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The Many Benefits, for Kids, of Playing Video Games

Video games have been under attack by the fear-mongers ever since they first appeared, and the attacks have not diminished. If you Google around the Internet using harmful effects of video games as a search phrase, you will find all sorts of frightening claims. If you look into the actual research literature, you find very little if any evidence supporting the fear-mongers claims, and considerable evidence against those claims. Read the full thing

The Assumption of Ignorance

Assuming that the world is ignorant brings society down. We’ve begun talking, teaching, and working to the lowest common denominator. We assume that people need to be taught, led, coddled, and motivated. When you presume that other people are ignorant, you do both yourself and them a disservice. You create more work for yourself and increase the dependency of others on you. You become the hub at the center of a wheel, and the spokes don’t know how to think independently because they’ve been brought up in a system where there is always someone else telling them what they need to know. Read the full thing

Child Labor In School And Out

School-days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence. They are full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordinances, brutal violations of common sense and common decency. It doesn’t take a reasonably bright boy long to discover that most of what is rammed into him is nonsense, and that no one really cares very much whether he learns it or not. Read the full thing

Prisms & Paradoxes

Unschooling for me conjures up prisms, paradoxes, and unlimited travel. Time well spent and freedom. The "un" in life. Have you ever stood at a window and looked at something happening on the other side? Have you ever thought that it looked inviting and fun? And yet at the same time, you know you cannot enter. You cannot get to the other side. That is school. A place where you are shut up and can only see the world through a dark, twisted, distorted, and foggy window. And your world, your life, is being caged within four walls where it is desperately cold. And you wish you could get outside. Read the full thing

Freeing Butterflies: A Grandmother’s Journey to Homeschooling Acceptance

“I’ve had it, Mom—the last straw has landed. I’m taking Shaun out of school this week and I’m going to have him learn at home. And I’m never going to send Patrick and Molly to school. And if Ian wants to homeschool, he can, too!” With those words, I let my mother know I’d taken the drastic step I’d been contemplating and researching for months. Read the full thing

How to Unschool

1. Give your love generously and criticism sparingly. Be your children's partner. Support them and respect them. Never belittle them or their interests, no matter how superficial, unimportant, or even misguided their interests may seem to you. Be a guide, not a dictator. Shine a light ahead for them, and lend them a hand, but don't drag or push them. You will sometimes despair when your vision of what your child ought to be bangs up against the reality that they are their own person. But that same reality can also give you great joy if you learn not to cling to your own preconceived notions and expectations. Read the full thing

Slaving Away in the School Factory

You see, the problem is that unschooled kids have fun. They play. They noodle around inside and outdoors, at home and in their communities, messing with projects, indulging their passions, and generally having a good time. These kids are continually demonstrating that learning isn’t hard work when it is need- and interest-based, and when the learner is in control…that, in fact, learning (not to mention life) is fun, even exciting. They are showing that there is no need for being processed by means of mostly irrelevant prepared curriculum, stressful tests, or long hours spent listening to boring lectures or memorizing monotonous and out-of-context facts. Read the full thing