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From: Karen S (
Subject:         Re: What you are talking about is radical unschooling
Date: October 27, 2008 at 10:00 am PST

In Reply to: Re: What you are talking about is radical unschooling posted by Ron on October 9, 2008 at 7:32 pm:

We probably would be considered radical unschoolers. However--we are not unparenters. There are very few limits in our home. But comparing drinking beer to freedom over "learning" is quite a leap to make.

Toni Morrison (the author) said: "Freedom is choosing your responsibility. It's not having no responsibilities; it is choosing the ones you want."

For us Unschooling is a lifestyle. It is about giving our children freedom. Freedom over what they wish to learn about. We give them the same freedom and respect we would ask anyone else to give us. Just because they are children doesn't mean they don't deserve our respect. And I would certainly worry about being "mean" to my children. Goodness, there are enough people out there who don't know or love our children who have no problem being "mean" to them. The children should at the very least be able to count on their parents to love them unconditionally and NOT be "mean".

We don't believe in force, coercion, bribery. That is not how children learn (and I was a teacher for over a decade!). We ask our children--rather than demand anything. And in our house "No" is an acceptable answer. Just think how you would feel if someone asked you to do something--but you weren't allowed to say no!!

My children play video games, read, draw, play, create their own cookbooks and write their own comics. And they learn. But they do it on THEIR terms, on THEIR timetable.

There are very few things my children are not "allowed" to do--and they all involve safety or health. Other than that--well we have a saying: If it isn't setting the house on fire or causing anyone to bleed . . .it is all good! More specifically we care that they come from a place of love. We care that they are true to themselves--to who they authentically ARE. And we ask our children to allow others to be who THEY are.

My older son was not always homeschooled/unschooled--but I can tell you this: as a baby and toddler and little boy, he was full of joy and love (as all little kids are). And then we started school--and that all stopped. He became negative, sullen, a lot of the affection stopped (no kisses or hugs). Then we brought him home and shifted our whole thought about schooling and about who he "should" be. He went right back to that loving, happy, inquisitive boy! That is all I need to know that our Unschooling lifestyle is the way to go!

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