Wednesday, June 4, 2014

LIFE is Good Fear Presentation footnotes.

The truth is that my presentation on Fear and unschoooling did not go as well as I wanted. It WAS very heartfelt. I personally felt that I had a breakthrough in preparing for the event. I am so grateful for my fear, because it brought me to unschooling.

I believe I did express the core of my message, which is that unschooling - principles and practice - has the answer to all fears, either directly about our parenting and children, or by giving us tools in life to deal with our other general fears. I said that but lacked enough specific examples to make my talk as relevant and interesting as it will be next time I present it. Hindsight is awesome!

However I do have some footnote links to the information online and the books that I mentioned during the talk as having been helpful to me in my journey into unschooling and away from fear.

The Books I Recommend:

The first book was such a strong school critique, it put so much fear into me that I became convinced that keeping Jayn out of school would be by far better than schooling her. Like I said in my talk, be sure to read both!

How Children Fail and How Children Learn by John Holt

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen

These are the classic "How To" texts of unschooling.
Parenting a Free Child by Rue Kream
The Unprocessed Child by Valerie Fitzenreiter
The Big Book by Sandra Dodd

The strategies for happiness recommended in this book, especially the idea of "baskets", are where unschooling parents start with all their children regardless of temperament.

The Explosive Child by Ross W. Greene

These books are additional resources that support the tenets of unschooling.

Everything Bad is Good For You by Stephen Johnson
Scattered by Gabor Maté (It was the author rather than the topic that was recommended to me. His writing is really about promoting attachment between parents and kids.)

Don't wait until you kid is a teen - read this when he or she is about 8 or 9. When I proposed this during my talk there was a general ripple of agreement.

Parent/Teen Breakthrough: The Relationship Approach by Mira Kirshenbaum & Charles Foster.

(Again a book that supports the principles espoused by unschooling, that unschoolers prioritize their relationships with their kids. Just ignore all the schooly example scenarios; you will have your own challenging life events, I assure you.)

Other writing I forgot to mention that also made me afraid to put Jayn in school and risk the ruin of her beautiful spirit:

The Underground History of American Education and The Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher by John Taylor Gatto

The Aware Baby by Aletha Solter

An unschooly book, one family's story, that made me fear that I could never do enough (but don't worry, I could and you can too) :

And the Skylark Sings With Me by David Alpert.

My research about Fear led me to these articles on Psychology Today:

The (Only) Five Basic Fears
Fear Vs Anxiety
From Fearless to Frightened
Anger Problems: A Smoke Screen for Fear-Shame Phobia
A Fear Busting Formula You Can Remember
Overcoming Phobias: 6 Important Principles

There is more on the site there, but I realized as I read these articles and studies, that there is no strategy for dealing with fears that I had not already read about or heard expressed {usually with greater clarity} by the long time real, fully committed unschoolers who continue to write and speak about Radical Unschooling.

Here is where I get most of my help in my own unschooling journey:
Always Learning Yahoo Group
Radical Unschooling Info Facebook Group

Very new folk might also consider reading at the Unschooling Basics Yahoo Group archives.

Join these Yahoo groups and search the archives for your question. I promise you it has been asked before.

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