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In a message dated 2/10/04 10:25:29 AM, garrisonstuber@... writes:

<< should an unschooling

home that doesn't have a tv to begin with invest in one (when/if) the

children desire it? >>

I don't really know how to answer this question.

My mind races through all the parallel kinds of questions.

"Should an unschooling home without books begin to invest in books when/if
the children desire them?"

"Should an unschooling home without a magazine, consider investing in one if
the children want one?"

"Should an unschooling home without toys begin to invest in toys when/if the
children desire them?"

"Should an unschooling home without games begin to invest in games when/if
the children desire them?"

But if I replaced it with "heroin" it would be kinda goofy, and so the
problem is those people who for whatever reason have come to consider television
more like heroin than like books, games, toys and magazines.

There has always and might always be a prejudice about the edge of the
available media/technology.

When I was a kid, the evil edge of publishing was comic books. Illustrated
children's books were virtuous. Comic books were brain-rotting crap the
teachers could and would confiscate and throw in the trash. It didn't matter that
the illustrated book might be racist, sexist, worthless nonsense. If it had
been published by a reputable publisher, it MUST be good. And it didn't
matter that the comic book might be about the lives of saints, or Classics
Illustrated Treasure Island, or Little Women, it was on newsprint and people spoke in
speech-bubbles, and so it was going to ruin civilization.

When my mom was a kid, it was paperback novels. If they were hardbound, they
were good. If thehe Bible if you want to read something. Read poetry,
philosophy, history, or biographies. Not made-up stories. (Shakespeare didn't
count as evil made-up stories, for some reason.)

But electronics came along. So when I was a kid the evils branched off two
ways. Comic books were very, very bad. But so was most comedy on television.
Variety shows were good. That was people developing the talents God had
given them. Western dramas and situation comedies were not as good.

Music started being way more available because of transistor radios. The
first radio I was given, my mom gave back to my aunt and they returned it and
bought a slip'n'slide. Reason? There wasn't a radio station we could pick up
in our small town with a radio that small. Within six months there was
one, but my chance at a battery-operated portable radio was gone. That's okay,
though, because if it wasn't worth sitting down next to a stationary radio to
listen to, it was junk anyway.

So looking at such prejudices in historical perspective, being an unschooler
is living on the edge anyway. Don't try to live on the edge while carrying
around an outdated, unreasonable prejudice.


J. Stauffer

<<<<<There has always and might always be a prejudice about the edge of the
> available media/technology.>>>>>>

It reminds me so much of the song in "The Music Man" about "We got
trouble....right here in River City....It starts with T that rhymes with P
and that stands for Pool".

For those of you who don't know the story, billiards was fine but then the
new pool table came to town.

What is that saying "One dog barking at random can start all the
neighborhood dogs barking in earnest."

Julie S.

Lisa H

Prejudice, opinions, choices, traditions....sometimes the line is fuzzy (sometimes not). I suppose it's a matter of opinion. And opinions, choices, traditions, prejudices change.

For instance, I often here myself say, "that's why there's vanilla and chocolate and strawberry and coffee and mocha chip and pistachio and well you get the idea." This is my response when someone says they do something one way and wonder if it's wrong or right just because someone else does something another way. Just because my neighbor does something doesn't mean that's what we do. Different flavors for different folks.

For instance, I am not comforatable putting a christmas tree in my home. So we decorate throughout the house with other holiday symbols, changing them seasonally, and that seems to satisfy my kids. But it is important to me, since neither my husband or i are christian, not to have a christmas tree. Funny though I seem to be able to put up decorations honoring other traditions and cultures...ie Kwanza, paganism...hmmm perhaps i need to rethink my prejudice? re christmas tree...ah there's one of those fuzzy lines blurring from a perceived tradition to a choice to an old and ready to discard prejudice <g>. I guess I need to chew on this a bit.

I also know an unschooling family that is kosher. So the fact that they have dietary restrictions in the home is a matter of respecting the family's tradition. And as the children are respected they don't seem to have a problem with honoring the tradition. BTW - the restrictions are not placed on the children outside the house - they are free to choose their food items. And are probably free to choose their own foods in the house but are asked to respect the traditions of the parents.

<<But if I replaced it with "heroin" it would be kinda goofy>>

As for heroin or drugs in general...great analogy and one that i've struggled with in theory only and specifically in the realm of unschooling philosphy - as i haven't had to deal directly with my kids expressing a desire to indulge in drugs. I do know that right now I would not provide my kids with it - but they are not asking - this is not strewed around my house (opinion, judgement). My kids are aware and are provided with lots of information on drug abuse and alcholism (unfortunately too close to home) that i am hoping that it would not occur to them to pollute their bodies with something that would imo possibly damage them. If or when they do decide to experiment with drugs - well, first i would hope that our relationship would enable them to talk with me about it - even though they know I have a healthy respect for the dangers of drugs and alcohol abuse but that i do trust their good judgement to be safe and careful and respectful to their bodies.

When it comes to drugs, like crossing the street, I know that we are all vulnerable and life may happen regardless of how careful, knowledgable and respectful we are of ourselves and others. So even in "safe controlled experiments" accidents happen. And I can not control everything.

But then this line of thought brings me to wonder about the food thingy. I have a close unschooling friend who believes that certain types of foods are poisons and is very active and outspoken on the subject. She lectures, writes and sells products based on her understanding of health and natural hygiene. So is this opinion an unreasonable prejudice? I know she has struggled in the past with her dd's to find a balance in respecting their choices while being comfortable with her own enviroment and her sense of responsibility as their mother. She has come to being able to let her dd's eat whatever they want - but the reality is they know she does have judgements. We all know. Many people I know have a certain sefl-consciousness around her ...well i suppose that's where "judgements" come into play.

My point is...if she considers some foods poisons and I consider drugs poison, what's the difference in my judgement of these objects versus her judgment of food - what is unreasonable prejudice in this case? Who am i to judge <g>?

I have to say it's alot easier to cross the line regarding a decorated tree honoring a religious tradtion or culture other than my own than accepting something i beleive to be poison.

Forgive me if my rambling is getting loopy....but my kids are gone for the day...
Lisa Heyman

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In a message dated 2/11/04 12:13:08 PM, Lmanathome@... writes:

<< My point is...if she considers some foods poisons and I consider drugs
poison, what's the difference in my judgement of these objects versus her
judgment of food - what is unreasonable prejudice in this case? Who am i to judge

If her reasons don't seem reasonable (literally), then you can easily judge
her to be unreasonable. If she has reasons to feel that way about food that
you can't refute from knowledge or experience, then let it lie.

My mom said some people are allergic to fish and milk together, and those who
are will die on the spot. So she never fed us milk and fish together just in
case. I realized about a year after my favorite meal became a fish sandwich
and a chocolate milk shake at Tastee Freeze, that I had not died.

My mom wasn't being reasonable.

People who make claims about television which others here can refute from
knowledge or experience will lose their argument in this forum. They can still
go home and not let their children eat fish and milk together while watching
TV. We'll never know. But if they come here and want us to say "Good idea!"
they will probably not get what they wanted.


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In a message dated 2/11/2004 1:16:13 PM Central Standard Time,
[email protected] writes:
Don't try to live on the edge while carrying
around an outdated, unreasonable prejudice.

I don't post here much (I've been lurking for a year or so), but I just
wanted to say that this one sentence pretty much summarizes how I felt as I was
reading through all the tv posts. I wouldn't have been able to articulate it
that well, or that succinctly! My kids are 2 and 4, and we've never had any
rules about tv. I grew up in a home where the living room television was on
pretty much whenever we were home, even though it was often just used for
"background noise" while something else was going on. I have never felt any emotions
one way or the other about tv - I don't worship it, nor do I demonize it. Our
tv is no doubt turned on more than might be the case in the "average" home -
but my kids rarely just sit and watch. They play as they watch, they talk to
each other and to me as they watch, or sometimes they also just use it as
background noise. My kids have learned SO much from television - I could not
possibly see it as a bad or dangerous thing, or something which must be "earned"
by spending time reading or doing school work (as I have been recently reading
about on another email group).

My 2 year old daughter was asking for crackers the other day, and when I
asked her how many, she answered in Spanish. She then said, "Gracias" when I
brought them to her. I asked her where she learned that, and she said, "Dora!" I
asked her if she wanted to learn more, and she did. We've been doing little
impromptu Spanish "lessons" since then. Likewise, things the kids have seen
on tv have served as jumping off points to study sharks, to start sponsoring a
child, to discuss world events, to learn more about hurricanes, etc, etc, etc.
Television truly opens the world up to us, and it makes us aware of so many
things we might otherwise not know about. For young kids, their realm of
actual experience is so small that television gives them a chance to find out a
little about so many different things they've never even heard of - and with
their parents' help, they can take those bits of knowledge/awareness, and then
learn and explore more.

I'm sorry to have rambled on - I just had to chime in on all of this.


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