Liberation from the Unschooling Gestapo

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The story behind the podcast
This episode is more of a message, or a beacon to families who:

Are new to home education and are exploring the radical unschool method
Have had the unfortunate displeasure of negative experiences with radical unschooling
Desire to incorporate liberating changes to their family dynamic without committing to dogmatic ideologies which may not agree with their personal beliefs
Could benefit from some encouragement, a boost of confidence and an empowering reminder that our relationships with our children are very personal and sacred

Herein, I mention that I was inspired by a post by my friend, Unplugged partner and UMRadio producer, Desiree who recently published this article on our sister site Living Free Project.  The article highlights a particular post that specifically touched and compelled her to speak out, speak up and frankly share her views on what has been occurring in the shady world of what is known as “radical unschooling”.   Through my work, speaking, radio and writing I have addressed this topic before over the last few years and have tried my darnedest to be civil about it with the other home-ed folks.  But I was especially inspired into aggressive boldness when Desiree released this extraordinarily bold post and even more-so when the feedback began filling up the comment sections wherever it was posted as well as the inbox with parents sharing overwhelmingly emotional outpouring of gratitude for speaking what they were afraid to say… until now.  Afraid is a word we must pay special attention to folks.  See,  the fact of the matter is that not everyone is playing nice and we can’t just stand by and let the bullying happen any longer.  John Holt coined the term circa forty years ago and it was a beautiful ideology that recognized the individual freedom, style and needs of each child and each individual family dynamic.   Folks, education is part of living and living is not supposed to be classified, identified or compartmentalized by any method, brand or label.  The human need or desire to identify with a particular mode whether it be “unschooling” “classical” or any “ism” for that matter in politics or learning or religion – that human need for classification is merely a symptom brought on by the indoctrination process.  If we do that then we are not truly unplugged and if we are not truly unplugged, then we are not free; whats worse, we may still find ourselves enslaved to another preacher’s paradigm.

Here’s the good news though.  For a few years I stood alone with my partner and producer encouraging me and helping to spread the message.  I was ridiculed, harshly criticized and socially outcast from my own peers in home education for criticizing extremism in homeschooling and unschooling.  But I held steadfast.  And here we are, years later and it’s so wonderful to see that so many others are beginning to discover the snares and traps.  They are hearing the message and getting tired of being abused by self-imposed “experts” with agendas.  They are writing blogs and opening new websites to invite a truer, more pure collaboration of freedom minded friends and real support for families learning in their own way.   I’m so happy to see all the effort begin to manifest into something positive and helpful and I want to encourage you to continue on with the unplugged, unencumbered journey forward!

Special thanks to Desiree for unrelenting support, a valued voice and for slamming out the bold and uncompromising written piece on which this episode was based.

Desiree’s inspiration 

During this recording, Laurette asked me what my inspiration was in writing the article, “Time to Rethink Radical Unschooling”,  and the list is quite endless.  Some of the highlights include; Radical Unschooling supporting children having sex, RU gurus putting their ambitions for reality TV stardom over the needs of the same Radical Unschool families they claim to support, and reading countless emails where parents are more confused than ever over whether or not they should compromise on their children’s hygiene and diet, lest they be attacked as being “coercive”, disrespectful of their children, and “not doing Radical Unschool” right.  Adding all this, I came across one particular post where the mother was so broken over her experience with Radical Unschooling that she felt lost and alone.  I decided, enough is enough.  (I included her post in the article so parents themselves can read it).   This bullying of parents has crossed over into immoral,  and the least I can do for these parents is to call out the abuse and bring light to the Radical Unschooling agenda.  There are mangled parents suffering and struggling to find their intuition once again, because they abdicated it to a Pseudo-faux-philosophy that failed them.   My concern is now THEM, those families, and that made my decision to write the article, very… VERY easy.     ~ Desiree Alonso

Encouragement
Parents, you matter.  Your children matter, your spouse matters.  Your instinct matters.  Your communication and relationship with your child matters.  Supportive communities are extremely valuable to the home ed family and we can and should be encouraging and empowering each other, not belittling or imposing feeble claims or standing upon weak platforms to assume some sick version of moral high-ground over another family, parent, fellow home educator and human being.   Now, nobody is perfect and we all are guilty of trying to evangelize others to an idea or philosophy that we enjoy.  But there is a difference between providing support and encouragement and downright condescending disrespect.

Healthy Resources
To help parents navigate and recognize the difference between a healthy, supportive community and a toxic, bullying environment we are putting together this list along with a handful of resources for which we can personally vouch of their integrity, respect, honestly and dedication to helping encourage other liberty-mined, school-free seeking families.  This will be available soon on livingfreeproject.com so be sure to check back!

Listen to the enclosed message.  Let it be a public service announcement to you who feel wronged, jaded, disrespected by any of the toxic, hurtful religious dogmas selling this radical brand of unschool label.

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avatar About the Author: Laurette Lynn is the Unplugged Mom© Founder of UnpluggedMom.com and Host and founder of Unplugged Mom Radio© Learn more about Laurette Lynn by clicking here.

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