or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Unschooling › ABC News, "Unschooling: No Tests, Books or Classes"
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

ABC News, "Unschooling: No Tests, Books or Classes" - Page 3

post #41 of 100
it seems to me that they probably filmed for hours and then picked the parts where the family looked the most silly. i wouldn't judge any family on 5 minutes of edited video coverage on a morning show. that seems a bit harsh.
i also didn't think the mom with the little kids seemed mean. when my kids wish to buy something i ask them how much money they bought so i can help guide them to what they can get... something like "all of these things here cost $5.00". also because we didn't see what came before the trip to the farmer's market, what do we know of what was going on. maybe the little girl was itching to spend her $1.10. and wanted to get an apple? sounds good to me. so mom asked how much money do you have? maybe to help point her in the right direction of things that cost a buck.
as for the donuts... who cares? maybe the mom got them to help the kids when the film crew was there? i mean they had filmed them for the morning at least, so that is hours of video coverage and that family got, what, 1 minute of air time? how can anyone make a judgement call on that?
as for the other family... the kids seemed happy, the parents seemed happy. they showed for all of 10 second that the kids had some interest other then tv and computers. stupid! they didn't show what they were watching on TV. maybe it was a nova special on quantum physics. and what was the kid doing on the computer? play wow or maybe writing a novel?
i think what was wrong wasn't the parents it was the editing and the production of this piece. i think maybe that family did it in good faith and got screwed.

h
post #42 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ygle View Post
And another thing (can't believe I'm still steaming about this, haha!), as if asking the girl if she feels prepared for college means anything... does any sophomore in HS feel prepared for college?
I thought that was dumb too-- at 15 you aren't supposed to be prepared for college, you've got years to get prepared.

This whole thing is just another reminder never to let a tv camera crew into your home!

ZM
post #43 of 100

THE HOMESCHOOLING IMAGE: Public Relations Basics

There's no reason for individuals to have to keep reinventing the wheel - here's a free download of an excellent and detailed 50 page booklet put together by Mary Griffith, author of The Homeschooling Handbook and The Unschooling Handbook. It used to be for sale by our state homeschooling organization, but now it's available free. Please pass it on!

THE HOMESCHOOLING IMAGE: Public Relations Basics

Premise:
"If the public at large understands and accepts homeschooling as an option, we will keep the legal right to homeschool. If the public somehow gets beyond mere acceptance to the idea that homeschooling can be fun and exciting as well as effective, we will discover active support for the option, even from those who do not choose homeschooling for themselves.

How do we create that positive, favorable picture of homeschooling? That’s what this booklet is all about."


Here's an excerpt - just an example of the need to be prepared for anything to be blown out of proportion:
If you’re not so lucky, you’ll get ambushed, as did the poor unfortunates who participated in what became ruefully and infamously known by longtime homeschoolers in the San Francisco Bay Area as the “chicken show.”
One of the features of this hour-long local television talk show was a videotape of a group of homeschoolers holding a “paleolithic feast” to cap a fairly lengthy unit of study. One of the points of the feast was to try to understand something of what prehistoric life was like by preparing all the food from scratch, including slaughtering and dressing the chicken for the meal.

For the broadcast, the TV station went all out for the circus approach, offering a viewer advisory before the show and at commercial breaks, warning of the gruesome content on the video clips (which actually were pretty innocuous). The first half hour of the show was spent with much argument among the audience and phone-in viewers over the pros and cons of chicken-killing (and very little from the homeschoolers on the show). The second half of the show generated much discussion of the socialization issue. The homeschoolers who appeared on the show were articulate, if a bit stunned, and managed to provide a little useful information for viewers who weren’t completely put off by the whole spectacle.
Lillian

post #44 of 100
I think this interview was better done. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Parenting/...ry?id=10422823
post #45 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumi View Post
I am this way about some things as well, but after some practice i can reflect upon diverse views and make my point succinctly. One would think that someone practicing something as non-conformist as unschooling would have had ample opportunity to have such conversations - not only defensively but also in the spirit of open discussion, respectfully and constructively.
The thing is though that unschooling is just so normal and natural if it's all you've ever done you just can't even comprehend the absurd attitudes and ideas that people that have been indoctrinated in the public school system have learned, so I don't know how you could've had practice in trying to guess at the bizarre questions people will come up with.

For example... sometimes when people hear that a kid is homeschooled they will feel the need to quiz them on 'basic knowledge' but this is a very strange practice that makes no sense at all so the kids really don't know how to respond... they are confused that that adult doesn't know the answer. I know one time I heard my daughter at 5yo give a completely wrong answer about something I knew she knew and when I asked her about it she said she figured the person must be looking for a different answer because everyone knew the actual answer and therefor wouldn't need to ask.

It's not like parents and kids are spending all day on forums debating these issues, so really a lot of these things are just so outside the box of the real world we couldn't even imagine them. I remember once a good friend of mine after she had kids telling me she couldn't homeschool because she wouldn't be able to teach them about history... the thing I found so odd is we were in HS AP history together and both got As, so I just never could've imagined that would be her argument for needing to put her kids in school...??

As parents we just aren't asking questions that aren't important and relevant... and that's the thing, it's only because of the school system that so many of these questions come up so if you aren't involved in that how or why would you be wasting time trying to figure out what sort of odd thoughts people stuck to a syllabus rather than always learning all the time from the real world would come up with and how to best respond to them. It's not at all a case of not knowing what you are doing, but rather a reaction of, say what?, are you serious? Those of us whose kids are involved in real life, rather than at a desk indoors most of the day are constantly scratching our heads at the strange questions people ask us... we are not being nonconformist, we are living life and very much conforming to the world and how it actually works. It's a bit like asking people, how are you able to breath? Aren't you afraid you might just stop in the middle of the night if no one's watching you? It is truly that baffling, so it's not something we can be prepared for... I know I was really surprised and perplexed by that clip.

I never imagined that people would actually have a *problem* with this... I just assumed people had a fear that they couldn't, so it really was a big shock for me. I just didn't get the impression that this family was trying to defend unschooling but rather show an audience how wonderful it is... so I saw those kids' reactions to that lady as just as perplexed as I was feeling. I don't see the point in living a life assuming everyone is at odds with you and then therefor needing to be prepared for that and if you aren't that somehow makes you incompetent. That's just plain silly.
post #46 of 100
Here is a great rebuttal of the piece from a blogger on The Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-st..._b_543880.html
post #47 of 100
Here's a list of the decent rebuttals from unschoolers: http://zombieprincess.blogspot.com/2...s-respond.html
post #48 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowMoon View Post
Here is a great rebuttal of the piece from a blogger on The Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-st..._b_543880.html
And it's getting some good responses from unschoolers and others who find it an interesting idea. - Lillian
post #49 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
Here's a list of the decent rebuttals from unschoolers: http://zombieprincess.blogspot.com/2...s-respond.html
And someone there linked to Joy Behar interviewing one of the sets of parents after the showing of the ABC fiasco. She was actually pretty respectful in spite of her personal reservations about homeschooling, and the parents were able to express a lot they didn't have a chance to get into during that ABC thing.
Lillian
post #50 of 100
hopefully we'll get some news in the future from two unbiased reporters instead of cutting and editing to support their own opinions!
post #51 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
I am less happy with the family of the younger kids - not brushing teeth? doughnuts for breakfast? If these are one-offs then they should not have done them in fornt of the camera as they can be and were totally misconstrued. Alternately they should have pointed out the yes, little Donnie does eat a doughnut if he wants, but we usually do not have donoughts in the house, and 4/5 of the time he eats oatmeal or bacon and eggs for breakfast.

The teeth thing is just baffling. There is no way I would do that on TV (or IRL) What were they thinking?
I read the comments before I watched the video. I think the tooth brushing thing may have been misconstrued, honestly. She said something like, "going to brush your teeth?". That doesn't necessarily mean he (it was boy, I think?) doesn't have to. It may just mean the parents kind of let him pick the time...like "are you going to brush your teeth, or are you going to be eating something else first?" kind of thing. With very little editing, many things can sound really, really bad.

And, they may have pointed out that they rarely have doughnuts in the house (who knows? - the news crew may even have brought them). That doesn't mean those comments with be aired.

I'm not a radical unschooler (I'm not sure what kind of homelearning family we are, but we'll figure it out eventually...I think). But, let's look at this:

"We let our kids eat whatever they're in the mood for, out of what's in the house. We don't keep junk food or sweets in the house, though. We only have them for special occasions."

"The kids have lots of clothes and can wear whatever they want in their wardrobe, as long as it's weather appropriate. If it's cold out, they don't have to wear a jacket, but they do have to take one with them."

"We don't believe in textbooks and worksheets, just for the sake of reading textbooks and doing worksheets. Children don't really retain things they're forcefed, so we don't require them to learn anything, in particular. We just follow their lead. My daugther is actually working with a formal math curriculum, but at her own pace, because she wanted a more structured approach to math than what we were doing - our math lessons were basically just discussions when I measured, some games with coins and things like that."

"DD1 is behind grade level in reading, but knows more than I do about spiders. After three years of writing them perfectly, she's now writing several numerals backwards, which is frustrating for her, but she has a good grasp of how the numbers relate to each other. I love watching her apply the things she's learned from games or from her curriculum to real life."


And, now...I'll edit:

"We let our kids eat whatever they're in the mood for."

"The kids ... can wear whatever they want. If it's cold out, they don't have to wear a jacket."

"We don't believe in textbooks and worksheets. We don't require them to learn anything. Our math lessons were basically just discussions when I measured, some games with coins and things like that."

"DD1 is behind grade level in reading. She's now writing several numerals backwards."

Ouch. Some of it's still okay (eg. math "lessons" with coins and talking while measuring), but the overall picture is very different, yk?


ETA: The whole thing in the comments about the girl not even knowing "what grade" she'd have been in if she'd stayed in school annoyed me. She said she didn't know if she'd be a junior. That's not even the same thing as not knowing what grade you'd be in! I'm Canadian, went through public school, and obviously knew what grade I was in. I had no idea what a "junior" in the US system was until I met dh...in my early 30s. I'd come across the term many times, but the associated grade level was never obvious in context. I knew it was something below 12th grade, but it didn't interest me enough to find out more, and the specific grade level never affected my enjoyment/understanding of what I was reading. Why should that girl care what label a school she's not attending would slap on her?
post #52 of 100

CNN follows up

So Joy Behar did a segment on unschooling with the same folks. Came out 10 times better, and I was so surprised since Joy is so anti-breastfeeding (not that one thing has anything to do with the other, but I just assumed, ya know?)...

Here's the link: http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/bes...ing.cnn?hpt=T2.

Interesting how the GMA thing seems to have started a bit of a snowball...
post #53 of 100
isn't joy the lady from the view? i thought she was ok with breastfeeding? weird, and completely off topic. sorry. lol

h
post #54 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraN View Post
So Joy Behar did a segment on unschooling with the same folks. Came out 10 times better, and I was so surprised since Joy is so anti-breastfeeding (not that one thing has anything to do with the other, but I just assumed, ya know?)...

Here's the link: http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/bes...ing.cnn?hpt=T2.

Interesting how the GMA thing seems to have started a bit of a snowball...
Hmm, I somehow missed that this was already posted. Sorry.
post #55 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I read the comments before I watched the video. I think the tooth brushing thing may have been misconstrued, honestly. She said something like, "going to brush your teeth?". That doesn't necessarily mean he (it was boy, I think?) doesn't have to. It may just mean the parents kind of let him pick the time...like "are you going to brush your teeth, or are you going to be eating something else first?" kind of thing. With very little editing, many things can sound really, really bad.

And, they may have pointed out that they rarely have doughnuts in the house (who knows? - the news crew may even have brought them). That doesn't mean those comments with be aired.
Hi Storm Bride,

You were quoting me, as did someone else upthread.

I kind of regret writing what I did upthread. It wasn't well thought out. I do not judge the younger family (although I do question the decision to open their lives to mainstream camera knowing things could be aken out of context. They may have there own reasons, but I would not open my family up to that kind of scrutiny). I acknowledge the doughnut and toothbrushing things could have been atypical, taken out of contest, ect.
post #56 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambersrose View Post
I think this interview was better done. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Parenting/...ry?id=10422823
I am not an unschooler, and watched both interviews. As someone who doesn't know anything about unschoolers I was interested in both videos.

The first video shows unschoolers as: tv watching, video gaming, staying up all night, sleeping all day, eating donuts anywhere in the house for breakfast people...that have no drive or desire to continue their education (ie. university or college). Which I am assume is not a very clear picture.........but the first video left me with the question: if these kids don't have any desire to go to college or university......where will they work?


The second video shows that the parents are intelligent and that prehaps there is more learning going on than the first video. It should have been the first interview.

I do have a few questions, and do not mean them as insults, but truly I am just curious about this lifestyle.

*Do unschoolers *teach* children to read? To write? I got the impression that unschooling was kind of fend for yourself style of education....so if you wanted to read.....you have to figure it out for yourself.

*How do unschoolers get into post-secondary schools?

*Is there any core subjects that are presented to unschoolers? I am especially curious about this....if things are not presented or discussed how would an individual know whether or not they were interested in learning more.

Unschooling is intriguing to me, as is homeschooling....but I personally did not choose it. I am not organized enough and I also have dyslexia and could not teach some of the topics......so I would just like to learn a little more about this.
post #57 of 100
Quote:
Most children will always choose television over reading every time, but Yablonski said that "the key there is that you've got to trust your kids to ... find their own interests."
Wow, schools in this country are messed UP. What are they doing wrong if most of the kids who attend them think of reading as a burden? (note, I don't believe that's true, I just think that's what Yablonski is claiming)


Okay, hands up people who attended public school and felt ready for college at age 15? Anyone?
post #58 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtoS View Post

I do have a few questions, and do not mean them as insults, but truly I am just curious about this lifestyle.

*Do unschoolers *teach* children to read? To write? I got the impression that unschooling was kind of fend for yourself style of education....so if you wanted to read.....you have to figure it out for yourself.

Reading: There are numerous threads in Using where parents discuss spending hours reading to and with their kids, going to the library regularly, etc. For some kids providing a print rich environment is enough, and they learn to read that way. For other families, the kids need a more structured approach. That is fine - and if kids want help learning to read it is entirely within the USing scope to give. Now if kids do not want to learn to read that is tricky - but I also suspect it is very rare. Reading is part of our culture and brings much joy and information to people. Kids are going to want to do it (although it might not be at 5-7 like the school system prefers )

Writing: I have stressed over writing more than anything else in our HS/US journey. Through much research I have come to believe that there are groups of people who write late, and my kids fall into several categories. I will say I tried to insist they do writing activites, and that did not work at all. What worked was them having a reason to write - and the reason to write with both of my older children began online. DD wants to write long posts on animal and vegetarian forums; DS began writing on Runescape, then WoW, and now writes reasonably well (as well as his peers) for his online geography class.


*How do unschoolers get into post-secondary schools?

The same way HSers do! Portfolios, SAT scores, interviews, mature student status, early enrollment community college route...

*Is there any core subjects that are presented to unschoolers? I am especially curious about this....if things are not presented or discussed how would an individual know whether or not they were interested in learning more.

I do not think there are core subjects. I will say I expect my kids to be able to read, write and do basic math before they leave home. I consider these life skills. I do not care if they study history or geography, shoelaces or how to make pasta, however. They can study whatever interests them much like I do. No one is going to know it all.

As per how they are going to discover interests - I suspect it is the same way all of us discover interests. DD read a Meg Cabot book a few days ago that reference king Arthur. She is now looking up King Arthur and requesting books on the topic.

I would like to know how to keep the bunnies from eating my garden, so I looked it up online, and spoke to someone in the know at a recent fieldtrip to a wildlife center.

.
Kathy
post #59 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtoS View Post
I do have a few questions, and do not mean them as insults, but truly I am just curious about this lifestyle.

*Do unschoolers *teach* children to read? To write? I got the impression that unschooling was kind of fend for yourself style of education....so if you wanted to read.....you have to figure it out for yourself.

*How do unschoolers get into post-secondary schools?

*Is there any core subjects that are presented to unschoolers? I am especially curious about this....if things are not presented or discussed how would an individual know whether or not they were interested in learning more.
Those are reasonable questions, although largely based on misinformation that's quite common. I'd begin by reading this thread: Misconceptions about unschooling.

Unschooling families are not leaving their children on their own to learn - they tend to be so involved that you'll sometimes see people comment that they don't think they could unschool because they don't feel they could put as much ongoing concerted effort into it as they hear about unschoolers doing. And, as Kathy said, they get into college just like anyone else, and often with a lot more enthusiasm about their studies than classmates who have been in the system already for 13 years. Here's an essay, "How Do Unschoolers Prepare for College?" by the author of “Homeschooling Our Children, Unschooling Ourselves."
- Lillian
post #60 of 100
I have to say, as someone who is excited to learn more about unschooling and considered maybe a little bit more structured unschooling for my future child(ren), I was kind of upset about this. It did not help to show DP how wonderful unschooling can be.

I do not agree with the kind of unschooling where parents don't "work" to make the unschooling happen, yk? I think you MUST expose your children to all kinds of things, all kinds of sciences, all kinds of topics that they might not find on their own. Sometimes it takes a while to get into a subject, and I think it's okay to push it a little.

I don't think it's a problem for 15 yo to not have a clue as to which college to go to, or what profession to pick. I DO think that a passion for science should not mean not knowing who Shakespear was, or to be ignorant in geography, just because it's not of interest to a kid. (I'm not saying it's the case with this particular family, just voicing my concerns as I debate with myself how far along the unschooling specrtum I want to go).

Maybe I wouldn't make a very good unschooling parent? Not sure. I hope my kids have the drive to learn what I have to share. I will certainly provide a lot of opportunities for them to expand on any interest they have. I just don't feel right saying "well, you don't like math, gee... let's not learn anything about fractions or decimals then". I kind of HOPE that it will fall into place, and they'll be open to absorbing the skills, but if it's not the case, we might have to add more structure in our process.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Unschooling
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Unschooling › ABC News, "Unschooling: No Tests, Books or Classes"