tia/sixredheads
Criticism of me and my discussions
posted in public at the time
This is a "backup page" to keep a link from going bad from my site.

This blog no longer exists, but I found the extended quote with the wayback machine.
http://homeschool.sixredheads.com/index.php/category/soapboxes/
(The internet archive hadn't saved the comments.)

Archive for the 'Soapboxes' Category

June 22…or where Tia finally has a lightbulb moment….

Friday, June 22nd, 2007
Ah yes…she’s not always that quick on her feet but eventually she gets it! ;-).

That’d be me, of course.

Over on The Lilting House, Melissa blogged again about Tidal Homeschooling and how it allows her to embrace the best of two schools of thought on education for the benefit of her children: Charlotte Mason and Unschooling. I myself have had a recent disillusion regarding Unschooling, or more appropriately…Sandra Dodd’s particular interpretation and representation of the idea, mindset, and practice (the truth of which will not be found on her website but must be discovered through interaction with her). To be more precise, I now question and doubt her representation of it in the face of her inability to afford other adults the same courtesy, respect, and space that she claims we should all give to children.

ANYWAY. We exchanged comments for in brief under Melissa’s post. Why? Because I feel compelled to “blow the whistle” on someone who has chewed up women before and gets away with it. And, because she tried to represent my experience on her list Always Learning (yahoogroups), which she did incorrectly, and I straightened the record. She also, in my opinion, grotesquely insulted the host of that blog, Melissa, by inferring she is less than “fully committed” by not being a whole-hog unschooler.

So that is where I was today. Sweeping the floor, rearranging my day to flex with sudden events, getting some soup in the crock pot, and trying to be open to whatever else surprises come my way today, when BAM! That’s when I had my epiphany.

I am not “fully committed” to unschooling (duh; never claimed to be). Melissa is not either, by her own testimony.
Sandra comment:

If Melissa isn't fully committed to unschooling, why had it been a grotesque insult for me to have inferred she was not fully committed to unschooling when the list member had quoted Melissa to dispute something at Always Learning?

Melissa Wiley is sweet. We've spoken in person more than once. We've corresponded more than that. Melissa moved to unschooling and wrote about it (after the days being quoted on this page), and lost some blog readers over it, too.

But here is the post on Melissa's blog from 2007 that responded to the author of the rant quoted on this page: http://melissawiley.com/blog/2007/06/22/radical-unschooling-unschooling-tidal-homeschooling-and-the-wearing-of-shoes-that-fit/

What I AM is fully committed to my CHILDREN; not one person’s interpretation of a philosophy. And THAT is why I still have an open issue with Ms. Dodd. Her insistence in a puritanical view towards one philosophy reeks of a sort of twisted and rigid fundamentalism, quite ironically, that can do nothing but crumble apart when met with real life strains, stresses, situations, differences, and individuals. Children with special needs? Mom with a need or two? Well, according to Ms. Dodd, that flies in the face of true unschooling and must be questioned, challenged, and changed.

Well, so there it is. I’m too busy today to continue on to verbalize my “ah-ha”. My children, some who are needier than others today, are calling. THEY are my priority and I’ll not cram them into anyone’s box.

Posted in Soapboxes | 1 Comment »


And they still won’t have me.

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007
In my “about” page on this blog, which is kept primarily for a little record to myself of what kinds of stuff we’re up to and have done, I mention that I don’t fit into labels well. Over the years I’ve taken parts of many ideologies, mixed them in with David and my personalities, strengths, and weaknesses, and we’ve come up with a mixture that works very well for our family. I suppose that should be enough. And maybe it has to be.

Trouble is…sometimes it’s a little lonely. When I need some new ideas or want to mix in with some like-minds for encouragement or inspiration, I run into major roadblocks. I recently rejoined several lists I had once been apart of…among them a curriculum list with a catholic bend, two classical lists, and two unschooling lists. It was true 3 years ago and it’s still true today: I’m too flexible, artsy, relaxed, and trusting for the traditional/classical environments. My belief that children must be both ready to receive information and desire to aquire it makes forced, calendar-tight, education too restrictive. And the converse is true. Unschoolers, the hard-core kind like Sandra Dodd, will not have me, this time because I keep a clean house and claim it actually helps me unschool. Turns out, they pretty much only trust creativity and real learning to occur in a messy environment where Mom is always playing rather than cleaning stuff up for the kids to actually be able to access their supplies. That’s the long and short of it at least, after a rather lengthy attempt to engage a dialog that wondered if it was possible to both unschool AND be tidy, at least to a certain point.

I was told to “chill”. I was told I was being “snarky”. I wonder how they could possibly not coerce learning in their own homes when they obviously coerce, scold, and manipulate other adults trying to engage them in conversations they invited.

Sigh. Why bother? Because unschooling really, truly shines when it, as a philosophy and those who practice it, find learning opportunities everywhere, rather than treating some as suspect, some as a waste of time, some as a poor choice that neglects a better one, or some just as “next week’s” lesson. Unschoolers usually are a wealth of creative ideas and tips that enrich an environment and challenge thinking.

So, it’s with a level of dismay that I realize that for at least the purists on Sandra Dodd’s list, Always Learning, they find no learning benefits in either cleaning or cooking. That a clean environment is a boundary their creativity can not cross. I had hoped to find, if not peers and common thinkers, at least a brave soul or two willing to explore the idea.

I guess that means “Moving on”. I really prefer the term “tidal” anyway….there is a constant, holistic, powerful aspect to that word that feels more positive than “un” to me. My children can’t be “unschooled” if they were never “schooled” in the first place but they can learn in a tidal fashion. Highs and lows, ebbs and flows. It can seek out nooks and crannies. It can bend rules and erode self-imposed boundaries. It can encompass and tease our toes, daring us to take a step further.

I certainly don’t have the energy right now to start my own Tidal Homeschooling list. But maybe some day there will be a like-minded buddy out there for me to chat with about learning and education, someone who doesn’t find me “too” much of anything to not be able to converse with. If you are that person, look me up one day. Let’s talk.

Posted in Soapboxes | 2 Comments »


Update, 2016

I came across this page in December 2016 while editing my site, and thought I should go and see whether this mom did ultimately find a peaceful way to homeschool. From blog posts I could find, she divorced and her kids were in school. Current info wasn't available; two blogs and a website were all gone but for some parts in the Wayback Machine. I had hoped to find something happier.

In 2007 I had commented about this on Always Learning. My post and a few comments are here, visible to members of that group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/AlwaysLearning/conversations/topics/29480

One quote, though, from my initial post:

To anyone who would rather harrass me to change than to quietly go elsewhere:

Get away and do something productive and real. Be with your family. Find a list you like better. Build a pyramid of sugar cubes. Watch all of the Monty Python videos. Make a quilt. Take your kids to Disneyland. Go backpacking. Read all the Harry Potter books. Read all the Patrick O'Brien novels, or Jane Austen. Plant vegetables. Play Sudoku. here: http://www.websudoku.com/. Look at prairie dog pictures and be glad your children are alive: http://hannahsashes.blogspot.com/2008/08/albuquerque-nm-with-dodds.html

Running around the internet obsessed about me and writing nonsense is no good for anyone.


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