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.
I guess it’s never too early to teach kids how to use a Visa card. At least, that’s what Parker Brothers thinks: the game manufacturer is apparently going to phase out the "old-fashioned" (humph) version of Monopoly, replacing those lovely colored bills with a Visa card and—I kid you not—a toy scanner. Because, you know, we wouldn’t want our younguns to tax their poor widdle brains trying to make change. Oh wait. We DO want that. That’s right, for a second there I forgot the key role Monopoly money has played in my children’s arithmetic education. I guess the children of tomorrow will have to rely on computer implants to calculate the interest owed on the credit cards they’ve learned how to play with (so to speak) before they lost their baby teeth.
Not that this news makes me grumpy or anything.
(HT: Chris O’Donnell)
Welcome to the 73rd Carnival of Education! Here at the Lilting House, we are honored to be a part of this grand tradition of idea-sharing. Eleven-year-old Jane has helped me assemble this week’s carnival by supplying quotes about teachers and education.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
—William Arthur Ward
The Portable Princess writes about helping a student surpass his own expectations.
ChemJerk discusses what makes a great science teacher; Blog Around the Clock has his own thoughts on the subject.
NYC Educator believes that nothing short of good teachers and smaller classes makes good schools.
Meanwhile, A History Teacher is wondering what makes a good knowledge management system.
Tamara shares her rewarding experience at a teachers’ retreat. Can’t make it to a retreat? Tim Frederick is building a virtual teacher’s lounge.
Education Matters explores the hidden cost of tenure.
Ed at AFT ponders Pulitzers and pupil-teacher ratios.
“Mr. Brooke, my tutor, doesn’t stay here, you know.”
—from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
A Cranky Taxpayer in Virginia is none too thrilled with the governor’s wife’s statements about Richmond public schools.
At Farm School, Becky reads a recent New York Times article about a new “Gilded Age of Home Schooling” and agrees with F. Scott Fitzgerald that the rich are different.
Mamacita thinks libraries are different, too: different from the library of her childhood, that is.
“Take chances, make mistakes!”
Casting Out Nines shares a tale of lessons learned in a museum store. The lesson? Educational toys and games make learning fun!
That’s a topic homeschoolers love to talk about, as Sprittibee demonstrates in her sizable collection of links for a unit study on seasons, while Trivium Pursuit’s Laurie Bluedorn shares a link to a fun Classical Astronomy site.
“We sure never started school throwing books out before. We didn’t know what to think.”
—from The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill
Over at Edspresso, Ryan Boots explores how an army of innovative Davids are taking on the giants of the curriculum publishing world. We’re doing a lot of talking about curriculum here at the Lilting House, too, in an ongoing series.
You’re never too young to begin learning, as Trinity Prep School’s Maureen discovers when investigating the connection between infant bubble-blowing and language development.
But that doesn’t mean babies would be better off in school. Matt Johnston contributes his two cents on the universal preschool issue.
Government involvement in education is always a hot topic. Scholar’s Notebook thinks government solutions are not the answer to Minnesota’s education problems. Meanwhile, Spunky is keeping an eye on a touchy situation in Belgium and This Week in Education is keeping an eye on the globe-trottings of U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.
The EducationWonks weigh in on the rise of charter schools.
“Latin, Greek, and mathematics were all very well, but in Professor Bhaer’s opinion, self-knowledge, self-help, and self-control were more important, and he tried to teach them carefully. People shook their heads sometimes at his ideas, even while they owned that the boys improved wonderfully in manners and morals. But then, as Mrs. Jo said to Nat, it was an ‘odd school’.”
—from Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
At Aridni, Todd thinks there’s a time for breaking the rules. When it comes to students’ bathroom breaks, Learn Me Good thinks the rules definitely need re-evaluating.
Speaking of evaluating, Dana Huff sees a need to evaluate how well faith-based schools are preparing kids for college. Anonymous Educator looks at how universities are evaluating student service records.
MBAXploits asks, To MBA or not to MBA?
“To teach is to learn twice.”
There’s always something to learn at A Shrewdness of Apes, where this week Ms. Cornelius is following the issue of equal opportunity for boys in cheerleading.
Paul is interested in some scientific proof that we all need love.
Suffering from information overload after all that? Karen Edmisten has some thoughts about decluttering your brain.
Be sure to declutter your own brain in time for next week’s Carnival of Education, which will be hosted by NYC Educator. Submit your posts to nyceducator (at) gmail (dot) com by 6 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday the 4th of July.
Thanks to all who contributed to this week’s carnival, and many thanks to EdWonk for the opportunity to host!
Visit past Education Carnivals at the archive. This carnival is registered at TTLB’s Uber Carnival.
(And don’t forget to visit this week’s Carnival of Homeschooling at The Homeschool Cafe.)
Last week the education blogs were abuzz over the suspension of a Pennsylvania sixth-grader for sharing Jolt caffeinated gum with a classmate. Administrators ruled that the gum violated the school’s drug policy, which forbids over-the-counter caffeine stimulants such as NoDoz, and 12-year-old Courtney Rupert was suspended for three days.
A three-day suspension seems rather excessive to me, but I’m all for holding a kid accountable for her actions. Jolt’s main selling point is its extra caffeine. The manufacturers of the gum, however, think Courtney got a raw deal: the company has announced that it is awarding her a thousand-dollar scholarship.
“Basically we’re going to try to reverse the karma of the universe. She got a bad deal. We decided to give her a good deal,” company co-founder Kevin Gass said Friday at a news conference to announce the “Chew More Do More” scholarships.
Of the 10 $1,000 scholarships to be awarded annually, Gass said one will be named for Courtney and will go to “someone unfairly victimized.”
Guess that’ll teach young Courtney a lesson!
HT: Chris O’Donnell.
UPDATED to add: Semicolon’s List of 100 Things to Do This Summer. Not only has she come up with a terrific list, she includes links. It’s both supercalifraglistic and semicolonic.
George Mason University is going to waive the SAT requirement for some applicants—but not homeschoolers. Spunky is covering this and other testing issues.
Farm School’s Becky blogs about fun grammar books.
My hubby’s broken toe didn’t slow down the 4th Carnival of Children’s Literature!
This week’s Carnival of Homeschooling at Principled Discovery sparked a good discussion at BlogHer.
The nation’s education report card is out. Elementary school science scores are up; high school scores are down. The Education Wonks have the story.
Oz and Ends has some paper-saving advice for the publishers of Harry Potter—and some tips on avoiding those pesky pronoun problems as well. (HT: Fuse#8 Productions.)
Karen Edmisten keeps things in perspective.
My pal Mrs. Child gets Mary Ellen thinking about kids doing work.
Willa of Every Waking Hour gathers some posts about classical unschooling.
And hello! Square watermelons! (HT: Boing Boing.)