Brilliant! With all that I've read about education, I really didn't expect to get much new out of this. I was just tired of seeing his name come up wiBrilliant! With all that I've read about education, I really didn't expect to get much new out of this. I was just tired of seeing his name come up without having actually read one of his books. JTG is a retired, 30-year, award-winning school teacher. His critical analysis of compulsory education and its impact is shockingly direct and harsh. But so good. Every parent needs to read this book before putting their kids in school (or after if they're already there). ...more
It's not the "how to" I thought it would be, given the title, but it is a short and lovely collection of explanations of why people choose to unschoolIt's not the "how to" I thought it would be, given the title, but it is a short and lovely collection of explanations of why people choose to unschool. ...more
I wanted to love this book and it pains me to give it a low rating, but I really gained little from reading it and even my deep love of the philosophyI wanted to love this book and it pains me to give it a low rating, but I really gained little from reading it and even my deep love of the philosophy couldn't make me love it more. Dayna Martin is a well-known voice in the unschooling world, i follow her on Facebook, and generally enjoy her perspective, she has optimism and passion to spare, but this book offers little more than a lengthy dose of her optimism, which she thinks you can catch just by knowing about it. I say lengthy because no one needs to hear about joy and authenticity at a superficial level for that long. In all actuality, the book is super short. However, it doesn't offer much insight into what unschooling really is or looks like, what radical unschooling is or how to do it, or anything else of much practical use. There's next to no information in this book at all.
She fails to give any compelling arguments for any of the claims she makes. And I continue to be lost as to why so many unschoolers are closed to the science on how media and commercialism negatively impact children. It's not only because of the limits parents generally set. Would she be this willing to let her kids self-regulate with drugs? Hard-core drugs? Even at age 5? And I can't accept that giving my kids everything sponge bob related is the same as giving them everything geology-related.
And I'm caught on the idea of giving them everything anyway. Dayna doesn't strike me as rich or someone with a spending problem, but you wouldn't know that from her book. Our family is working hard to live within our means, pay down debt, and save for retirement. We don't use credit cards except for emergencies. We're not hurting for money, but we can't be frivolous either. So how on earth are we supposed to be able to buy kayaks on a whim or buy every book and all paraphernalia related to our kids' passion du jour? Plus. I'm trying to learn to live more simply myself! I don't like the idea of giving my kids every single thing they want.
Being at least 90% convinced of the educational philosophy already, I was more in this book for the parenting advice than the educational stuff, so I wasn't too upset that the educational stuff was almost non-existent here. Still, something about the nuts and bolts of it would have been nice, or at least made the book more complete. But even though this book was more about the parenting, it had nothing about how to actually *do* it. I'm glad I read Parent Effectiveness Training recently. So much better on the parenting how to. It's not radical unschooling, but it does advocate respectful parenting, removal of power from parent-child interactions, and collaborative win-win problem solving. It's the best how-to there is. Still, I wish this would have shown me more of how to go the extra step to RU, or why I should. I still have Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling to try. Maybe I'll give that a peek.
I do find it strange that a woman who does parenting coaching as one of her many careers puts no coaching in her book. Makes me think twice about hiring her. ...more