1. Just a note that this blog will likely be quieter than usual this week, as I leave today for the Northeast Unschooling Conference!




  4. "We want our children to thrive and possibly change the world and improve lives, and yet we don’t allow for curiosity to grow and develop in our children. Adults are most useful in a child’s life when they expose them to ideas, provide resources and then allow children the freedom to let their imaginations wander in a supportive environment. The imagination that children espouse is a beautiful and often short-lived characteristic that is rarely embraced in the context of a classroom. The importance of unstructured, pleasure-driven learning should not be understated. Children will have plenty of time to learn skills necessary for their future adult life. Give children freedom, support their curiosity, let them make choices and watch them experience organic learning that evolves effortlessly."

  5. "

    I’m firmly convinced whenever fun is being had, then the best possible learning is going on.

    By fun, I don’t simply mean dressing up conventional educational activities to make them palatable. What I mean is that absolutely any activity that a child finds fun – from gazing at the ceiling to watching The Simpsons – is an essential and efficient learning activity. This is a rather countercultural statement because we’ve got used to the idea that if we enjoy something it must be a distraction from learning, rather than the real thing. Conversely and unfortunately, many people feel, rather puritanically, that things that are not fun are good for us, but this totally ignores the wealth of inexplicit learning that we reap from activities that don’t normally get labeled ‘educational.’


  6. My unschooling Facebook page is less than 50 likes away from the 6,000 mark! If you like what I post here on Tumblr, check it out! Though there’s a fair bit of cross-posting, I share more on Facebook than Tumblr, and there’s also a whole lot more discussion that happens on the Facebook page…


  7. You seem to be going in a more radical direction. I take it you’re not going to quote [New York Times columnist] Tom Friedman in the second book then?
    That’s definitely not going to happen. I didn’t read much about capitalism or neoliberalism. I didn’t know as much back then. That’s something I find particularly interesting because I see that many young politically minded people who support the Democratic Party gain their knowledge on issues by reading the opinion pages of the New York Times and Washington Post, which espouse militaristic, neoliberal nonsense. And that’s what I did for some time. So I didn’t understand the structural, institutional problems as I do now.

    How does having a more holistic view of how schools fit in the institution of capitalism informed your critique of schools? I mean, it seems to be why there’s such a focus on math and science test scores and keeping up with India and China.
    Even back then, I was very much skeptical of these international comparisons, but I hadn’t understood how it fit into a larger framework and narrative. Now I see that, for example, what’s happening in Chicago and Philadelphia and other cities, there’s a neoliberal assault on public education. And I connected the fact that the tenets of capitalism were seeping into the sphere of education. That’s given me a lot more insight into why these so-called “reformers” are making these suggestions.

    And actually making things worse, in your view.
    Much, much worse.


  8. "Parents and children alike are deskilled and made dependent by the myth that learning requires teachers. Parents come to believe that they could not possibly compete with the learning opportunities available within schools, often without ever questioning whether these are the learning opportunities that are even remotely relevant to their children. Children themselves come to believe that without coercion they would be lazy, unmotivated and lapse into stupidity."

  9. Op-ed from the New York Times.


  10. Just saw a comment saying unschooling is a “fantasy” of how people learn. Colour me amused (and fantastical!).