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Unchool: Joy, Love, and Unschooling... - Page 5

post #81 of 91
Our children come into this world. We are resposibile for their education. If they go to school, we, as parents, decide to share that responsibility with the school. We may also choose to share that responsibility with community centres, tutors etc. But it is primarily our responsibility . As USers it is certainly our childrens responsibility.

Hence on one level I do not see HS as a privelage - but as a right.

--------------------

On a completely different level, I know I am privelaged to be able to HS my kids. There are many families that have circumstances (either of their own doing or not) that make HSing a really poor decision. I am privelaged that I do not have those circumstances.

kathy
post #82 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
Ooh! That's us! My kids are young yet, but see us at a peace rally, voting, volunteering (or talking about it in this case) for our local Food Co-op which strives to serve the low-income community and promote sustainable food choices, volunteering for City Fresh, an organization which brings local, sustainably grown foods to urban areas to provide excellent food choices to low income families, and at the Mother's Day Peace Picnic. It'll get more prevalent as they grow, but just in the last year my volunteer efforts have increased exponentially. They don't do a whole lot of actual work yet, but they're there for it, which is important.

Very cool.
We do similar stuff - we've started a Kids for Peace chapter which included a peace rally for kids, started a food sharing program for our UU congregation, volunteered for river clean-ups and community park clean ups, done an informal visiting programs at the senior's centres around town, raised money at Christmas craft sales for Kiva and for a local old growth forest program. This year I'm running a reusable bag making day for our hs group's older kids and we will hand them out free of charge at a grocery store and donate some to the food bank. I'm working with a few other mothers to put together a social justice program/group for kids which will include at trip to the ME to WE day, discussion groups and speakers and a cultural/religious exchange discussion. My kids have an informal shovelling/raking brigade for our elderly neighbours. I run a low cost soccer league for 50 kids as an alternative to our city program which is insanely expensive.
But we aren't unschoolers .
Homeschooling has absolutely opened my eyes and changed the focus on our lives in many ways. It has given us a community that is made up of like minded people willing to act on issues that are important to them and to teach their kids through example the importance of action and not just introspection.
post #83 of 91
Quote:
I don't think you need to work.hard.for.everything, but I don't believe that others should foot the bill for my happiness. I don't work 60 hours a week, but as long as I'm able, I'll pay my own way and teach my kids to do the same.
Yup, right there with you. That is why I WOH 3 days per week, my dh works full time, and has a side business. I certainly wasn't trying to say people shouldn't pay there own way. Just trying to say it isn't a sin to enjoy oneself.
post #84 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wugmama View Post
I wonder if people of color feel that they weren't granted the "privilege" of white skin. To me that attitude sounds demeaning to them. Again, just because they may not have everything they deserve in life, basic human rights, material things or whatever, but that does NOT mean I should not have what I have. We don't need to all be down to the same low level. It does not have to be a zero sum game. The ideal would obviously be to elevate everyone to the same great level. This is utopia. But some work toward that goal, like Dar. That is great. Right now I'm taking the very best care I can of my littles, they are part of the world too, and they deserve the best mom possible.
Peggy McIntosh (famously) said it better than I could: http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html
post #85 of 91
This thread is being returned. Some posts have been removed. It's OK to disagree, but please do it respectfully and don't take issue with another poster on the thread.
post #86 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
Peggy McIntosh (famously) said it better than I could: http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html
Thank you for posting that!
Karen
post #87 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
Very cool.
We do similar stuff - we've started a Kids for Peace chapter which included a peace rally for kids, started a food sharing program for our UU congregation, volunteered for river clean-ups and community park clean ups, done an informal visiting programs at the senior's centres around town, raised money at Christmas craft sales for Kiva and for a local old growth forest program. This year I'm running a reusable bag making day for our hs group's older kids and we will hand them out free of charge at a grocery store and donate some to the food bank. I'm working with a few other mothers to put together a social justice program/group for kids which will include at trip to the ME to WE day, discussion groups and speakers and a cultural/religious exchange discussion. My kids have an informal shovelling/raking brigade for our elderly neighbours. I run a low cost soccer league for 50 kids as an alternative to our city program which is insanely expensive.
Cool! How old are your kids? Mine are only 6 and 4, so their involvement is very very minimal at this point.
post #88 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
Cool! How old are your kids? Mine are only 6 and 4, so their involvement is very very minimal at this point.
11, 8, 8 and almost 6. They are very involved and amaze me with what they come up with on their own. Sometimes the hardest part is keeping up with them and finding a balance.

I find volunteering and activism with kids to be tricky as we often have to create opportunities and find ways to make them meaningful, rather than just have them be a token effort- and my kids are able to make that distinction.
One strategy is to find ways to make things theirs or facilitate a connection - so we visit the seniors home where my mum works, plant trees at "our" nature centre where we do a lot of programming, work with people at our UU congregation etc so that 1) the kids see a connection between their efforts and the potential outcome and 2) we are more welcomed as the kids take it seriously and work hard.
Many of the traditional volunteer options in our city aren't open to kids or families so working our community connections and organizing things ourselves have been the best option for us.
post #89 of 91
Our kids are similar ages, also: 6, 4, and 2. (Well, similar to Annakiss, I guess!) I have brought them along to breastfeeding meetings, a nurse-in, and picnics supporting local breastfeeding groups--they've been "lactivists" since birth

I think activism is an attitude and outlook as much it can be a "resume" for what we've done. We've found small ways to work it into our lives; I see it more as part of an outward focus and realizing that what we do matters and there are needs we can meet rather than trying to be part of something artificial, like a "movement". But that's me and How I translate it.

Sometimes it's as simple as a pp mentioned, doing yardwork for someone who needs help, or bringing another mother a meal who just had a baby, making gifts for a needy family for Christmas, helping a mom with breastfeeding or babywearing questions, just listening to a new mother who needs to talk, inviting a family that is new in town over to play, etc.
Modeling compassion for our kids is so important, and I've noticed it's made a difference for mine already. It encourages me that there are always small ways to make life meaningful for ourselves and others if we look for it. It doesn't have to be overwhelming or take over our lives (unless we want it to!)

I see lots of homeschoolers and unschoolers carrying out various forms of service in the community, even if it's bringing donations to park day for the local womens' shelter. Roots and Shoots is a neat organization I looked into, maybe when my kids are a little older, but there are groups with younger kids doing projects and one can start their own group. Scouting is another opportunity to reach out and serve others, too.
post #90 of 91
Rallies are not my thing, but it doesn't mean we are not into making the world a better place. My kid is not even 8 yet, I am not going to drag him to a homeless shelter or put him to work scooping mashed potatoes onto plates at the soup kitchen. My sister is the most involved and community-minded person I know and her childhood was as joyful as it could be. She started volunteering when she was 14 (with no prodding from anyone) and it's been just amazing to see all that's she has done to help others. She is 22 now and is doing the Teach for America program which is really hard to get accepted into.

I do not spell joy with a captial J or use ~~these symbols~~ or care about the law of attraction. I do think my DS is the cat's pajamas and that unschooling is wonderful, but I will tell all the funny, clever stuff he says or does and how great it is to unschool to my mom, not to whomever will (however reluctantly) listen! If unschooling moms want to trade stories of their great days and their children's wonderfulness why shouldn't they? What could that hurt? What does someone else's inability to relate to it have to do with anything? If I can't relate to something, so what? It's not all about me.

I have little interest in debating the finer points of unschooling. If I want to leave a book in the bathroom I'm doing it, I don't care what other people leave behind in the bathroom.


eta: I wanted to let it be known that it's not that I think rallies aren't important. One thing I like about the French is that they don't take stuff lying down. They take to the streets and let their voices be heard loud and clear.
post #91 of 91
I don't think joy and civic mindedness are mutually exclusive- I had a whole list of historical figures I admire to back up this point but then I thought that would just spark another debate about their merits and how I know they were joyful, lol.

I will just say that joy and contentment are not the same thing. I can be joyful and grateful for the life I without putting on blinders and seeing that there is suffering in the world. Heck, there is suffering in our own family right now. I am sad about some of those things, I am angry about others. But I still take time in the day to express gratitude, to keep my perspective, to meditate, to pray. These things keep me grounded in joy while I still face the world head on. I am actually much more productive in my pursuits of community service and social justice than I was before.
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