Friday, June 26, 2009

The Size of Things

I mostly wanted to bookmark this to show my children, but then I thought there would be others who would enjoy this illustration.

Homeschooling: Back to the Future

This is an old piece from The Cato Institute that I may have even had in my files once upon a time, but I thought it was one of the more interesting pieces on homeschooling and I really appreciated the historical look beginning with Raymond Moore and John Holt. I am of the Holt persuassion, and I have often encouraged people to look to work by Raymond Moore, especially when anxieties about reading and writing come up in regards to young children.

The constituencies Raymond Moore and Holt individually attracted reflected the backgrounds and lifestyles of the two researchers. Moore, a former Christian missionary, earned a sizable (but hardly an exclusive) following among parents who chose homeschooling primarily to impart traditional religious mores to their children--the Christian right. Holt, a humanist, became a cult figure of sorts to the wing of the homeschooling movement that drew together New Age devotees, ex-hippies, and homesteaders--the countercultural left.

The two men earned national reputations as educational pioneers, working independently of one another, eloquently addressing the angst that a diverse body of Americans felt about the modern-day educational system--a system that seemed to exist to further the careers of educational elites instead of one that served the developmental needs of impressionable children. In the 1970s the countercultural left, who responded more strongly to Holt's cri de coeur, comprised the bulk of homeschooling families. By the mid-1980s, however, the religious right would be the most dominant group to choose homeschooling and would change the nature of homeschooling from a crusade against "the establishment" to a crusade against the secular forces of modern-day society.

Buttressed by their national media appearances, legislative and courtroom testimony, and speeches to sympathetic communities, Holt and Moore worked tirelessly to deliver to an often-skeptical public the message that homeschooling is a good, if not a superior, way to educate American children; that it is, in a sense, a homecoming, a return to a preindustrial era, when American families worked and learned together instead of apart.

Please take the time to read the entire article here:
Policy Anaylysis
Homeschooling: Back to the Future

Thanks, Rebecca, for the link.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Consuming Kids

A friend from a local homeschool group shared the following.

JoAnn's comments:

This morning I just went to a screening of this documentary:

I give this film my highest possible recomendation, and it is my fervent hope that every parent in America would view this film immediately. In fact, I took my 11 year old with me to see it, and she was very glad that she saw it, and felt that it helped her to better understand and look with a more critical eye at a lot of things that are currently targeted to her age group. In addition, this film looked separately at every developmental stage from infancy to post adolescent, and also at differences in marketing for each gender.

It covered the full gamet including the history of government regulation of media, the breadth of marketing (schools, ipods, targeted radio on school busses, cell phones and much more) how market research is done (and this will chill you to see how children are even being recruited to surrepticiously gather data on peers, how brain waves and eye blinks are recorded in response to various types of visual stimuli) and how this all is affecting the health and well being of our entire citizenry.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Leap of Faith

This is a speech by Dagny, an unschooled teen, that I bookmarked ages ago with the intention of sharing it. It was given at the NE Unschooling Conference in May of 2008.

Take a moment to read it when you have some time to sit back and just reflect on the words. There is a lot of wisdom here.

My favorite part is this:

Parenting should be a gift to you, not a curse. Parenting should be a beautiful and scary thing. Not a wrong and stressful thing.


We have a trusting family base who are always there and knowledgeable and kind and supportive of us and our needs and wants from this life. Trust comes in many forms and I've found my parents’ trust in unschooling to be the most necessary part of the whole unschooling process.

I also love that she lists "42" as one of the possible meanings of life.

My kids and I recently read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy together. Although I have friends who have loved the book (and series?) over the years, I had never read it myself. I was worried that it would be above my kids' heads, but all three of them loved it, and I'm talking laugh-out-loud, quoting passages loving it. I learned to appreciate something I wouldn't have tried on my own.

Dagny's mother, Rue Kream, is author of Parenting a Free Child: An Unschooled Life.