I know I can speak frankly with you since you’re not actually going to be reading this.  I found you through an internet search that went something like “what distance is too great lessons Suzuki drive”…for my six Suzuki Strings players with their myriad practices, private lessons, and group classes.

Sometimes, and especially as a musician knowing how insidiously vicarious living can hold sway in these decisions, I worry that I’m wasting time that could be better spent elsewhere or that my motives for pushing on are poor.  I was, therefore, cringing inwardly reading your post about same.

But, your unschooling philosophy also has flaws, as does your idea of channeling children away from extracurriculars that don’t fit their personality. That assumes a great deal of perspicacity on the part of the parent and seems against “delight directed learning” that unschoolers seem always to be promoting.

I also don’t believe children in general will have focus or discipline to keep at even areas of delight without training from an adult. Do children or adults even know themselves? It takes years and better personality tests.

In addition, there are some life skills that are necessary whether one is delighted by them or not – basic math, cleanliness, literacy, and (I would submit) religious training all come to mind.

Penelope, I’m rambling now. I’m going to close by thanking you once again for writing in an honest, open, approachable way about your opinions.

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6 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    I appreciate that you keep reading even if you disagree with what I’m saying or doing. Following one’s passion is not actually delightful. It’s hard work.

    The better you get at something, the deeper you think about it, the harder it is to continue to make progress. Small, hard-won bits of progress are the marks of someone working very hard at something very difficult.

    To me, that’s what unschooling teaches. No one needs guidance to do things that feel delightful. But also, few things in life feel delightful for more than a few minutes.

    I do not believe, however, that kids should be forced to learn things they don’t want to learn. There is enough in the world to learn without forcing that onto someone. Here’s a post about that topic:

    http://education.penelopetrunk.com/2015/04/01/education-does-not-mean-learn-to-do-stuff-you-dont-like/

    As for parenting philosophies, I don’t think there are any two parents in the whole world parenting the same exact way — even parents who are married to each other.

    Penelope

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Hi Penelope, I really didn’t think you would be answering your own trolls’ rants. So, thank you and I apologize for writing strongly.

      • Penelope Trunk
        Penelope Trunk says:

        Thank you. I read everything. I think if people take the time to write, even if they are really angry, then they care.

        In my last company I had a troll who was so angry I couldn’t deal with answering her email, so my business partner answered, and now he’s married to her.

        Penelope

  2. Ash
    Ash says:

    P – my comment in your blog post was deleted. Just wanted to say good luck for the future. I hope things work out for you. <3

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