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I said "parents need to stand up to that nonsense, homework has not been shown to have any benefit. You responded to your neighbor by telling her "that's ridiculous".

Would you respond to your grandsons this way? Possibly you feel protective of your neighbor's 5 year old.

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Possibly you feel that the mother ought to know better. But obviously, she doesn't know better. Expressing disapproval is giving her more of the same crap that the school is giving her. What you can do instead is model for her the same kind of respect and empathy that you would hope she could learn to offer her child: " That sounds like it is very stressful for you. If she responded " But the school would give both us crap about that", you could respond "And that upsets you? But you can't do this if you take it personally - if you take offense at her present fears and concerns. It is important that we address how school authorities influence parenting.

If your child attends a school in where a "carpenter" method is utilized you as a parent will think "well part of my social responsibility is to comply to this model".

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Most parents trust that schools and teachers will make the best decisions for their students. In public schools most parents will emulate the behaviors that are modeled. School authorities, their policies and culture have a great influence on parent development. Do you remember whether she specifically rejected homeschooling and unschooling in favor of public schooling? If she had somehow managed to remain ignorant of homeschooling - perhaps not exactly a "hot topic" for academic psychologists - she might be forgiven. In "How Children Fail", John Holt was keeping a journal of his first year's experience at teaching "progressive school" 5th graders.

It took even him about 3 months before he took full conscious notice of the high states of anxiety that the children were experiencing - because he was preoccupied with getting them to learn what they were spozed to be learning. My dear KS, the use of the word "spozed" was an allusion to James Herndon's "Way it Spozed to Be", which many readers of John Holt will have read, as he refers to Herndon in his writings. You didn't have any trouble figuring out what was meant, did you? So just relax.


War is when adults fight each other with armies in order to control land or money. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Alison's quote about public school education being best for all children is very misleading, and contradictory to the rest of her book. Parents already aware of the precious innocence of childhood are choosing homeschooling or unschooling or Waldorf Education, which honors the innate spirit and genius in children; they are a blessing to their children and our communities.

I urge other parents to wake up to the truth of public education, and anything compulsory, i. I've become aware of the current public education system through my grand-daughter, who completed kindergarten barely able to write her ABCs and numbers. She was in a room of 22, 5 and 6 year olds, each using their own iPad everyday, with WIFI radiation streaming through her cells 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. I encourage every parent considering public education to take time to visit a classroom and observe.

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Do you know schools are in lockdown mode during testing days? No visitors or guests. Kindergarteners and other grades NOT involved in testing are not allowed library or recess time and the cafeteria is closed. Parents and guests are not allowed in the school. It's eerie. And intentional. I have my own friends who do parenting as carpenting. They say "In this day and age, a family is like garden with members having varying nature and characteristics, and not an agricultural field where all are of one type. So, we have to take care of as they are by first knowing their nature, perspectives, and traits.

I also now agree with the same. Here is a scientific source on the same they and me endorse this source for the same :. I work for and have worked for public schools where I have been somewhat successful in implementing the principles of gardener parenting. In California at least we have many homeschool public schools-- in-district independent studies programs and charter homeschool programs. Its always a personal goal of mine to foster the gardening-parenting within schools-- it helps for the children to be homeschooling-- and in the schools i have worked, I as a leader in the school, set up experiences for the children to spend time playing and exploring with their peers in multi aged groups.

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So in short, public schools exist where good principles can be fostered-- but I'm sure they are few and far between. I am curious if this is possible in any other states? Gray, you make an excellent point here. Have you asked Prof. Gopnik why she did not more specifically point fingers at compulsory schooling? This is so perfect a question to Dr. The answer she gives would be of interest to so many of us.

I love this post, and review, about the book by Gropnik. And I'd never considered the analogies of Gardeners and Carpenters before. I am a trauma therapist, play therapist and am in the early stages of founding a Sudbury-esque school here in my town. Here's another reason for public schools: Parents both work, and need to, and schools with their long days are used for daycare, so often.

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I do know of some families that would rather unschool, but can't afford to do so. And even a Sudbury school, or something like one, would cost money, and often families can't afford private schools.

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I remember when I was in a toxic relationship with my daughter's stepdad I wasn't the best parent at that time, because I was faced with having to "get her to like him" and support his ideas, and agree with him because if I didn't, I had no where else to go. It was "self preservation" for a time, to not rock the boat.

I eventually did leave the relationship, thank goodness. I think sometimes traditional schooling is kept in place because if a parent speaks up, and is vocal for change, they or their children might be criticized for that. I know sometimes it's hard for ME to speak up and be vocal, because I have good friends and family who are well loved teachers, and very vested in public schools.

How would a parent suffering from PTSD, who has depression and severe anxiety do with unschooling? Working with children and parents who are suffering from trauma, I do have this question: How can we support victims of trauma with self-directed learning, both students and parents?

Some students leave regular schools precisely because of the bullying and intimidation that occurs there. I would very much recommend this sort of educational choice for children from families who have suffered from some trauma. It is in some ways like joining a warm, accepting, extended family. I would imagine then, that especially if the parent is suffering from CPTSD and engaging in self-harm, suicidal thoughts, toxic shame, that having this kind of self-directed learning would be supportive of that parents' healing by being part of a healthy community like that.

But what if the child is unschooled because there isn't an alternative school option, and with an emotionally unstable parent all day? Dylan, In our survey study of grown unshcoolers one of our conclusions was that, at least among those who responded to our survey, the only group who were strongly against home-based education were those in dysfunctional families. Homeschooling of any kind is a bad idea if the parents are not psychologically well.

Sometimes a parent will keep a child home not for the child's sake, but because of the parent's fears and needs. That is harmful to the child. Thanks, that is my feeling too, but I didn't have anything to base it on as far as studies or anecdotal reports. I am starting a school.