A Rant:
"It's hedonism gone berserk!!"
an exact quote, I kid you not; read on

First, I have to say that that sounds like the title of a video sold in the middle of the night to teenaged boys… But it was used in one of the hottest rants ever posted on the unschooling discussion list by someone who was furious at us for doing what we do, thinking what we think, and writing what we write. The first part below is me, and then she went all Donald Duck on us, and used The Words which were quoted in the bit about Marty at the Jr. Police Academy. I'm putting my words in green so you can tell me from Retroactively-Anonymous. Text boxes represent things written in 2006. Original material is black or green, below:

Are you interested? Or are you just posturing and making trouble?
If you don't want your posts discussed, just read awhile.
If you're not going to be honest, don't post.

Sandra

First of all, I'm nothing in this world if I'm not honest. So, here's some honesty for you: Whal the hell is wrong with you, woman? If I said, "Go jump in a lake" or "I thought I was going to die laughing", etc., etc., would you be questioning how literal those statements were? Don't you recognize an expression when you hear one? Don't you understand that when people make statements such as, "My child would...if I let him..." it's not meant to be taken so literally? It's only meant to suggest that, as in my case, the child likes something above and beyond what would seem usual. Come on, do you really think, as in your example, the child would literally never, ever, ever turn off the Nintendo game--? Eureka! We've discovered true perpetual motion in our son's room!! Lighten up.

You know, I don't have to "sit in" for awhile to discover what this group is all about. As one of my favorite professors used to say, "I only have to smell perfume to know a woman's been in the room." I haven't made up my mind yet about "unschooling", but I'll tell you, my brief experience with this group has taught me volumes. You folks talk about preventing your children from being exposed to rude people -- well, maybe you need to reconsider your definition of rude. You need to walk the walk. From what I've seen here, it sounds like you're raising your children in some collective bubble, and if this is the direction unschooling is taking, then the "experiment" is doomed to fail. Exposure to negative elements in life can provide some immunity for children down the road, when they're on their own -- much the same way that exposure to certain viruses, etc., provides defenses against further attack. How is a child to learn to tolerate frustration if mommy and daddy never allow frustration in his/her life? The ability to handle frustration is one of the gifts we possess as humans, but it's a skill that needs to be honed, as with any other skill. Delaying gratification is another very necessary "skill" we need to teach. Allowing children -- who are not just little adults -- free rein over absolutely everything that affects their lives is doing them a great disservice. It's hedonism gone berserk!!

You say you're giving your children "freedom" to choose their own paths, but are you really? Isn't this whole "unschooling" concept just another form of brainwashing, of manipulation?. Whatever happened to children needing boundaries? How can anyone, in good conscience, allow children to choose their own boundaries to the extent that you all seem to be doing? You all just seem to be feeding off of each other with no clear direction. It's some type of dysfunction disguised as good parenting. Bullshit!! There are some things you just shouldn't mess with, one of them being human nature. Children seek and need limitations in their lives. They don't need to be wholly left to their own devices -- that's why they are children and we are adults! And this whole thing about letting the child choose what he/she is interested in. Okay, that's good -- to a point. If I hadn't insisted when my kids were younger on their participating in certain events, taking up certain activities, etc., they never would have discovered their true interest in those activities. This extreme position I'm seeing here, which you define as "unschooling" is looking more and more like laziness to me. Let the kid play video games all day, what the hell -- I'll just read this book I've wanted to read, or watch my soaps, blah, blah. Give me a break! What you're doing is inviting criticism and, ultimately, disgust. It's a form of covert child abuse. You've got a cult thing going on here, and you're convinced you're doing the right thing. I shudder to think of a future world populated by unschooled automatons.

Don't bother to reply...I can't wait to click on UNSUBSCRIBE...

To see that in context, and responses, it was Message #72517. You might need to join the list to access the archives. My own response follows below. —Sandra

About this " Don't bother to reply...I can't wait to click on UNSUBSCRIBE..." Holly said "She couldn't wait to hit SEND. If she couldn't wait to hit unsubscribe she should've quit writing and unsubscribed." Holly's pretty bright (for the child of a lazy hedonist, covertly abused, an unschooled automaton, who wanders in at night to see what her mom's doing, and to hang around and read over her shoulder…).

In a message dated 6/6/03 12:31:14 AM, [a wildwoman whose identity is being protected] wrote:

As one of my favorite professors used to say, "I only have to smell perfume to know a woman's been in the room."

That's not good logic.

The ability to handle frustration is one of the gifts we possess as humans, but it's a skill that needs to be honed, as with any other skill.

You mean by practicing with false frustration instead of waiting for the real thing (which pretty much comes around at least once a day no matter how old a person is)?

Delaying gratification is another very necessary "skill" we need to teach.

Real life can't help but be full of delayed gratification, but withholding something that's sitting RIGHT THERE just to practice false frustration is mean, not helpful.

Allowing children -- who are not just little adults -- free rein over absolutely everything that affects their lives is doing them a great disservice. It's hedonism gone berserk!!

You really don't know what you're talking about. You're spewing embarrassing meanness for no advantage. It doesn't change what we believe or are doing, and it doesn't make you a better person nor does it make you seem intelligent.

Sandra

The statement she was trying to backpedal away from was "My son would subsist on sweets if I didn't occasionally intervene and tell him that he's free to graze on 'junk food' after he eats nutritious foods (fruits, veggies, etc.)"

That quote is in the collection of other such motherly poetry in my collection of fallacies, along with a few dozen more such as
      If left to his own devices, my son would eat sugar all day.
            He would play games all day if I let him..., and
                  [I]f I answered every question my kids asked, my son would ask questions all day.

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