April 22, 2021
By: Jennifer Nelson
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“Do not train children in learning force and harshness, but direct them to it what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”- Plato
I love to learn, but I’ve never liked school. It’s hard for me to sum up the reasons why, yet Research Professor Peter Gray argues that children do not like school because it lacks freedom. He says that freedom is what children use to educate themselves. That resonates with my being.
He also equates schools to prisons, with one major distinction- “in school you must spend more time doing exactly what you are told to do than is true in adult prisons, so in that sense school is worse than prison”. His point is that people know this, but they rationalize it away with fears about the future.
However, he asserts that, “there is no evidence at all that children who are sent to prison [schools] come out better than those who are provided the tools and allowed to use them freely.”
Thinking back to my experience in high school, I did not have the freedom to decline that which I did not feel was of benefit to me.
One experience in particular always stands out in my mind. We had to read a fiction book about a young boy who was executed during hostile times in the United States. This book was full of racial slurs and it was quite disturbing that the teacher chose to read this book aloud to the class – slurs intact.
She mentioned that anyone who had a problem with her reading racial slurs needed to learn to be more mature. I suppose this was intended to be a history lesson. However, the lesson for me was how cluelessness, a lack of empathy, and the promotion of trauma is seen as normal; and therefore it is embedded throughout society. Perhaps that is why as an educator I promote self-empowerment, kindness, and healing as a way of life.
The intent of this newsletter is to increase awareness of available educational options in order to encourage environments where students can align to their true gifts and talents.
When people are aligned to their true nature and in touch with their loving hearts, they are able to co-create a harmonious world.
Compulsory Dyslexia Screening: A Trojan Horse to Advance Data Collection
I’m always in favor of thinking critically and asking questions before one introduces technology into the classroom. It seems to me that the question here would be – is the intent behind compulsory dyslexia screening to help children, or is there something else at play?
According to this article, “We recognize that providing children with the assistance they need to become confident, engaged readers is vital for a functioning society. Unfortunately the billionaire class has teamed up with defense technology interests, cognitive neuroscientists, and impact investors to remake children as digital commodities, tracked according to their behavioral compliance.”
It goes on to explain that, “The goal of the elite is a miseducated, illiterate populace that will consume media content without question and learn just enough to live as cogs in a global gig economy set on transforming the world into a silicon-based planetary computer.”
This article is full of data and worth exploring for further consideration if one feels aligned to it.
Homeschooling When Your Child’s Only Interests are YouTube and Video Games
There are many parents who are drawn towards interest-based learning but find it to be impractical because their children don’t have any academic interests. Yet that doesn’t necessarily have to be an obstacle.
One mother explains how her family uses YouTube for their schooling needs. She writes, “I love that my boys see real men and women, pursuing their passions and sharing them with the world.” The article also explains how video games can be used as a gateway to learning.
Remember to love yourself and to always follow your inner guidance. Therefore, take what resonates and discard the rest.
Feel free to forward this to anyone that you think will find it valuable.