Teri DeMarco is an unschooling mom of three: twin 10-year-old sons and an 8-year-old daughter. I met her in person last year and when I decided to do a technology-focused episode I knew she’d be a great person to chat with!
Quote of the Week
“If you have a lens of ‘What is the educational value? What are they learning?’ that is a layer that goes in front of that relationship. And it doesn’t need to be there, because your kids will reveal to you all that they’re learning when they are in the flow of the relationship.” ~ Teri DeMarco
Questions for Teri
Can you share with us a bit about you and your family and how you discovered unschooling?
When it comes to technology, the conventional term that gets thrown around a lot is “screen time.” I personally don’t like the term for a couple of reasons. What’s your take?
One of the first steps in pulling apart and examining the technology issue is recognizing all the learning that is happening—and all the joy and fun! What has your journey with the technology issue looked like?
If a parent is concerned about the amount of time a child is spending, say watching TV or playing video games, instead of immediately imposing limits to fit their comfort zone, how might they explore the situation to discover what’s up? There are so many possibilities, aren’t there?
Something that can unnerve parents is when their child gets angry when asked to stop playing a video game or watching TV. Fear can quickly have them interpreting that behaviour as “addicted” and blaming the technology. But when we look at the situation from the child’s perspective, things can look very different, can’t they?
One of the big aha moments for me when I was examining my attitude toward technology was the realization that my children learned so much more about weaving technology into their lives through actual experience—like they have learned so many other things through unschooling. What are some of the things you’ve seen your children learn about life with digital tech?
As always with unschooling, it’s important to be engaged with our children, whatever their interest or passion. One of the concerns I hear regularly is that parents feel disconnected from their children because they are engaged in their interests through technology. Let’s talk about some of the ways we can engage with our children “even when” they are using digital tools.
Links to Things Mentioned in the Show
The Childhood Redefined conference (we’re putting together an online version right now)
Finding Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book, Finding Flow
Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset
Teri’s blog: The Urban Unschooler
Teri’s also on Facebook
Pam’s blog post diving into the mainstream mantra, “You Have to Limit Screen Time”
Pam’s article, Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Video Games