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dismantleing education, unschooling -long

updated sat 18 jun 11


Patti Petit on thu 16 jun 11

As a teacher both classroom and home schoolers I have several takes to shar=
e. First one size never fits all. We (children included) are all different =
with differing learning styles.
Toward the end of my classroom career I became increasingly aware of how mu=
ch time was spent in "crowd control" and keeping books for administrators a=
nd others from cafeteria to book club. I won't labor that.
Children get very little time with actual instruction in such a setting.Ord=
er has to be established and often reestablished in an often crowded classr=
oom. And there is very little room left for individual attention in many ca=
ses.Constant restructuring of the school calendar left days when classes di=
d not meet or were so shortened as to permit turning in of homework and ren=
ewing assignments. There is little time for discussion, analysis, enrichmen=
t. It is shameful to take away art and PE which young minds and bodies desp=
erately need.

I have taught homeschooled children who by and large are eager learners, ge=
t on task quickly and tend to engage with all aspects of the assignment, pl=
anning, reasoning, critiquing as they went. They are free from the frustrat=
ion of waiting for roll call, restoration or establishment of order, the cl=
ass clown, the stallers. Most were well spoken and polite. They had many ac=
tivities aside from home schooling. One potter's home schooled children est=
ablished their own gallery, kept books, ordered supplies, managed their boo=
ks etc. Both under 13 year of age.

In both classroom and home school settings I have conferred with parents ab=
out their children. Most home schooling parents welcomed that outside eye a=
nd were willing to watch and work with their children's development.
In the classroom it is often impossible to get a conference unless a child =
is in real trouble. Then it can be threatening to the parent who is on the =
defensive coming in.
Education is complex - no quick fix.