Last week, WHSV, the ABC affiliate serving the Shenandoah Valley, ran a three part series called Homeschooling and Unschooling Growing in the Valley.
Part 1 featured VaHomeschoolers members Joe and Gleamer Sullivan who discussed why they and the other Staunton familes who attend the Raw Learning Center (an “unschooling school”) have chosen to unschool their children. The Sullivans explained how their unschooling approach of following their children’s interests has led to more intrinsic learning.
Part 2 moved from discussing unschooling to discussing the larger umbrella of homeschooling. They talked with Holly Davis, who is starting to homeschool her children this year. Davis talked about the increased flexibility homeschooling allows. Local Virginia Delegate Dickie Bell (R – 20th District) was also interviewed and discussed how there has been a larger voice for homeschooling in the Virginia General Assembly. He specifically mentioned the recent bills to allow homeschoolers to participate in high school sports (which were defeated). Del. Bell expressed his view that in the future you will see more cooperation between homeschoolers and public schools.
Part 3 focused on potential changes that the growth in homeschooling could spur in the public schools. A desire to teach religious beliefs and values as well as opposition to No Child Left Behind were listed as reasons why more homeschoolers are leaving the school system. The Sullivans, Davis and Del. Bell all voiced concerns with the public schools’ emphasis on standards at the expense of a child’s love of learning and a hope that the public schools could learn from homeschooling approaches.
We’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you think about how unschooling and homeschooling was portrayed in this series?