Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sensationalism & Dr. Phil

The Homeschool Scuttle had an interesting post on the Dr. Phil show " The Great School Debate". It's too bad he choose to portray homeschoolers in an unflattering light.

Presenting, "Radical Unschoolers," as the norm of homeschooling to the mainstream world, implies that all homeschoolers are radical, controversial, Unschoolers. Unschooling is by far the least understood and radical concept of homeschooling, and the easiest target for critics to judge and condemn. To use this family as representative of the homeschool population is sensationalism at best, and deceitfully manipulative, at worst. The film portrays the Unschoolers as spending all of their days basically playing and hanging out. To seasoned homeschoolers, that may not seem a bad thing, and, to some, would even seem a good thing. But, to every mainstream American, who does not understand homeschoolers and homeschooling, let alone Unschooling, the film and the footage shown of the family serves to reinforce every negative stereotype mainstream America has about homeschooling.


I would have certainly thought that the unschooling approach should have been balanced with other homeschooling approaches. There are many ways to homeschool and unschooling is just one of them.

An angry schoolteacher states that she never wants to see her country led and governed by homeschoolers and unschoolers, and that they could never be future decision makers for her and her country.

I certainly hope she wasn't a history teacher. These presidents were homeschooled:
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, James Madison, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Abraham Lincoln, Theordore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, & Franklin Delano Roosevelt. So unless she lives in a country other then America it has already been led and governed by homeschoolers.


their first request was that I not bring anyone, "Under the age of eighteen."

My seventeen year old is in his second year of college, but he would not have been welcomed at Dr. Phil's show??? (Of course having a formerly homeschooled 17 year old college student there might have shown how successful homeschooling is).

My close, homeschooling friend, my family, and I arrived on the big day, dressed as the Dr. Phil show had instructed us to dress: "Professional; Preferably in dark colors. Nothing white or beige, and no prints." We were to be, "Camera Ready."

A careful review of my closet reveals that I would not have been able to comply with their request. It's not that I don't have any professional attire it's the dark colors. My closet is filled with jewel tones and prints.

a huge group of what appeared to be high school students began arriving in ever-increasingly large lots.

Wait a minute I thought they didn't want anyone under 18???? Was this an attempt to make it look like parents favoured homeschooling while their children hated it? After all how is the TV audience going to know where these teens came from. One would have thought public school students would have been in school.

It's a shame that Dr. Phil choose sensationalism over educating his audience about homeschooling.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

I've never seen Dr Phil but I wouldn't expect a tv show to show an accurate picture of homeschooling. Of course they'd pick the most extreme examples they could find - "regular" homeschoolers are too boring and won't draw controversy or viewers.