[end of december or early January on radical unschooling info I wrote up about The Compleat Mother article—and that could be imaged in]
Before I write more, let me clarify that for unschooling purposes, it's better for a parent to say "I'm not sure" and then to look up more than one source, remembering to consider or wonder how that author or speaker got his own information. And remember that history and science change. Stories sometimes are amended when more facts are known. Best guesses can be improved upon later as evidence grows.
Qualifying your own statements and thoughts is healthy in any context. "I think it is" instead of "It IS," or "I have read that..." rather than "I know that..."
Someone wrote, somewhere:
"Oh my gosh, how cool is that! In Native American teachings turtle is the oldest symbol for Mother Earth, and the personification of goddess energy."
In what tribe(s)? What evidence?
"Native American teachings" is neither an entity nor a substance. There is not one set of "teachings" or beliefs that come from "Native Americans" as a group.
There is more on this on my page on being easily offended:
Here is a claim that seemed immediately questionable:
To go to the upper number and claim that they were all killed "by the U.S. Government" doesn't make sense. yet where this meme was put, comments were
"True!"Because it's not true, mostly. But to say "That doesn't sound right" could get a person jumped by people who would say "racist!" or "I guess you don't CARE that Indians have been killed."
"How True." and
"Why isn't this taught in school!?"
I really don't like truth or logic being killed or prevented, regardless of who it is making the claims or doing the thinking (or lack thereof). It would be good if people really WOULD think.
For unschooling, it's good for parents to help children to look both ways before crossing into an agreement, even a casual "How true" or "me too."
I have a story from years ago, from reading a newsprint magazine on pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, called The Compleat Mother. It came by mail, in the late 1980s and 1990s, and I subscribed to and read all of it every time.
In one issue was a long article about the author's birthplace, and the customs there that were so totally different. As I was reading, things I knew from studying and caring about (reading, even after I was out of school) anthropology came to mind, and what I knew about birth control and biology, and what I knew about geology, and linguistics, and by the end of a page and a half of the three, I was thinking "this is total fiction." There isn't a south-Pacific Island with a culture that encourages (requires, almost) children to have sex right after menses starts, or that has an annual gentle orgy where everyone changes partners. There's no such thing as not getting pregnant from this just because they don't intend to or want to get pregnant. And there's not going to be a tower filled with emeralds, amethysts and other crystals that's been there since before men remember. And the names sounded more like Tolkien's made-up languages than anything in any Pacific language I knew of.
So I wasn't wondering whether it was fiction, I knew. In a later issue, the editor defended it, and in a later-than-that issue, she apologized for publishing fiction.