PAM: Welcome everyone. I am Pam Laricchia from livingjoyfully.ca and today I am here with Virginia Warren; hi Virginia!
VIRGINIA: Hi Pam, hello, hello.
PAM: I was recently connected again to Virginia through a mutual online friend and I am excited to learn more about her unschooling experience. So, to get us started Virginia …
Can you share with us a bit about you and your family?
VIRGINIA: My husband Bill and I have been married—it’s going to be 19 years this year. We have two children, they are both girls, Lydia is 13 and Miriam is 11 and they have never been in school.
PAM: Oh, they have never been.
VIRGINIA: Yeah, we actually decided on homeschooling before our kids were born. I live in an area that makes that an easy decision. I live in Montgomery, Alabama where the public schools have been taken over by corruption, and safety and lots of reasons. So that was an easy decision to make.
Homeschooling is actually not that unusual in Alabama and it’s also really easy to do. Most of the people though who homeschool in Alabama do it for religious reasons, so people will assume things about you when they find out you are a homeschooler—which, to be fair, they are pretty safe in assuming in our area. It is not a big stretch.
From there, how did you discover unschooling, then? And what did your family’s move to unschooling look like?
VIRGINIA: Well, I’m not sure how, but I learned about unschooling when I was still pregnant with my first daughter. I started reading on SandraDodd.com—this would have been in 2004 and I was already interested in attachment parenting.
I was already planning ahead for that kind of soft landing, and when I read the stories on Sandra Dodd’s website, about how people lived with their children, I would cry. I was sitting at my desk with my big pregnant belly at work during my down time, reading Sandradodd.com and playing with the randomizer, and that sort of thing, with all of these names of these people that would influence me so much.
I was lucky enough to stumble upon it. I wish I knew how. I joined the Always Learning list; I think my kids were still really young and there were a lot of things I still did not get. But it’s easy to say you are going to homeschool when your kids are not even school age—you do not know what is going to happen.
So, I just started reading, I started meeting people online. I made some friends. My family and I went to Minecon in Orlando in 2013 and, because I was on an unschooling Facebook group, we were able to locate some other unschoolers who had come to Minecon.
The people I met there actually had not travelled from as far; they were Florida locals and we all went out to dinner that night. One of the mothers invited us to come stay at her house so we could go to their homeschooling park day and we did, and we had a great time. It was a lot of fun and that was how I first started meeting people and seeing the rubber meet the road.
And of course, we had already decided not to use school and our kids were already showing so many varied interests and ideas, introducing curriculum seemed limiting rather than…
VIRGINIA: So, that’s how we got started.
PAM: That’s awesome.
During that time then, what did you find to be your biggest stumbling block as you came to understand what unschooling was as a lifestyle?
VIRGINIA: Thinking that I already knew. Thinking that I read all this stuff and I read it twice, and I read everything. So, I knew. And there were areas where, for example, I already hated school, and my kids had never been to school, so clearly, deschooling? Completely irrelevant to me, so I did not need to read about that. I did not need to think about it, I did not even need to know what it was. I mean, cause clearly, I already knew what it was. Or thought I did.
Another place; and this is a pretty common one, and this was a combination of thinking you get it but you don’t and also not paying attention to your own words. I thought I had the whole food thing down. I had never required my children to eat at certain times, or in certain places, or in a certain way and well, you know, I could just control what they eat by controlling what I bring into the house and where I took them, and how I react to what they choose. Because I thought I already was so “woke” on that, I never read the “Full plate club,” I never read the pages about control and its associated problems, because I did not have that problem; I was not trying to control anybody. Except when I was.
And I did not even realize what I was doing until my family went on a cruise one year when my kids were five and seven and I kept saying, “I am not going to try to control what anybody eats on this cruise,” I was saying it out loud, and I still could not appreciate the fact that if I was not going to try to control what anybody was eating on this cruise, that means I was trying to control what people tried to eat and I was not even paying attention. I was just ignoring it.
VIRGINIA: I thought I was already doing the thing, but I was just annoying.
PAM: That is really interesting that it was not until you heard yourself saying that out loud that you clued in that there was another level for it, for you.
VIRGINIA: When I had to say it out loud, like five or ten times before I noticed….
PAM: And that other piece when you were talking earlier about how you did not think you needed deschooling, you did not look into what people meant by that word because you already disliked school, so it is like, thinking that deschooling is all about de-programming, kind of, about school. And I mean, in a sense, at first, that is what it can seem like, right, although by the end you really get to a totally different place. So that is really interesting, that might be really helpful for some people to realize that it is not about learning to dislike school.
VIRGINIA: It is not about disliking school at all.
PAM: Exactly, that is so cool.
VIRGINIA: It is dangerous. You do not know what is going to happen. You do not know what your child is going to want. You do not know what is going to happen in your family. You do not know what you are saying and who is hearing it and what it is making them feel.
My kids do not need to think that their friends who go to school are a bunch of slaves and prisoners. If your friends who go to school want to tell them that they feel that way, that is their business and that has happened.
The most surprising thing I have found—and this does not generalize but I found it interesting—my younger daughter has a social group of kids that she connected with through a roller skating rink that we go to. Some of the kids she knew before and most of them go to school. I asked her what they say about school, and she said, “They don’t ever talk about school, at all. Ever.” and I was like, “Mm okay.” I thought that was interesting.
These kids are 11, 12, 13, 14-year-old kids.
PAM: Yeah, they just leave it behind. That is very interesting, yeah. I mean, that is such a great point in that you do not want to…I was going to say, you don’t want it to “poison” any relationships by giving that kind of impression, even to your kids, or even for us to think about it negatively.
I would much prefer thinking about it as it is a choice. That it’s a place and we understand how it works and it is a choice for us to send our kids there or to not.
I mean, same with my kids growing up. We didn’t have unschoolers or even homeschoolers in our neighborhood, in our area, that we knew. So, all the kids that my children engaged with pretty much, they did all go to school. It was just a different way to learn and we never made a big deal about it one way or the other, it was just the other kids would think it was awesome that they could choose not to go.
PAM: Now, this, I have been looking forward to this question too, because our mutual friend described you to me as a “gamer mom,” and I thought that was pretty cool. I, for many years, just loved watching my kids play video games and helping them with walk-throughs and helping them find all the little hidden bits and looking up codes when they were younger and doing all that kind of stuff. We had so much fun, but my personal gaming skills kind of top out at Animal Crossing and I love Phoenix Wright and Hotel Dusk and those kind of…they are more…they are not action games. Anything where there is timing on my response, I am in trouble.
I would love to hear about your experience and perspective on video games.
VIRGINIA: Well, my husband and I both have loved video games since we were children. We are a little early on that, but we both not only grew up loving video games and playing video games as much as we could, we both became computer professionals. So, I don’t work outside of the home anymore, but my husband goes to work all day and works on computers and comes home and plays on computers and everyone in my family likes games.
My older daughter, gaming is definitely her main interest. My younger daughter loves games but it is not her primary interest and when she chooses a game it is more about who she gets to play with than what game it is. It is more of a social experience for her. And she spends a lot of time doing digital art also, and analog art.
I can almost tie this back to stumbling blocks; some people are lucky; some people have a little advantage in one area or another in unschooling. Some people grew up with parents never controlling what they eat, so that is not an issue for them.
Some people grow up with parents who never tried to control…I am just trying me something…
PAM: Activities, choices, bedtime…
VIRGINIA: Yeah, for us, video gaming thing was a “gimme” and there is a hazard in feeling too smug.
I don’t think being smug ever really helps people out. It kind of feels good—you can feel superior to somebody who has not had the same experience as you. Good luck with that. And it let me overlook my own uncharitable thoughts that I still had about my children’s interests.
And here is a specific story. Lydia, my older daughter, is very into Pokémon and the amount that she knows about the Pokémon universe, the Pokémon themselves, the lands, the history of the company, Gamefreak, and the creator of the original Pokémon game and how he used to catch bugs in Japan when he was five—I like to say that her knowledge of Pokémon is not encyclopedic, rather it is Pokedextrous.
Pokémon hit in 1996 when I was, let’s see I was four years out of high school, when I was 22. I did not get into Pokémon when it first came around. If I had been a kid when Pokémon came around, I feel pretty sure it would have been my favorite thing in the world, but it was not something I was into, it was not something that I knew anything about, it was the type of game I really liked anymore and there was still a part of me inside that, at the same time I was going, “Wow, I cannot believe how much she knows about this topic, how deep her interest is, how firmly lodged in her mind all of these facts are,” but I still had this snotty part of me that was like, ‘I wish that she would be interested in something “real”’
And I was having this crappy thought one day, and I don’t know why it was any different than it ever is, but I was finally able to perceive the fact that that interest, Pokémon IS real, it employs thousands of people, it creatively fulfills artists and musicians and computer programmers and writers who create it. It is a work of art, it creates jobs, tons of people make money, tons of people have fun even if there was nothing else good about it than all the pleasure that it has brought to people, it would still be wondrous, and it has done so much more and that is just one game.
PAM: Wow, that is such a great way to think about that, Virginia. It is so true too, that it’s people’s real lives that are all around. Their fingers are in all of it, and it is bringing, like you said, the creative fulfillment for all of the people working on it, the business around it.
I mean when you look at anything, when you look at Minecraft in that way, when you look movies, like, you can take that and realize all this stuff that we think is just fiction and not important, you know; those are people’s lives that are creating it. Those are adult people’s lives who are enjoying and thrilled and making money through their job creating these things, I love that. I have never really looked at it through that lens.
VIRGINIA: We are also big fans, my husband and I and our kids also are big horror heads, we love macabre stories and cool special effects and it is really easy to sneer at horror movies and say that they are, I do not know, pick anything that anybody says about any piece of art that they do not personally like.
VIRGINIA: But that does not change the fact that it is the work of hundreds of artists from the people who design the special effects to the people who actually build the machines, that you know, squirt the blood out of the fake wound that was created by a makeup person and applied by maybe two or three other makeup people, and just, I do not know, it is art. People like to think that they can objectively say this is good art and this is bad art but I just think that there is art that is for you and there is art that is not, and it does not help anybody to, as they say, “Somebody’s yuck somebody else’s yum.”
PAM: Oh, I like that, I had not heard that phrase.
VIRGINIA: You have not heard that? That’s a good one. There is also how you should keep your mouth shut if someone is eating something that you do not like. You don’t like it? You don’t need to eat it.
PAM: That’s something I learned from watching my kids.
Now that I was with them all the time, I could see them exploring things and I could see their reactions and I could see how much they enjoyed things, and I would be like, “Huh, that’s not really my cup of tea,” but you’re right, I very quickly learned not to say something because if I said something judgy, it would shut them down. And after seeing where that takes them a few times, shutting things down was not something that I wanted to do because it made their world smaller instead of bigger.
VIRGINIA: Because you never know what is going to connect to something else. And even if you think a piece of art, a television show, or a movie is not that great, it was still made by people who were influenced by other artists and you get to get connected to that world through their work.
One of my kids used to like to watch this show on Disney, it was one of the shows they make that are aimed at school aged kids, and it was called Jessie. It was about a young woman who was a nanny to a group of kids; standard kid fare, absent or buffoonish adults, so the kids could actually do something interesting.
They had a Halloween episode which was, as it turns out, The Shining—like they were making all of these references to the movie, The Shining. This is a kid show. It is not an ambiguously all ages show, it is a kid show. But they made a Halloween show that was full of references to the horror movie, The Shining, which I think is a great movie. My kids, they were watching this episode of Jessie, and I was curious—so many cultural references have come through to them of things that they have never seen before, like the huge amount of Star Wars, even though they have never seen any of the movies and are not interested in them at all.
But it is part of our culture, and so I was curious if they had somehow heard of The Shining, so we were watching Jessie, full of all these references to The Shining, and so I asked them if they have ever heard of The Shining, and they were like, “Yeah,” and I was like, “How?” and they were like, “Mm mm YouTube.” And then they asked me if it was a good movie and I said, “Yeah, it is a great movie, it is an excellent movie.” And they are like, “Oh let’s watch it!” And that’s how I ended up watching The Shining with my two young children.
And the funniest thing was the things that I thought would scare them did not scare them at all, and the things that I had not really thought about were the things that were scary to them. The funniest moment was we were all made to jump by a title card that said, “Tuesday,” because they had built up all of this tension expertly with Jack Nicolson staring out a window and this scary string music playing, and we were like, “Oh the strings are terrified!” and have you ever seen the movie, The Shining?
PAM: I actually loved Stephen King, I used to read him all the time.
VIRGINIA: I love him. I probably read Shining when I was their age, but I thought that the lady in the bathtub would scare my daughter Miriam because she would burst out about stuff that had to do with skin, but it did not scare her at all, and when the scene when the blood comes flooding out of the elevators, Lydia said something like, “Oh, I think somebody spilled a bottle of fruit punch,” and Miriam said, “Maybe two,” so that did not scare them at all.
The scene that they thought was creepiest was the one when when Jack picks up Danny and puts him on his knee and is trying to be soothing, but Danny is obviously scared out of his mind. They found that to be the scariest moment in the movie.
PAM: That is really interesting. It’s so fun to see things through their eyes. Whether it is movies, or games, or whatever. To see things through their eyes is fascinating.
And I wanted to jump back to when you were talking earlier about feeling smug. Because I think that that is a great clue. It is like a switch; the moment we are feeling smug, we are not learning anymore, we are not observing and analyzing things, we think we have it all figured out.
VIRGINIA: That is important; learning does not end. If you think you are done, you are just ignoring.
PAM: Yeah, that is a great point, because I mean, even my kids are older and obviously and I am still learning in all of those situations; forever there is something to learn, you know. I think that is the scariest moment when we think we have got things figured out, because it is going to come hit us in the end.
VIRGINIA: If you think you have got things figured out and your plan is laid out, if you let new information in, you will change your plan, and you will not want to change your plan.
PAM: Yeah, because once you get stuck in that rut, you know, you think you know where you want to go and you think you know how to get there, like I even write notes for myself now, “Remember to be open and curious, open and curious, always,” because, you know what, that rut might work for you, but you might find that you are going to have to work harder to stay in there because there is so many other things tapping at you, ‘What about this? What about this?’
And if you are not letting things in and thinking about things, you might miss that amazing path that could have been 10 times more fun, more fruitful, whatever, for you. You kind of get tunnel vision. Even positive; there is negative, but there is positive tunnel vision too, I think.
VIRGINIA: There is kind of a math term for that, and that is “Reaching a Local Maximum.” You are at the top of the hill that you are on and if you do not look around, you do not see that there are bigger hills that you can get on top of.
PAM: Ah, that is very interesting, yeah, that makes sense. That is a great metaphor.
What has surprised you most so far about how unschooling has unfolded in your lives? What is surprising about it?
VIRGINIA: What is surprising is the way it seeps into everything. Unschooling principles apply to much more than homeschooling. That feels just ridiculous to even say. Once you decide to look at see if what you believe about school is true or not and you find out that you have made some mistakes in your thinking, things you have not examined, things you have not bothered to—I don’t want to say have not bothered, that sounds dismissive … I’m sorry, I am trying to think of a better way—I think it is about bias. Unconscious bias; it’s normal.
There are positive biases and there are negative biases, and not all bias is bad. Being biased towards patience. Like, you think, everything else equal, I am just going to try to stay calm and see whether the application of more patience helps.
If you are not aware of your bias, you cannot compensate for it. If you do not know, it is very easy for bias to feel like absolute truth, like for people to feel like…the same thing that I mentioned earlier about people wanting to say, “This art is good and this art is bad.” That is bias, because what they are saying is, “The art I like is good and the art that I don’t like is bad.” And I believe that deschooling puts you into a habit of looking for bias and trying to overcome it, and also, looking for ways to try to form biases which actually make your life easier.
Like, say “yes” more, that is a bias. Other things equal, I am going to say yes. I am going to be biased towards saying “yes,” unless there is a really good reason not to. And once I started noticing how much of the attitudes that I had about school were part of unconscious biases—things that you learn like, “School is where learning happens,” that is a bias—I started applying that to other areas of my life, stuff that I had not really thought about all that much, and one of those things was how I choose or choose not to conform to mainstream beauty.
I had not really thought about it much before I had daughters, whether or how much it mattered if I decided to wear makeup or not wear makeup or remove body hair or not remove body hair. And I have come to much different position on these things now as a mother of daughters than I have before when I was just a daughter. And I do not want to do a lot of the beauty performance that is part of our culture anymore, but I also do not want to ruin it for my kids if they want to, because it can be fun.
And I am trying to figure out how to…I do not want to demonize shaving your legs or not shaving your legs. If they choose to remove their body hair or wear makeup, I want it to be their choice is what I want to say. All I am trying to say is that I hope that they will be able to do it for their own reasons.
I cannot tell you how many times a day I watch a video—I should say how many times in a week—but I watch a video on YouTube or something and there are young women talking about something or other and they use the phrase, “I had to shave my legs.” Nobody has to shave their legs, but it is okay to shave your legs if you want to and that is the path I am trying to chart and I do not know if I am doing a great job. Maybe I should be more strident. I’m still not sure what I should be doing on this.
PAM: I think it is interesting that we feel we need to be sure. And it is something that is so super hard to talk about because on one hand, our children are intelligent human beings and they are going to figure this stuff out. They are going to be living their lives. They are going to be getting input.
When you were talking way back to what this question was, what surprised you about how unschooling is unfolding and you said it is how wide it ends up reaching. So, we are not making their world smaller so that they only know what we tell them.
On one hand we are so deeply connecting with our children and we love them very much and we support them as much as we can, but we are supporting them in experiencing a larger world and they are going to have so many ways that they come across this information, and living in an environment where choices are cultivated—that we make choices for ourselves and we do not really need to know exactly whether we are doing the “right” thing, saying this or saying that, because that is one moment, it is one thing from us, and we already live with them in an environment where what we say is not the be all and end all.
VIRGINIA: Certainty shuts down learning also as you were saying. Being sure, you are sure? Well why do you need more information? If you are sure and you got new information, maybe you would not be sure anymore, oh no!
PAM: Exactly. And those are the unconscious biases. We’re spinning right around this—it’s beautiful.
Because it is the unconsciousness of it that makes things difficult, that makes us think we have a right answer. We can share what we think, because so often in questions and everything, people are like, “What do I do with my kids in this situation?” and so often the answer is, “Well, talk to your kids.” Have the conversations. There is no right/wrong answer for anything, it’s what makes sense for them.
And the great thing about having these conversations with them growing up, rather than just telling them to do what we think, is that we are there to bounce ideas around. We are there for the time, you know, they shave their legs, and then there for the time like, “Holy crap, I don’t want to do this.” And it does not need to be a one-time choice, we have our entire lives to make so many of these choices.
So, on one hand…
VIRGINIA: I used to choose to shave my legs every day. I cannot imagine choosing to do that again but I am not that person anymore, so…
PAM: And this is how unschooling grows because once you are making choices and you are living a lifestyle where analyzing and making choices for ourselves becomes a way we approach every day, it grows beyond just the educational or the academic pieces of it, and it grows right into life and everything becomes up for grabs.
Like, that is how food gets in there, that is how sleep gets in there, that is how hygiene gets in there, if you want to call it bigger picture. On one hand these are not be all and end all decisions we need to make for our children and choose a stance, even if it, you know, “Let them be.”
The challenge with that is I worry people take that as, “Oh, then I don’t have to be involved, I will just let them do whatever they want,” because so often people interpret that to step back and not stay connected, but it’s in those conversations about the topic where they figure things out. They bounce ideas off of us. It’s where we get to share our experience and our perspective.
That is the important part, not the knowing which way to take the conversation, but to have the conversation in the first place.
Does that make sense?
VIRGINIA: Yeah, this is something I was thinking about the other day. There is a phrase that people use sometimes, and I have heard/seen/read usually, even by experienced unschoolers who I love a lot, this phrase talking about unschooling communication to people who have not already “drunk the Kool-Aid.”
There is a phrase that I think people think it sounds really nice and sweet, but I think it comes across a little bit dismissive and it is something that people say, I feel like I have seen this and read this so many times, but “Unschoolers learn just by living life.” And man, everybody is living their life, and if you say “Us unschoolers are different from you people who send your children to school because we learn by living life…”
Everybody is living their life. Everybody learns by living their life. I think that sounds really flippant and smug and “Woo! We just do whatever.” And it gives a really false impression, I think, of how unschoolers support their kids interests. And of course, that is always going to look differently for every kid and I think that is what gets people… “Oh whatever you do, it is unschooling, we unschool on the weekends and summer vacation.”
I am just complaining now.
PAM: I get your point, and you know what is really interesting because when you say that, “they learn just by living,” I mean, it’s true because unschoolers who say that know what they mean, but it is absolutely true; kids who go to school are also learning from that experience, it is only that they are learning a lot of things that are not really expected. They are learning what life under control is. They are learning coercion tools and how to react, how to submit, how to choose to rebel—they are learning through the life they are living, aren’t they?
VIRGINIA: I think that whether adults want them to or not, I think one thing almost all children learn at school is that the goals of school that have to do with—not to put too fine a point on it—crowd control, almost always come before learning goals.
And it is not a conspiracy. It is not something evil; it is the nature of group situations. If you have 30 or 40 children who only have one adult to pay attention…sorry, that puts us right into school bashing. That sounds SO hard. It is so hard; they do it that way because it cannot really be accomplished in any other way and it is not really their fault.
That means that how well a child can do in school is partially constrained by whether they can adapt to that or not. I call it the “school game,” I hope that does not sound too dismissive. When I was a kid, I was really good at the school game, and it was very rewarding for me. I was lucky. I thought that all the kids that did not do school work were like conscientious objectors, and I thought they were so cool for just being like, “I am not going to do this if I do not want to.” And I was like, “Dude, it is so much easier, you just do it and then they leave you alone.”
PAM: That is exactly me.
VIRGINIA: Just do it and then the rest of the time you can do whatever you want. Just get it over with. It never occurred to me that there were some kids that could not do that school work because it did not make sense to them, they were not developmentally ready, you know, some kids do not really read until they are nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14…you cannot tell these kids and kids that read at two when they are all 18. But I don’t remember learning to read. It was just something I could always do, and I did not know that other kids were not just like me.
PAM: Yeah, that is really interesting. Because all we see is the system’s view of it. We do not see the individuals until we start paying attention to that, and I know for me anyway, I did not.
Like you said, I learned the game and I played the game to make them happy and that was that. That was all there was to it until later on when I started looking and to see the implications of the system and yeah, you know, I want to say it is not school bashing in the sense that we are choosing that that’s not the system in which we want to live and put our children in. We want a different system. Like you said, the system is not a conspiracy, people who are choosing to send their children to school, that is part of the whole picture.
Again, it is a choice and I think the most important thing is just realizing that it is a choice, because I think for parents that once they realize it is a choice, even if they choose school, at that point they realize there are also pieces inside school that they can choose. They can choose not to put so much emphasis on grades and look more at the individuality of their child. I know lots of parents who did not smash on their kids about what their grades were or sit on top of them over homework and things like that. There is a whole different way, you do not have to become the system at home too.
VIRGINIA: I think grades are probably the most damaging thing about the school environment. A lot of people are still like oohing and ahhing over Finland and their public-school system and how wonderful it is and I think the most important thing about it is they do not have grades.
Nobody mentions that in those beautiful articles about how wonderful Finland schools are. I am a fan of Alfie Kohn, author of Punished by Rewards, and Unconditional Parenting, I believe I read Punished by Rewards, I was already pretty much in that fire, but it was very eye-opening the way he frames things, and I believe this phrase comes from this this book, but that children experience the withholding of rewards as punishment, and that is absolutely true. Reward and punishment are the two sides of the same coin.
PAM: And it really does, and it is a very strong tool of control. Even when you are rewarding someone, it is a tool of control, like, “I love that you did this,” therefore everybody is going to learn that I would love if you did that more.
VIRGINIA: And what happens if I got an A this quarter but next quarter I get a B. You will always be ranked against other people, your friends, it is like this sorting and ranking. It causes them to focus on things that destroy them.
PAM: Yup, yeah that is great point.
I really wanted to know what your favorite thing about your unschooling lifestyle is right now.
VIRGINA: My favorite thing about our unschooling lifestyle right now is—my older daughter has been in it for a while but my younger daughter is like getting into it, the tween to teen sort of time rotation where they need a lot of sleep because they are growing and they still stay up the same amount of time, so the time they sleep and wake kind of precedes through the day—I am so happy that they can get the sleep that they need.
I remember being you know, in the sixth, seventh, eighth grade and I remember waking up in the morning and crying because I was so sleepy and I just wanted to sleep some more but I had to go to school. And I fell asleep in school at high school so much. Like, I would have gotten in a lot of trouble if I was not otherwise really good at the school game.
PAM: Yes, isn’t it lovely that they can get what their bodies need? That is such a huge piece. Like, because when you are trying to constantly go through your days exhausted, you cannot function, really. It is literally sleep deprivation.
VIRGINA: It is literally dangerous. I mean, the effect is so large, they can see an uptick in fatalities after daylight savings time every year, just because people are a little sleepy. There are more auto accidents, there is more people falling asleep behind the wheel, there is more accidents in general just because people are a little bit sleepy. What we are learning about how important sleep is, now these days, is kind of mind blowing. Yeah, they keep studying sleep and it keeps looking more and more important.
PAM: But still, you know, I was going to say, the system has not adjusted to what we know, but…
VIRGINA: I keep hearing, “Scientists discover that high schoolers need to sleep a little longer, and also that homework does not help people, oh well! Keep giving them homework. Don’t change the time of school.” School is kind of set up for the convenience of the parents.
PAM: The least of it. Yeah, and can you imagine just trying to make changes in…it’s like a large shift.
VIRGINIA: High school kids should really be going to school like, twelve to six.
PAM: That would be so helpful, I think.
I want to say thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me Virginia, it was so much fun, thank you!
VIRGINIA: Thank you! I enjoyed it very much.
PAM: Oh good, I am so glad and before we go, where is the best place for people to connect with you online?
VIRGINIA: You can find me on Facebook in the best unschooling groups only. Technically I am on twitter and Instagram…yeah, do not bother, I never tweet, and my Instagram is…I don’t take followers I don’t know, so I should not tell people to follow me on Instagram. But yeah, you know, if you see me join the groups, Radical Unschooling Info.
PAM: Awesome, thank you again!
VIRGINIA: And Unschooling Q and A.
PAM: I’ll make sure they are in the show notes.
Thanks, so much Virginia and have a great day!
VIRGINIA: Thank you.