Saturday, August 15, 2009

What on Earth are they thinking?


This summer has been one of the best ever! We are almost done making the banner for the Not Back to School Banner, too. I think it is very fitting. I was reading our local magazine about back to school. It really makes me so sad to see how stressed out people get this time of year. And all the things they say will stop when kids go back to school: the playgrounds will be empty, streets will be silent all day, and the swingsets will be still. But they don't mention how school yards will be noisy again. And that is true, too. They are only outside for 20 minutes a day. And most schools DO NOT have P.E. everyday. And people don't understand why they have to medicate boys to sit still A.L.L. D.A.Y. And then when they get home they have to sit still for homework and then go to bed to do it all over again? All in the name of education? Come on people! Wake up. You can hate me all you want (if you are a teacher), but I can see why so many kids today are depressed, unhappy, and grow up uncertain about the future. Every little moment of their lives are scheduled and they have no control or say.

I can tell you that it matters. I am proud to say both of my guys are independent thinkers, original, happy, intelligent, and marching to the beat of their own drum. They are also caring. But they also know when people are miserable. Holden has a friend that is unhappy. But he is getting to the point that he is not wanting to be with this friend. He is choosing to be with people who are happy and that don't bring him down. He wants to be around more free and alive people. It is a hard thing to find in our neighborhood. Camden is the happiest spirit we have ever met. He is confident, caring, outspoken, articulate, and funny. But by mainstream standards he'd be rude, animalistic, obscene, loud and dumb. He's four though. I remember when Holden was four, he was much the same. And now he is calmer and really cool still.

So life goes on and we are keeping our chins up. We love our kids. We model a very messy and interesting life. We get annoyed and frustrated too. But we just apologize and move on. It's all part of the journey. We know what we're thinking. We just wish other people felt the strength to go against everything they believe and were taught. It's been so worth it for our family. We see a lot of amazing possibilities. Not just years and years of the same old crap.

When Cliff finishes college (again) who knows what will happen or where we'll be. It will be interesting to see.

Peace to all and much inner strength and stamina for all those who are heading back to the grind. And much strength to those breaking free from those shackles. You know who you are.

~Heather
xoxox

13 comments:

dtb said...

I don't hate you and I am not offended. But I have to speak up on this topic. You are a uniquely talented and dedicated person to be doing 'un-schooling' and I have often parroted that working in the public school system is the best argument for home schooling.

That being said, I am an aspiring teacher (having left the profession once, I'm headed back to college to return), and this is because I realize that the vast majority of America is going to send their children to public school because they haven't the resources, the time or the courage to teach their children any other way. And so what better way to ensure that those kids are given a creative, inspiring year in school than to throw myself into the trenches and hope that my tiny influence will make a positive effect on their lives? Lots of educators are learning to provide a less stifled experience--some schools are even converting to stand-up desks with moving foot swings underneath: http://www.ergoindemand.com/school-desk-standup-desk.htm
So that kids feel more stimulated while doing paperworky work (like handwriting or algebra)

Anyway. I totally get where you're coming from. But there is a place for public education and schools, and the best thing we can do is try to improve them for those that need them.

Heather's Moving Castle said...

Much courage and luck to you. My hubby is going back to school to get his teaching degree, to make it easier to homeschool legally when we travel. It is nice to be heard, too. I have lots of friends in the school system (all under 10). My main concern is that many have gone the road you are attempting and failed. Those people are some of the biggest supporters of unschooling. The founders and supporters of homeschooling and unschooling are school teachers with grown kids who were unschooled.

I wish there were a better place for kids to be all day. They deserve more than one adult to 20 or 30 kids. They need to be heard and be nurtured. Unfortunately it takes a lot more than what is being offered for the vast majority out there. They need caring parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, siblings, grandparents--not just caring teachers.

Lots of love, friend!

~Heather
xoxox

Hilary said...

Great job on the banner, guys! It really embraces the unschooling spirit. :)

dtb, consider getting into research or administration. My sister works in the classroom, and in some districts you stick pretty close to written policy whether it's working or not. How frustrating!

juliecache said...

the banner looks AWESOME!!!

Frank said...

It has often amazed and amused me how many (former) teachers there are in the unschooling universe. I got my teaching degree in 1970. My best wishes to anyone working in that profession.

dtb said...

What a fascinating topic! Hilary, I haven't ruled this possibility out--also considering special ed as a second degree (much better student to teacher ratio!) and tutoring. Who knows? I've been to the frustration place once, I might reach it again. But I feel re-inspired to have another go.

Heather's Moving Castle said...

Anyone wanting to be a teacher should talk to retired teachers and meet some unschoolers who used to be teachers. They call it like it is. It may give some valuable insights.

I love the banner, too, Julia!! Thanks for your help. :O)

Holly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holly said...

Heather, I agree. I could write reams on this, but I agree.

Heather's Moving Castle said...

Holly~
You are so cute! Thanks! I wish every kid had parents that could play Yankee Doodle Dandee in a battle. LOL. You rock!!!

Holly said...

Thanks, Heather!

Snavleys said...

Amen Heather! I've been accused of being "holier than thou" because of my passion for unschooling. I agree dtb that there is a place for public schools, especially for kids who do not have resources available to them, most likely in a poverty situation. There are also kids whos escape is their 6 hours in school, sadly. It takes parents who are involved and mindful to unschool "successfully".

Snavleys said...

Or should I say to parent successfully:)