Should we be ‘Unschooling’ our kids?

A new education movement showed up on ‘Good Morning America” this week and parents are up in arms about the story. The movement is called “Unschooling.”

Based on what I read and watched on the “Good Morning America” web site, it sounds like a cross between extremely lazy Montessori and homeschooling. The basic gist as far as I can tell is that the kids choose what they want to study and how they want to study. But that they may mean they just watch TV or play video games that day. (I’m only comparing it to Montessori because kids get to choose what they work on to some degree – but in Montessori kids have and actual curriculum and lessons to choose from.)

The report estimated that of 56 million school children, 1.5 million are homeschooled and of that 150,000 are “Unschooled.”

From the GMA web site:

” ‘We find that we don’t need a whole lot of rules,’ Phil Biegler said in the segment that aired Monday. ‘They might watch television,’ Christine Yablonski said. ‘They might play games on the computers.’ ‘They might read,” her husband added. Most children will choose television over reading every time, but Yablonski said that “the key there is that you’ve got to trust your kids to … find their own interests.’ ”

In our house, that’s called summer.

Here are two videos about the movement called Unschooling. The first video is the original story that aired on Monday. The second video is when the parents came on to defend themselves because so many people wrote into “Good Morning America” outraged by the concept.

Original report

Defending themselves – second appearance.

So what do you think? Is this a legitimate way to educate your kids or are they just letting them play hooky as the reporter joked in the piece?  Are there variations of this that could work?

What did you think of the parents in the first video who said they really have no rules and let their children choose when, where and what to eat and don’t make them take care of hygiene issues? (Go back and watch the first video if you missed that.)

128 comments Add your comment

Finally...

April 23rd, 2010
6:43 am

…a topic that deals with parenting…

jan

April 23rd, 2010
6:53 am

I didn’t realize todays children and youth had any rules. Have you not noticed most of the behavior of our youth?

DB

April 23rd, 2010
7:14 am

Personally, I think what these parents are doing is akin to child abuse. “Discipline” means “to teach” — what they are doing is raising undisciplined kids, which means that they are failing to teach them. To raise a well-rounded kid, they have to be exposed to a wide variety of subjects, not just the ones that interest them.

*Shrug*. Sometimes I think of the line from the movie “Parenthood” — “You have to have a license to own a dog, or even to catch a fish. But they’ll let anyone be a (parent).”

mom2alex&max

April 23rd, 2010
7:17 am

T, my posts keep disappearing.

Terrie Lynn Bittner

April 23rd, 2010
7:28 am

Please note that these parents are not unschoolers. They are radical unschoolers. Radical versions of anything are far from the standard method. Most homeschoolers do not consider these parents to be unschoolers, but simply people who have abdicated their responsibilities as parents.

Real unschooling is actually very parent-intensive and requires a great deal of parental responsibility. The parents must create a learning-rich environment in their home and also train their children to be intellectually curious. The children need the self-discipline to carry out a child-led learning program. This is very challenging. The children also need basic literacy skills in order to learn. The parents create all of this, and in addition, frequently try to do it without textbooks or rote learning. Instead of reading about how flowers grow, the children will plant a garden. Of course, having done this, they will most likely want to read one of the many books about plants their parents had the foresight to place in the home, and may also want to go chat with professional gardeners to learn more. They will probably end up taking field trips to arboretums. In time, they’ve learned everything about plants they’d have learned at their desk, but because they were planting a garden and choosing learning methods, they not only learned how to teach themselves (an important life skill) but have also gained critical practical skills in a natural environment.

The parents’ job is to make sure the children are exposed to a wide variety of educational topics and have the resources and skills to pursue them. This is much more challenging, if you want your children to think it was all their idea, than to simply plop a textbook in front of them and to stand over them while they work.

Remember…radical is not typical. Very few parents are willing to take away their children’s long-term options by giving them too many when they are too young to understand the consequences of them.

shaggy

April 23rd, 2010
7:35 am

Yes, I have heard that this is method is VERY sucessful in cultivating young minds into bright young penitentary residents. Who needs discipline or learning how to actually do math, science, etc… I know one “unschooler” whose sucessful student is a very accomplished thief, because that was what interested him, and mom and dad went back to their own pursuits, happy that junior was finding his way on his own. Plus they didn’t have to spend any energy on unimportant stuff like, parenting. Dad could play golf, and mom had the pool boy for fun.
You gotta love these “modern” parents.

Jeff

April 23rd, 2010
7:41 am

My guess is that the children of these parents weren’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard at government schools, so there’s no real loss. I’m no huge fan of the current schooling theory, but it is what it is. I always hesitate to believe one or two radical examples and then make an assumption on the population as a whole. It’s called a statistical outlier and you don’t prove cause and effect on the outlier.

I know, I just put half of you to sleep if you even finished reading it. Have a good weekend all, I’ve got the munchkin. I think we’re going to the zoo before it gets too hot, if it doesn’t rain.

theresa

April 23rd, 2010
7:50 am

momtoalex ,,i will look for it as soon as I can . Getting everyone off to school.

Roswell Jeff

April 23rd, 2010
8:17 am

I agree with what Terrie Lynn Bittner wrote above – radical is not the norm. The reason it was on the news is because it is so whacked. Whacky things get attention. There is always going to be someone with no common sense that takes things to the extreme.

eh

April 23rd, 2010
8:35 am

I guess we will find out in about 10 years how this works.

As to the, “Whats the matter with kids these days?” comment, come on. Your parents said it about your friends. Your grandparents said it about your parents. Try to not be so cliche’.

Kids have always had the same problems and issues.

JJ

April 23rd, 2010
8:44 am

Awww Jeff, have a great time!!!!

Tired

April 23rd, 2010
8:52 am

Much as schooling often leads to adult employment, unschooling would presumably lead to adult unemployment. How could it not? What “job” is watching TV and following your own whim preparing someone for?

Roswell Jeff

April 23rd, 2010
8:55 am

I’m wondering if the parents are going to allow their kids to be creative and let them do what they want well into their adult years? Thoughts of the 45 year old single male, living in the basement, come to mind.

Ally

April 23rd, 2010
8:58 am

Terrie Lynn Bittner – Why do you have to unschool to do what you’re talking about? My kids go to school and I also encourage curiosity and hands-on learning at home. Yes, my kids would rather play video games and watch movies, but that rarely happens at my house. They like figuring out things on their own and reading anything that we have in the house (non-fiction definitely included). They also do great at tests at school, and my first grader was genuinely sad when CRCT testing ended last week for her. Stop underestimating what children are capable of or what they are interested in, and don’t be so lazy to not provide the tools and support that they need to grow and learn.

Van Jones

April 23rd, 2010
9:07 am

If I had been trusted to find my own interests when I was young I would NOT be in the position I am today. I would have always chosen the fun, easy tasks. Learning takes effort and I was not willing to put in much effort on my own.

Wounded Warrior

April 23rd, 2010
9:19 am

The mom sounded really whacked, and she never said if she was a dropout. the girl seemed clueless, and the boy will be 30 living in mom’s basement. Hygiene…unless they came afford dentures for the kids when they are 30…they need to at least brush their teeth. How do the parents expect these kids to support themselves as adults?

CEB

April 23rd, 2010
9:23 am

I went to college with a girl and her younger sister who were ‘Unschooled’ along other siblings. She and her sister (who was 15 and attending college courses)were both extremely intelligent, self-sufficient, successful, and worldly. I often asked her about her k-12 schooling because I was so confused about how on earth you would get an average child to do schoolwork when they have the option of learning only when they felt like it and only about things which they wanted to learn.

My opinion is that both the parents and the child have to be very motivated, inquisitive, eager to learn, and creative. To my knowledge, it’s not a system that works for everyone and it seems to be very intensive.

TechMom

April 23rd, 2010
9:23 am

First off, these people do seem more of the extreme. I would venture to guess that most good homeschool parents teach their children lots of things without text books and that’s part of what makes homeschooling great for some people & kids. It allows them the flexibility to go to a dairy farm and learn about cows versus plopping their kid in front of a book, worksheets or computer program on the subject that they will often not retain. That however requires lots of effort by the parents and these people certainly don’t appear to be doing much more than babysitting their kids/teenagers.

Of course this leads me to wonder how in the world the kids will function as adults and how much society will have to support them. I can see the headlines in 15 years when they decide to sue the Massachusette’s school board for not forcing their parents to school them.

DT

April 23rd, 2010
9:29 am

I wonder how this compares to the government schools. My wife (Teacher) says that most kids in public schools have no interest in learing either. The discipline that the teachers and administrators once had has been taken away and without discipline in class you cannot teach.

Pluto

April 23rd, 2010
9:39 am

This does not surprise me as a public school high school teacher. It maybe to an extreme but I see parents abdicating their role and assuming the role of friend to their children all the time. I wonder what the effect will be 10 or so years down the road. How are they developing skills that adults need to be contributing societal members? As Timothy pointed out, characteristcs of the end times will include lovers of self, lack of self control and undisciplined children to name but a few.

DigALittleDeeper

April 23rd, 2010
9:47 am

I really hope that these kids are trust fund babies, because we have already seen the results of kids who drop out of highschool.

There was a story on Channel 2 this morning about a prisoner at Fulton County who dropped out of school in the 4th grade. He use to pay other inmates to write letters for him, because he couldn’t read or write. He’s now and adult who has taken the initiative to learn how to read.

We chastise the poor when they do not participate in school and we talk about the middle-class or well to do as if “unschooling” is the new “cool” idea.

It’s obvious that these parents( in the video) attended school, but I’m wondering what drives a parent to this extreme. I hope the children decide to sue the parents, because the Massachusette’s school board is not the problem.

V for Vendetta

April 23rd, 2010
9:54 am

Child abuse. Plain and simple. Children have no voice and no choice. Parents who do things which endanger the lives and futures of their children are no better than those who beat their children.

This is mental abuse. Many, if not most, of the parents who participate in this style of “parenting”–I sure as heck won’t call it “learning”–are the types who are too lazy to actually teach and parent their children. They just want a name to affix to their laziness. I heard about a child who was “unschooled” up to ninth grade. When he arrived at my high school, the teacher who had him told me he couldn’t read, couldn’t write, and couldn’t interact with the other students.

Well done, indeed.

Reflection

April 23rd, 2010
10:00 am

Maybe it is because parents prefer to teach their kids in order instill their values in lieu of progressive liberal indoctrinaion. I have to redirect my kids toward the traditional culture and values. Your rights to do or be something does not change my values or culture. Schools push the idea things change and absolute truths do not exist.

John Q. Public

April 23rd, 2010
10:03 am

This is just another example of the tug-of-war between parents and the education industrial complex (which is an arm of the state). The state mandates (law) children attend school, but it does not have any substantial follow-up laws, which requite IT to actually educate children. Ultimately, education is a parental role – this includes monitoring/regulating TV time, non-academic reading, etc. The disturbing reality is, most local school boards don’t care about children, and a fair number of parents demonstrate an unhealthy level of care (helicopter/”not my kid” parents). We’ve got Wall Street cowboys raiding our IRAs and pensions, we’ve got American soldiers dying in two wars and we have double-digit unemployment. THESE (politicians) are the same people we have entrusted with our childrens’ futures?

Mid-South Philosopher

April 23rd, 2010
10:08 am

Interesting concept. The key is…to do this effectively…the parent(s) involved must have a beyond the sixth grade education!

JATL

April 23rd, 2010
10:09 am

Good lord -this is nothing but LAZINESS! Sometimes I wonder how some people even got the motivation and energy to breed in the first place! Sadly to say, I know of more than one “homeschooling” family that is basically subscribing to this principle. I’m not saying ALL homeschooling families -but I do know some where basically, the only thing the kids are ever going to learn will be from television, and the few field trips the kids go on to places like the zoo or the aquarium. These people with the idea that we should let our children choose whatever they want whenever they want just don’t want to be parents. Hmmmm -yes, let me ask my 4 year old how he wants to go about learning. Well, we’ll start off with a Scooby Doo marathon followed by “Toy Story 2″ and then spend the rest of the day at the playground or in the backyard. This should be interspersed with lots of chocolate and gummy candy. -And this would be his EVERY day routine because he’s a CHILD who needs some guidance! The person who quoted the line from “Parenthood” about needing a license is so right.

Spooly Retune

April 23rd, 2010
10:28 am

R U kidding me? ( Learned from my daughters texting) T.V. and videogames, texting and facebook, etc.,etc. already compete with my childrens studies. I stay on their case all the time to set down these vices and do a little homework. It’s a constant struggle as is. Given the choice, I feel strongly I can predict what my kids would choose.

LibraryJim

April 23rd, 2010
10:46 am

I like what Louis L’Amour had to say on education:

“Acquiring an education has many aspects, of which school is only one, and the present approach is, I believe, the wrong one. Without claiming to have all the answers, I can only express my feeling that our methods of instruction do much to hamper a child in learning. Our approach is pedestrian. We teach a child to creep when he should be running; education becomes a task rather than excitement. Yet each of us can remember one or two teachers who made learning an adventure, which it surely is. Personally, I believe children should be taught to see, to observe, and to subject what they have seen to analysis, and this in the earliest grades.

To me it also seems obvious that a child should be taught some methods of reasoning, methods of scientific investigation. Children have an innate feeling for logic and, given the opportunity, would learn quickly. Such instruction would be unthinkable in any country not a democracy, and if carried out in a democracy it might clear the air of a lot of loose thinking, loose public speaking, and the kind of questionable statements that fill the air during political and other campaigns. The first generations of parents who had such children would have a difficult time but would find their own thinking undergoing drastic change. We do not at present educate people to think but, rather, to have opinions, and that is something altogether different. Many of the political ideas that have disturbed the world in the past fifty years could not exist in such an atmosphere.”

That's called "Laziness"

April 23rd, 2010
10:49 am

No matter how they want to state it, it’s called laziness and that’s 100% of the problem with kids today. We can all point to educators, society, technology, internet, etc., and scream about it until we’re blue in the face…the reason it’s allowed to happen is because WE ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN.

Why are kids falling behind in education? Because people today who have kids are not parents, they are caregivers and buddies. It’s tougher to set rules and to be consistent and guide your children by those rules and dole out punishments and rewards when necessary. It’s so much easier to just placate kids with time-consuming (and mind-numbing) alternatives like video games and television, most of which has no redeeming educational value whatsoever.

The parents who are choosing this option are those who got tired of calls from the schools, from teachers and administrators, and chose the path of least resistance (and least work) and “home schooled” their kids. It also allows an easy out for one parent who doesn’t want to burden themselves with a job and real world responsibilities, so they come up with this crap as a viable excuse to stay home.

No matter how you vote or what party you affiliate yourself with, this is the real reason America is crumbling. It should transcend political lines and religions and anything else – we have fostered a sense of being that tells us to shrug off responsibility and to beg for handouts and help when poor decisions on life, budgets, and parenting have gone awry. The reason government has become too big and intrusive is because people not only are asking for it, but begging for it with the way they live their lives.

If you’re too lazy to raise a child properly, do the rest of the country a favor and either abstain or sterilize yourself. And if you’re too lazy or stupid to make repsonsible decisions for yourself, then stay at home with your parents until you finally achieve adulthood and can live independent of someone else and the government.

GT

April 23rd, 2010
10:52 am

@ Reflection -

Not all public school classrooms are as you describe. My son has a great AP US History teacher that hasn’t tried to indoctrinate or push liberal viewpoints on his students. I think sometimes we on the right like to paint with big brushes. Instead of demonizing public schools, maybe we should get involved and begin to fix our local schools.

Beowulf

April 23rd, 2010
10:54 am

Great, just more ammunition for the anti-homeschooling crowd…I understand homeschooling is not for everyone, but I have seen it have some great results. And some weird ones too. Very weird. Anyway, this country should allow parents the freedom to homeschool their kids if they want. Period.

If we don’t have some failures, who will work at McDonald’s? Right now it’s mostly high school dropouts, but if a few “unschoolers” join the crowd I don’t care. Just make sure my fries are hot!

HB

April 23rd, 2010
11:01 am

I think unschooling could be good for very few families out there, but this isn’t one of those families. Really, they seemed lazy to me. Unschooling, while specifically not setting rules for how and when to learn, does not have to mean children have no rules in their lives at all, which seems to be this family’s philosophy.

I saw a story a few years back with a mom “unschooling” her daughter; I think it was on 60 Minutes. The little girl was very bright and curious, and her mother did a great job really feeding her interests without setting a curriculum or a timeline. She worked hard to find information on what her daughter wanted to study, and took her places that related to the current interest. As I recall, the child was allowed to choose when, how, and what to study, and she could choose to play when she felt like it, but they didn’t have a TV. She seemed to entertain herself mostly by learning about her interests, including playing the violin. There wasn’t the imposed discipline aspect of more formal education, but the child seemed to have a lot of self-discipline and a strong desire to learn. So in some cases, I think it can be beneficial, but I do believe those cases will be exceedingly rare.

Cammi317

April 23rd, 2010
11:11 am

People never cease to amaze me. Every time I thought I have heard and seen it all, something new comes along… I definitely believe in raising an independent and inquisitive child and she definitely asks a lot of questions when things do not seem logical (sometimes to her teachers dismay, when they can’t come up with a valid explanation). At times her inquisitiveness can be obnoxious and exasperating, admittedly, but this “unschooling” just sounds bizarre to me. However, since I know nothing of this method, I will not judge further.

Seriously?

April 23rd, 2010
11:29 am

I’m so sick of hearing about all of this nonsense! What is wrong with sending your kids to school, having them behave properly and learn? Asian and European kids go to school longer than US kids and truly, I think they are smarter. The high school cashiers @ Mcdonald’s can’t make proper change while a Japanese teenager likely does college-level math (well, college level in the US) and speaks 2, if not more, languages fluently.

The thing that is lacking in American education is not exposure to xyz or abc but a lack of discipline (not punishment but self-discipline, which parents have to teach). When kids can get away with murder at home and bad grades/bad behavior aren’t swiftly punished, you have the kinds of children that I see now. They want everything handed to them on a silver platter, they can’t think for themself, they can’t follow rules, they have no manners.

MORE SCHOOL, MORE OFTEN!

Wayne

April 23rd, 2010
11:31 am

I had never heard of ‘unschooling’ until I was looking at some of the work one of my friends from way back has done. He’s making a movie on unschooling. He had some things to say about the GMA piece and how it got it wrong. I don’t know enough about it to say anything pertinent, but I can say that my oldest son is at Sylvan being tested right now so that we can prove to the public school system that he IS a bright kid and that he needs a bit more than what he’s being offered currently.

He’s bored silly and it’s affecting his schoolwork.

We are also changing him to another school next year -private- that has more to offer in the way of services like arts, music etc. for him.

Beowulf

April 23rd, 2010
11:40 am

Wayne,

The brightest kids are the ones our schools do the most disservice to. We are no longer allowed to propel them ahead the way we should because it might make the other kids feel bad. Seriously, this is why I had to stop teaching! They are trying to mainstream all kids, it’s like forcing everyone to take their cars to Wal-Mart for service. Sure they do ok with basics, but if you have an old car on its last legs, or a BMW or Mercedes, you want somebody with expertise working on it! We are fine with doing this for our cars, why should our kids not be more important?

Wayne

April 23rd, 2010
12:06 pm

I agree wholeheartedly. I can’t put all the onus on the teacher, but she doesn’t like being challenged, especially in a class of 25 students who range from extremely bright (there are a few, and we’ve talked to other parents who are experiencing what we’re experiencing) to, well, not so bright. She has to accommodate all of them.

Not her fault, but when you sit with a team of ‘educators’ and they are giving you a very hard time, you seriously start thinking about other avenues; homeschooling or unschooling. In our case, we feel pretty strongly that we aren’t educators so off to another school, he is.

Technically, Seriously?...

April 23rd, 2010
12:07 pm

…regarding “a Japanese teenager…speaks 2, if not more, languages fluently” – since most European and Asian countries are much smaller than the USA, and many of the “countries” are smaller than a lot of the individual states in the USA (and speak a different language than the countries on their borders), you could make an argument that we Americans speak 50 languages fluently since each state (country)has some sort of “English” as its language, not to mention we speak Australian, and British, and Irish, etc…

Roswell Jeff

April 23rd, 2010
12:22 pm

Only speaking from my limited experience, the public school my son goes to does everything they can to push the kids. There is one child in my son’s class that they moved to the next grade sometime before the beginning of the year. My own son has been “pushed” into upper classes that he is accelerating in. This is elementary school, I have no idea what it will be like as he moves on to the other schools in our cluster. Every school varies and the Administrator at the top sets the tone on how things go.

G.R.I.T.S.

April 23rd, 2010
12:25 pm

i am all for home-schooling if a family has the resources needed to do this in a successful way (resources meaning finacial-education etc) i have known some people who were homeschooled who went to college and became successful adults. i had so many problems with my kids in school, trying to get them the challenges they needed for their level of intelligence and ability to learn, i would have home-schooled if i had been able to. i had to work, was a single parent and just simply couldnt afford to do it, so i fought and struggled with the school so that they could get the extra learning they needed. it worked about half way. if i had been financially able i definately would have homeschooled. i cant in my wildest dreams imagine a home with no rules. how do they do that? so you tell johnny to go mow the lawn and he doesnt want to so then what? in my family we all had chores and things that were expected of us. i just cant imagine a home without this. does mom and dad end up doing everything and the kids never learn to take basic care of a household or even themselves? and if there are no rules, i guess mom and dad dont have to do anything either? good grief!! how do these kids pass a college entrance exam much less the SAT or ACT…or the test to get into the military? if they want to go to college do they then start studying to pass the entrance requirements? i just cant see how this can be legal at all. i thought homeschooled kids (which this is basically in the same category officially) had to pass tests every year…the kids i know who were home schooled had to pass tests each year. im all about kids getting more than what they are taught in school, but to get less..??? id love to know some of the people who have been raised and ’schooled’ this way and to see where they are today and if they are in a good place how they got there.

Wow, what a contrast...

April 23rd, 2010
12:30 pm

…this topic and the just posted “Get Schooled” topic on the triplets at public school (and Dekalb County, at that) Lakeside High School being named salutatorian (2 of the girls) and the other the valedictorian – not a bad commentary on “public schooling”…

V for Vendetta

April 23rd, 2010
12:33 pm

Beowulf and Wayne,

I’m sorry, but you two sound like “those parents.” You know, the ones who think that since their children are SO smart, they must not be challenged enough by the lowly curriculum, teacher, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

You must have kids in horrible schools. We have a large number of fantastic Gifted and AP students at my (public) school who are constantly and consistently doing college-level work. Believe me, they are challenged.

I also want to point out that being bored is NOT an excuse for misbahavior or bad grades. In the event that your child is stuck in a class that is truly beneath him or her, he or she must learn how to deal with it and still come out on top. Being bored is NEVER an excuse for any type of negative response–whether it is physical or academic. If that’s your attitude, then your children are in for a shock when they enter the real world. “Oh, I’m sorry, Boss. I didn’t do the work because it is beneath me and I was bored.”

We’ll see how that one works out.

FCM

April 23rd, 2010
1:13 pm

WOW I thought “unschooling” is what we do to counter the ” progressive liberal indoctrinaion” they received in (public) school.

Jeff have fun with your little one!

Jessica

April 23rd, 2010
1:24 pm

I would never consider ‘unschooling’ my own children (though I might consider some other method of homeschooling) but I don’t think it’s fair to judge this educational approach based on a few nuts you saw on GMA. OF COURSE they are going to feature the most shockingly neglectful examples they can find; it’s the best way to create a buzz about the story.

FCM

April 23rd, 2010
1:28 pm

“Jim Collins book, Good to Great, states that good is the enemy of Great! We don’t aim high and miss – as we would like to believe. In fact, most times, we aim low and hit the mark! As parents, [he implored us] not to aim low! Aim high!!!” (excerpts of a speech given by Brad McCoy)

Wayne

April 23rd, 2010
1:37 pm

Wow, V. You can come up with that, just based on what I wrote? Seriously? You’re good! I don’t think I ever said my son was misbehaving or getting poor grades – much the opposite.

I’ve mentioned on this blog previously the type of work my son does. I just got off the phone with my wife; while we don’t have the full report yet, my son, who is 6, in first grade, is reading at a solid 4th grade level, up to 6th grade level. His vocabulary in the words of the Sylvan rep (who has no bias either way, right?) is ‘way up there’. She was very impressed with him.

Her words again: ‘I can see where he might be having problems in school’.

Yes, I know, every person thinks they’re child is the brightest one on the planet, but, having spoken to other parents at our school who have run into this very same thing, and have had to test their kids – outside of the school system because the school system won’t – we decided to have him tested to see where he falls.

Is that wrong? I don’t think so. This is in an effort to get him services that he needs as a student. The school system won’t do any more than it has to, and that’s for the less gifted students. I’m not saying my son is gifted, but what I am asking is that you recognize that he needs a bit more challenging than ’see spot? See spot run?’.

Again, is that to much to ask?

BTW: this school is in Massachusetts; I’m assuming your school is not?

catlady

April 23rd, 2010
2:12 pm

Heck, just lock ‘em in the closet!

JATL

April 23rd, 2010
2:21 pm

@Seriously? You make some excellent points! One of the reasons the USA lags far behind in education of our kids through age 18 is that we do NOT follow more European and Asian models. There are certainly Asian models I don’t think any of us really want (many Chinese schools certainly have performers, but they do humiliate to get them there), but if we would follow the European system of education where they still TRACK and assign kids to certain levels, we would be in much better shape. The other point is also correct -parents desperately need to instill some self-discipline in kids. Our entire nation seems to have gravitated toward being a bunch of fools who want everything without putting forth any effort.

catlady

April 23rd, 2010
2:35 pm

Waye, methinks you have been the victim of code! Don’t know your kid; just a guess based on nearly 4 decades of experience teaching.

Meme

April 23rd, 2010
2:37 pm

As a public school teacher, I sometimes wish that more parents would homeschool their children. However, I don’t think the unschooling is anything more than the parents letting the kids run the house.