We’re back and thankfully almost 80% through this confusing jumble of a book – Debi Pearl’s Create a Better Brain Through Neuroplasticity! Last week was about “Mindfulness” and today Debi talks homeschooling. Oh joy! Let’s jump right in and get ‘er done to quote that comedian.
“Neuroplasticity has taught us that homeschooling is most successful when done while singing, working and sharing life.”
Regular folks translation from Pearl-ese. You don’t have to fiddle much with pesky books and regular teaching. They can learn chopping wood and washing dishes while singing.
Debi starts by saying that the key to learning is momma being super interested in every passion of a child’s, that will spark the child to learn and learn more. According to Debi it sparks that brain grooving and grows brain connections. Oh, and I dispute that. I am of at least normal intelligence and my mother largely ignored me most of my childhood. I am not sad about it, and I do not feel the lack of it because I was surrounded by other incredible people that did give me the love I needed. Debi’s assumptions that this has to be the mother is so wrong, and dooms all kids not in a traditional families like the Pearls. We all know that is absurd.
Just like that we’re back in Debi’s “Keep Your Eyeballs on Me” nonsense. You know the story, Debi goes to the park, claiming that swinging on the swings is good exercise for senior citizens, sees parents on cell phones and freaks out they are not staring like zombies at their children. Debi babbles on that you are releasing good or bad neurotransmitters by looking or not looking at your kids. I call codswallop yet again.
Recently I was having a conversation with one of my daughters who is pondering the questions of marriage and children. She was explaining her sig o did not want their children to ever set foot in a McDonalds because the food is so toxic. I started laughing and explained that for me, as the mother of two young children that the local McDonalds was a godsend. Not for the food at all.
I asked her if she remembered those afternoons where she and her brother each got a frozen yogurt cone or an apple pie and a hour’s worth of climbing and playing in the McDonald’s Play Place. She talked of how much fun that was while I pointed out I was always sitting off to the side with a cup of coffee. That it was a break for me too, that I took them out when I was nearly in tears, at the end of my rope emotionally from the endless questions, constant clean up, go-go-go of two toddlers. McDonald’s bought me a small mental health break a couple of times a week. They got to play safely, I got a mental health break.
Sometimes everyone needs a break from each other. The trick to parenting is to find an effective safe way to do it, not this eyeballs and attention on the kid every moment of every day. This is how people reach serious burnout. We’ve seen in Quiverfull what happens when serious parenting burnout happens with no means of a break. People break down and they harm, sometimes kill, their children.
Debi goes on to claim if you are not eyeballing them every moment of every day passionately you’re cause fewer synapses to grow, fill them with evil neurotransmitters, brain damage them and hinder the memory they need to learn. She shares a story of a grown homeschooled kid that was terrible in learning whose mother loomed tense and disappointed over her, filling her with brain killing neurotransmitters, stifling her learning abilities. Literally not how any of this works.
She rattles on for pages and pages about how the attitudes of the homeschooling parent can either wreck the children’s brains, or build them up. Again, not true or provable. No evidence but her words.
Debi claims with all these positive attentions and ego strokes that the child will unintentionally pick up the values of the teacher, citing little Susy and her martial arts teacher, and says this:
“Over time, her teacher will laugh and talk about movies he has seen, and parts of the child’s brain will record this attitude toward the things that are unclean, all the while changing her brain structure.”
According to Debi this is how good Godly kids fall away to sin, that he is touching her soul with her eavesdropping on his movie choices. So double down on isolation why don’t you?
Debi circles back around to last week’s Michael and his knife throwing, claiming it is executive function driving his excellence. What any of this has to do with homeschooling I am not sure.
Finally Debi starts talking about homeschooling, and it ain’t book learning, but how joyous you must be to grown them brain cells, and create grinning acolytes that will do all the chores happily around the house. And we’re out just like that. A homeschooling chapter without anything to do with homeschooling.
Next week Mikey babbles about addictions and Debi illustrates this chapter with a big old juicy oozing sugar doughnut so I am guessing there’s going to be a lot of fat shaming. We get such gems as “Addiction is brain hunger.”
~ Part 21
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