Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Almost makes me wish we had a TV just to catch this one...but not quite...

I just read a summary of an interesting episode of the reality TV show where mothers swap homes for two weeks. Normally, I would avoid anything having to do with a show entitled "Wife Swap", but the last episode of the show was about a family in Colorado (where I live) and an unschooling family in southern California (where I used to live). The mother of the Colorado family is very concerned with appearances, has her daughters heavily scheduled (to the point where they rarely have relaxed time with their father), and works for the public school system. It's very interesting to see her reaction to the unschooling family:
“Your approach to learning is an excuse to be lazy,” Kerry tells the Martinsons. Harrison and Riley are going [at her behest] to real school with a real teacher. Lee, a college dropout, has to take an accounting class at the community college to show how wrong it is to avoid college. Also, they’ve got to declutter and clean the house.

“You’re an overcritical nag,” Lee tells Kerry. The kids aren’t very excited about going to school. “It’s boring and a waste of time,” Riley says. The boys can’t keep up with the academics. Lee has to be more involved in the boys’ activities, and he has to take them to gymnastics. Lee skips class, and Kerry confronts him. “Don’t raise your voice,” he warns her. “I can’t imagine that Lee knows so much that he can’t go to class and learn something,” she says.

Of course the boys in the unschooling family had difficulty keeping up with the academics when put into regular school with no preparation. Unschoolers don't exactly follow the local district curriculum. I personally plan to require more from my children as I homeschool, but after reading this summary, I'd much rather be a child in the unschooling family. They seem happy and relaxed and hardly stupid (see the unschooling mom's defense of her sons here). The Colorado daughters, on the other hand, already believe firmly that they need their makeup and designer clothes because they will be judged on their appearance--sounds like a recipe for eating disorders and materialism.

No comments:

Post a Comment