Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Scotts Bluff, 2014

Jason and Jenna In the Visitor Center
Scotts Bluff National Monument.  Nebraska.  August 11, 2014.
Copyright © 2016 A. F. Litt, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Taylor Mali on "What Teachers Make"

Small rant about “Unschooling”

This was posted elsewhere for awhile, but it belongs here...

Don’t really have time to really write about this today, but here is a small rant that ended up in some Facebook comments on a link to the article below…

My sons' cousins are "unschooled" so I have some distant first hand knowledge about this. Also, I have fewer concerns about traditional home schooling, which I do feel can be a good choice with some kids -- maybe not for their entire childhoods, but here and there as needed. I've done it with my own kids to some degree, through some rough spots in life, but, mostly, this work was done in conjunction with enrollment in a traditional school, as well.

Really, though, most of the benefits of the unschooling approach come from the fact that the kids have involved parents and I fear the actual benefits from this are tremendously overshadowed by the risks...

I fear these kids will hit the real world and have a real hard time holding jobs and staying focused on the aspects of life that are taught through the education system. The sucky stuff like getting up and going someplace you don't want to be for eight hours a day, five days a week.

Is it indoctrination into our system? Yes. But it is the system we have and just saying it sucks and not participating is not a path to real happiness or success (which I measure by making a sustainable living though work you don't hate) in our society.

While I would love to get in a time machine and go back 4,000 years (heck, in someways, maybe only 200 years back here in America) when the first social contracts defining our civilization were forming and scream, "No! It's a trap! Don't do it!", it is a little late for that now.

Now we are stuck just trying to figure out how to do the best we can in the civilization we have. Completely rejecting our system is a hard road that usually leads to neither happiness nor any true measure of fulfilling success in life.

Through my work in the recovery community, and from experiences earlier in life, I've seen kids who lived in horrible childhood situations that turned out happy, confident, and successful in life, but that is not the norm.

Without real statistics to support unschooling, I fear that the results may be very similar. Sure, he can point to one student, or a handful of students that are successful later in life, but he offers no real data other than saying something along the lines of it feeling like the kids do well.

While there is a lot wrong with the modern educational system, I really feel a best of both worlds approach is best. A lot of active parenting and working to provide the kids with the self-directed learning opportunities outside of the classrooms gives most of the benefits of unschooling without taking on most of the risks.

And encouraging our kids to find value at school, especially when they are older, and helping them find meaning there can be difficult, but boy, when done right those kids do fantastic. My oldest boy is a good example of this. A kid who used to get sick just thinking about going to school a few years ago now won't even stay home when he's got the flu unless forced to, because he likes it there!
And he is definitely very happy and certainly does not feel like he is "trapped" for hours each day.

A big part of learning how to be happy and successful in the world is learning how to cope and survive and to be happy and successful in situations where we have little control and few real opportunities for self direction. However, those who can learn how to thrive in these very real world environments tend to have the richest lives of all of us.

I hope this works out four my boys' cousins. They are smart kids and seem fairly well adjusted for kids their age, though we don't see them often enough... It will be interesting to see how college and careers work out for them. I pray for the best.

However, I suspect that most of their success, if they achieve it, will come from the fact that they had great parents who raised their kids well and not from the unschooling.

Unschooling: The Case for Setting Your Kids Into the Wild | Nature |
'via Blog this'

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Percy Jackson Problem - The New Yorker

The Percy Jackson Problem - The New Yorker: "What if instead of urging them on to more challenging adventures on other, potentially perilous literary shores, it makes young readers hungry only for more of the palatable same? There’s a myth that could serve as an illustration here. I’m sure my son can remind me which one."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The End Of Summer and New Year’s Day, All At Once…

A. F. Litt: Wyoming &emdash; Jason, Horse and Moose

Jason, Horse and Moose
Wyoming High Country Lodge. Big Horn Mountains. Wyoming. August 5, 2014.
Copyright © 2014 A. F. Litt, All Rights Reserved

Reposted from Rubble:

After a sort of a trial run a couple weeks back, today is really the re-launch of my photo of the day as a regular, Monday through Friday sort of deal…  I am not promising to post absolutely every day.  There, of course, will be days when schedules and deadlines prevent this, but I am working this into my daily routine and workflow.

Today’s photo may be my sentimental favorite from the summer, despite its flaws…  It was a quick moment shot with Instagram on my iPhone.  Yeah, I wish it was a higher resolution shot and that the horse’s head wasn’t cut off, but there’s so much going on here, especially with my son- a very indoor kid getting a little nature on him in a wonderful moment.

Jason had just run over to see the moose, the horse was running from Jason and the moose, and the bull moose was running away from everything!

You can’t stage a moment like this!  Unfortunately, you can bring a better camera to the show.

It was late afternoon in the Big Horns…  We’d just come down from the Medicine Wheel and we had not worked out our lunch routine on travel days yet, so we’d pulled into the Wyoming High Country Lodge, grumbling bellies following signs promising food.  Everyone was hungry and we still had a long haul across the state left in order to reach our reserved campsite near Devil’s Tower National Monument that night.

This was the show taking place when we reached the lodge.  Unfortunately, seeking a snack, not photos, my cameras were left behind in the van.

I would have liked to have stayed for dinner at this place, but it was still a little bit before they would be serving and we didn’t have time to wait, so we bought a couple granola bars and hit the road.  The folks running the place were great and it looks like an amazing place not only to catch a meal but to stay for a few days.  Some of the most beautiful country in America up in those mountains, too.

So what does this post’s title have to do with anything? 

Well, today is the first day of school, for the little one, at least.   Not so little anymore, though, since he’s starting middle school today!

I chose this photo for today because it is one of my favorite moments from a pretty great summer.  Sure, technically, we’ve got a couple weeks left, but really, all parents know and all kids know, summer ends with the last day of the summer vacation from school.  From today on it is all about routines and school days and weekends… 

And, for me, both when I was in school and now, once again, as a parent, this day always feels a bit more like the start of a new year than January 1 does.  Today is the start of the next nine months of routines that will then lead into and define the final few months of our annual cycle with next year’s summer break…

Especially this year.  This will be a big year for all of us.  I’m trying a new partnership with Illuminated Imaging Digital Media Services on for size, one that will probably require a significant investment in time, but one that should also prove to be pretty lucrative on down the road a bit.  I’ve got to write the book on the Historic Columbia River Highway this year so I can publish it in time for the highway’s centennial in 2016.  One son is starting middle school, the other will be learning to drive this year… 

It is going to be a busy year, a challenging year, but I am look forward to it.  The results should be amazing!

It was an amazing summer, and I chose today to start my new year with one of my favorite memories of the season now past, but I am also very much looking forward to the hard work and amazing rewards awaiting all of us over the weeks and months that lie ahead.

Related Posts

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Forgotten God Videos

Forgotten God Website & Videos:





Chapter One:

Chapter Two:

Chapter Three:

Chapter Four:

Chapter Five:

Chapter Six:

Chapter Seven: