"The basic right of all human beings is the right to choose what to learn and think." ~John Holt

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wonderful Unschooling Quotes

"I recognize June by the flowers, now. I used to know it by review tests, and restlessness." -Lisa Asher, unschooled teen
"We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
"My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself." -George Bernard Shaw
"There is, on the whole, nothing on earth intended for innocent people so horrible as a school." -George Bernard Shaw
"The only thing I didn't do in school was learn." -unschooler Jason Lescalleet
"The Indian schools were like jails and run along military lines, with roll call four times a day...The schools are better now than they were in my time. They look good on the outside. More modern and expensive. The teachers understand the kids a little better, use more psychology and less stick. But in these fine new buildings Indian children still commit suicide, because they are lonely among all that noise and activity. I know of a ten-year-old girl who hanged herself...When we enter the school we at least know that we are Indians. We come out half red and half white, not knowing what we are." -Lame Deer, Lakota Medicine Man
"I am always ready to learn, but I do not always like being taught." -Winston Churchill
"I was happy as a child with my toys in my nursery. I been happier every year since I became a man. But this interlude of school makes a somber grey patch upon the chart of my journey. It was a unending spell of worries that did not then seem petty, and of toil uncheered by fruition; a time of discomfort, restriction and purposeless monotony." -Winston Churchill
"How I hated this school, and what a life of anxiety I lived there for more than two years. I counted the days and the hours to the end of every term, when I should return home from this hateful servitude." -Winston Churchill
"Youth is the time to go flashing from one end of the world to the other in both mind and body; to try the manners of different nations; to hear the chimes at midnight; to see sunrise in town and country; to be converted at a revival; to circumnavigate the metaphysics, write halting verses, run a mile to see a fire, and wait all day in the theatre to applaud 'Hernani'." -Robert Louis Stevenson
"School-days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence. They are full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordinances, brutal violations of common sense amd common decency. It doesn't take a reasonably bright boy long to discover that most of what is rammed into him is nonsense, and that no one really cares very much whether he learns it or not." -H. L. Mencken
"Schooling, instead of encouraging the asking of questions, too often discourages it." -Madeleine L'Engle
"The schools ain't what they used to be and never was." -Will Rogers
"Education with inert ideas is not only useless, it is above all things harmful." -A. N. Whitehead
"A child educated only at school is an uneducated child." -George Santayana
"Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance that accumulates in the form of inert facts." -Henry Adams
"The founding fathers in their wisdom decided that children were an unnatural strain on parents. So they provided jails called schools, equipped with tortures called education. School is where you go between when your parents can't take you and industry can't take you." -John Updike
"We're drowning in information and starving for knowledge." -Rutherford Rogers
"Every day I went to school was a constant attack on my self-worth. I learned not to believe in myself. It was a bombardment from all directions; the teachers were saying how bad I was doing in their classes, my family was ashamed of my grades, and the students were attacking me about everything under the sun! I was like a plant trying to grow in darkness--it doesn't. It all left me afraid to dream my dreams-afraid to be my true self! Who wants to show their true self if they're just going to get a rock hurled at it?! The real question is: how do we undo the damage done? We have to take time to dream again, not other peoples', but our own precious dreams that mean everything to us. Our dreams are our life maps." -unschooler Jenny Smith
"Before children go to school in the first place, all of their natural learning systems are intact. This is what we can see from families who have homeschooled their kids from the very beginning. However, once children are in school for about three years, they are forced to shift over to a very unnatural system to survive the emphasis on memorization and the daily stress, rigidity, and humiliation of classroom life." -Judy Garvey in GWS #76
"But, good gracious, you've got to educate him first. You can't expect a boy to be vicious till he's been to a good school." -Saki (H.H. Munro)
"You cannot teach a person anything; you can only help him find it within himself." -Galileo
"I do not believe much in education. Each man ought to be his own model, however frightful that may be." -Albert Einstein
"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." -Albert Einstein
"It is... nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreak and ruin. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty." -Albert Einstein
"When was the last time you saw a tombstone with SAT scores inscribed on it?" -Edward B. Fiske
"The child who attends public school typically spends approximately 1,100 hours a year there, but only twenty percent of these -- 220 -- are spent, as the educators say, 'on task'. Nearly 900 hours, or eighty percent, are squandered on what are essentially organizational matters." -Homeschooling For Excellence
"Most people, most of the time, learn most of what they know about science and technology outside of school." -National Science Foundation
"My grandmother wanted me to have an education, so she kept me out of school." -Margaret Mead
"I hate, loathe and despise schools....School is bad for you if you have any talent. You should be cultivating that talent in your own particular way." -Maurice Sendak (author of "Where the Wild Things Are")
"Each day was a severe test for me, sitting in a dreadful classroom while the sun and fog played outside. Most of the information received meant absolutely nothing to me. For example, I was chastised for not being able to remember what states border Nebraska and what are the states of the Gulf Coast. It was simply a matter of memorizing the names, nothing about the process of memorizing or any reason to memorize. Education without either meaning or excitement is impossible. I longed for the outdoors, leaving only a small part of my conscious self to pay attention to schoolwork.
"One day as I sat fidgeting in class the whole situation suddenly appeared very ridiculous to me. I burst into raucous peals of uncontrolled laughter, I could not stop. The class was first amused, then scared. I stood up, pointed at the teacher, and shrieked my scorn, hardly taking breath in between my howling paroxysms." -Ansel Adams (who dropped out of school at age twelve and began taking photographs)

"Oh, yes, I went to the white man's schools. I learned to read from schoolbooks, newspapers, and the Bible. But in time I found that these were not enough. Civilized people depend too much on man-made pages. I turn to the Great Spirit's book which is the whole of his creation. You can read a big part of that book if you study nature. You know, if you take all your books, lay them out under the sun, and let the snow and rain and insects work on them for a while, there will be nothing left. But the Great Spirit had provided you and me with an opportunity for study in nature's university, the forest, the rivers, the mountains, and the animals, which include us." -Tatanga Mani, Stoney Indian
A letter from Native Americans to settlers, dated 1774:
We know that you highly esteem the kind of learning taught in those colleges, and that the Maintenance of our young Men, while with you, would be very expensive to you. We are convinced, therefore, that you mean to do us Good by your Proposal; and we thank you heartily. But you, who are wise, must know that different Nations have different Conceptions of things; and you will therefore not take it amiss if our Ideas of this kind of Education happen to not be the same with yours. We have had some Experience of it. Several of our young People were formerly brought up at the Colleges of the Northern Provinces; they were instructed in all your Sciences, but, when they came back to us, they were bad Runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods, ...neither fit for Hunters, Warriors, nor Councellors, they were totally good for nothing. We are, however, not the less oblig'd by your kind Offer, tho' we decline accepting it; and, to show our grateful sense of it, if the Gentlemen of Virginia will send us a Dozen of their Sons, we will take Care of their Education, instruct them in all we know, and make Men out of them.

"I loathed every day and regret every day I spent in school. I like to be taught to read and write and add and then be left alone." -Woody Allen
"As far as I have seen, at school...they aimed at blotting out one's individuality." -Franz Kafka
"I was undisciplined by birth, never would I bend, even in my tender youth, to a rule. It was at home I learned the little I know. Schools always appeared to me like a prison, and never could I make up my mind to stay there, not even for four hours a day, when the sunshine was inviting, the sea smooth, and when it was joy to run about the cliffs in the free air, or to paddle in the water." -Claude Monet
"It is absurd and anti-life to be a part of a system that compels you to listen to a stranger reading poetry when you want to learn to construct buildings, or to sit with a stranger discussing the construction of buildings when you want to read poetry." -John Taylor Gatto
"The truth is that schools don't really teach anything except how to obey orders." -John Taylor Gatto
"Public school--where the human mind is drilled and manipulated into submission to various social and moral spooks, and thus fitted to continue our system of exploitation and oppression." -Emma Goldman
"There can be no education without leisure; and without leisure, education is worthless." -Sarah Josepha Hale
"I was asked to memorise what I did not understand; and, my memory being so good, it refused to be insulted in that manner." -Aleister Crowley
"Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training." -Anna Freud
"If the student fails to learn, the teacher fails to teach." -unknown
"Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught." -Oscar Wilde
"How is it that little children are so intelligent while men are so stupid? It must be education that does it." -Alexandre Dumas, fils
"Knowledge has outstripped character development, and the young today are given an education rather than an upbringing." -Ilya Ehrenburg
"Our schools have become vast factories for the manufacture of robots. We no longer send our young to them primarily to be taught and given the tools of thought, no longer primarily to be informed and acquire knowledge; but to be 'socialized.'" -Robert Lindner
"Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind." -Plato
"Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned." -Mark Twain
"It is easier for a teacher to command than to teach." -John Locke
"An educator never says what he himself thinks, but only that which he thinks it is good for those whom he is educating to hear." -Nietzsche
"The things we know best are the things we haven't been taught." -Vauvenargues
"The teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron." -Horace Mann
"Why have kids just to get rid of them? I'm opposed to the whole nonsense." -Gomez Addams, on the original "Addams Family" show.
"Education is a private matter between the person and the world of knowledge and experience, and has little to do with school or college." -Lillian Smith
"I can't give you a brain, but I can give you a diploma." -L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz
"Love goes towards love as schoolboys from their books; Love from love, toward school with heavy looks." -Romeo, Romeo and Juliet, 2:2:156
"School is like a lollipop. It sucks until it is gone." -Ashley Salvati
"How could youth better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?" -Henry D. Thoreau
"The more I think about it the more I think high school is seriously warped." -J.S. Feliciano, Pump up the Volume
"When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder I can think at all." -Paul Simon
"Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is." -Isaac Asimov
"In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it...and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself." -Grace Llewellyn
"It is because modern education is so seldom inspired by a great hope that it so seldom achieves great results. The wish to preserve the past rather than the hope of creating the future dominates the minds of those who control the teaching of the young." -Bertrand Russell
"We don't need no education. We don't need no thought control. Hey teacher, leave the kids alone." -Pink Floyd
"N is for Neville, who died of ennui." -Edward Gorey, Gashlycrumb Tinies
"Children do not need to be made to learn about the world, or shown how. They want to, and they know how." -John Holt

Friday, August 13, 2010

Remedy for nasty childhood warts....

Okay, I know, gross. But, I 'm reading the book, Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert and I am at a part where she visits a natural healer who cures an infection she has on her knee with leaves. So, I jump up, run to my laptop and log in thinking, I've got to share, I need to share something seriously important with my friends and parents of children, quickly, before I forget!

When Autumn was younger, she was always getting warts. Planters on the bottom of her feet, on her legs, arms, and fingers. We would have them burned off, cut off by her physician, only to have them grow back, or leave a nasty scar. She actually has a very annoying scar on her left hand, where her someday wedding band will go, and it is a huge personal issue with her.

Anyway, to make it simple, Autumn decided last year when she was aggravating over a few more warts that had come up on her fingers and arms, she was going to try something homeopathic. She researched and came up with an amazing inexpensive alternative to more burnings and cutting marks left by the docs.

Apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball  taped over the wart and removed daily for three weeks...Yes!  It only took three days and all her warts not only disappeared, but they have never returned!

Needed to share, it was bugging me and I couldn't fall asleep. I know, I need help!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Adolescent Squeeze


The Adolescent Squeeze

Before 1850, laws restricting the behavior of teens were few and far between. Compulsory education laws evolved in tandem with laws restricting labor by young people. Beginning in 1960, the number of laws infantilizing adolescents accelerated dramatically. You may have had a paper route when you were 12, but your children can't.


  • 1641 Massachusetts law prohibits people under 16 from "smiting" their parents


  • 1836 Massachusetts passes first law requiring minimal schooling for people under 15 working in factories
  • 1848 Pennsylvania sets 12 as minimum work age for some jobs
  • 1852 Massachusetts passes first universal compulsory education law in U.S., requires three months of schooling for all young people ages 8-14
  • 1880s Some states pass laws restricting various behaviors by young people: smoking, singing on the streets, prostitution, "incorrigible" behavior
  • 1881 American Federation of Labor calls on states to ban people under 14 from working
  • 1898 World's first juvenile court established in Illinois—constitutional rights of minors effectively taken away


  • 1903 Illinois requires school attendance and restricts youth labor
  • 1918 All states have compulsory education laws in place
  • 1933 First federal law restricting drinking by young people
  • 1936 & 1938 First successful federal laws restricting labor by young people, establishing 16 and 18 as minimum ages for work; still in effect
  • 1940 Most states have laws in place restricting driving by people under 16
  • 1968 Supreme Court upholds states' right to prohibit sale of obscene materials to minors
  • 1968 Movie rating system established to restrict young people from certain films
  • 1970s Supreme Court upholds laws restricting young women's right to abortion
  • 1970s Dramatic increase in involuntary electroshock therapy (ECT) of teens
  • 1980s Many cities and states pass laws restricting teens' access to arcades and other places of amusement; Supreme Court upholds such laws in 1989
  • 1980s Courts uphold states' right to prohibit sale of lottery tickets to minors
  • 1980 to 1998 Rate of involuntary commitment of minors to mental institutions increases 300-400 percent
  • 1984 First national law effectively raising drinking age to 21
  • 1988 Supreme Court denies freedom of press to school newspapers
  • 1989 Missouri court upholds schools' right to prohibit dancing
  • 1989 Court rules school in Florida can ban salacious works by Chaucer and Aristophanes
  • 1990s Curfew laws for young people sweep cities and states
  • 1990s Dramatic increase in use of security systems in schools
  • 1992 Federal law prohibits sale of tobacco products to minors
  • 1997 New federal law makes easier involuntary commitment of teens


  • 2000+ New laws restricting minors' rights to get tattoos, piercings, and to enter tanning salons spread through U.S.
  • 2000+ Tougher driving laws sweeping through states: full driving rights obtained gradually over a period of years
  • 2000+ Dramatic increase in zero-tolerance laws in schools, resulting in suspensions or dismissals for throwing spitballs, making gun gestures with hand, etc.
  • 2000+ New procedures and laws making it easier to prosecute minors as adults
Currently spreading nationwide:

  • New rules prohibiting cell phones in schools or use of cell phones by minors while driving
  • Libraries and schools block access to Internet material by minors
  • New dress code rules in schools
  • New rules restricting wearing of potentially offensive clothing or accessories in schools
  • New laws prohibiting teens from attending parties where alcohol is served (even if they're not drinking)
  • New laws restricting teens' access to shopping malls
  • Tracking devices routinely installed in cell phones and cars of teens
  • New availability of home drug tests for teens
  • New laws prohibiting minors from driving with any alcohol in bloodstream (zero-tolerance)
  • Proposals for longer school days, longer school year, and addition of grades 13 and 14 to school curriculum under discussion