Thursday, July 18, 2013

What I am Reading: Winter 2012


Number of homeschoolers growing “Researchers are expecting a surge in the number of students educated at home by their parents over the next ten years as more families spurn public schools. “In the USA Since 1999, the number of children who are being homeschooled has increased by 75%.” 

We educate our children naturally from the time they are born. Homeschooling doesn't have to be hard or difficult or onerous... Another encouraging article: Home is Already a Homeschooling Supply Warehouse, by Linda Dobson.
Kids have no voice.” Documentary about the state of schooling in the USA. I don't need convincing about home education, and documentaries like this only make me sad.

“All education is self-education.  Period.  It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in a college classroom or a coffee shop.  We don’t learn anything we don’t want to learn.” 12 Dozen Places to Educate Yourself for Free

Linda Dobson is currently publishing a collection of these stories by parents of grown home educated children (USA). Maybe one day we'll get a collection of similar stories from Aussie parents!

The rise of informal channels of education are examined in Are We All Deschoolers Now? “Illich advocated for the dismantling of educational institutions and, in their stead, the establishment of informal alternatives, like lending libraries for prohibitively expensive equipment and an educational match-making clearinghouse.” 

Slaman Khan, named one of Times 100 most influential people in the world. “The aspiration of khanacademy.org is to give every kid a chance at a free, world-class education.” http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2111942,00.html
In an article examining the role of schedules in our homeschooling lives, Linda Dobson argues for time for ‘nothingness’ in our children’s lives: http://www.parentatthehelm.com/9130/homeschooling-children-need-activity-and-nothingness-for-their-own-sake/

Another one from Linda which I agree with, although my approach tends towards treading softly and convincing people that everything in the school curriculum is already embedded in a busy, constructive and productive life: schools simply fragment it and dish it up in indigestible chunks.
It’s Time, Ditch Curriculum

I love this: "unschooling is not unparenting". Wendy nails the life learning lifestyle! The Art of Inspiration, the role of parents in unschooling:

Another brilliant magazine for natural learners! Flourish!

Interview with Dale Stephens, home ed grad and co-founder of the UnCollege) a macro-level social movement challenging the notion that going to college is the only path to success) in USA:

One of my favourite websites Natural Child receives a makeover! 
 
Yet another great parenting magazine: http://www.nurtureparentingmagazine.com.au/

On my list of books to buy soon! “Putting an end to coercive education and family life would be a big step toward creating a society that chooses action over consumption, that favours communication over weapons development, and that encourages conservation over production. And, for me, that is one of the goals of a well-educated society. I look forward to the day when school (at least in its compulsory form as we know it) doesn’t exist; meanwhile, I offer you these thoughts as encouragement for living as if it doesn’t exist.” from the foreword to Beyond School: Living As If School Doesn't Exist

Freedom to Learn—the Challenges of Unschooling, the report from a survey of 232 “unschooling” families who have children older than 5 years.  
 
Wendy Priesnitz writes on the benefits of boredom: http://www.wendypriesnitz.com/articles/boredom.html. If you are interested in exploring this topic further, also see:
 
Food for thought... Open Schooling is the Open Source Way:
http://opensource.com/education/12/3/unschooling-open-source-way

The Unteachables: A generation that cannot learn  is another opinion piece exploring the dangers of giving good grades with the aim of protecting fragile self-esteems. It also highlights a growing problem within the education system that also results from a ‘teach the test’ approach to education. Education is more than jumping through curriculum hoops to ‘pass’.

Is this the end of NAPLAN? Caught my eye but it turned out to be an opinion piece rather than factual reporting (which I wish it was!)

And don’t forget to subscribe to Bob Collier’s excellent newsletter. Parental Intelligence. Bob has since finished publishing but you can read back issues on the website.   


Subscribe to Homeschool-Unschool-Australia!, a quarterly collection of my writing on my various websites, support groups, blog and personal reflections. 
 
If you are on Facebook or Yahoo and haven’t already done so, you are most welcome to join either of my online support groups:













What I'm Reading: Winter 2013


by Beverley Paine

Bring on the learning revolution! is another video from Sir Ken Robinson, a poignant, funny follow-up to his fabled 2006 talk in which he makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning and for creating conditions in which children’s natural talents can flourish.

http://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution.html
Laura Grace Weldon Politeness Recovery in Progress http://lauragraceweldon.com/2013/05/23/politeness-recovery-in-progress/: I'm struggling with the concept of an “authentically lived life”. Sometimes it feels like I have multiple versions of myself and they all feel like me. It can be confusing, even for me. Working to meet the (assumed) comfort zone needs of others keeps me in my ‘polite authentic’ zone.
One of the significant things I discovered home educating my children was the effect of personality on outcome: one of the arguments against home education is that children closeted away from multitudes of same-age peers and in close and constant contact with family members will produce unquestioning adults with the same values and attitudes as their parents. It is simply not true. Home education allows children greater opportunity to grow into who they are; it supports their individual development in a way that school educators can only dream about.
7 Reasons why you must read aloud to children: http://www.babble.com/babble-voices/something-fierce-katherine-stone/2013/05/16/7-reasons-why-you-should-be-obsessed-with-reading-to-your-kids/ ... If you need convincing! Not sure about the ‘must’ in the title although I definitely think reading aloud with children is a great idea.
Are you playing the role of ‘mother’ is an awesome article by Pam Laricchia about being a parent where she encourages us to “move beyond playing at being a mother and ‘be’ it”, learning to value our work of being a mother, being fully present in that role, instead of “buying into the conventional idea that parenting is second-class work”: http://livingjoyfully.ca/blog/2013/05/are-you-playing-the-role-of-mother/.
Another great article by homeschooling veteran Linda Dobson: 10 Questions to Help Gauge the Quality of your Child’s Education, useful if your child is learning at school or at home: http://www.parentatthehelm.com/11444/10-questions-to-help-gauge-the-quality-of-your-childs-education-2/.
Four recordings from the Alternatives to Compulsory Education conference, held on April 27, 2013, at Harvard University, are now available for public viewing. http://www.johnholtgws.com/pat-farengas-blog/2013/5/16/alternatives-to-compulsory-education-videos. Featuring: Cevin Soling: Why We Need Alternatives; Pat Farenga: Homeschooling and Unschooling; Peter Gray on The Importance of Play and his new book, Free To Learn; and Peter Bergson, Open Connections: One Approach to Partnership Education.  
And yet another video by Sir Ken Robinson! How to Escape Education’s Death Valley http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX78iKhInsc outlines three principles crucial for the human mind to flourish, and how current education culture works against them.
My friend Wendy Priesnitz, editor of the excellent magazines Life Learning and Natural Child, has started a new blog called Ununschooling. This is a reaction to the growing number of unschoolers who feel alienated from online unschooling support groups because they don’t align or ‘get’ with the philosophy of those groups. I talk to many, many families transitioning from school to school-at-home to homeschooling and unschooling. Learning to feel comfortable with learning naturally is a journey most often referred to as de-schooling. Some excellent articles have been penned recently discussing this issue:


“Never assume that because you can buy a product for a baby, that it is considered safe to use.
Never assume that because someone's advice is published, that they're writing is accurate. Never assume that your instincts must be wrong because a professional is telling you differently. Trust your instincts.
Question authority. Read with an open and questioning mind. Peace.” April Jermey


The above was first published in the Winter issue of my magazine -- Homeschool-Unschool-Australia!, a quarterly collection of my writing on my various websites, support groups, blog and personal reflections. 
 
If you are on Facebook or Yahoo and haven’t already done so, you are most welcome to join either of my online support groups: