I was interviewed recently by the Harrisburg Homeschooling Examiner. If you’d like to read the interview, you’ll find it here http://www.examiner.com/homeschooling-in-harrisburg/radical-unschooler-of-pennsylvania
A post about how the Universe answers my questions.
So, while I was browsing through various links friends had posted on Facebook, I came across an article (from 2000 written by Jerry Mintz) talking about homeschooling & unschooling cooperatives, learning centers and so on. He mentions a private school that is really a community in Texas where the students & teachers live together. I posted a link to this article to the Facebook crowd with a plea for information about the community in Texas that Jerry mentioned. Currently, no one has said that they know anything about this community.
I posted that on Monday night.
I went grocery shopping on Monday afternoon. While at the co-op, I glanced over and saw the magazine Communities. It was the Spring edition and the focus was on Family & Raising Children in Intentional Communities. I have to admit that I scoffed at the price, but was compelled by the Universe to purchase it.
I finally finished reading it last night and there towards the back, where the ‘Letters’ section was continued, was a short letter from Jerry Mintz (who BTW is the director of AERO, in case you were wondering). Jerry basically asks why it seems that children’s education is usually so low on the list of priorities for intentional communities, something that I’ve wondered myself. I’ve also wondered why many of the communities that do address education for children seem to insist that it either happens outside of the community OR that it happens at the school that the community has established. AND by school, I mean, it usually amounts to a school…not as terrible as most of us have endured, but rarely are they democratic or egalitarian (which is terribly funny when so many communities with this issue ARE democratic or egalitarian! Compulsory education is neither democratic nor egalitarian!) and though they might be freer and looser than a traditional public/private school, they aren’t Free (Free as in Liberty, not Free as in beer) and Unschooling seems to be a foreign concept.
Jerry goes on to say that he doesn’t understand why groups of homeschoolers haven’t gotten together and started intentional communities. Good questions, right? He says he only knows of one of these communities and then (Eureka!) he also mentions Greenbriar School in Texas! This would be the school in the article above that I wanted to know about! Well, they’re website is not very informative, but I suppose that’s why they list contact information!
No, I don’t want to move to Texas and no, I don’t want to enroll my son in a school run by an intentional community, but I DO want to make more of an effort to build a community of fellow Unschooling families up around us. I DO want to find more people who are willing and wanting to start an intentional community with families who are Unschooling or those families needing the extra support of a physical community to make the transition to Unschooling. I DO like the idea of living in a community where everyone is in the same book, if not on the same page, with each other’s philosophy of children and living in Freedom and Harmony with them.
I know White Hawk Ecovillage has a couple Unschooling families, but the aim of the community is not to gather up Unschooling families.
There is the blog that asks the question about an Unschooling community.
On Radical Unschoolers Network, there’s the group that stemmed from the blog and there’s always ‘talk’ by people who want a community on the forums there.
Maybe there are communities out there that for some reason don’t have a huge-ass banner announcing themselves. Well, please, start little. Start here and leave a link to your community that already exists and embraces Life Learning children.
If you are wanting to relocate to a community or have ideas for when/how/where for community, please leave your idea here or a link to your idea here.
And if you happen to be in or around Pittsburgh, PA and have been living under a rock…crawl out, leave a comment and let’s get together!
Peace & Love
If you are coming to this via Facebook, feel free to leave your comment in both places.
So, I just got done reading Heather Burditt’s review of the Radical Unschooling segment of the show on her blog here.
This is the reply I left her and how I felt about the segment in general:
“eh. It was alright. I highly agree that only portraying one radical unschooling family was a poor choice. While I am a fan (maybe that’s not the right word) of the ‘Clan of Parents’, seeing a variety of families, especially at least one with older or grown unschoolers, would have been better. I also didn’t like how the ‘experts’ didn’t have to support their (what seemed like) opinions with any research, statistics or examples. I also didn’t like that the Parents weren’t able to speak back to the experts or that there wasn’t a pro-radical unschooling ‘expert’ to offer counter arguments. In all, I didn’t see it as really balanced…not to mention that the way it was cut up seemed kind of staged and almost like it all happened in one day. An entire hour with equal time from both sides of the argument and at least two more families, might have made began to make a difference.”
Sarah Parent and her family were representing Radical Unschooling and I think they did a fine job, given how the footage was cut and the fact that they really didn’t get to speak to anything that the ‘experts’ said.
Did you watch it? What did you think? Did you write a review (leave me a link)? Were you one of the people mysteriously contacted by Discovery Health prior to the airing?