Alanis Morissette has some unconventional ideas about educating her kids, and shared her philosophy with “Grey’s Anatomy” star Katie Lowes in her Shondaland podcast “Katie’s Crib”.
During her podcast appearance, the Canadian rocker discussed her latest album, Such Pretty Forks in the Road, and explained the “attachment parenting” technique she’s been using with her two sons, Winter Mercy, 13 months, and Ever Imre, 9, and daughter Onyx Solace, 4.
“For me, attachment parenting is, on a very basic level, eye contact, skin-on-skin, responsivity, gentleness,” she said. “The word ‘attunement’ is [important] in parenting but also in marriage and best friendship and professional relationships… If we’re not attuned to each other and we’re missing each other like ships passing, there’s not a chance for that deep connection that will be the hotbed for their whole life.”
She also explained how she’s been “unschooling” her children, crediting Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory, which she and husband Mario “Souleye” Treadway “loosely reference” for identifying “eight inclusion criteria while evaluating each ‘candidate’ intelligence that was based on a variety of scientific disciplines.”
“What I do with my kids is I watch their eyes,” she said. “So if I’m invested in them looking at this candle that I’m holding but their eyes are looking over there at the dappling through the tree, I’m gonna put that candle down … they [couldn’t] care less about my little agenda.”
As Morissette explained, both her parents were schoolteachers, and she said that she does “understand and respect conventional schooling, to some degree.” If her children wanted to go that route, she’d support them.
“When Ever says to me sometimes, ‘Mom, what if I want to get my doctorate?’ or whatever, I just say, ‘Yeah, whenever you want to go to school, you’re gonna go to school. And if you want to just keep learning outside of that context, then you will.'”
“I think, because of my direct experience with ongoing education, it has me see unschooling as certainly daunting but in a really cool way, like, ‘Wow, this is a huge thing to take on,'” she added.
The “unschooling” concept, however, isn’t set within time boundaries like traditional school.
“If Ever wakes up in the middle of the night and asks me a question, I’m not gonna blow him off, ’cause this is the time he’s gonna learn about that dinosaur,” she explained.