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In a message dated 2/6/04 12:39:20 PM, garrisonstuber@... writes:

<< Okay, I'm dealing with four conservatives: two shrinks, a lawyer, and

a retired military officer, all in their late 50s.

<<Since the school reforms of the 60s and 70s opened up the gates of

hell, >>

Well you DO have a problem! <bwg>


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>>>>>>>In a message dated 2/6/2004 2:39:16 PM Eastern Standard Time,
garrisonstuber@... writes:
Okay, I'm dealing with four conservatives: two shrinks, a lawyer, and
a retired military officer, all in their late 50s.

Since the school reforms of the 60s and 70s opened up the gates of
hell, and are at least half responsible for all the evils of the
present day (remember that the 50s were a Golden Era of perfection),
the very worst thing I can do is link what I'm trying to do now
(unschooling) with school reform from then. (Also, being 30+ and the
product of said reforms, this would only reinforce for them how overly
permissive and misguided I am).<<<<<<

LOL. I'd just tell them that I am on the cutting edge of education.They are
RIGHT! Schools are NOT what they once were! *I* have got to take over where
these schools have failed! The apathy in colleges from high school graduates is
astounding! Rote learning and no critical thinking---what are the schools

There was this school reformer in the 70's & 80's who realized that schools
are NOT reformable and they're just getting worse. I'm taking HIS advice and

I'm SO glad that they (parents & in-laws) are well-educated, because *they*
can understand where I'm coming from. They must KNOW that learning doesn't stop
at 12th grade or after college. We're all learing all the time until today's
school system beats it out of us! Aren't THEY still learning? I could help!
<g> Would they like some light reading? I have books and articles and websites I
can give them!


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This is the standard thing I send out to potential unschoolers in SC. I'd
um..... cut & paste! But it'll give you a starting point.

Unschooling Basics

Unschooling is trusting the child to learn what he needs to learn when he
needs to learn it. Unschooling is also sometimes called "natural learning" and
"child-led learning" . But mostly unschooling is NOT school-at home: we do not
try to replicate school in our houses. It's real living in the real
world---for and with a purpose. You cannot live and not learn---we're
surrounded by real opportunities every day to learn. And it's REAL learning, not
simulated as in
school. Living is learning is unschooling is living is learning is

There are several good books on the inanity and insanity of schools and on
the marvels of unschooling.

The unschooling "patron saint" is John Holt. He was a school reformer in the
70's who came to realize that schools are NOT reformable. His most popular
books are How Children Fail, How Children Learn, Teach Your Own, and Learning
All the Time.

John Taylor Gatto was a NY city and NY state teacher of the year. He finally
quit and started on the speaking circuit. He seems completely behind
unschooling. His two big books are Dumbing Us Down and The Underground History
of American Education.

Frank Smith has a great little book called The Book of Learning and
Forgetting that shows how little one learns in and remembers from school. He
pushes REAL learning---for a purpose.

Alfie Kohn's Punished by Rewards shows the total inanity of EXtrinsic
motivation (gold stars, grades, etc.) and the attributes of INtrinsic

Grace Llewellyn's The Teenage Liberation Handbook (How to Quit School and
Get a REAL Education) is the "bible" for unschoolers. It's a great read for
teens, but parents should read it too. Be SURE not to skip the "cute little
story" at the beginning. Grace also hosts the "Not Back To School Camp" in
the early
fall for teen unschoolers---a place to meet other unschoolers and share
passions and interests.

Mary Griffith has two books, The Homeschooling Handbook and The Unschooling
Handbook. The Homeschooling Handbook has many great ideas for documenting
what's being learned; and, since that is a requirement in SC, it's very
But The Unschooling Handbook is THE handbook for new unschoolers. In it she
gives real life examples and explanations. VERY understandable. Convinced my
husband that what I was suggesting made sense! <g>

David Albert has two: And the Skylark Sings with Me and Homeschooling and the
Voyage of Self-Discovery. Both are witty---and easy reads.

Valerie Fitzenreiter has a brand new book that I highly recommend: The
Unprocessed Child: Living Without School. It's about unschooling her daughter,
Laurie. I give it as gifts a LOT!


"Home Education Magazine" (known as HEM)
"Life Learning Magazine"
"Growing Without Schooling", originally put out by John Holt. No longer in
production, but back issues available from "old" unschoolers and from FUNbooks.


www.unschooling.com is THE website for unschooling. There are other lists
that "say" they unschool; these are the radicals who KNOW what they are
about. There are essays and FAQs which you should definitely read first.
Afterwards go to the message boards and read, read, READ! If you have
after reading for a few weeks, then post---but most things have been explained
before, so if you read, you'll run across the answers to most of your

The posters to pay attention to are Sandra Dodd, Joyce Fetteroll, Pam
Sorooshian, Anne Ohman, and Mary Gold. There are other wonderful posters, but
these are all radical unschoolers who all have great ways of expressing
themselves and getting to the nitty gritty of unschooling. They will all be at the
conference in August.

[email protected] is a great e-list if you prefer your
messages in mail form, but the traffic is HIGH. 200-400/day on the Discussion
list. Unless you're hard core, or just prefer your lists this way, I'd recommend
the message boards.

There is also [email protected]. For beginners.

www.SchoolsOutSupport.org is the SC unschooling support group. Membership is
free. It has a message board and info about laws and local groups. It hosts
the unschooling conference in August.

Sandra Dodd is a radical unschooler of three children, 16, 14, & 12 (I
think). She has her own website that is chocked FULL of essays and stories
unschooling. It's a great place to start. www.SandraDodd.com/unschooling She
is also the keynote speaker at the August conference.

Ned Vare & Luz Shosie have an
already-graduated-from-college-always-unschooled son. Their website is full of
short essays on unschooling. They have a
newsletter as well. http://borntoexplore.org/unschool/

Billy and Nancy Greer own FUN-books---a mail-order catalogue for unschoolish
books and games. www.FUN-Books.com

And the conference: Here's the flyer:

School's Out Support's Live & Learn Unschooling Conference
August 22-24 in Columbia, SC at the Holiday Inn-Coliseum.

<<<<THIS YEAR IN PEABODY, MA AUGUST 27-29. 2004. Go To
www.LiveandLaernConference.org <<<<<<<

This conference is a must attend! Meet other families on the same journey,
listen to inspiring speakers, and discover the art of unschooling in beautiful
downtown Columbia, SC. This is a non-age-discriminatory conference: anyone can
participate in any Funshop or Presentation. Bring the whole family for a
joy-filled weekend!

School's Out Support (SOS) is a volunteer-driven, statewide organization
whose mission is to support and promote unschooling, provide information,
monitor and influence legislation, offer opportunities for families to get
and empower families to make the choices that respect the rights, needs and
aspirations of their children. SOS welcomes anyone with an interest in

Since its inception in April 2001, SOS has supported families that have made
the decision to unschool as they face difficult questions and challenges.
These families may wonder about socialization, the legal issues surrounding
unschooling, accountability associations, or integration of John Holt's
educational philosophy into their everyday lives. Some families may doubt
their abilities, feel confused and ask themselves, "Can I really do this?". SOS
parents to trust themselves and their children to make good decisions and
empowers them to find the support and information they need.

Our Presenters
For our Keynote presenter we are very fortunate to have the popular
contributor to Unschooling.com message boards, its e-list, AlwaysLearning, and
regular columnist in HEM---unschooling guru, Sandra Dodd. A former middle
teacher, Sandra has talked countless families into running away from school
jumping into learning for fun. Her motto: "Everything Counts!"

We're also delighted to have Anne Ohman, from the Unschooling.com message
boards, back for a return engagement. She "stole the show" last year with her
debut and is now in demand at conferences all over the country. AnneO's
passionate, gentle approach to life and learning continues to inspire families

Pam Sorooshian is well known in "all the unschooling
circles"---Unschooling.com's message boards, the unschoolingdotcom e-list,
AlwaysLearning, NHEN, and
the California boards. When she's not teaching college level economics and
statistics, Pam's an unschooling mom of three teenagers: she's "been there,

that"---and will surely have a few answers for you!

Mary Gold is better known as "Zenmomma"--and you can find her wherever
unschooling is a topic! Mary "preaches" peace and trust and joy---and the pure
delight of unschooling her children. Her encouraging words are music to a
parent's ears---and she always leaves you knowing that "Life is good!"

Jim Weiss' storytelling has captivated and delighted both adults and children
with his original stories and retellings of classics. To hear him tell a
story is to be swept into another world. Jim's award-winning tapes are

in many homes---including ours!

For more information, contact Kelly Lovejoy @ (803) 776 4849 or visit our
website- http://www.schoolsoutsupport.org/2003conference.html

You may also all me anytime to ask questions or discuss concerns. I truly
believe that school is harmful---physically, emotionally, intellectually, and
spiritually. It's a bad place to spend a childhood.

~Kelly Lovejoy (803) 776-4849

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