Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More Creative Editing from ABC

I found a link to this excellent article, "Nightline Truth" at Alasandra's Homeschool Blog. I don't really watch Nightline very much, but I'm sorry I missed this piece on Radical Unschooling. The wonderful thing about Dayna Martin is that she can take a crazy situation and flip it, finding the good in it. I'm certainly glad the Martin family took the time to make this segment. In spite of Nightline's attempts to make the piece another statement against radical unschooling, you can truly see that these kids are doing well and thriving in their environment.

It's a pity that unbiased journalism has shriveled to the pressure of sensationalism and ratings. It is unfortunate that they had to try to end the piece on a negative, but it was highly expected. We need to constantly remember that these news shows and newspapers do not represent radical unschoolers or homeschoolers. Frankly, they don't even represent mainstream America. They represent the sponsors. That's where their money comes from. Sponsors simply want controversy, fire up the viewers and, as long as you're watching, why don't you go out and pick up some Big Macs and Allegra (or drug of your choice) after you compose your angry emails demanding more government oversight for homeschooling?

I did not start unschooling as soon as I wanted to. I did practice many unschooling principles long before I realized that was what it was. At first, I was opposed to the practice, thinking from the bias of my own traditional education, and then I was afraid to attempt it because of my highly regulated state. But now that I'm fully in the unschooling world, I see how natural it is.

At the end of the Nightline piece there is an interesting exchange and closing:
What happens when the learning becomes more sophisticated and her kids need to be exposed to Shakespeare or Twain or Henry James?

"I think a lot of people might value that more than others. That that is important and it is part of someone's life. I honestly don't remember, yes, although I know their names, I don't remember the details of what I learned in school about the historians," Martin said.

Those are details her children may never even have the chance to forget.

Horrifying! They won't have a chance to forget? I truly believe I have learned more, and learned to enjoy learning, as a result of home educating and unschooling my children. This is much different from the stressful environment I grew up in, full of mind-numbing homework and tests. How very sad that going to school has taught this Nightline reporter that learning ends when you get your cap and gown and there is no chance to further your education after that.

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