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Education Revolution: Help Us Reach the Tipping Point

When everyone knows several families who have left coercive schooling and chosen a path of educational self-determination, so it no longer seems like an odd thing to do, we will reach a tipping point. The floodgates will open, and coercive schools will empty out. You can help our nation and world reach that tipping point.

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Trustful Parenting May Require an Alternative to Conventional Schooling

As I write this essay, children and adolescents all over America are frantically completing their assigned summer reading, so they can turn in their book reports, due on the first day of class. Or, they are blowing off the assignments while their parents are frantically trying to get them to do them. If your child fails to turn in those reports, you may be as much to "blame" as your child. The school system expects you to monitor, nudge, maybe even bribe or threaten your child--do whatever you must to get that slacker to do the assignment. .... To be a trustful parent these days, you may need to find some alternative to conventional schooling for your child. Here are two suggestions.

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Routes Toward Trustful Parenting and Children’s Freedom in Our Time

Here are six ways to become a more trustful parent and to grant your children more freedom: (1) Examine your own values and priorities, and think how they relate to your interactions with your children. (2) Let go of the idea that you can determine your child’s future or are responsible for it. (3) Resist urges to be in continuous contact with your child, or to monitor your child’s activities and learning. (4) If possible, move to a neighborhood where kids of all ages play freely outdoors, and where parents as well as children get to know one another. (5) Work with other parents in your neighborhood to create safe and inviting places where children can congregate and play on their own. (6) Consider alternatives to conventional schooling.

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Why Have Trustful Parenting and Children’s Freedom Declined in Recent Decades?

Why is trustful parenting so much more difficult than in decades past? Why are today's children afforded less freedom than we were when we were children? In this essay I suggest the following reasons: (1) the decline of neighborhoods; (2) the decline in adults' firsthand knowledge of child development and the worldwide sharing of fears; (3) the increased uncertainty about the future; (4) the increased intrusiveness of school systems into children's and families' lives; and (5) the rise of a pedagogical model of child development that has its origins in the increased power of schools.

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