Dayna News – Dr. Phil

Dayna introduces unschooling to the mainstream on the Dr. Phil Show.

Dr. Phil – Unschooling Part 1:

Dr. Phil – Unschooling Part 2:

Dr. Phil – Unschooling Part 3:

Dr. Phil – Unschooling Part 4:

Dr. Phil – Unschooling Part 5:

Comments

  1. G Chandler says:

    Really disappointed that only a ‘dissatisfied’ homeschooler was represented with no balance of a success story. Wonder how many shows Dr. Phil has done about children thoroughly miserable/bullied/etc in public school. Everyone spoke about traditional school like it was a guarantee of a happy ending and a bright future, when we all know that is not true for a lot of kids. And Dr. Phil kept saying research shows homeschoolers are at a disadvantage after middle school age; I’d be interested to see what research he was referring to. Well done, Martins!

    • Thank you so much for your comment! We agree with you on how homeschoolers were represented. We feel that the show was a turn in the right direction and we were happy to have been heard. Radical Unschooling philosophy was representing for the very first time in mainstream media with this show and we were honored to be the voices to share it with the world.
      Thank you again!
      Dayna

      • I thought it was ridiculous that they ended the show with one homeschooler, who sounded like she had been pretty sheltered, saying she hated being homeschooled. Also, if she was homeschooled that whole time and not unschooled, no wonder she hated it. It is one thing to be in an environment like school which coerces a kid into doing so much they don’t want to, and sharing a sort of camaraderie of misery with other students. You know the whole “Don’t you hate Mr. So and So in Chem class coz he’s so boring, strict etc etc. If your parents are your ‘school at home’ teachers and they suck at it, who can you complain too…hopefully a sibling, but if not your screwed. And how odd that when asked what she missed, of all the things, she said, “I missed being able to hate the girl with the purple hair!” I take issue with that. I was a girl with purple hair (in the 80′s in a very cool private school I might add) and I was pretty darned nice. My unschooled son, chose to go to public high school, at 14 because there was stuff there he wanted to learn and or do that I could not replicate at home..to his satisfaction. So, he was willing to put up with all the crap that school dishes out to be a part of the broadcast media department, making the high school news program and filming segments for the video yearbooks; and to be on the Fencing team (of which he became captain his senior year). He made friends, though just a handful, and was able to put together a couple of high school garage bands due to the friends he met at school. Overall, because it was his choice, and we never rode him about grades or anything else that school dished out, he sees it as a positive experience. Prior to high school age, however, he was adamant about NOT wanting to be in school. So, Dr. Phil was so wrong saying that kids can’t know what they want if they haven’t experienced it. Just watch any show on Nickelodeon, Teen Nick, or Disney, or talk to the many kids in the neighborhood and any child can figure out pretty darn quick what school is like.

        Thanks Dayna was consenting to be on this show. I agree that it was awesome to have unschooling exposed like that on a national level.
        Rachel

      • Kudos to keeping on! Sorry to say Dr. Phil failed the message of how to live free :( Much warmth xoxo

  2. Dayna I really appreciate you and your family. It is so funny to watch all the sheeple in the audience trying to defend their position….and I just have to laugh. Keep up the great work. Enjoy it all. Oh and be sure and read the book “Lies My Teacher Told Me” by James W. Loewen, perhaps even send a copy to Dr. Phil.
    Here is another video I would recommend to you which I watched the other day. http://youtu.be/_tdljIW86e8 It is from Dr. Gabor Mate on Attachment and Conscious Parenting.

  3. I’m in England visiting and learned about the concept of governesses. Even now most wealthy children are schooled in the “nursery” by their nanny and governess. Children, even William and Harry did not start going to school till they were past 10. It makes sense to me. They are too young and vulnerable to be sent into the world and can learn so much from the home environment as long as there are concientious adults to help them and not just people too lazy to put the work in. The easy way out is to put them in school and hope for the best. Dr Phil talked about history repeating itself and that’s what interested him in it. It sure does lol! Dayna I thought you and your husband handled yourselves amazingly well when faced with brash Dr. Phil.

  4. This was very interesting. It reminded of the old adage that people will believe what they want to believe. It is true with just about everything…including homeschooling, unschooling, etc.

  5. I didn’t see Dr. Phil as brash, although he could certainly have let you, and the other homeschool moms, answer the questions instead of presenting them and then changing the line of questioning. As I sat there yelling at my screen in response to the public school teacher I had to remind myself that on TV shows, you have a very limited time frame to get your point across. Having been in your shoes, it’s difficult to answer pointedly when half the audience has really no clue of the depth and variety of experiences that homeschoolers have. He also mistakenly presents information that has been shown to be untrue. Not to mention the sad state of our public schools, as the “teacher” smugly recites her talking points as to the expertise and training of public school teachers, as I sit here recalling how half of MA teachers couldn’t pass a 10th grade equivalency test at one point. He had valid questions, easily answered in a more in depth presentation, but hey, it was a good start. Seriously, the onus should have been more on the deficits of public schooling as opposed to the so-called “dangers” of un-or-homeschooling. Kudos to you for staying confident and poised. I would have laughed at the teacher, personally, but then, it’s truly sad how deluded she was.
    I am an eclectic homeschool mom of 6, who DID give my never-having-gone-to-a-school kids the choice to go to a school, and some did, and returned home. One stayed (in a tiny private school of 30 kids), and 2 more will go back. It truly IS their choice. I’d never “tested” them on what knowledge they could regurgitate, yet, among their “peers” in their school, they were the top. Go figure. The only part they couldn’t master was sitting in one chair all day, so, their wise and relaxed teacher let them sit on the floor, or off in a corner to read, etc. She knew homeschoolers and was not worried about rows and conformity.

  6. Wow – there’s been a lot of talk about Dayna here in Australian homeschool circles of late, so I popped over to see what the fuss was :)

    Whilst I am more of a ‘traditional’ home educator, I am totally blown away by how completely unbalanced that episode was.

    It seems Dr Phil had an agenda of sorts to push or prove, and unschooling wasn’t on it :(

    The thing that amused me was this assumption that the public school system provides all the social experiences your child will ever need – it was so funny when one of the women made a comment about how homeschoolers/unschoolers only socialise with others in their own groups – how is that any worse than schooled kids only socialising with other schooled kids??? Talk about a straw man’s argument!

    On the flip side, I do have a teen who did go through a stage of resenting being homeschooled, and she has said she won’t homeschool her own kids – but she has a job now, she knows what direction she is heading in, she has some friends, is involved in community drama, so she isn’t fading like a wall flower, and to be honest I think her resentments are more because of other choices I made and how incredibly judgemental and protective I was for several years as a fundamentalist Christian (which I am the very opposite of now).

    Every child is going to grow up having issues of one kind or another – every child is going to feel let down by their parents in some areas – that is regardless of whether their parents were schooled?unschooled, religious/secular, gay/straight! None of us can get it right – and for society to have such an unrealistic expectation that “one system will fix all” is probably the biggest failure of all.

    Very fascinating stuff on here, thanks for being so open about your life…

  7. Lol it is just so funny to watch the show and they just don’t “get it ” do they . they just somehow assume we do not learn when not in school . just cannot grasp it . I’m so happy our now 4 adult unschooled children are our proof ! so apart of real society from the beginning . since when does one go out into the world and going to work with and have to socialize with 300 people all the same age ? where in the world does that happen or exist out of the ps system ? my ds at 17yo worked in a lumber yard he learned geometry pretty darn quick ! all our children thus far when taking the SAT tested at gr11-12 levels . one ds raised insects he knew more of entomology a age 16yo then a 2nd yr. university student .
    I’m so so happy to have these beautiful individuals go out into the world not being narrow and stuck in a failing system . we only have two at home now never been in school and wow the potential for them is so vast .

  8. I have been public schooled my whole life. I moved around a lot and was bullied often because I was new and was very quiet. I eventually starting resenting my peers and kept to myself besides just a few other outcasts who were like me. To this day, I am still a little socially awkward but ever since I graduated high school, it has gotten so much better. I was also very bright but had a hard time keeping up in some areas with the other kids. Partially out of boredom and partially because I had learned something different before I moved. I often felt stupid and like an outcast. What’s crazy id that I have noticed how much better I grasp mathematical concepts now that I am not in school. I HATED math! I learn so much better now with everything because I have that freedom to learn on my own. Even when I was in school, I went to the library and checked out astronomy books and learned so many things I wasn’t being taught by a teacher. I was in a computer class where we were learning to use source codes for websites. I had learned many on my own outside of school so I was way ahead of everyone else. I got my work done super early and was bored lol.

    Anyway, I agree that this show was pretty biased against homeschooling/unschooling. I wish he had at least one successful adult who had been unschooled, like Astra Taylor on the show. Hmm…wasn’t Einstein “unschooled?” I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that some show on a network owned by Viacom would be biased for public school and try to make unschoolers out to be kooks who are just “pushing their agenda.” Isn’t that what public school does? Let us not forget why schools were built to begin with. They were started to train children to be workers- not to educate them. They want parents to believe it’s for their children’s own good because they will be social and successful and if you don’t want that well you are just a bad, irresponsible parent. Well, no one wants to look like a bad parent. From then on, we are told that everyone else knows your child more than you. I suppose that starts at birth when doctors and pediatricians tell you to keep your child at a distance. Don’t sleep with them, you’ll kill them. Don’t hold them too much, they will be spoiled. No wonder so many parents end up not understanding their children when they are teens and adults. No wonder they can’t talk to each other and we have problems with drug abuse. I see unschooling as a way to prevent these problems and so much more. I wish more people were open to it! Gosh, I remember so many times when I was in school that I sat there and fantasized about just walking out in the middle of class. I wanted to be free.

  9. Is, not id* – in the 6th line. Yes, I do have to correct myself haha.

  10. Sorry to post so much. My only child is only 11 months old but I am already passionate about unschooling. What I have come to realize is that the minute a child is born, they are learning. It is a natural process. They learn to crawl, walk, talk and eat without really needing someone to tell them to. I even let my son “tell” me when he was ready for solids at 7 months. I’m learning that life is so much easier and fun when you let things take their natural course. To me, it just makes sense.

  11. Dayna,
    I have yet to truly explore your ideas on unschooling, but as a former teacher, I can honestly say the the United States public school system is way behind the times on how we should educate America’s youth.

    I was basically run out of my job after seven years as a documented excellent teacher. Why? Because I made the mistake of telling our entire school district that if we kept teaching the way we currently were, not only would we not make AYP ( an unrealistic expectation) for the fifth year in a row but we would also be daily today’s student in a way that may cause irreparable damage.

    I offered documented proof as to strategies we should be employing to capture and sustain the attention of every student; however, since it was not on our curriculum, it couldn’t be done without doing our own research.

    When I started teaching in 2004, we were using text books that were published in 1986– the year I graduated from high school! How can we be expected to educate using outdated sources as our guide?
    And this school still insists on teaching Charles Dickens and Shakespeare. Two authors I’m not so sure would even make the top 100 on the NY Times Bestseller lists, and I’m an English teacher. If students are interested in Dickens and Shakespeare, we should certainly expose them to it but not make it a staple in their educational process.

    The lack of an emphasis placed on writing skills is also beyond my grasp, especially since today’s youth has had far more exposure to texting and instant messaging before reaching the middle school age. Because of this we are developing a nation of students who cannot speak effectively let alone write well!

    Anyway, I look forward to exploring your concept in depth and hope we can enjoy many more conversations about this. Thank you for letting me rant!!

    Shawn Mackey

    • Shawn,

      Thank you for your comment. I can feel your frustration in the current public educational model. I personally do not try to change the existing system, or push up against it. I simply live my truth and promote a more evolved, respectful way to parent and interact with children. I know the system is damaging, outdated and dare I say, caveman, in their current authoritarian paradigm of control.

      I feel so good promoting what I believe in, rather than pushing up against what I don’t. I would love to have conversations about alternatives to the current model. Thank you very much for taking the time to post. It is teachers like you who become the strongest proponents for Unschooling!!

      Thank you for what you are doing.

      ~Peace & Love, Dayna

  12. I was surprised that he was not just attacking unschooling or radical unschooling, but homeschooling as a whole, even when interviewing Dayna. It seemed unfair that when she defended her position, he interrupted her. I am sad that when it goes on public television, it gets on there in such a negative way. I am an ecclectic homeschooler, who only just began homeschooling my kids. I love it, but I am always learning about different approaches, and tonight I learned about Dayna’s method. I am glad. I have loved Alfie Kohn’s books, and Dayna’s way of schooling and parenting seems to go right along with it.

  13. Dr Phil himself said that when his child brought home his math book that he didn’t know any of it. I’m assuming Dr. Phil was publicly educated, imagine that! I think if you take a look around at the world we live in you can see the results of forced socialization and education. Insanity= doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results!

  14. Dayna: why didn’t you get a chance to respond to Dr. Phil’s last point to you guys where he went on that rant there about how you guys were wrong?

  15. Congratulations Dayna on getting the word out in the mainstream. I’m sorry for the crap they dumped on you.

  16. I really have seen Dr. Phil in another light. Wow. It’s exhausting trying to get someone who knows everything to see your point of view. Not agree but just see.

    Of course we all make decisions from our experiences. And we’ve only been HS for a short while and I do believe our daughter now 10 is more happy and independent.

    I appreciate that we have a choice!

  17. Wow! The great divide between homeschoolers and the sheeple is so huge that we are not even able to communicate with them. The whole thing depressed me. I would have liked to throw some statistics at them about the difference between unschool “graduates” and public school graduates.
    The most depressing thing was how the sheeple were fully convinced that being put on a bus and taken away from your family every week day to a place where you are housed with a room full of other people whose birthdays fall within 18 months of your own is a natural normal occurance.
    And that woman who was concerned that the unschoolers would not be able to (vote) make policy for her. Ha! I guess if you tried to introduce them to Libertarianism in the same show they would have stoned you to death.

  18. I…. SMH…
    Sitting in a class room and not being allowed to speak is not socializing.

  19. KImber Sprague says:

    Your message on Dr Phil will touch someone. Somebody there needed this message and took it home. I wish I could have shared that our 10 children were largely unschooled. Our 5 oldest sons were raised this way and they all own their own businesses today and are what the world would consider successful. Two of our sons have a weekly radio show called Patriot’s Lament. And although our life had it’s crazy moments, I could write a book with wonderful stories of unschooling just with our family. Thank you for being the light shining in a dark place. Our children so need to be freed!

  20. I’m shamefully late to the party, but… Just a few points here:

    Dr. Phil saying that our education system offers the broadest scope of complete education that prepares kids for life in the ‘real world’ is a joke. Our public education system is based (still) on a 200-year old Prussian system complimented for the way it subjugated children to authority, rules, and gave them just enough education to keep the gears of society turning (run the machines, punch the clock etc). Phil betrayed his ignorance.

    The lady that claimed she cared because your kids would make decisions about her healthcare has obviously never pondered the insanity of leaving such an important aspect of her life up to a bunch of bureaucrats who don’t give a crap about her. And, to be honest, I didn’t learn much empathy in public school. I learned that cliques and popularity would influence how people behaved toward others. If public school kids are who she wants to look out for her in her old age, she is seriously deluded in her reasoning. She also perceives her ‘rights’ as superior to your right as a parent to choose how to educate your child, and she’s glad the state is there to help her get her way by pointing a gun at you.

    And oh, the poor girl who suffered through homeschool… She wished she could have had even the opportunity to hate the girl with the hair who thought she was all that…? Sounds like reasoning we should all consider, and quite seriously. Phil should have done better.

    Dayna, I love you and your family! I found your site from your interview with Stefan Molyneux, so I hope you’re back on with him soon.

  21. Dayna, ~you and your husband did a wonderful jon representing us Unschoolers.
    Thank you.
    When dr. phil said , “they are children they can’t know the consequences of their actions”….. ugh!!!!!
    Can adults?? ~and so what??????? ~ actions have consequences, THAT is a good thing!
    No one can predict the future! When we LEARN from consequences, THAT is TRUE knowledge.

  22. so it’ sbeen a few yers since this show was made. i have to laugh look at the movment happening now with so many homeschooling and unschooling and the proof is in Dayna’s kids now. oh how i wish there was an update to this show, they the ones against HS look liek fools lol

  23. Hi Dayna, I just discovered your blog. I totally agree with homeschooling, in fact I used to beg my parents to homeschool me when I was growing up, and vowed I would hs my child one day. Lo! Now I have a 1 year old! So it begins haha. I saw your interview on Jeff Probst yesterday and was so impressed I showed it to my hubby, now we are totally on the same page, we aren’t looking at being as radical as you are but maybe somewhere in between traditional homeschool and unschooling.
    The thing that stuck out to me in this Dr Phil was that ex-homeschooled girl, that was just ridiculous, when she spoke I just kept thinking “I feel just as socially inadequate, but I went to public school!” Really, any people who point to homeschooled children who aren’t as socially adept, I can point them to several in public school even worse off.
    I’m going to keep perusing your blog, thank you for this!

  24. monica x says:

    It is very cool that everyone commenting has the ability to stay home with their kids to unschooled them. But it is pretty rude to refer to everyone else as “Sheeple”. Don’t forget that there are people out there who would love to be able to stay home with their kids but maybe are single parents with no help and have no choice but to send their kids to school while they work. I believe that there is good and bad on both sides and there isn’t one right way of learning to fit everyone the same. Some kids love going to public school and that doesn’t make them wrong for wanting that. I think the best way to get someone to be opened to your ideas is to be opened to theirs. It would be boring if we were all the same and did everything the same way, including the way we learn.

  25. I am an unschooling (though not probably “radical”) mom for our daughter. I am also a college graduate with a teaching license. :-)

    I thought Dr. Phil’s questions were valid. People on the onset of these ideas have lots of questions! We home educators have got to be approachable and patient in our responses so that people can potentially hear what we are saying. Thanks for being a bridge to these different communities, Dayna!

    I do also think that as homeschoolers it is beneficial for us to appreciate that in the system which we can. I personally don’t wish for the demise of public education, as that one homeschooling mom was described. I have several friends who work so hard and care about these kiddos so much. There are lots of parents who either don’t want to make the commitment or don’t think it’s best. I think it’s respectful to have meaningful conversations with such parents while valuing them as an individual.

    I do think the way I am educating our daughter is best for her right now. 100%.

    We’ll do this one year at a time….one day at a time….one interest at a time.
    (Current interests of my 6-year-old: Mongolia, ocean life, water cycle, drawing and then cutting out flowers and birds.)

    With a smile I can say, “They are all, indeed, very interesting! I’m learning too!”. :-)

  26. While I don’t agree with the ways that traditional schools work, I also don’t agree with the unstructured households of unschooling. Letting a child learn from his mistakes is one thing, but allowing them to just roam freely with no boundaries and rules- you’re just asking for trouble and disrespect. To the aspect of school…

    I believe that each child is different and learns different, just as so each teacher teaches differently. That’s why some of us had that one teacher that we loved because they explained things in a way that we understood. I know how hard teachers work to make learning fun and easy for kids and I respect them for it, but I want the best options for my children. That they will get one-on-one help and attention, if need be, and enjoy what they are learning not forced to memorize and retell stories about something they may not even understand. I get that teachers have to comply with the what the states set as core standards for their lessons. I don’t blame any teacher for the things they teach, I don’t agree with the state on those standards. All those standards say are that if a child doesn’t meet these standards then they are not normal or there must be something wrong with them. While there are cases where children have disabilities, it doesn’t mean they can’t function and learn. But for the majority of children that don’t live with a disability they are labeled as incapable then outcast by peers. Children who have disabilities get Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), it should be to where all children get IEPs because they are each individuals who learn differently no matter their abilities, no matter where they learn. Besides, there are so many resources out there that enables us to teach our children with out having to pay for curriculum or even attend meeting and training sessions to be a “teacher”. We (parents) are our children’s teachers from birth. We teach them how to walk, talk, eat, sit…. all the basics. We have the knowledge already to teach them things we have learned, we only have to be open to how they receive it that works for them.

    As for socialization… imagine a world where public schools didn’t exist. Children would still be able to get together and play sports, there would still be competitions (of any sport), play groups, even dances. Prom is just a dance for seniors in high school. There is no law that says homeschooled or unschooled children aren’t allowed to rent out a facility, hire a D.J., decorate, get dressed up and then dance the night away with their closest friends. Prom is just one more thing that public schools use as bait to drag our kids in and rely on peers to encourage their every move and decision. They come to depend on being around people to get things done, or live their lives. I love that homeschooling offers my child independence in every aspect, especially to make their own choices and learn from their mistakes. Think about this… When you go to Prom in a public school you are suppose to have a date, and if you don’t you automatically feel like you don’t fit in or you’re not good enough to be with someone. Public schools push our children into the mindset that we have to be in a relationship. Almost to the point where schools become a dating game. By only being socialized among peer of the same age, children are not learning how to properly behave in society where there are people of every age. That is how these young generations have lost respect for the ones before them, and no longer care for their communities and those who live in it.

    My way of schooling my children is through the world. I will provide for them a structured life where they know what is expected of them on a daily basis, like picking up their toys when they are done playing, being kind to others, obeying (honoring) their father and mother, working hard to get what they want/need (because everything is not just handed to them on a silver platter), all while learning about the world we live in and how to help it and those around us. I will teach my children to be grateful for everything they have and not dwell on any material things that will come and go, and know that there are others who are less fortunate than we but who can be just as happy. That is what truly matters, happiness.
    Happiness is a divine right, a God given feeling and we don’t need material things to make us happy. Our society has established this thought into our minds, do I dare say brainwashed us into thinking that we constantly need the best and newest thing to hit the shelves in order to succeed in this life, but it is a lie. It sickens me to live this way, and I won’t allow it for my children either. I want them to strive for happiness not material things. We will live our lives by learning what interests us, what is important, and what will most of all make us happy.

    Mainly, I want to teach my children to be life long learners. Learning doesn’t stop once you’ve graduated from high school or college. There is so much information out there and so many things, like technology, are constantly changing. There is always room to grow your mind and learn something new. So any parent can be a teacher, they just have to have the drive for learning new things themselves and be open to a variety of ways of showing it to a child.

  27. Dr. Phil doesn’t seem to understand the basic goodness of man, he thinks that if children are not forced they’d be “just a lump” without curiosity, imagination or knowledge, when in fact, the force he advocates destroys all three. What Dr. Phil doesn’t understand is principle, obviously he doesn’t have any, he doesn’t understand that force is the opposite of learning, he doesn’t understand that the principle IS the rule.

  28. Dr. Phil doesn’t understand that the moral is the chosen and the immoral is the forced, he doesn’t understand the non-aggression principle, and that’s the principle.

  29. I took a glance at the vids and found it painful to watch, mostly because Dr. Phil kept putting his foot in his mouth so many times. We are unschooling at this time. We have also enrolled our boys in an enrichment program, one day a week. We have our doubts sometimes, wonder if we are doing well by our boys. I don’t think there’s a one size fits all solution. Things change as we all evolve and experimenting with different ideas helps us all find the things that work. Too bad Dr. Phil doesn’t live up to his so called
    openmindedness. The only thing I really appreciate Dr. Phil for is how we should be responsible for our own actions, keep the truth out there.

  30. We are classical homeschoolers, but I support all forms of homeschooling including unschooling. I believe that parents no matter their own background are more adept to teach their own children.

    I never read a homeschooling book until my child started public school. I’m not dogging the entire system, kudos to those that can adjust to it. I just knew I didn’t care for the way the adults in charge treated the students and all the other issues at hand. We had a teacher refuse to allow my son to use the restroom and he had diarrhea all over himself on the playground. The school nurse had to clean him up. He was in kindergarten so he had a change of clothes. If animal shelters forces animals to not use the bathroom PETA would be banging on the door and giving interviews with a cute puppy on their lap. However, we should accept the flawed education system entirely?

    These one sided interviews about homeschooling are based on pure speculation and personal agendas. It’s easy to pick on the minority.

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