Monday, November 12, 2012

brenna mcbroom


Rather than focusing on what you don’t have as a low income unschooling family living in the United States, let’s talk about all the things you do have:
1. Public libraries: they usually have computers with free internet access
2. Public transportation: life is a lot easier if you don’t have to carry your groceries five miles.
3. Free local events: street fairs, author talks, TEDx salons
4. Public parks
5. Access to EBT and Medicaid
6. Low cost after school programs: Odyssey of the Mind, 4H, YMCA sports, and girl scouts come to mind.
7. Thrift stores
8. Unschooling e-mail lists
9. Free weekly newspapers with event listings
10. The national unschooling community
11. The internet

insight via unschooling mom:

Her post is interesting... asking good questions... dancing around an answer.

This is quite telling, and likely the root of so many issues -- from the linked Slate article at the end:

"Fewer than one-half of young children, and only about one-third of low-income kids, are read to daily by an adult."

Somehow, though, we make this giant leap of logic that *all children* should be put in preschool. And then the Slate article (which I've read before) has that whole 'take one for the team' argument running through it, which I greatly dislike. At the end, the author said:

"Despite our conflicting perspectives, I agree with Taylor that school ought to be more engaging, more intellectually challenging, and less obsessed with testing. But government is the only institution with the power and scale to intervene in the massive undertaking of better educating American children, 90 percent of whom currently attend public schools. (And it’s worth remembering that schools provide not just education, but basic child care while parents are at work.) Lefty homeschoolers might be preaching sound social values to their children, but they aren’t practicing them. If progressives want to improve schools, we shouldn’t empty them out. We ought to flood them with our kids, and then debate vociferously what they ought to be doing."

I think the thing that really irks me about this statement is that by putting our kids in the system and then arguing for change, we've let our children's lives transpire in a broken system. The change needs to happen at the state and federal levels. I really feel, through my involvement in the last two years, that the local districts have their hands tied. It is like we have to reinvent the wheel -- make a more attractive wheel.