A Great Unschooling Article-KY (again)

The only thing it left me wondering about was who Gail Withrow is and that she seems to be a bit tight in Homeschooling Correctness.

 They probably represent 5 percent to 10 percent of the more than 1.1 million home-schooled children in the country, experts say. But unlike traditional home-schoolers, most unschoolers reject structured coursework and age-appropriate learning.

 Wonder how they came up with that figure ?

 Can’t resist.  Cruising through the article, some more of those darn statistics reared up their crooked little heads.

 Unschooling’s growth

Experts estimate that unschooling is growing at about the same rate of home schooling, which increased 29 percent between 1999 and 2003, according to federal statistics.

Kentucky has 12,170 home-schoolers, a number that has not increased substantially since 2000

So KY’s growth isn’t growing at the 29% rate?  I don’t think the 29% rate is accurate as some other media and education sources get homeschooling mixed up with public school at home. 

I usually cringe at the homeschooling articles that pop out here and there but this article is a very good read.  

 Reading their description of unschooling reminded me that Abraham Lincoln was a great unschooler.  Regretted by him in not having the opportunity for a formal education, he still most definitely received a superior education as he needed and wanted,.

From Lincoln’s letter to Jesse Fell, enclosing an autobiography, December 20, 1859:
My father, at the death of his father, was but six years of age; and he grew up, litterally [sic] without education. He removed from Kentucky to what is now Spencer County, Indiana, in my eighth year. We reached our new home about the time the State came into the Union. It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals, still in the woods. There I grew up. There were some schools, so called; but no qualification was ever required of a teacher beyond "readin, writin, and cipherin" to the Rule of Three. If a straggler supposed to understand latin happened to sojourn in the neighborhood, he was looked upon as a wizzard [sic]. There was absolutely nothing to excite ambition for education. Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher to the Rule of Three; but that was all. I have not been to school since. The little advance I now have upon this store of education, I have picked up from time to time under the pressure of necessity.

From Lincoln’s autobiography (written in third person), June 1860:
Before leaving Kentucky, he and his sister were sent, for short periods, to A B C schools, the first kept by Zachariah Riney, and the second by Caleb Hazel.

His father’s residence continued at the same place in Indiana till 1830. While here Abraham went to A B C schools by littles, kept successively by Andrew Crawford,–Sweeney, and Azel W. Dorsey. He does not remember any other. The family of Mr. Dorsey now resides in Schuyler County, Illinois. Abraham now thinks that the aggregate of all his schooling did not amount to one year. He was never in a college or academy as a student, and never inside of a college or academy building till since he had a law license. What he has in the way of education he has picked up. After he was twenty-three and had separated from his father, he studied English grammar–imperfectly, of course, but so as to speak and write as well as he now does. He studied and nearly mastered the six books of Euclid since he was a member of Congress. He regrets his want of education, and does what he can to supply the want.

The election of 1834 came, and he was then elected to the legislature by the highest vote cast for any candidate. Major John T. Stuart, then in full practice of the law, was also elected. During the canvass, in a private conversation he encouraged Abraham [to] study law. After the election he borrowed books of Stuart, took them home with him, and went at it in good earnest. He studied with nobody.

Education Isn’t On a DVD

Gary North on Lew Rockwell’s site wants to produce a home school high school curriculum.  I wish him well but history on a DVD makes me …….emoticon

I have decided to produce a home school high school curriculum. The wonderful new digital technologies make this possible. I can deliver an entire curriculum on a DVD that costs me three dollars to send out the door. These digital technologies have decentralized the production and distribution of information. This process will not be reversed. Why not take advantage of it?

Interested? If you have info that you feel is crucial for the correct understanding of history – ancient Greece and Rome, Europe, or the United States – send me [him] a reference (better yet, a web link) and a brief description of why you think this document should not be ignored. Send them to garynorth@garynorth.com.

Interesting Homeschooler in Rockford

Bet her kids had a great time at the Burpee Museum of Natural History where she works.  I don’t think she’s the only mom who’s hid the tv in the attic either.

  • What are you watching on TV? I don’t watch much TV. Actually, I once hid the TV in the attic.

  • What is something people are surprised to learn about you? I’ve climbed a number of mountains and once did a survival event where I learned the native edible plants and how to build shelters and chert (a stone) and steel fires.

  • What is the best gift you have ever received? My children. Nothing compares to motherhood. I would have babies again. Nothing compares to nursing your newborn. My children and their discoveries have been the delight of my life. I wish to share the joy of discovery with other children.

Straw that broke the camel’s back for some black homeschooling families

From Baltimore, there was an interview with a mom who saw the future and it was called homeschooling. 

 The breaking point came when Spence brought her loquacious 3-year-old to the public library for a story hour with other preschoolers. When his enthusiastic questions and comments during the story were shushed, Spence had an unsettling vision. She feared that when her son hit school age, he could be tagged as having an attention disorder and unfairly burdened with the sort of negative profile that she believes the schools disproportionately attach to black boys.

"That was the straw that broke the camel’s back," said Spence, 34, a freelance writer and former editor and teacher. "He’s going to be interested and want to learn things, and is going to be told to sit down and to be quiet. I’m not going to have him tracked and medicated."

 Smart mom.  Ran into this Essence article and thought it was interesting

Still, some experts argue that children are often labeled ADHD when other problems exist. Some even deny that such a "disorder" exists. One study suggested that "agitation syndrome," or environmental stress, not attention deficit, may be affecting adolescent Black boys. Meanwhile, the National Medical Association, a group of doctors of African descent, recently sounded the alarm that the rise in hyperactivity-disorder diagnoses has led to disproportionate numbers of Black children in special education. Blacks make up 12 percent of the population but 28 percent of special-ed students.

I know there’s a label for everything now, but "agitation syndrome"??  How ’bout just calling it environmentally stressful (if you must) to expect boys to sit and sit and sit in a classroom. Snips and snails and puppy dog tails….I had a bit of that myself.   Insert pharmaceutical lobbying and marketing power in the past several years and you’ve got drugs for all.

While many African-Americans believe our kids are misdiagnosed with ADHD, the reality, mental-health practitioners say, is that many Black children lack access to proper screening by adequately trained health professionals. The result: Our children are vilified and criminalized for behavior that, when exhibited by White children, prompts calls for treatment and support. "While their White counterparts are seen as having mental-health needs, Black children are seen as acting up and labeled bad," says Annelle B. Primm, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

If that’s the problem African Americans have,  then be glad, be very glad that "proper screening" isn’t applied for "proper treatment and support ".  I’m afraid none of us (from any ethnicity) are free of this "proper screening" anymore without fighting to be left alone.  (I understand where this author is going with this, I think, but I don’t think Robin Stone understands the implications of scams like TeenScreen maybe?)

Primm says we can’t begin to address the problem until we first overcome our own biases. "We need to shift the discussion from concern over our children being drugged to how our children are being treated," she says. "Let’s be sure our kids get the attention they need and aren’t shunted into the direction of the juvenile justice system, because you know what that means for our community."

 I hope everyone focuses on both problems. Being drugged to sit and be "school ready" and how our children are being treated .