This is how the Sandias look from our house today.
There's not a dark smudgy cloud in the sky. There's a cloudy smudge on the outside of the window. I need to clean that.
You might click that smaller mountain photo to see what it looked like last August. The bamboo has its seasonal look. The sky is always artsy.
I was on the Alan Colmes show. I was on in the first half hour of the middle of three hours. My "opposition" was Sandy Rios, another radio show host who's head of some conservative organization that seems designed to tell fundamentalist Christians who to vote for and what to think. Luckily, that didn't come up. She knew nothing about unschooling, and wasn't a homeschooler. She let me know her son was as honest with her as my kids were, even though she used to spank him, and that I was lazy to unschool instead of structuring my children's lives. I think she said that disciplining kids was disciplining oneself (or maybe she said structure was structuring... either way, it was just noise).
Her son won't be honest with her if it involves sexuality, homosexuality, or if he starts getting the wrongheaded idea that people should be able to make choices in their lives. If he looks at porn, he won't share that fact with his mom. That doesn't affect my own family in the moment, though.
I wasn't able to say half of the things I had hoped to say, and even though I had short phrases pre-written to try to work in, I was interrupted mercilessly, so I named the webpage twice, figuring maybe those who wished they could hear me could go there later. Alan, the host, also named the site twice, which was good of him to do. It seems I got a few hundred extra hits from that overnight, according to the week's average. I had 1420 site views yesterday, and this week has been a thousand-a-day week, give or take.
For people who don't know me but heard the program, if you find this post please consider reading here: sandradodd.com/unschool/gettingit
This is a collection of those "aha!" moments when someone struggling to understand unschooling finally got it. It never happens in a half hour of radio listening, nor even in an hour of reading. It does take a while, and that's a point I was trying to make last night. It's simple to condemn the total misunderstanding of it. It's not easy to breathe out and take in the tip of the iceberg of the reality of it.
I had hoped to say something my husband, Keith, wanted conveyed: "We wanted our children to become thoughtful intelligent, undamaged adults." I never got to say it but I can say it here. I'll add it to my quotes generator. I love that quotes generator. It's here
Although I rarely write or talk about school, it seemed all the questions last night were about school. "Cookie cutter students" or some such phrase was used, but school doesn't use any kind of template but the overall sorting (literally "grading") of students into gifted, honors, average, special needs, lazy/trouble, failure (and many subdivisions). School creates failures. They know in advance they will, and they must. Then they blame the kids for falling into the category and reality the school itself created and requires. An A average means nothing unless some corresponding number of kids have failed. I'm serious as a heart attack about this, but it must be a topic for another radio show.
I didn't ask to be on that show. I was contacted by a producer who had seen an article. I wasn't proselytizing. I was minding my own business at home. But by being willing to go on there, some people will know unschooling exists and that's fine. If they come and want help to get it, my website, this blog, the connected blogs, Joyce's website, the other authors whose pages I've made... all those people and resources are at their disposal.
A couple of friends of mine wrote to me concerned that the host was too rough on Roger, the first caller. I thought so too, and had planned to defend him with my next utterance, but I was thanked and dismissed at that point. I had hoped to leave Roger a message here, but he e-mailed me, so we've had an exchange about it and I felt better. There were two supportive calls and one fairly negative (but not totally negative). The next hour was about another topic altogether, so it was brief and a little rough, but will probably be positive for lots of people in the long run.
While I was on the phone, Marty and Holly were listening to the show on the computer, with headphones (sharing a set of ear buds). When the first set of commercials came on, Marty advised me to chill—he said I was being defensive. He and Holly coached me and said I was smarter so I had the responsibility to be nicer.
A sixteen year old girl and
year old boy with the freedom to have been watching movies, playing video games, eating ice cream (to use a repeated example from the show), or to have gotten in the car and left the house were sitting listening to their mom on the radio, and counseling patience and courtesy.