Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Unschooling Voices No. 8

Have been doing some catch up with the April edition of Unschooling Voices. If only I could find his email address, I would forward huge swathes of this to Mr Mooney - perhaps pointing him in the direction of Holly's post by way of an insider's condemnation of his school-tainted view of education.

The Unschooling Voices' prompt question for May also looks interesting:

"How has unschooling changed YOU? Yes, it’s about the kids, but is it ONLY about the kids? I sometimes think unschooling has changed me more than them. What are your thoughts? Also, here another short, just-for-fun question this month; share two photos that show what unschooling currently looks like in your house at this time."

That would a good exercise in precis in my case! Hope you will submit any number of your recent posts, Gill.


Gill said...

Am laughing to wonder which corner of my house would photograph best to depict what unschooling currently looks like here at this time! Hmmm... the dishes I haven't got time to wash? The eclectic mix of toys I'm falling over on the floor? Well, we're learning about time management.. balance... ! LOL

As to how it's changed me as well as the kids - yes, that's an interesting question. I'm not sure I have blogged about that. Have you? I'm not sure if I've even thought about it, tbh. Might do today though :-)

Carlotta said...

Tee hee...yes, re time management/balance...that was my excuse this Sunday last when we were actually alone for once and so hadn't bothered to tidy up. Absolutely inevitably, some new HE friends suddenly pitch up out of the blue, and were compelled to step over a mountainous pile of unwashed laundry in order to get a quick cuppa before we managed to whisk them off for an Easter egg hunt somewhere else!

Just want to announce that I have been cleaning up obsessively ever since so people should come round while the going is still good!

I haven't blogged my unschooling story yet. I suspect it will be an emotional process, involving as it does leaping out of baths, Eureka style...Will be looking out in case you get a mo!

Author One said...

Wow, what an incredibly timely article! I feel a blog post coming up, as this has just reiterated something I was thinking :-)

Anonymous said...

I guess the LA's should just use your blogs as evidence of education and stalk those that don't blog because they are hiding...

Gill said...



Anonymous said...

They are asking for evidence. You are giving. All is well. Except for those families that actually value family privacy. Except for those families that actually think their responsability is to their own children, not the state.

Gill said...

I don't blog to provide evidence for anything. I blog because I like blogging. Should I live my life in secret just because someone else wants to?

Carlotta said...

I think that most often people talk about their children and what they have been doing in blogs as a form of affirmation and inspiration. It can be nice after all, when one is proud and happy with what one has done, to show what the world what you have got up to.

I don't have any sort of a problem with this as long as it is done consensually.

My complaint is with being forced to be subject to scrutiny when one doesn't want to be. This is when problems occur, I believe.

Ruth said...

"They are asking for evidence. You are giving."

If that is true why does my L.A asks for it every year even tho I am obvious to them? I blog HE. I blog life. They read it. They do not see it as "evidence. If they did they would leave me and my family alone.

"Except for those families that actually value family privacy. Except for those families that actually think their responsability is to their own children, not the state."

Oh really ? It is easy to be anonymous and make statements like that. It is easy to hide. Easy to keep under the radar - until of course you get found out and then you are left with two choices - concede or fight - maybe three -hope the LA you live in is reasonable. Do you honestly think any HE does not value family privacy? Do you really think we have any feelings of responsibility to the state? You need to wake up. Not all of us have the luxury of a hidden life.

Anonymous said...

Copied from Sometimes It's Peaceful:

What a ridiculous idea, anonymous! Our children are well below the age where we'd have to provide evidence and I blog! I also have pseudonyms for my children so fat lot of good that would do as evidence of the LA. Some people really don't seem to think things through sometimes!

Adele said...

Copied from my post on Sometimes It's Peaceful:

"I don't wish to comment on the right or wrong of what the anonymous poster said on DTK, but I will say this:

I think there is a big difference between one anonymous voice criticising a group of people who choose to allow other's a glimpse into their lives, and that group of people then ganging up to attack *one* person *who they know nothing about*. It smacks of playground mentality to me.

I don't think it's fair or wise to write about someone this way, especially when you haven't a clue what might be happening in their lives right now."

Allie said...

I think if someone chooses to leave inflamatory comments, anonymously, on blogs then they have to expect replies. They know they will get those replies and I imagine that is why they are doing it.

Speaking personally, I felt I had to reply to a recent anonymous comment on our blog as it accused us of abusing our children through 'political indoctrination'. I then chipped in on Gill's blog because I felt like our recent experience was somewhat similar and I was offering my interpretation.

I can understand your concern, Adele, but people have every right to reply to accusations. Indeed, they may have to for their own peace of mind.

Adele said...

"I think if someone chooses to leave inflamatory comments, anonymously, on blogs then they have to expect replies."

Expect replies on the platform where they made the comments, yes. Expect replies to the comments themselves (rather than speculation about their motives for commenting), yes. Of course, it would be more than reasonable to expect these things.

But that isn't what I'm talking about, is it?

What I am seeing from most people on the twin threads (here and on Sometimes It's Peaceful) are personal attacks and unfounded speculation about the feelings and drives of a person who no one actually knows. That really isn't the same thing.

Carlotta said...

Hi Allie,

Sorry to hear of your experience. I too agree that it is good and right to answer criticisms when they appear in comments. That is what this comment section is for.

As a result, I too have been trying to sort out the points that I think Anon may be making in that comment here and elsewhere in comments on previous posts which I suspect may be by the same anon (though I cannot confirm this).

If it is the same anon, I think that they have had a number of complaints along the lines that in showing that we do what LAs expect, we are conforming to LA's expectations rather than facilitating the interests of the children.

In my case, this is just so much rubbish. I never, ever give the LAs a second thought when it comes to doing what we do. The interests of my children are paramount in dictating the direction of their education.

It was the case that on one occasion, I blogged something about what we have got up to regarding socialising. I did this in annoyance at some ridiculous assertion in the press about the restricted social lives of HEors. Anon roundly held me to task for this. I think the complaint here was that in my saying that my children seem to have a great social life, I was reinforcing memes and LA expectations about children needing to socialise, all at the same time.

Actually, this was so far from my intent. I merely meant to show that HE children can get what they want by way of a social life, whatever that may mean, but I can see how anon would not have understood this in the way it was originally phrased

As a matter of using the blog as evidence, I simply could not imagine that mine would work that way, as I do not actually have the consent of the children to talk about what they get up to as a general rule and the actual evidence would be extremely sparse. Plus I set such miniscule store by the presentation of such evidence. I don't set any store by routine tests, I know how little I know about what is really going on in the mind of another, I do have humility on this topic, even when I think I know Ds

In all cases when I do blog such stories, I do make sure that I have their consent and I usually read out mails to them to make sure it is OK with them...as indeed, I will do before I press send on this comment. So anon simply cannot have a problem either with my contravening their confidentiality, or with me making the LAs requirements the determining factor in their education.

As a general rule, I can't see that there is anything wrong at all with writing about what one does with one's children on HE blogs, just as long as I have children's consent. I can also see that it can be helpful and inspiring, and that one can get useful feedback that way, so I don't really see that Anon had much of a point when it comes down to it.

I can't see what problem Anon could possibly have with that, really.

I am very glad you did answer her points, Gill. I did feel that the actual debate was valid, despite the queries one would have with the anonymity.

Allie said...

I made no assumptions about the anonymous commenter - just pointed out that in my experience the urge to judge other people's decisions, which had no real impact on you, was often founded in fear.

The fact is that the *tone* of the anonymous commenter is accusation and assumption. If you accuse people of not acting in their children's best interests then that is a 'personal attack' at least as much as anything that has been written in response.

If the anonymous commenter actually wants to engage in debate then that's fine. If they chuck in the occasional insult and then disappear they are bound to make people curious about what is motivating them to do so.

Of course I have no way of knowing if the anonymous commenter here is the same person who accused us of child abuse on our blog. That person has never come back on that thread (which I kept in the comments section BTW) and I take that as an indication that they are not interested in genuine debate.

HelenHaricot said...

sorry carlotta for blogging on my blog rather than commenting on yours. yes. it was anon's comment that made me grump. posted as leaving home - should have put a comment in your box too.
we aren't known [yet] to LEA and If and when we are, i won't be enclosing a blog address, as this isn't aimed for them. I think blogging obviously isn't compulsary!!
Although I think we can be fairly easily identified, our children's names are still unrecorded on this blog. Our eldest child is well aware we blog, and wishes to do her own. When she suggests she wants editorial rights she will get them, but I give my children the same courtesy the rest of the family get on blog, so that she should hopefully never be embarrassed by what's out there.

Carlotta said...

Hi Helen,

That makes complete sense to me!

(which I now realise probably cannot be said of my last comment above. That too was written as we were walking out the door!)