I love Amazon. I purchased 99% of my Christmas gifts from there, but I had to buy one thing for my husband through another online retailer. For some reason, they generated two orders of the same thing with two separate order numbers and delivered both packages. I called to have them issue a call tag and have UPS pick the extra package up because I’m not paying the postage for their mistake. The customer “service” representative argued with me, saying I was the one who ordered the product twice. I insisted that I was no newcomer to ordering online and that I only ordered once. I mean, c’mon! He kept arguing with me, until I said, ‘Amazon would never do this. Let me talk to your supervisor.’ Eventually, he said he’d email me a shipping label. Of course I have to drop it off at the post office, dammit. Not only that, in the email, they said I would be charged a set fee of some sort. Looks like I’ll have to dispute via Amex. Bh humbug!
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Enjoy today’s Best of Erik!
Me: Erik, what do you think about unschooling, since we were just talking about education.
Jamie: Wow, he just whistled really loud!
(Jamie makes a very loud whistling sound. I wish I could do that. Despite many a willing and now frustrated teachers, I can only make a pathetic whistling sound by sucking in. Sounds kind of like the death gasp of an old balloon.)
Me: I don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s basically, um, what is it, like not going to school but sort of like student-led learning? I think it is, like learning what the kid is interested in.
Erik: Yeah, it’s kind of like Montessori in a way. It’s less structured.
Erik: It could stand a little more structure, but it is the new way of teaching kids. The public school system should just fucking fold, just quit.
Me: I agree. Now, I homeschooled Erik and the rest of the kids for a while and even in that there was some structure but every Thursday we’d do some cool field trips and learn in different ways with a lot of hands on experiences. It was really fun wasn’t it, Erik?
Erik: It was the best!
Me: Yeah, it was so much fun. So, what do you think about homeschooling and unschooling? Give me something that is more than just a couple of sentences here! Please?
Erik: Okay, I want all of the readers to know that if they’re thinking of having children or if they have children, I can honestly say 95% of them are coming in with more of a spiritual connection: indigo, crystal kids. And these poor little guys, they still work in a lecture education setting and that’s what public school systems are based on. If you want to save your children from being mislabeled as ADHD or problem makers, then look at teaching them the way that they know how to learn. Mostly that is going to be the self-led education process. The Montessori schools are this way. The Waldorf schools do more with art and creation exercises. The unlearning—
Me: What is that? Do you mean undoing the damage that the public and private schools have caused?
Erik: Undoing the damage not just from public and private schools but from society too.
Erik: The way society structures you, to lay you out. So it teaches you that you have the right to look at a structure or a role and identify if it’s going to be the best way you need to behave to work for yourself.
Me: Well it should also include undoing the structures that your family—your parents and siblings—have created too.
Me: You know, they do it with all the best intentions, but—
Erik: They do. They do. Parents don’t like to think outside of the box cuz their kid will be different or nobody will be able to understand their child. Phony boloney. Let your child be your teacher. They’re going to do it anyway.
Me: Yep. Plus they want their child to march to the beat of society’s drum, because they don’t want society to hurt them. They want their kid to fit in.
Jamie (giggling): He puts the back of his hand on his forehead like someone who’s about to faint, like oh!
Erik: Oh dear god forbid us if we have independent thinkers! How horrible!
Jamie: So dramatic, Erik!
Jamie and I laugh.
Me: It does more harm than good in the long run for groups of kids but unfortunately they’ve seen kids who didn’t fit in to society committing suicide right and left. That’s a problem, you know. That’s a problem. It’s very difficult. Of course it’s not very common, but they see it. They see it. But the parent is responsible, in part, to give their child the support they need when they march to the beat of their own drum instead of society’s or their peer’s.
Erik: Yes. Here’s the big difference. Society and schools teach what is right by teaching what is wrong. They put the punishment out there so that the kid stays on track. They give the grade, but if they don’t meet the grade, you don’t get the reward. So, they’re teaching the positives by pushing the negatives.
Me: Yep. That’s awful.
Erik: So then all of a sudden the kids identify who’s different, who’s wrong, who doesn’t fit in, and then you’re creating kids who are quick to judge. If you look at the alternative schools, they don’t pull that shit. They let the child do what they feel is best for them, and they teach them how you can label without using a judgment.
Me: Yeah. That’s what my books are all about. You have to create an environment so that kids become self directed instead of externally directed. It’s actually pretty easy.
Jamie: He’s raising his hand and pointing his finger at his chest and saying, “That’s me!”
Me: It’s actually easier than raising externally directed kids!
Click HERE to learn more about unschooling.