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No School For My Kids: Radical Unschooling Methods

This video gave me food for thought. It gave me the opportunity to see the subject under a different light.
Many years ago I had read this fascinating book called “The children on the hill” (see photo bellow)
which treated the same subject with an extraordinarily gifted family, each one of them systematically coming out to be a genius in his own activity. I recommend it to anyone looking for an unusual well written-real-life-story.

Bringing out the best in our children doesn’t always necessarily mean they have to follow the main stream educative system.
Those are the words coming out from a strong believer in regular schooling!

I had said I was not going to post until after the holidays but this called for an exception πŸ™‚


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Published on Dec 9, 2013
No School For My Kids: Radical Unschooling Methods


YOU’VE heard of home schooling, now meet the mum who calls herself a ‘radical unschooler.’ Maryanne Jacobs, from Gorebridge, Scotland, is part of a new wave of women who don’t send their kids to school — and don’t teach them at home either. The 32-year-old says her daughter, Rio, nine, and son, Bryden, eight, learn ‘naturally’ on their own by playing computer games like Minecraft and through life experiences — like baking and shopping and being outdoors. Maryanne says Bryden, a numbers whizz, picked up numbers on his own through a Pokemon card game. And her daughter’s love of words came from board games like Monopoly and Scrabble.

Videographer / Director: Lenny Warren
Producer: Hannah Mouland
Editor: Ian Phillips

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About oawritingspoemspaintings

A lover of poetry, abstract and realistic painting, music, good writing, languages, Italy, photography, holistic therapies, natural lifestyle and fully living the moment.

56 responses »

  1. Hmm. Who taught them the alphabet and their letters? Surely not a video game…

  2. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that homeschooling is a viable and realistic alternative. Especially in the early years. Education becomes more complex in the later years i.e. Physics, Calculus, Mathematics, Chemistry etc. I think that you would appreciate this quote by Sir Ken Robinson:

    β€œThe fact is that given the challenges we face, education doesn’t need to be reformed — it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.” Ken Robinson, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

  3. Home Schooling is something that I think could work with the right parenting… Not all would be encouraged as this Mum is in developing their Children’s skills of reading and numerousy
    But to be honest with you many of the History lessons I did at school served to do nothing for my adult life or algebra which I never did get..

    How ever I went to an ALL girls school and coming from a small village back in the 60’s when I was at school we did home-crafts and for a period of 6 weeks in our last term when I was 15 at school our school sent us to a cottage, where by a group of 6 of us would run the cottage as a home, cooking meals, budgeting, buying meats, veg, bringing washing in from home, baking, cleaning, shopping… We would invite different teachers in every day for a 3 course cooked meal we had prepared… each day we would be in charge of doing something different..

    We also learnt how to sew and what cuts of meat were best and the skills of home-making… Today these skills are being lost.. So it all depends upon what our expectations are… I think if we give our children the basis to learn and keep them interested, like we do our Granddaughter.

    At the age of 3 she can read short words, write her name, count well past 20, she knows all her alphabet and phonics.. and is starting to read short sentences with simple words…. And she hasnt even started pre-school until January…

    I think we need to start and think outside the boxes as this lady has done.. it works for them,, I dont know if it would work for everyone as some are not interested in their children’s education, as they believe its some one else’s job..

    Thank you for this post I have saved the video as I know a friend would like to see it..

    Enjoy your week and Yuletide Blessings
    Sue xox

    • your comment is very refreshing as to rethinking our education system, your granddaughter is the perfect example of investing and succeeding…
      On the other hand it is time consuming and not everyone has it, the pace of life and financial standards demands most of the time two parents to hold a job.
      Maybe it’s time to reevaluate our whole way of living not only education.
      I see on You tube some who have made it a priority to grow their families among nature which seems to me ideal but again not everyone is given the opportunity to realize it.
      The times you are talking about is probably a culture shock to the ears of the new generation but it seems as if you had a load of fun πŸ™‚
      I am all for education & career opportunities but I feel the downfall of the schooling system as bullying etc… is a too high price for our kids to pay.
      I even heard from an educator that the future will be online self-schooling but that sounds very isolating & mechanical not the same as the dedicated-loving-parent-home-schooling.
      Thanks for the feedback & happy holidays to you too!

      • Happy Holidays too… I think we really Do need to re-evaluate..As a working parent all my life since my youngest was 3.. I know only too well the time and often the guilt of being at work and then trying juggle homelife, preparing meals, cooking, freezing meals at the weekend so we could have a cooked meal each night.. was hard…
        We often say we work so that our children can have the best.. and yet often I know through working I neglected the time for my children… I guess I am making up with my Grandchild.. But if I would have my time over.. I maybe would choose a different path.. One less Materialistic of thinking I needed to give them what I never had.. to giving them the Time to develop at their own pace. Its hard to say which way is the right way.. But it needs some thought as schools become places where I know my own children were bullied…

        Love Back with special Blessings xxx

      • Yes, yes & yes again! we all think in our younger age materialistic things we missed will be compensated on our children but in my experience did not play in their favor…
        The youngest’s of the family were less spoiled & had it easier which is a relative word as it’s never easy to grow and find one’s position in life πŸ˜‰
        We have kids in our physically powerful years which makes sense but use our wisdom to make it up to their children which is all in nature’s cycle.
        It is a huge privilege which I’m aware of in my older age πŸ™‚
        Kids are systematically being bullied and it’s not related to look,differences, just plain free aggressivity & verbal abuse. It’ll continue until parents make a point at home on what is & what is not acceptable as a behavior.
        I used to be a pacifist with my first ones concerning bullying but having experienced a total lack of cooperation from school staff I taught them to plainly defend themselves… it’s sad to say it’s a jungle & we have to teach our kids to familiarize with its laws in order to try & come out with the least scars possible.

      • Yes its a harder world they walk in for sure to my days in school time.. They did a sort of reality show here in the UK with camera’s in a High School, and the language these children spoke and behaviours to their teachers was terrible, Discipline is lacking and respect..

        The lines are now very thin as children grow up with attitude and lacking respect of elders and their own age bracket…. The environment, and the technological games they are playing also it seems expose and brings out violent instincts, All not good…
        But at the same time if you are being bullied and appear weak, you then become a greater target,,, I know I would not envy being a child in school today thats for sure..
        I wish your own children well in their journey
        Hugs Sue

      • Thanks for this clear sum-up of today’s schooling.
        “…But at the same time if you are being bullied and appear weak, you then become a greater target,,,”
        That is precisely why I changed my advice to the younger ones.
        Thanks for this feedback πŸ™‚

      • I’ve nominated you for the WordPress family award.
        If you choose to accept here’s the link
        My very best wishes for a perfect year 2014.

    • My Mum taught me and the two youngest (of nine) to read and do numbers and more, well before school. I was reading before I was four and reading real books by the time I went to school. The real-life education you received at the cottage is much what I had at home, learning from my Mum. Invaluable. Thanks for sharing your story. I love what you are doing with your granddaughter, too. ~ Linne

      • Hi Linne, thank you, Yes Being the eldest of 5 siblings growing up, a lot was left upon me at times to look after the little ones.. I was always called the ‘Little Mother’ even though I was only 12.. πŸ™‚
        My parents didn’t teach me reading or writing skills, but I knew how to cook, saw how a rabbit was gutted lol and could make a fire from scratch πŸ™‚ My Gran taught me to Knit. something I hope to pass onto my Granddaughter, as my daughter wasn’t interested..
        I absorbed school in reading as I had a great secondary English teacher ( from age 11 )who saw I loved books…
        I think today’s education systems are not addressing ‘Life Skills’ needed… and in my day at school we did mental arithmetic, we had no such things as calculator’s, even some shop assistants do not know what change to give you back unless they look at their screens today…

        Thank you for taking the time comment upon my comment πŸ™‚ lovely to meet you

  4. Part of the problem in modern schools is the ratio between adults and children. Look at any village or tribe from the older days; far more adults to each child. Also community standards were the same for all in the village or tribe. We have lost so much by going to our current system of behaving as if the world is only a factory, with consumers and producers, no people.

    I home-schooled before it was very developed, so used the correspondence system available in BC for kids who lived remotely or couldn’t get to a school, or other reasons. But I was never happy with it and in the end my boys quit formal studying well before finishing high school. Both went into alternative sports, working as prep cooks in the evenings to support themselves. Today the youngest is head of the promotions department for a large snowboard/skateboard clothes and accessories company. He also is an amazing photographer and sells his work to many skateboard magazines and makes videos, too.

    The elder son has his own company painting houses and other buildings. He has five kids of his own. The eldest is in the school system; as an extreme introvert, she needs the sort of attention her mother can’t give her. The elder son suffered brain damage when nearly three, so has special teachers who come to the home two or three times a week, sometimes working there, sometimes out in the community so he develops social skills. The next boy and girl are home-schooled, more like unschooling, and they and their mother go to a home-schoolers’ group every week, with a wide variety of activities so the kids are socialized and the mums have a chance to learn from each other. The youngest girl is too small for formal teaching, but is learning alongside her siblings.

    It’s quite possible to make a good life, and a living, outside of the ‘factory’ model. In fact, until quite recently, most people did just that. Even my grandparents, who farmed and raised families, had no formal training for it; they learned their skills at home. My Dad had to drop out of school around grade 5 or so to help support his family. He went on to work in shipyards until he was old enough to join up to fight in WWII; in the shipyards he learned welding, which he worked at much of his adult life. He also was a logger and could make or fix anything, thanks to learning at home.

    I find that the majority of kids who go through our schools cannot read, write, spell; they know no poetry or literature, nevermind art; they cannot make or fix anything and have no survival skills at all. It’s a bit scary when I say that my mother is a weaver (and I do a bit myself) and they have no idea of how the clothes they wear come to exist. We won’t even speak of food . . . whether raising it, preserving it or preparing it . . .

    So I’m all for unschooling. Teach a child to read and to love books; expose them to adults who have mastered a variety of arts and crafts; they will naturally want to learn and master things for themselves.

    I went through the school system myself, which did not prepare me for leaving home and going to university. I was subject to shunning and bullying, in milder forms than nowadays, but I was very sensitive and it was painful for me. I did love learning, but most of what I know did not come from schools; it came from my parents and from my own quest for knowledge.

    Thanks for another great post. I love it!! ~ Linne

  5. When my daughter was considering homeschooling her children, she asked what I thought. I began teaching English Language Arts in a public middle school in 2004. I told her – and I believe this – that every education system has pluses and minuses even within the same school setting. It is what you make of it. She has been homeschooling her children since they began school. They are now 10 and 12 and thriving. That’s a wonderful thing. Of course, I believe they would have done well in a public school because they have supportive parents who value an education. They also are curious and well read. Elements that I think will take them far.

    • Thanks for your input! There are pluses and minuses definitely… the one I can think of at this moment is that through the hurt of being bullied my kids got stronger in order to face the harsh realities of life which is just as important but do I want this or rather bring out their qualities to work with every day of their lives & make a living out of it?
      Parents encouragement & devotion in the education of their children is a must for a happy upbringing & you see the living proof with your daughter’s parenting, it’s a all winner wherever they are to be educated… we’d probably have happier regular schools had it been so in every household.
      Thanks for sharing your experience with the rest of us πŸ™‚

  6. Great Read β™‘ I would love to read this book. Thank you. I love The freedom & choice we have as a family to share in our passions together :). Our life is far more Exciting than the media choose to share. Our children are thriving out of school, loving life & learning what real life is all about, with parents that trust them to learn, like they did to walk & Talk. I am so happy to have been given the opportunity to share this message to many familes so they too can know of the options out there.

    My daughter and I had a very positive experience sharing this message on live tv last week β™‘ We are very active in a large community of home educators in Edinburgh Scotland living life in the slow lane πŸ˜‰ creating a life most people dream of without fear β™‘ ps..Brenda they learnt their alphabet πŸ˜‰ because they are curious..and we are living in a world full of words β™‘ a day without learning can’t happen x

    Was lovely dropping by and I hope to find time to read more of your posts β™‘ have a lovely christmas. love & kind regards Maryanne x

    • This is so very kind of you to testify by writing what we’ve seen on the video & answer to one of my viewers who had a question about your children’s writing & reading skills.
      It is nice to hear you are a large group of home-schooling parents.
      I never knew they were so many, you are lucky the law allows that by you, some countries do not which doesn’t leave much choice to the parents.
      Thanks for dropping by & welcome to my blog. I’m glad you enjoyed the post πŸ™‚
      Best wishes for the year coming!

  7. Pingback: Teachers TV- The Montessori Method | oawritingspoemspaintings

  8. Fascinating. My best memories are being taught at home by Mum in the early days, before I began school at 6 years old. Lots of good stuff to be said for home schooling. The way I see it, the best formal school has to offer is the benefit of socialising and, I suppose, exposing kids to other influences. But it’s hard to beat the personalised attention one would get at home.

    Anyway, I came by to wish you a happy Christmas and all the best for 2014!


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