Episode-2690- Judy Arnall on Unschooling — 9 Comments

  1. unschooling sounds like something that .05 of student/parents would wildly succeed at.  the rest would flounder.

    • It is not what I want to do but the success rate for parents that do it is way fuckin higher than .05%.

  2. This guest has a good attitude towards schooling, but her viewpoint is limited by a psychology-oriented mindset.

    The core of this problem is expressed in the quote used for this episode, “the mind is not a vessel..” Well, if it isn’t a vessel, what is it? The psychology answer is “it’s the brain.” Well, that’s nice, but it’s incorrect. “…the mind is a fire to be kindled.” My brain is not a “fire!” What is? This sounds like something spiritual or something. Well, it is. And this understanding is the key to why kids learn so well on their own. They know because they are spiritual beings. “Learning” is basically a process of re-familiarizing yourself with forgotten basics and then getting up to speed on the latest details using more focused study.

    The leniency in her recommendations is an interesting aspect of her ideas. That’s the influence of psychology, I think, on parenting styles. I can only speak from my own experience.

    I grew up in the upper middle class. I had to go to school. But I also had a lot of free time and a lot of resources at home and in the community. And I used those resources, and I became very smart and rather skilled. But I didn’t know how to make adult friends. My parents had used the “permissive” model with me and provided almost no direct help or guidance. Even though they could see I was lacking something, it seemed they didn’t trust themselves to offer me appropriate help. Well, I got over that (sort of) but it wasn’t very fun while it was happening. The “permissive” model is a nice ideal, but it isn’t necessarily the wisest. Parents need a good “self-image” regarding their role as parents. This is actually a set of skills that some parents might have to learn.

    That said, I enjoyed learning on my own and got a lot out of it. But I missed some of the social aspects of growing up because my parents didn’t realize it was important. Be sure your kid is really growing up and not just “getting smart.” This planet needs more adults, not just smart people!

  3. That’s right they are spiritual beings ! Not enough people see this point of view , thank you for sharing ??

  4. Re: Song of the day commentary, and being in the middle

    Your mask example sure struck a chord. Somehow a position of “I think masks are useful and I’ll wear mine in the store, but will not support mandates that are impractical & immoral” is taken by one side that I’m anti-science, trying to please everyone, and probably a closet Trump supporter. At the same time to the other side (unfortunately some of them in the liberty movement), it means I’m a big government sheeple and I’m encouraging conformity & authoritarianism… even though I’ve maintained the same position since January back when the government was telling us NOT to wear masks.

    This limited mindset and amplified tribalism is present in so many things (masks just being one of the latest, stupid examples). Interesting to note, in my experience it’s almost always worse on social media than it is in person. It’s as if the presence of a possible audience brings out the worst part of tribalism in us.

  5. Your guest had a comment that triggered me completely against her method. She mentioned having a house of 5 gamers and that the game “Age of Empires” teaches history. I loved playing that game, but I didn’t learn much history from it! Sure, there are some definitions, but it’s basically just who can build the fastest army to beat their opponent. Then there was the comment about “Call of Duty” teaches teamwork.. Are you kidding me? Are you effing kidding me? The guys I knew who played “Call of Duty” in college have sacrificed relationships in the real world because they couldn’t get out of the virtual world.

    However, had I been playing a game that teaches software coding I would probably would have a six figure job or be strictly 1099 because I’d be calling my own shots on who I was willing to work with.

    Don’t let video games become a cheap substitute for a baby sitter to do your parental responsibilities.

    • @Justin I tend to agree with your overall view here.  I won’t unschool my grandson and like I said on air I limit 100% any and all activities.  He gets a ton of choice but there are time limits for any and all things.  Adults must do this in our own lives.

      That said, you said this, “it’s basically just who can build the fastest army to beat their opponent”, got to say that sounds a lot like a very accurate view of history to me.

    • Our kids don’t play a lot of video games or have a lot of screen time. The book Glow Kids did a pretty fine job of convincing me of the damaging effects of screens to a child’s prefrontal cortex, especially when used for social media and video games. Also, saying video games teaches history is kind of like saying pornography teaches human sexuality and reproduction.

      We’re a family who “unschools” to a large degree, though, I prefer to think of it  as “Free Range Schooling”. We have set up boundaries to keep the children safe, but they are free to move around as they desire within those boundaries.As parents, we are facilitators of their education. A child’s prefrontal cortex is still developing, so they can’t be completely in control of their decisions, so the parent needs to act as the child’s impulse control center until the child’s prefrontal cortex is mature enough to take over. However, I do want to raise autodidacts, so I do allow a degree of autonomy when deciding what to learn.

      We see homeschooling like a buffet. We pick the entrees to lay before them, but they get to choose the entree to consume. As facilitators, we are very keen on the subjects they are drawn too, so make sure they have plenty of material on that subject to pursue, but we also introduce new material into their lives to see if it might catch their attention. If all they want to do is read Harry Potter or play video games all day, then we’ve failed as facilitators to present the world of possibilities for them to pursue, and are failing in our quest to create life long learners.

  6. It’s funny you chose “We Just Disagree” as the Song of the Day as it came into my head recently. When I first heard it on the radio in the 1970’s, I always wondered who the Hell “Barry” was as I heard Mason  saying “Barry ain’t no good guy.  Barry ain’t no bad guy.”   Anyway, as you suggested, Billy Dean did a good cover of it in the 1990s.