you can check it out here. At the end though, the reporter mused whether children will be able to "find their way" without the structure of a more traditional educational setting.

This is one of the things I value most about unschooling, that my children are "finding their own way" now, rather than being told which way to go. I have so many friends who followed the conventional wisdom of school, college, work, family leading to this day. Today they are questioning what they really want, what will make them happy, what their true desires are. For some of us, our true desires and passions have been buried so deep below what we felt were our obligations to meet, we don't know anymore. There's alot of excavating to do.

What a gift it is to honor a child's interests and desires from the beginning! To let a child know that their thoughts are worthy of consideration only fuels the fire of a healthy, active mind. How this could not be a good thing, I don't know. I believe that children whose ideas are respected and whose pursuits are supported as they grow, will be less likely to have the so-called "mid-life crises" that plague so many caught in the rat race. These children will also be more willing to take a stand, and pursue something independently, not just because it is what is expected of them. That sure gives me hope for their future, and all of ours as well.


State of the Union or Reaping What You Sow

What you see below is the verbatim copy of an e-mail I received today from a friend. It is the second time I have seen this e-mail, and I just HAD to make a public statement about how I feel about it. (I know I don't have much of a "public" reading this, but it will help me to get it off my chest and more coherent for future proselytyzing. ;)


Dear God:

Why didn't you save the school children at ?

Moses Lake , Washington 2/2/96
Bethel , Alaska 2/19/97
Pearl , Mississippi 10/1/97
West Paducah , Kentucky 12/1/97
Stamp, Arkansas 12/15/97
Jonesboro , Arkansas 3/24/98
Edinboro , Pennsylvania 4/24/98
Fayetteville , Tennessee 5/19/98
Springfield , Oregon 5/21/98
Richmond , Virginia 6/15/98
Littleton , Colorado 4/20/99
Taber , Alberta , Canada 5/28/99
Conyers , Georgia 5/20/99
Deming , New Mexico 11/19/99
Fort Gibson , Oklahoma 12/6/99
Santee , California 3/ 5/01
El Cajon , California 3/22/01
and Virginia Tech., 4/16/07?

Sincerely, Concerned Student

Dear Concerned Student:
I am not allowed in schools.

How did this get started?...
Let's see,
I think it started when Madeline Murray O'Hare complained she didn't want any prayer in our schools. And we said, OK.

Then, someone said you better not read the Bible in school, the Bible that says "thou shalt not kill, hou shalt not steal, and love your neighbors as yourself," And we said, OK...

Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehaved because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem. And we said, an expert should know what he's talking about so we won't spank them anymore.

Then someone said teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And the school administrators said no faculty member in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don't want any bad publicity, and we surely don't want to be sued. And we accepted their reasoning...

And the entertainment industry said, let's make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence and illicit sex... And let's record music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes... And we said, it's just entertainment and it has no adverse effect and nobody takes it seriously anyway, so go right ahead.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, classmates or even themselves.
Undoubtedly, if we thought about it long and hard enough, we could figure it out. I'm sure it has a great deal to do with... "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW,"

Pass it on if you think it has merit! If not then just discard it...but if you discard this thought process, then don't you dare sit back and complain about what bad shape this country is in In God We Trust

I think that the separation of church and state got carried too far in removing prayer from schools, but I also think it is par for the course when it comes to schools. Freedom of religion is just one more right that children in schools are prevented from exercising, along with too many more to list here. But to say that not spanking our kids, or paddling them in school is what brought about the demise of our country is just plain bogus. Spankings, and much worse, occur all the time in this country. Paddling is still legal in many state schools! Children continue to die at the hands of the very people entrusted to keep them safe and help them flourish. Not to mention all the research which shows violent criminals were usually mistreated as children. Yes... we do reap what we sow!

How much more obvious could it be?!

The Center for Effective Discipline


INDEXED Check it out today! :)



For those who weren't already aware, yesterday was SPANKOUT DAY, which "was initiated in 1998 to give widespread attention to the need to end corporal punishment of children and to promote non-violent ways of teaching children appropriate behavior. EPOCH-USA (End Physical Punishment of Children) sponsors SpankOut Day USA on April 30th of each year. All parents, guardians, and caregivers are encouraged to refrain from hitting children on this day, and to seek alternative methods of discipline through programs available in community agencies, churches and schools." If you want an idea of how widespread and accepted hitting people (who happen to be under the age of 18) is in our country, check out "2007 Kindness to Children Index". It is encouraging to see that some countries have outlawed all hitting of children, in all settings. Can you imagine that happening here in the USA? Let's do more than imagine. Let's make it a reality!!!

Until then, here's some food for thought about how wonderful it can be, how wonderful it IS, when children are given love and kindness rather than being attacked for being children.

THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle

:: The Trickle-Down Theory of Human Kindness ::

In peaceful "primitive" cultures, kindness is
sustained from generation to generation by a kind of
"trickle-down" effect. At its core is the commonly
held value of serving and delighting younger people,
especially babies.

Adults appreciate and support the delight of adolescents,
who delight in the joy of prepubescents,
who enjoy entertaining younger children,
who love to carry babies and play with toddlers.

The elegance of this top-down, pleasure-oriented value
system is that the youngest people receive the most
(and give the least) at the developmental stage when
they're naturally narcissistic, while those who give more
are more adept at deriving joy from giving.

In contrast...

Adults in our culture often *fear* adolescents,
who call prepubescents "dweebs,"
who disparagingly call younger children "babies,"
who compete with real babies for scarce love and attention.

When your children behave unkindly, remember that you
can't enforce authentic kindness. Instead, let it
trickle down by *modeling* unconditional generosity.
Using your creativity, find a way to serve and delight
both "aggressor" and "victim" ...and yourself, too!


Feel free to forward this message to your friends!
(Please include this paragraph and everything above.)
Copyright (c) 2007 by Scott Noelle