Sandra Dodd, August 2008
Maybe the concept unschooling came about in the USA because parents were taking their kids out of school, and deschooling them back to unschooling/natural learning ways of learning?And I responded:
There was a 7-Up commercial in the 1970's. 7-Up is a carbonated lemon/lime thing. At the time, there was also a huge competition between Pepsi and Coca-Cola (international—one got importation rights to the USSR and the other didn't, one got McDonald's and the other didn't—stuff like that). So 7-Up made a commercial that said "7-Up: The UNcola."
Back to here:
When I first heard the term the commercials were still on TV, and I figured it was a play on that. I think I read it in an issue of Growing Without Schooling, too, but Pat Farenga confirmed it when speaking at a conference in California in 1996.
Here's an older commercial that was the intro to the idea. It was long and so wasn't run as often, it wasn't as catchy, and didn't end up with "the UNcola," but it's good for background. I'm sure it didn't hurt any, the comparisons made between cola nuts and "uncola nuts" when John Holt was deciding what name to put on his call for people to take kids out of school and let them learn naturally.
The videos don't stick around, but someone has made a series of several, with Geoffrey Holder. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNctr9eqfA0dVrHp6S12FUIH4_cMSxEmA
I really like the one of the little girls asking "Why?" and him answering all her questions. :-)
The actor with the great voice in those commercials is Geoffrey Holder, who is a choreographer, costumer, actor in dramas and musicals (live and film) and voiceovers. In those days he was in "Live and Let Die," and some of you might know him as "Punjab" in the 1982 version of Annie. He got a Tony Award for directing "The Wiz" and in his acceptance speech he said "Try making something like that out of a cola nut." So he was pretty famous for the commercials. (He also got a Tony for costuming that year.)