Archive for December 14th, 2006

Is the Mainstream Press Finally Starting to Understand Unschooling?

December 14, 2006 @ 1:11 pm | Filed under: , ,

This recent article in The Patriot Ledger presents a positive look at unschooling. Even the obligatory balance-it-out quotes from "experts" pose fairly reasonable questions, though I had to laugh at the patronizing remark from the Boston U School of Ed’s dean. (‘‘It probably doesn’t do the children any harm,’’ says he. What a ringing endorsement!)

I quite liked this quote from a parent of unschoolers (and author of a book on unschooling):

"Unschooling is ideal for all children, but not for all parents,’’ said
Kream, of West Bridgewater. ‘‘Unschooling parents need to be
enthusiastic about life and learning themselves, they need to want to
be very actively involved in their children’s lives and they need to be
caring, supportive and respectful parents. They also need to believe
that the desire to learn is intrinsic to human beings.’’

Rue Kream is right on the mark here; this quote speaks to the difference between unschooling and "unparenting," a brush with which unschooling is often erroneously tarred.

Little House Sing-Along

December 14, 2006 @ 12:46 pm | Filed under:

Remember all those great songs Pa Ingalls played on his fiddle? Ever wished you could hear them? A very kind reader just sent me the link to Arkansas Traveler, a program airing on NPR which features songs and stories from Laura’s Little House books.

A Prairie Home Companion‘s regular Riders in the Sky and other
Nashville artists provide musical performances, and actress Cherry
Jones reads selected stories from the books. Hosted by Noah Adams.

Songs Heard In This Show:

  • "F.C.’s Jig" – Mark O’Connor’s Appalachia Waltz Trio
  • "Darling Nelly Gray" – Thomas Hampson (baritone) and Armen Guzelimian (piano)
  • "The Arkansas Traveler" (arr. David Guion) – Eugene Rowley (piano)
  • "Money Musk" – Pa’s Fiddle Band
  • "The Girl I Left Behind Me" – Pat Enright and Pa’s Fiddle Band   
  • "Arkansas Traveler" – Pa’s Fiddle Band
  • "The Irish Washerwoman" – Pa’s Fiddle Band
  • "Old Dan Tucker" – Elizabeth Cook and Pa’s Fiddle Band
  • "Amazing Grace" – Mark O’Connor
  • "Summer" from Harvest Home Suite – Jay Ungar and Molly Mason
  • "The Blue Juniata" – Riders In the Sky
  • "The Gum Tree Canoe" – Buddy Greene and Pa’s Fiddle Band
  • "Uncle Sam’s Farm" – Riders In the Sky
  • "Cold Frosty Morning" – Butch Baldassari and David Schnaufer
  • "The Devil’s Dream" – Butch Baldassari and David Schnaufer
  • "Happy Land" – Peggy Duncan Singers and Pa’s Fiddle Band

I pecked out many of these tunes from  The Little House Songbook several years ago, after which "Bonny Doon" (a song not included in the radio program, alas) became one of my favorite sweeping-and-scrubbing songs. (Right up there with "Loch Lomond," which my poor children have heard me belt out so many times that they probably shudder at the mere phrase "take the high road.") But I never learned "Nelly Gray"—wasn’t that one of Laura’s favorites?— and I hope I can get my computer to cooperate and let me listen to the radio show. Right now it’s being obstreperous.

Thanks so much, Monica, for the heads-up on this!