I Am Pro-Child

afflinkI Am Pro-Child

I believe that children deserve freedom.

I believe that children deserve trust.

I believe that children deserve to be treated with respect.

I believe we can do better than parenting based on punishment, shame, rewards, and bribes.

I don’t believe we ever have a right to physically punish children.

I believe childhood should be protected.

I believe children should be free to follow their interests and have the leading role in their education.

I believe it is not my place to send my child somewhere to be taught things decided for them by someone else, without their input.

I do not believe in compulsory or forced learning.

I believe the current culture of standardized testing and the push for earlier and earlier academics is damaging.

I do not believe in testing.

I believe that education can be much better than the current method of schooling in our country.

I believe that children deserve the same rights as adults.

I Am Pro-Child

Does this make me anti-school? Maybe. Some people think so. I used to try to never come across that way but the more I read, and the more I learned, the more passionate I became. It’s difficult to remain impartial when your chosen method of education is a complete rejection of current methods of schooling. I could talk solely about the positives of my choice, as some have suggested, but still people would infer that I believed school means the opposite of that anyway. In any case, I think discussing the negatives is important. We need to talk about what’s wrong with the current system so we can do better.

I will continue to speak about home education and why we decided on this path because people deserve to know they have options, that it is achievable, and because I am passionate about this life and love to talk about it. If you don’t like to hear the idea of schooling challenged, then you might get offended around here! But my hope is that instead people use that feeling to challenge themselves. Challenge their beliefs and put them to the test. Think about if schooling really is the best/right/only option for them. Or are they just doing what is expected, instead of what is possible? I think those are worthy questions to examine.

I Am Pro-Child

School will always have a place. Not everyone can home educate, and not everyone wants to, so school will always be needed. For that reason we have an obligation to make sure we are giving children the experience they deserve if they’re spending 13 years of their life there. That means talking about what is and isn’t working. If that makes me ‘anti-school’ then so be it! I will take that on. But I am pro-child. I believe that children deserve freedom and that, if just by the mere fact that it is compulsory, school severely limits that. On the whole, children are treated with a lot less respect than they deserve in our society so I will continue to speak up about it.

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10 thoughts on “I Am Pro-Child

  1. Through trial and error (basically parenting and listening to my heart, not my head), I came to the conclusion that unschooling/natural & life learning, and non-punishment is best. Complete disregard for my child’s feelings (what it boils down to really) just doesn’t work for little and growing human hearts and minds. In this world, this belief or parenting philosophy is still rare but gaining ground. My own ‘brick in the wall’ brother and ignorant father reported me to child protective services for unschooling/allowing for life learning for my child, referring to me as a bad parent who’s not educating my son ‘the right way’ deserving of losing my son. Nothing came from it but still horrible. Consequently, I cut them off 100% and will never permit these unsafe, toxic people, near us, especially my son, ever again. I love what you share.

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  3. I’m glad you’re one of those people who speaks up, because it definitely helps me verbalize my own ideas about education. I usually agree with almost everything you say, but even the (very few) things I can’t get my mind around are good because they make me think about WHY they evoke such a feeling of resistance in me (the bed time thing being one of them ;-)). Long story short: I always enjoy reading this blog and hearing what you have to say.

    On a side-note, I just realized I’m living in a kind of unschooling-bubble these days: I don’t know if you’re familiar with Humans of New York, but it’s a Facebook page by a New York-based photographer who interviews random strangers on the street and publishes some of their stories alongside their portraits. Anyway, two days or so ago, he posted the picture of a woman teaching at an alternative, child-led pre-school. To my enormous surprise, she received so much flack for simply explaining the school’s philosophy! It was crazy! It just goes to show that even though you and I (and, of course, some of your readers and readers of other blogs about unschooling) are very open-minded about alternative forms of education, it is still a pretty radical step to take and most people are initially very unwilling (or even unable) to make that mind shift. It was a good reminder for me, because reading this blog and others, I sometimes feel like it’s the most natural thing in the world…but clearly I’m living in the aforementioned unschooling bubble ;).

    In any case, thanks again for this clear, affirmative post :).

    • And I love people like you! Who think about why they feel uncomfortable instead of just dismissing new ideas. That’s how we grow! Whether you decide you agree or not 🙂

      Oh I saw that on HONY! I feel exactly the same. Whenever I come across something like that I am reminded how not normal our way of thinking is LOL. Luckily I’m surrounded by similar minded people!

  4. i want to parent like this so much, but it’s hard. My gut reaction, especially when I’m tired, is to spank and punish my children. I hate that. Do you have any thoughts on how to change my parenting? Are there any websites you can recommend? I feel like I need to read your blog posts like this multiple times a day to keep this respectful way of parenting fresh in my mind.

    I’m in agreement about school not being what’s best for children. We’re planning to homeschool ours.

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  6. Wow! Just wow! I definitely try so hard to give my son the freedom and opportunity he needs to thrive! Unfortunately his choices do not always allow for freedom to continue but u try. I was severely abused and neglected as a child and only wish to make his life better. Thank you for sharing this post with us! I love it! It was extremely insightful. ?

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