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Validity (was Re: TV)


 

-=-Not having a television in the home is a decision some parents
make, and I think it is a valid decision-=-

"Valid" in what context?
It's legal, but if it's limiting and superstitious and controlling,
it's not "valid" in light of the principles of the kind of
unschooling that's been discussed on this list for many years.

Using cardboard as roofing tiles might be "a valid decision" under
certain circumstances.

Not eating any food that's yellow might be "a valid decision,"
depending on the intent and purpose and result.

First one needs to decide on principles and intent, and *then*
actions can be judged better or worse in that context.

Without context, there can't be "validity."

Sandra


Janet <janeteg@...>
 

At 11:18 AM 5/4/2007, you wrote:

-=-Not having a television in the home is a decision some parents
make, and I think it is a valid decision-=-

"Valid" in what context?

Sandra
I *think* it was valid for us when we lived way out in the country and had nothing but rabbit ears and couldn't get much in the way of reception and couldn't afford the cable. LOL ;-) (Which we now have as a package deal with our internet and phone, but none of us watch much TV - I just don't enjoy sitting still and the kids prefer their computers! But we have no "no TV rules! I wish they'd watch more since we have all those great stations...think I should institute a "no computers" rule so they watch more TV??)

I'm a new member of this list, an unschooler of 21+ years ... we have 6 children, now ages 25, 23, 20, 17, 13, and 9. I joined this list because I am an odd duck in the pond here in NW MN ... I know of no one else at all who unschools - most of the homeschoolers I know are fanatic "school at home - do this workbook and take that test" kinds. And if that works for them, fine, but it never did work for me. I like to at least listen in on others who unschool and find that their kids do indeed learn and grow and do quite well. The only thing that stresses me out is the annual testing the kids are required to take - even though we don't have to turn in our scores, they still are supposed to take the test and it's a boring waste of our time!

Janet in MN


Melody Flurry <imagine1harmony@...>
 

I see your point. Maybe "valid decision" was the wrong phrase to use! I simply meant that if someone decides not to have a television in their home that's fine with me, just don't try to convince me that I shouldn't have one in mine. I use my TV for educational and entertainment purposes, and if someone thinks that TV is bad and they try to convince me that I am somehow harming my children by having one then I don't appreciate that.

The whole TV discussion reminds me of seeing Ted Danson (Sam from "Cheers") in an interview once where he said that he never had a TV in his home when he was growing up, and I think it's kind of amusing that he became a huge TV star in adulthood.

Melody


Sandra Dodd <Sandra@SandraDodd.com> wrote:
-=-Not having a television in the home is a decision some parents
make, and I think it is a valid decision-=-

"Valid" in what context?
It's legal, but if it's limiting and superstitious and controlling,
it's not "valid" in light of the principles of the kind of
unschooling that's been discussed on this list for many years.

Using cardboard as roofing tiles might be "a valid decision" under
certain circumstances.

Not eating any food that's yellow might be "a valid decision,"
depending on the intent and purpose and result.

First one needs to decide on principles and intent, and *then*
actions can be judged better or worse in that context.

Without context, there can't be "validity."

Sandra








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-=-Maybe "valid decision" was the wrong phrase to use! I simply meant
that if someone decides not to have a television in their home that's
fine with me-=-

It's fine with me if they're not insulting unschoolers with it.
It's fine with me if it's not in an unschooling context.

I feel sorry for the kids of parents who make unilateral decisions
regardless of their kids' preferences or desires. There are millions
of them, though, so I don't dwell on it. I hang out on unschooling
lists where it's rare to find parents like that.

Sandra


indymediaroom <indymediaroom@...>
 

Thank you all for your perspectives on the topic. I have enjoyed the thought provoking
stories and opinions you have shared. I have learned more about being a parent and
unschooler. But there are always more questions...

Pat Farenga on unschoolers.com defines unschooling as: allowing children as much
freedom to learn in the world, as their parents can comfortably bear. That is why I choose
to unschool - FREEDOM! Why do you choose to unschool?

Susan

--- In AlwaysLearning@yahoogroups.com, Sandra Dodd <Sandra@...> wrote:

-=-Maybe "valid decision" was the wrong phrase to use! I simply meant
that if someone decides not to have a television in their home that's
fine with me-=-

It's fine with me if they're not insulting unschoolers with it.
It's fine with me if it's not in an unschooling context.

I feel sorry for the kids of parents who make unilateral decisions
regardless of their kids' preferences or desires. There are millions
of them, though, so I don't dwell on it. I hang out on unschooling
lists where it's rare to find parents like that.

Sandra



 

-=-Pat Farenga on unschoolers.com defines unschooling as: allowing
children as much
freedom to learn in the world, as their parents can comfortably bear.
That is why I choose
to unschool - FREEDOM! Why do you choose to unschool?-=-


That definition has been used by Pat Farenga and his wife in talks at
conferences.
The problem with that parental comfort definition is that it allows
for any level of curriculum use.

There are many families on this list who have really successfully
unschooled children throughout their school years.

The Farengas' children have all three been in and out of school
(according to an interview Pat did for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine).

It's not working as well at their house as it has at mine and at many
others' here.

If you like kind-of unschooling, you'll find lots of support and
justification out in the world, but not on this list.

If you really want unschooling to last and have the results people
have found who are courageous and confident enough to give their
children lots of freedom and choice, you need to be courageous and
confident enough to give your children lots of freedom and choice.

These articles might help, if you're really interested.
http://sandradodd.com/choice
http://sandradodd.com/yes
http://sandradodd.com/decisions

And you should read at Joyce's site too.
http://joyfullyrejoycing.com/

Sandra


Bob Collier
 

--- In AlwaysLearning@yahoogroups.com, "indymediaroom"
<indymediaroom@...> wrote:

Thank you all for your perspectives on the topic. I have enjoyed
the thought provoking
stories and opinions you have shared. I have learned more about
being a parent and
unschooler. But there are always more questions...

Pat Farenga on unschoolers.com defines unschooling as: allowing
children as much
freedom to learn in the world, as their parents can comfortably
bear. That is why I choose
to unschool - FREEDOM! Why do you choose to unschool?

Susan

Hi, Susan

I can't say I agree with Pat Farenga on that one. My 11 year old son
is now in his fifth year out of school, with his education primarily
under my supervision, and I've been out of my 'comfort zone' every
day. We're sailing in uncharted territory. In fact, it's my belief
that you *must be* out of your comfort zone to give this your best
shot. What we're doing is contrary to 'societal expectation' and it
seems to me that, if you only do what you're comfortable doing,
society's 'norms' are still pulling your strings. But being out of my
comfort zone is not the same as being afraid. I'm not that. Anything
but.

The original and probably unusual reason for my son
being 'unschooled' was 'educational efficiency'. A number of other
good reasons have emerged since. I suppose, though, that underneath
it all the primary reason *is* because we should be free to do what
makes us happy.

But my wife and I didn't choose to unschool our son. He chose it. If
he'd been happy and thriving at school, he'd be in school. And, to be
honest, we don't see what we're doing now as 'unschooling'. I
describe my son as self-educated. Perhaps this may cause problems in
my relationship with other people in this group, but I believe it's
slightly absurd to keep or take a child out of the school system
because you don't like the way it operates and then describe that
child's education with a term that includes the word 'school'.
Especially since, to the uneducated, the word 'unschooled' is often
equated in the mind with being 'uneducated'. Perhaps that's just me.
I have learned elsewhere that describing to the uninitiated what home
education is 'all about' has long involved much debate on the
accuracy or otherwise of the terminology involved.

I'm a recent arrival at this forum myself. I joined this group
because I'd been reading some of Sandra Dodd's wonderful articles and
because - even if I might be a little bit of a fraud as far as
unschooling is concerned (although I've read John Holt and am
familiar with his ideas) - I've found that my maverick parenting
philosophy is more on the wavelength of other parents involved in
the 'home education movement' than anywhere else. Or, perhaps more
accurately, I've discovered that nearly all the parents I seem to be
on the same page with are homeschoolers and unschoolers. So, perhaps
the several online home ed groups I belong to are the places I go for
comfort!

Anyway, here's an article I wrote a few years ago called How to Cut
Out the Middleman on the Road to Academic Success that tells the
story of how my son became unschooled.
http://parental-intelligence.com/bobcollierarticles002.html

Bob


Fetteroll <fetteroll@...>
 

On May 4, 2007, at 10:44 PM, indymediaroom wrote:

Pat Farenga on unschoolers.com defines unschooling as: allowing
children as much
freedom to learn in the world, as their parents can comfortably
bear. That is why I choose
to unschool - FREEDOM! Why do you choose to unschool?
Because it's a better way to learn. Learning by exploring what
interests you is the best and most natural way to learn.

Joyce


Cathy <cathy@...>
 

Hello Everyone

I am new to the list so I will introduce myself before butting in!!



I live in the UK, have 5 children ages 17,14,12,10 and 5. We were always
relaxed/delight-directed homeschoolers, but after reading John Holt's 'How
Children Learn' and 'How Children Fail' in 2000, (and lurking for a while on
Sandra's radical unschooling list where everyone was frolicking in the deep
end of the ocean, so it gave me confidence to think 'hey, let's test the
water here on the shallow end.), we took the plunge into unschooling and we
have never looked back. Of course, it is a constant and challenging learning
experience for me here in highly structured, hyper-testing orientated,
conservative England, and I mess up a lot of the time, but the kids are
great - so patient when they remind me that it is supposed to be their
choice.. Back off mom, we know what we need.



My oldest daughter is now in South Africa, where she is the youngest
aspirant dancer of her ballet company, and where people are constantly
amazed that a 17 year old is so sure of what she wants and is so
self-disciplined and self-directed, and is able to live so far from her
family without falling apart.

Second daughter is constantly mistaken for an 18 year old - again because
she is so confident and sure of herself, and of her goals and objectives.

They alone are sufficient evidence for me that unschooling really really
really works! I tell people everywhere, and I love seeing them spend time
with us and gradually become more relaxed and laid back in their home
education, even if they continue to follow their precious curriculum guides!


We are Christians, and at times we get a lot of criticism, as many
Christians feel that you cannot be both a Christian and an unschooler.
Interestingly, many unschoolers also think so. I was so convinced by John
Holt's writings that I determined to confront this perception - for myself
and for my family. And ultimately for other people who would like to know.
It is a wonderful journey.



With regard to the TV issue, you may be amused to hear that in our family it
was daughter 2 who most strongly voted for us not to have one in our home
right now. We keep horses, and we do all the care ourselves. She is the
owner of three of the horses, so she has soooo much work to do every day. We
live on a small farm and there are always tasks to accomplish. Her concern
was that, even if we only watched 1 hour of TV per day, it would add up to 7
hours/week - which is almost a full day's work!!!! What a dreadful waste of
time when we don't ever have enough time in the week to get everything done
that we want to do as it is. (she has visions of losing all her slave
labour!!!!) Everyone, except poor hubby - who wanted Sky TV so that he could
watch the sport - was won over by her argument and agreed! Thus a decision
has been made and the TV issue is to be reviewed again in a few months time.


One question that does come up regularly is to do with being part of and
relevant to our society - TV is a useful way of keeping some sort of track
of what is considered important at any given time.

A concern that I have is that I don't really want my 5 year old hearing
about all the gory bits of what paedophile/sex murderer/whoever got up to.
The BBC delights in hashing and rehashing these kinds of news items. Most
recently an English 3 year old was stolen from the bedroom in which she was
sleeping - taken out of her bed by some swine who climbed in through the
window. She hasn't been found yet. I feel sick myself at the thought, and I
don't think Kate needs to know about that right now. I would like her to
experience her world as a wonderful safe place, at least for these few short
sweet years of early childhood.

Dear son, who is very aware of what money can buy, said that a SKY TV
subscription would not be the best use of our funds. He felt that we were
better off continuing to have the money available to buy whatever we are
interested in at the time (currently it is beading, so we are always buying
beads).

We all enjoy watching TV a bit when we are on holiday, but on the whole we
are not majorly impressed by most of the programming - about 80% of it we
can skip. I think I can honestly say that none of us feels like we are
missing out.

What we did instead was buy a digital projector so that we could set up big
screen media in the lounge, and we have a subscription to hire DVD's and we
also buy quite a lot of DVD's. If anyone wants to watch something, it goes
on the list and we get it. We also like hooking the computer onto the
digital projector and messing around on the internet together. Finally, the
kids also go through intense stages where they love playing racing games on
the playstation (again on the big screen), although I really DO think that
this is one huge waste of time - and what is more, it makes me seasick to
watch!!!~!



Regards

Cathy











_____

From: AlwaysLearning@yahoogroups.com [mailto:AlwaysLearning@yahoogroups.com]
On Behalf Of Sandra Dodd
Sent: 05 May 2007 02:15 AM
To: AlwaysLearning@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: Validity (was Re: [AlwaysLearning] TV)



-=-Maybe "valid decision" was the wrong phrase to use! I simply meant
that if someone decides not to have a television in their home that's
fine with me-=-

It's fine with me if they're not insulting unschoolers with it.
It's fine with me if it's not in an unschooling context.

I feel sorry for the kids of parents who make unilateral decisions
regardless of their kids' preferences or desires. There are millions
of them, though, so I don't dwell on it. I hang out on unschooling
lists where it's rare to find parents like that.

Sandra


 

-=-
A concern that I have is that I don't really want my 5 year old hearing
about all the gory bits of what paedophile/sex murderer/whoever got
up to.-=-

My husband watches the news, in the bedroom. He mutes it if I come
in. I quit watching the news when I had babies, and haven't picked
that habit up again, which suits me fine.

Sandra