Thursday, March 22, 2007

parenting philosophy

link of the day For the most part, I agree with the general idea behind TCS (taking children seriously) and unschooling. The way it works is that you work together, with your people (children in this case) to find a solution to any given problem that answers the needs and wants of everyone involved. Instead of one getting their way, leaving the other's needs ignored, it involves figuring out exactly what it is you both want and working together to find a solution that makes everyone happy. It's more work than saying "because I said so!" but it pays off in a big way when control issues are no longer poisoning your life. I basically use this sort of approach with raising and educating my children. When allowed autonomy, children are able to make the right choices. It is those who are not allowed to think for themselves and make their own decisions, those who are accustomed to being told what to do, what to believe, and how to act, who make poor decisions. My problem comes, not with the philosophy itself, but with parents who use this philosophy to excuse neglect. Both of my girls are unschooled, that is, I do not force any sort of curriculum or learning schedule or educational expectations upon them. And it works great! Neither child is behind academically, as compared to other children of the same age in institutionalized learning environments (either at home or in school). Mostly my job is to answer the unending stream of questions, and when more information is requested, to find reference material and educational opportunities that pertain to the interest at hand. Sounds easy? it is. Why can't the easy way out be a good thing sometimes? Especially if everyone is happy with it!

1 comment:

Scott Hughes said...

I think your example of "because I said so!" is important. Unschooling parents are non-lazy, they help their kids learn to make wise choices. Others just lazily order their kids around, leaving them unprepared to take care of themselves in the "real world". Thanks!

You might like the Education Forums about Homeschooling and Unschooling.