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The axe falls on unschooling - Page 2

post #21 of 129
Thread Starter 
Music practicing started out (at age 4 or 5) as something you had to do in order to continue lessons. It has been years since I've had to say anything about that. Maybe since age 6 or 7? The kids love their musical skills, the opportunities those bring them, their community of fellow musicians, they love playing, they love performing, they love chamber music with others and they love their teachers. And they're just in the habit of practicing. It's as automatic as brushing their teeth. They have no problem leaving the computer to practice.

I honestly don't see how we can create a larger environment or community of fellow learners that supports academics similar to what we can do with music. We live in a village of 600 in the middle of nowhere. If we could do it with something other than academics I'd be happy too. I had my younger three kids in aikido and was hopeful that it would serve them well, but the older two didn't find enough challenge there after a year (the other kids not being nearly as serious and focused, many being enrolled to help them deal with attentional and respectful-behaviour challenges) and they are adamant they do not want to continue. My youngest is doing well but she's the youngest in the class by a couple of years and is still being challenged. If there were some other endeavour where the middle two could establish those habits of diligence, self-motivated challenge and responsibility things would be good, I think. Gymnastics, skating, programming club, astronomy club, dance, swimming, 4H, community college courses, cross-country team or whatever. But we don't have access to anything like that. I keep looking though. I haven't given up. Some day I may discover a connection with someone that will serve one of my kids well.

Miranda
post #22 of 129
I understand the geographic limitations with lack of activities, I was more thinking of something like a one on one mentorship type activity - maybe a friend or a teacher from the high school who would like to meet to talk about math and that might inspire some new direction.

The other part I'd wondered about was if lack of exercise or outdoor time might be contributing to feelings of sluggishness which can create an ongoing cycle with the computer as well. There can be a real loop there, sluggish, no exercise, computer, no exercise...
post #23 of 129
Miranda, I'm exhausted with an aching back tonight, but thinking about you and your family, and I just want to offer a hug for now. You're such a wonderful ongoing support for so many others that it's hard to see you have to go through this hard time.

It's getting colder and darker in northern California, and think of mid-November in Canada, three kids dealing with of all sorts of body growth and hormonal changes, and just the way life tends to ebb and flow with various moods and personality changes, and none of this seems particularly surprising. And it does seem as if they're basically doing awfully well in the big picture...

When my son was growing up, I saw parents in our circle worrying periodically about the very same kinds of issues, and our kids have gone on to show that they actually do have a very good work/responsibility ethic.

My son's dad who grew up in a family that expected lots of intense work and responsibility from the kids, and he had a very demanding career that demanded extreme discipline, so he worried about our son not seeming to have much in the way of drive or discipline or work ethic. But it turned out that he did indeed have all of that as he grew into situations where they were necessary - with no hesitation. When he was involved in teen outdoor adventure camps, he was known as a tireless and cheerful worker who did more than his share and lifted others' spirits with his humor. Later, I remember being amazed at the long hours of grunge work he had to do in stressful and depressing conditions long into the night when I visited him while he was volunteering for AmeriCorps in an inner city soup kitchen and social services center 2,000 miles from home - no complaints, just quiet determination to get it all done and be of as much service as possible to those who were so much less fortunate. I honestly wouldn't have thought he'd ever be so willing and eager to put himself through all that - it was really exhausting - but the real world beyond home does tend to bring out all sorts of things that might not be so obvious while in the home.

Well, I'd thought I was just going to drop a hug and run... - Lillian

post #24 of 129
Thank you very much for sharing this stage of your journey with us. I admire your insight, honest reflections and your ability to write about them.


I salute your children for honestly telling you when they like the structure you have imposed. Not all children would say that, even if they did like it, and it reflects on their security, self-respect and trust in you.

I like your practice of democratic family meetings - I guess having more than just one kid makes it seem more like a meeting. I do try to openly discuss with dd whenever I think there is a problem (like e.g. for a while she gave up on baths) so that we come to an agreement together, etc. I am curious - do you call these meetings only when a problem arises? Or do you have them regularly in any case?

Now if I may reflect on our own stage of the journey, in light of all that you have shared ...


SO far we are loving the life of unschooling, of course I have only 1 6 yo dd (so far :-) who seems very much like your 6 yo dd [though she sleeps more like midnight - 10 am, not 10 pm - 8 am. Midnight - 10 am works fine for me (in fact I love that quiet time in the morning) but I worry that as an unschooler it could get pushed later and later, as it does with so many. At one point it became 2 am - 12 noon but we consciously moved back to midnight - 10 am, even though personally it benefits me to have uninterrupted WAHM-time till noon. ]

But I digress. Anyway, I can see that my eager and boisterous 6 yo could easily become a computer-addicted couch-potato. Esp since we dont live in such a beautiful place (as I imagine rural mountains of BC to be).

I do involve her in household chores. Even though she has outgrown the craving for housework she had at age 2-4, she still enjoys helping, and I would like to maintain this. But how to make sure she still helps whether she thinks it is "fun" or not - I mean, mopping the floor is still fun for her, maybe because it still has some element of challenge and feeling like she has been given something important to do ... but when it becomes routine, as all housework becomes, then how will she understand that she has to do it as a responsibility? (So far it has always been her choice to help.)
post #25 of 129
Hi Miranda

I'm just seeing this now. I have no advice but I want to say I'm sorry there is this struggle right now. I have no doubt you will handle it and help your kids navigate it with your usual mindfulness, gentleness and grace and that you will all come through it having learned some things that will make the way forward easier.

Take care
Karen
post #26 of 129
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for their support, hugs, encouragement, discussion and questions. It's all good stuff.

Day two report.

No tears. Dd11 gets me up at 6:30 a.m., because she likes doing her work when the other kids aren't around. She is too sleepy to concentrate on common denominators in algebraic equations and gets a bit frustrated, so we just focus on some review and other areas and plan to help her get to bed sooner ("maybe by 10 o'clock" she says!) tonight. Ds13 says "I like math." He is smiling through most of his work, and though he refuses to do the editing worksheet, he offers to do extra handwriting instead. Fine by me. Everything else goes over fine. Dd6 begs for more timed multiplication drill. Who is this child?

Chores today will be in the afternoon, as they have to do with food prep for a fund-raising venture.

Miranda
post #27 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Savoir Faire View Post
I'm just curious as to what your child would do if you said "yeah, I know I should feed you (or go to the store), but I just don't feel like it. I think I'm going to hang out at Mothering.com all day long."
I swear some days I feel that way. But I don't.

Miranda, you rock. Seriously whenever I get discouraged I think-what would Moominmamma do? But you are so honest about it and it and it sounds like things are going better.

I get so many mixed feelings about these issues. My kids have such different personalities. Two thrive on routine and structure. I do, too...in my head, but I find it hard to stick with. We've also tried negotiating to a no-bedtime routine, etc. and it's turned into chaos. So we are transitioning back. It works for some kids, not for others. My 8 yo could stay up till 2 and be motivated and happy and independent. But my 5 yo...yikes. So in theory, I believe in a totally autonomous free life...but when it affects the family, I think that things should be changed. I think you're doing the right thing and I hope things transition smoothly and work out for you all.
post #28 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
The other part I'd wondered about was if lack of exercise or outdoor time might be contributing to feelings of sluggishness which can create an ongoing cycle with the computer as well. There can be a real loop there, sluggish, no exercise, computer, no exercise...
and a lack of sleep or erratic sleep can contribute to this feeling as well... we've never really had bedtimes, but my kids have so much more fun in life when they're well-rested, and for us, that seems to mean being asleep before 11 pm every night. my dd seems to be entering puberty and needing more sleep, and she also just shifted to her own bed, so after a week of "I'm too tiiiiiiired to go to (insert all activities she normally loves)" we decided today that she should be in bed reading by 9:30 so she's asleep at a reasonable time. I for one, am looking forward to being able to go to bed early, as I function much better that way too. We used to be serious nightowls, but life just works a lot better for us when we go to bed earlier, and I don't think it's a problem to help my kids achieve this. dd does often get really creative late at night, but hopefully with an earlier bedtime goal, she'll find other time during the day to be creative!

and we're going to make a concerted effort to do a little bit of focused work each day too, after NEVER having done that before. I think I'll let the kids pick what it is, but we'll just take a half-hour/hour each day (ok, most days ) to work on creating or learning something.

Unschooling is an ever-shifting model, I think...
post #29 of 129
I agree with those who've said it doesn't sound like a school/academic issue and creating more structured homeschooling or sending them to public school won't help with the issues at hand. I understand your dh's thinking behind sending them to PS, though, because it will create the illusion of a long, productive day full of structure and discipline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
In the area of sharing the household responsibilities our success has been minimal with the older two. They have experienced the consequences of not helping -- and they honestly don't seem to mind wearing the same clothes for weeks on end or eating granola or dried apple slices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Most things it's not so easy to let the consequences happen. If no one brings in firewood, we all get cold. If no one feeds the animals, the animals suffer. If no one ploughs the driveway dh can't get to work. If no one takes out the compost we get problems with vermin.
I'd like to address these points. If they are happy to wear dirty clothes and eat the same quick and easy foods for days, why isn't that ok? Eventually, they'll want clean clothes and something else to eat. My now 18yo went through a phase from the ages of about 13-15 when he rarely bathed or brushed his teeth or wore clean clothes (even when I washed them) but now he washes all of his own clothes when he needs them clean. He also went through a period when he wouldn't eat just about everything we made. I just tried to make sure we had the stuff he wanted (within reason. I didn't provide him with an unlimited supply of soda.) around so he could feed himself.

WRT the firewood, animals, shoveling the drive and composting, are these things they choose from the beginning? Or, are they things that you and/or your dh chose to do for your family and then decided along the way that the children should help with them? These things are the responsibility of the person who chose them. If those persons can't or won't do the work needed anymore, then these things need to be expunged.

Your dh needs to get to work so he should be the one to shovel the drive. That's not the responsibility of your children. If you are cold without a fire, then you need to either bring in some wood or put on more clothes. If your children get cold because you didn't bring in the wood, they can certainly do it. Whoever got the animals and chose to keep the animals should be responsible for the animals. Same with the composting. JMHO and I know that probably seems gruff or short but it's not meant to be. That's just the easiest and shortest way for me to say it.

It seems a lot of people don't want to hear this because they think that homeschooling/unschooling/AP/CL will prevent all of this, but the isolating behavior sounds very age-typical to me. The 13-15 age phase is a rough one. Kids are going through all kinds of hormonal changes that can and will affect mood and behavior. The strange sleep schedules wouldn't concern me too much. There could be some issues with screen addiction. I don't know. I went through the same issues with my 18yo ds at that age (who attended public school from K to halfway through 7th grade, btw). He did get out and do things with his friends when they were doing things that interested him.
post #30 of 129
my children are only 9 and 4, but i found that while my partner and i tend to radical variation in our days, and they will follow that, we are all happier with some consistency. when i felt ready for it we started to integrate more daily rituals, including a pretty consistent waking and sleeping time. we are much happier this way..i also find that we are all homebodies, so we do tend to be happier if i not only schedule entire days when we're just home, but also make sure to break those up with things we go out and do. i think it probably has very little to do with unschooling, or consensuality, so much as realising that people need balance, ritual, routine, and family needs to be balanced as well. your partner needed more balance, but clearly your older kids feel better with it too. maybe if you can think of it more in terms of balance and ritual you'll all enjoy searching for it more?

we were also very relaxed about using media, we use it a LOT. but this summer, home in b.c. i got rid of the tv and they never used the computer except to chat with daddy back in england. we were all very happy and easily balanced that way. in the winter that isn't really necessary, so we're back to using media, but we have an agreement that we only watch after dark except on weekends, when we let them watch first thing to give us extra sleep . i'm finding that they get down to important things they want to be doing much more easily. i used to hear a chorus of 'i'm so tired...' but now they are tired and drawing, reading, pretending.

good luck with this. i remember wanting to retreat at 14, 15, but those habits were hard to break too, i would have loved my family to draw me out more in those years...though i wouldn't have said so!

*
post #31 of 129
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
I agree with those who've said it doesn't sound like a school/academic issue and creating more structured homeschooling or sending them to public school won't help with the issues at hand.
No, of course not. It's not an idea that's being entertained at all at this point. It's just something dh threw out there -- probably more for the shock value of showing the kids he was really serious about the need for change. It was quickly dismissed from consideration by all of us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
I'd like to address these points. If they are happy to wear dirty clothes and eat the same quick and easy foods for days, why isn't that ok?
Yes, it's fine. It's how things work here, pretty much. Except that I like having cooked meals for supper, so I'll usually cook a family-sized quantity of what I want to eat. And they're welcome to eat some of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
WRT the firewood, animals, shoveling the drive and composting, are these things they choose from the beginning?
I'm not sure what you mean by "did they choose." They didn't choose to live in Canada where the winters are snowy and cold so that heating and shovelling are required. They did choose the chickens. We need a dog for safety (bears wander across our lawn frequently -- we tried living without a dog for two years and it was dangerous), and yes they were part of that decision. We have no garbage collection so we drive our waste to the landfill ourselves once a month and pay per-unit for the privilege. None of us chose that but it's how it works here and it makes composting a necessity. Keeping food scraps indoors means vermin indoors. Keeping food scraps outdoors means bears. And with a 41-pound 6-year-old in the family, I'm not comfortable with the natural consequences of that situation!

If you mean did the kids choose to do those chores, no they didn't. But we haven't assigned chores either. When I said "Most things it's not so easy to let the consequences happen" I wasn't implying that we've forced the kids and created artificial consequences. What I meant was that dh and I do all that stuff. We have for years. Mostly me, since I'm the one here most of the time. I don't complain, I don't force children to do work. I ask for help sometimes, cheerfully, having comes to terms with the unlikelihood of any being offered. And they rarely offer, and I just do everything myself. I fully understand the TCS/RU way of doing things. It's what we've been living.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
Your dh needs to get to work so he should be the one to shovel the drive.
Nope, sorry. Not here. Natural consequences don't work here -- lives are at stake -- literally and often. My dh is the sole breadwinner and is the ER doc. We have a 300-yard-long laneway that is our access off a rural highway. If he can't get out on a call because he's been catching a scant 3 hours sleep during a snowstorm after being in the ER all night, someone may die. If it starts snowing heavily while he is in on a call and someone at home doesn't start snow-blowing, the snow will be too deep and too heavy to remove at all. His vehicle would be snowed out, he'd have to walk in from a neighbour's place, meaning his ER response time is too slow and that would mean that he'd have to find alternate accommodation (i.e. rent a place in town until the snow melts enough -- days or weeks).

All this means that some of the other family members, if they want to continue to have food on the table and a dad in the family, need to help with the snowplowing/blowing. "Some of the other family members" typically ends up meaning: me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
If you are cold without a fire, then you need to either bring in some wood or put on more clothes.
I appreciate the perspective you're coming from but we've been doing it your way for more than a decade. I honestly don't think it has worked very well. The kids do not understand how their own needs and comforts and those of the people they live with and love are satisfied. Intellectually they understand what goes on. If you asked them why the pipes don't burst in the winter they'd say "well, dad spends a few weeks collecting firewood and splitting and stacking it, and then mom brings it inside and she keeps the fire going in the wood stove all winter so that the house stays warm." But do they ever volunteer to help with any of this? Do they truly get that there's work involved that other people dislike doing just as much as they do? No. And as they require more and more of me and their dad in terms of financial support for their activities and time spent taxiing them about, the responsibilities are becoming more and more difficult for us to shoulder alone. (And I'm not saying this lightly. Between now and Friday I will drive 20 hours, spend a night away from home, volunteer my time as a coach for several hours and spend over $500 on the kids' music training. This is a fairly typical week.)

I honestly think there are places where natural consequences cannot be trusted to work. Where they're too dangerous or too severe to risk. And I think that years and years of parents taking RU-style ownership of their own concerns about health, safety and other family and household issues has prevented the kids from learning what they need to.

Miranda
post #32 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
I honestly think there are places where natural consequences cannot be trusted to work. Where they're too dangerous or too severe to risk. And I think that years and years of parents taking RU-style ownership of their own concerns about health, safety and other family and household issues has prevented the kids from learning what they need to.

Miranda
I agree with you, Miranda. This is one thing I struggle with a lot about unschooling/RU. It's about being a part of community and part of a family. Of course the kids didn't choose to be born, either. But there's no reason to let a whole group of people suffer or go without because one person just doesn't wanna. With living comes responsibility and I know far too many people who never were given any responsibility or chose to take any on that just did the same thing through adulthood. I'm not saying have your kids sweep the chimneys, but I honestly don't see the injury in having each kid help with chores and being part of a family/group.
post #33 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
I appreciate the perspective you're coming from but we've been doing it your way for more than a decade. I honestly don't think it has worked very well. The kids do not understand how their own needs and comforts and those of the people they live with and love are satisfied. Intellectually they understand what goes on. If you asked them why the pipes don't burst in the winter they'd say "well, dad spends a few weeks collecting firewood and splitting and stacking it, and then mom brings it inside and she keeps the fire going in the wood stove all winter so that the house stays warm." But do they ever volunteer to help with any of this? Do they truly get that there's work involved that other people dislike doing just as much as they do? No. And as they require more and more of me and their dad in terms of financial support for their activities and time spent taxiing them about, the responsibilities are becoming more and more difficult for us to shoulder alone. (And I'm not saying this lightly. Between now and Friday I will drive 20 hours, spend a night away from home, volunteer my time as a coach for several hours and spend over $500 on the kids' music training. This is a fairly typical week.)

I honestly think there are places where natural consequences cannot be trusted to work. Where they're too dangerous or too severe to risk. And I think that years and years of parents taking RU-style ownership of their own concerns about health, safety and other family and household issues has prevented the kids from learning what they need to.

Miranda
One thing I have always appreciated about you, Miranda, is that you think things through in terms of practicality rather than letting a philosophy or model dictate your parenting choices. If something like CL/RU looks like a philosophy you want to use, you'll do it and if it looks like it is not working you'll honestly admit that too.

It's not easy after years of being a staunch promoter of RU to step back and say, "you know, perhaps in this area something else would serve us better." But you do it. I love that. It inspires me to thoughtfully parent my children in the way that seems to work the best for us, not so I can have bragging rights in the RU community or look like the perfect parent who never tries the wrong thing. As kids grown, parenting styles also have to evolve and change and grow. What works for one child or family will not necessarily work for another.

It's interesting to me, your comment on "they don't realize that whoever does the work hates it as much as they do" is telling. There is so much in life that we do because we must but we don't enjoy it. How to get kids to understand and embrace that is one of the trickiest aspects of parenting in my mind. Part of it comes with maturity, as you know, and part can be taught. But how best to teach it?

Rather than offer books to read or advice (since my children are far younger than yours my experience is limited) or even my own opinions, some of which differ from yours, I just wanted to reflect a little on the issue and offer some encouragement that you'll figure it out in the same thoughtful manner that you have solved other parenting issues in the past.
post #34 of 129
I am not RU so this may not apply. But this is how our household works.

If the kids expect me to do something for them that takes time away from what I need to get done, then they need to help get it done.
If they have a function to go to that will take time away from me fixing dinner then they need to help so it gets done on time. Or if they need money for something then they need to help earn it as our money goes toward bills and household needs. Money earned is in the form of chores that needs to get done so I can either take on extra clients (I'm a massage therapist and herbalist) or give an extra class so extra money is available. If they are not willing to help out then they are out of luck. I will not take on extra work to benefit them if they are not willing to help me out.

As for the animals...I buy the food for them, they can at least feed them. They wanted them, they care for them.

If they want a roof over their heads and dad needs to have the lane clear of snow, then they should pitch in and help. It benefits them. It may not be something they want to do but it is a need that has to get done.
If the children want to continue their activities and it cost money, they should ensure that dad can get to his job. For the child who loves to spend hours on the computer playing games...what happens if dad can't work and electricity gets shut off?
You spend time taking them places as you stated and will even be gone overnight, what will they do to make sure that the things you need to get done is done before you leave? Is it fair that you have to take them to activities and still have to do the things you need to with no help?

My children are expected to:
Keep their things clean...I will not do it for them. If they want their things messy, it stays in their room and does not filter out into the common areas that everyone uses including the bathroom. I will also not replace something that gets destroyed due to carelessness on their part.

Do the dishes when they use them and on alternating nights. I fix the meals, keep the kitchen clean and stocked. The least they can do is clean up after themselves.

Do their own laundry. They have set days to do laundry and they can choose to do it or not. They day is still open for them and they know it.

Take care of their pets. They wanted them, brought them home, etc. Their responsibility. If they fail to do this and I have to do it, then that is time I had to take away from something I had to do and they forfeit a privilege (such as a ride someplace or an activity that requires me being a part of it).

I believe, as in any society, there is a give and take. I will not be the one giving all the time and them doing all the taking. I have my own interests, needs, wants the same as they do. I should not have to give up these for their sake.
Just because we are mothers and we take on the brunt of the work without complaint doesn't mean we have to do all the work with no help. Yes our children are autonomous little people we respect with interests of their own. However if they want to continue having the luxuries they have without having to pay for it on their own they should help with the peaceful balance of the household.
Jmho...
post #35 of 129
This discussion is being ever so helpful to me. Thank you to all of you, especially Miranda.

It sounds like Miranda's dh's concerns were not be listened to and responded to. I'm glad the solutions your family worked out are helping.

I notice that my kids sometimes just don't get the "privilege" they live with, because it's background to them.

I tell my kids,and I mean it, that we have to work together to make this enterprise go, or we'll have to change what we're doing. It's honestly not possible for me to fulfill the obligations I've got unless my kids cooperate and pitch in.

And the obligations I've got make the social stuff happen that the kids need/want and put food on the table and a roof over our heads. The natural consequence of my kids sitting around letting me wait on them would be that I would need to put them in school.

I'm really glad that you found a way out of the morass of always picking up the slack.
post #36 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by "did they choose." They didn't choose to live in Canada where the winters are snowy and cold so that heating and shovelling are required. They did choose the chickens. We need a dog for safety (bears wander across our lawn frequently -- we tried living without a dog for two years and it was dangerous), and yes they were part of that decision. We have no garbage collection so we drive our waste to the landfill ourselves once a month and pay per-unit for the privilege. None of us chose that but it's how it works here and it makes composting a necessity. Keeping food scraps indoors means vermin indoors. Keeping food scraps outdoors means bears. And with a 41-pound 6-year-old in the family, I'm not comfortable with the natural consequences of that situation!

Nope, sorry. Not here. Natural consequences don't work here -- lives are at stake -- literally and often. My dh is the sole breadwinner and is the ER doc. We have a 300-yard-long laneway that is our access off a rural highway. If he can't get out on a call because he's been catching a scant 3 hours sleep during a snowstorm after being in the ER all night, someone may die. If it starts snowing heavily while he is in on a call and someone at home doesn't start snow-blowing, the snow will be too deep and too heavy to remove at all. His vehicle would be snowed out, he'd have to walk in from a neighbour's place, meaning his ER response time is too slow and that would mean that he'd have to find alternate accommodation (i.e. rent a place in town until the snow melts enough -- days or weeks).
That does sound like a situation where help is needed. Believe me, I know the frustration that goes along with having children who seem like they should be able to do things to help but don't. The natural consequence of them not helping could be that you don't have the time and energy to drive them to their various activities and volunteering. That might not get the result that your dh (and you?) wants if the children decide they don't miss those activities enough to start pitching in but it might lighten your load a bit. I still think the situation with your dh's work is his responsibility. He made the choices that got his career to this point. If you choose to help, that's wonderful. That's what life partners should do, I think, but I don't think the responsibility for that should fall on the children. That's just my opinion.

Quote:
It's interesting to me, your comment on "they don't realize that whoever does the work hates it as much as they do" is telling. There is so much in life that we do because we must but we don't enjoy it. How to get kids to understand and embrace that is one of the trickiest aspects of parenting in my mind. Part of it comes with maturity, as you know, and part can be taught. But how best to teach it?
This is a difficult question for all parents, whether RU/CL or not. I was one of those kids who didn't have to do anything as a child. I did not have chores or responsibilities. I learned very quickly once I got out on my own that I had to do certain things if I wanted to live a certain way. I think personal experience is the best way to learn anything.
post #37 of 129
I have to agree with PP...it doesn't seem to be an academic issue at all, but rather one of respect and self-control.

As someone who was HS and hopes to US, I don't believe that school is the best or only way to promote respectful relationships and structure and scheduling skills.

It also seems that your efforts might backfire if you try to go through the schooling route to achieve these skills.


Thank you for sharing!
post #38 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
This is a difficult question for all parents, whether RU/CL or not. I was one of those kids who didn't have to do anything as a child. I did not have chores or responsibilities. I learned very quickly once I got out on my own that I had to do certain things if I wanted to live a certain way. I think personal experience is the best way to learn anything.
I agree completely. At the same time, a family needs to function as a team or it doesn't work very well. In my house, I have health problems that necessitate everyone pitching in so things run smoothly. My kids are going to have to learn responsibility BEFORE they get out on their own... it is just life for us. That IS their personal experience.
post #39 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whistler View Post
I agree completely. At the same time, a family needs to function as a team or it doesn't work very well. In my house, I have health problems that necessitate everyone pitching in so things run smoothly. My kids are going to have to learn responsibility BEFORE they get out on their own... it is just life for us. That IS their personal experience.
Jumping in to add: and their future spouses/families will THANK YOU!

Miranda, it sounds like to me your family is coming to a new point, where the kids are getting older, approaching more independence and yet are hovering at that "relying on Mom and Dad" stage. It sure can be a messy process, getting that figured out, how to teach them skills to be independent and to be aware of others' needs around them and be considerate of the group (even while they are maturing physically and going though teen growth spurts and figuring themselves out). This is no easy, straightforward task!

I am speaking as the oldest girl in a family of 8 children, and recently housed my 16 year old homeschooled brother for a few months as my parents and he had a major falling out...I have had to step in a bit, as a sis, and help him understand in very subtle ways, since I am NOT his parent, how he could be a contributing part of a household and still have his independence. He's back with our folks now, and I am smiling and happy to release all that back! Oh, I hope it is easier when my kids are that age!

FWIW, I think you and your DH handled it well. My parents simply kicked most of my sibs out of the home between the ages of 16-18!
post #40 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumb3 View Post
Jumping in to add: and their future spouses/families will THANK YOU!


My dh never had to do a single chore or anything at all. He spent his entire life eating junk food playing Nintendo. Now we are working on eating healthier which he is all for but very hard for him (diabetic at 16).

Good god, I wish someone once even would have taught him to do dishes or something. He just has no idea what it takes to run a house. Meanwhile his sister did have chores and responsibilities and can run a household. Anecdotal, I know, but to me, it's the here and now.
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