Episode 8 is here! Freedom vs. License

In less than 48 hours I’ll be heading to Vermont with my Mom and Ben to spend two days on a mini-break before picking up Maya from NBTSC.   In the meantime, I finished the latest episode of Deconstructing Unschooling.

I hope you enjoy it.  Let me know what you think!

One comment on “Episode 8 is here! Freedom vs. License

  1. Mary says:

    Thank you for addressing this issue, which is often sticky and unpleasant for people to talk about. In my experience, some of the most egregious problems with the freedom/license dilemma have occured with kids who were relatively new to the homeschool community. The families I am thinking about had middle-school aged children who were troubled in school, and pulled them out to homeschool them (and “homeschool” is the best word to use in this case, as the parents are very keen on the “school at home” setup). As an unschooling parent who has never had kids in school, I was astonished to see how frequently these kids tried to push every boundary in any social situation.

    I think that part of the problem lies with the difficulty for both parents and kids of un-learning the top down, authoritarian discipline of the schools. While I don’t want to give too much power to anecdotes, since all families are different, I had an unpleasant experience that reinforced for me the importance of parents unscholing ourselves. On a group outing to a farm, a 12 year old boy started throwing rocks and twigs at some of the animals. My animal-loving kids looked on in dismay, and I really wanted to say something so that the animals wouldn’t be hurt, but I also didn’t want to interfere in another family’s situation (sticky and unpleasant). The boy’s mother just looked on in exasperated resignation, until one of the farm attendants shouted at the boy to stop. The boy stopped, and the mom visibly relaxed, relieved that someone “in authority” had settled the situation.

    For me, unschooling means helping my kids to discover and pay attention to their own inner compass, so that the external “authority figure” doesn’t need to stop them from doing harm.

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