respect

Post image for When Technology Gets in the Way of Love

* We’ve had a wonderful week in Acadia National Park. Today we’re driving down the coast, exploring some lighthouses along the way until we reach Portland, Maine. Then tomorrow we head for Boston!

On Wednesday I brought you a powerful post by Elizabeth from Sattvic Family. Today, her husband Billy, who writes his own blog at Holistic Dad, was gracious enough to share a very powerful post, too, about how technology can get in the way of our children’s desire for love and attention.

 

I watch him sitting there, eyes glazed as he half-heartedly watches Tom and Jerry on the LCD screen in the lobby. His face is emotionless, angelic almost; soft eyes processing the classic American comedy, lips pursed in contemplation…nothing telling of what’s to come.

As a teacher I instruct young and old on aspects of learning, life and yes, English. In return I watch them gather information, translate it into something useful and put it into action.

This boy, though, seems to have received some mixed messages.

Tean is around 7 years old. He is 2 years older than his sister and upon observation has been forgotten, left behind. His sister, being the younger and coming at a more privileged point in the family’s life, has been bestowed with all her heart desires; mostly attention. This has left Tean alone.

His father, when not attending to the needs of the younger princess, is enthralled with the latest I-whatever to hit the market, constantly gabbing or tapping off to the side while his son glares at the TV, flames dancing away like fairies upon his head.

Grandma is also extremely taken with her tablet. Grandma? Yes, she too has become an I-Zombie, shutting out the world for an app wonderland of nothingness.

This boy has been to all the language schools on the island. He has gotten under the skin of battle-tested, middle- aged German teachers. He has been asked to leave the after school programs offered at his private school.  And now, he is a regular with us.

Do I write him off as the ‘terror’ his mother dubs him as she shyly looks away, even before he sets foot in my classroom?

As an unschooling health practitioner, I am trained to look underneath the surface and detect underlying sources of rage and distractions that might cause a young soul to be different than they once were. Too much sugar and not enough rest are easy and common ones to spot.

But this poor kid is crying for love, a victim of materialism and quite possibly a pioneer in a culture smitten with new-gadget-love. During class play, Tean constantly declares a very attention demanding “I hate IPAD!”… I wonder why. He sees what has become of his family and his rebellion is a way of speaking to them.

His classroom behavior is a way of cramming 7 days of self expression, eyes and ears on me-ness, in 90 minutes. He has to go overkill because it’s all he has!

Seven days of school awaits many of the well to-dos’ children on this tourist island filled with new-money wealth. But at least in my class, we learn through play, hoping that its success might get noticed by those who really want to see a change in their youngsters…Sadly, the parents are filled with the ‘work for more’ attitude.

Now, the bigger cars = better person epidemic is at its peak.

I am asked by one of my students if she can put ‘the Benz’ in her family tree. I take a deep breath and whisper ‘One step at a time… and as always, set the example and let the children follow…’

Photo Credit:

Billy Bradley is a proud husband, father, actor, teacher and family wellness coach. He currently is enjoying life in Phuket, Thailand with his family and helping any who ask. He blogs at HolisticDad.net.

Share on Facebook

{ 0 comments }

A Short Guide to Effortless Learning

Thumbnail image for A Short Guide to Effortless Learning

I’ve recently finished reading Leo Babauta’s The Effortless Life (not an affiliate link). For those of you who haven’t heard of Leo, he writes on his blog Zen Habits about living a simple, mindful life and by creating positive habits by taking small steps one at a time. The Effortless Life speaks about having a [...]

Share on Facebook
27 comments Read the full article →

Getting Rid of Your Unschooling Fears

Thumbnail image for Getting Rid of Your Unschooling Fears

I strongly believe in giving children freedom to learn the things they’re passionate about in their own time and in their own way.  But even those families who have been unschooling for awhile can be swayed by the mainstream way of thinking about education. During those “back to school” months, it’s even more difficult to [...]

Share on Facebook
20 comments Read the full article →

The Difference Between Pushing & Challenging

Thumbnail image for The Difference Between Pushing & Challenging

Do you push or challenge your children?  Sometimes I think there’s a fine line to walk when we want to encourage our children to succeed. We might see that they have gifts, talents or skills they are not using, or we know that with just a little more effort they could reach their goals. But [...]

Share on Facebook
16 comments Read the full article →

The Death of Traditonal Teaching Part 2

Thumbnail image for The Death of Traditonal Teaching Part 2

Last Saturday, I wrote a post about the death of traditional teaching. To any teacher reading who thinks I don’t respect what you do, I was a teacher by profession, too. I worked hard at my job and wanted the kids to learn, too. It was only as I began to truly focus on the [...]

Share on Facebook
8 comments Read the full article →

A Collection of 100 Quotes About Natural, Self-Directed Learning & Compulsory Schooling

Thumbnail image for A Collection of 100 Quotes About Natural, Self-Directed Learning & Compulsory Schooling

In a few days, we will be celebrating the 4th of July, our day of independence, in the United States. Almost 250 years ago a few brave men (and some women!) broke against the mainstream and fought for a future where they could self-direct their own lives.   African Americans and women had to fight [...]

Share on Facebook
2 comments Read the full article →

Five Fears That Prevent Real Learning

Thumbnail image for Five Fears That Prevent Real Learning

I remember sitting with the rest of my class on the floor. I must have been about six or seven.  I had tried and tried and just couldn’t hold back any longer; I had to go to the bathroom.  I raised my hand, like a good girl, and asked to go. No, I couldn’t go, [...]

Share on Facebook
22 comments Read the full article →

If Skills & Subjects Are Different, Why Do Schools Treat Them the Same?

Thumbnail image for If Skills & Subjects Are Different, Why Do Schools Treat Them the Same?

There’s a big difference between history and math, and it’s not just a difference between stories and numbers.  There’s also a big difference between reading and science or geography. Reading and math are skills. Think of them as analogous to learning to talk or how to ride a bike. Almost all kids learn how to [...]

Share on Facebook
0 comments Read the full article →

Why Lesson Plans Don’t Work Part 2

Thumbnail image for Why Lesson Plans Don’t Work Part 2

When I wrote last week about why lesson plans don’t work, I realized this position would be a bit controversial since almost all schools, including many homeschooling families, rely on lesson plans. But I feel it’s important to get the message out that most learning doesn’t need to be strictly pre-planned; in fact, in most [...]

Share on Facebook
0 comments Read the full article →

Questions: The Heart of Self-Directed Learning

Thumbnail image for Questions: The Heart of Self-Directed Learning

Why do that man’s eyes look funny? How will my cut heal? Will she be dressed up like a mummy (my daughter asked before attending her first funeral).  Most of the time I welcome and enjoy my children’s questions. Sometimes, though, after they’ve asked questions almost nonstop for an hour, I’m left feeling a little [...]

Share on Facebook
10 comments Read the full article →