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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Unschooling › Maybe it's my unschooling metallity that I just don't get this UPDATE in 67 He called
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Maybe it's my unschooling metallity that I just don't get this UPDATE in 67 He called - Page 5

post #81 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
Whew! I just read the whole thread. I'm glad everything worked out okay in the end.

I do think the teacher handled things poorly in the beginning, but you know that old saying about everything looking like a nail when your only tool is a hammer? It sounds like he spent many years coaching "serious" skaters and is having trouble figuring out how to use the rest of his toolbox. It's unfortunate that the OP's DD had to be one of his guinea pigs, though.

One thing that comes to mind, and this is directed at nobody in particular, is that (in unschooling circles) I frequently hear about meeting a child's needs. I think, sometimes, needs and wants get mixed up. I'm all about meeting my kids' needs, but they don't get everything they want. Nobody does.
I think it's more of GD issue than an unschooling one but that's not really relevant to the conversation. I agree that often when parents talk about meeting kids needs they get wants mixed up in the equation. But I also think that when you're 7 your emotional needs are so intertwined with your wants that it can be difficult to differentiate. I think that the OP met her child's emotional needs by acknowledging her disappointment and comforting her without giving her what she wanted, which was time to skate with her doll.

I grew up with my parents telling me I couldn't have everything I wanted and that was just life with little regard to the disappointment I felt about such things. This did NOT make it easier for me to accept the things I couldn't have, it made me pine for them more. If someone had held me and allowed me to feel disappointed for 15 minutes then I still would have known that I can't always get what I want but I also would have felt loved and comforted instead of deprived and misunderstood.

And btw- OP, I'm glad he called and that you feel better about the situation.
post #82 of 99
Thread Starter 
you see Sapphire the office didn't want the toys on the ice. So it was a little passive aggressive instead of just coming to us the parents and saying, "They can't do that" which I think happed initially b/c the first few times everyone was having such fun that they forgot, "Oh wait they can't do that"
They were trying to get them to stop without actually saying something. Which doesn't work.
I think they were also letting it slide so to speak until another little girl wanted to bring her doll and her mother did not want any part of that. (The teacher di tell me this on the phone) She is being trained to be a serious skater so I guess the dolls were taking away her focus.
So it wasn't a new rule per say but it was not enforced and so we didn't know.
post #83 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by hipumpkins View Post
you see Sapphire the office didn't want the toys on the ice. So it was a little passive aggressive instead of just coming to us the parents and saying, "They can't do that" which I think happed initially b/c the first few times everyone was having such fun that they forgot, "Oh wait they can't do that"
They were trying to get them to stop without actually saying something. Which doesn't work.
I think they were also letting it slide so to speak until another little girl wanted to bring her doll and her mother did not want any part of that. (The teacher di tell me this on the phone) She is being trained to be a serious skater so I guess the dolls were taking away her focus.
So it wasn't a new rule per say but it was not enforced and so we didn't know.
They had the rule all along, and didn't think it was worth enforcing? You know what type of rule doesn't get enforced? A stupid rule.

Eh, at least your dd is okay with things and it isn't the end of the world not to go on the ice with the dolls. it's just making.
post #84 of 99
I was wondering throughout this thread why toys would be allowed on an ice rink during open skate. Seem like something that could get out of hand really fast.

Seems like the rules were not enforced well which led to further misunderstanding. Glad it was all worked out.

FWIW I have a ds who enjoyed gymnastics until every single place we tried to get him lessons wanted him on the "team". He just wanted to have fun. There is no place to take recreational gymnatics classes once you're past a certain age/skill level it seems. It's all about the teams/meets.
post #85 of 99
I just finished reading this entire thread and I have the same question that the OP has. Why is it that every activity that children partake in these days has to lead to a "serious" pursuit?
I have a 17yr old son who enjoys soccer and baseball but because he just wants to play for fun(not for college/scholarship money), since he turned 10, it is impossible to find folks to play with. Same thing about almost all of his passions-He is always asked where, when or how he thinks those interests are going to further his career/employment opportunities in the future! Sheesh!
Hipumpkins, I want to applaud you for standing up for your daughter and asking the questions of her coach that help you to get to the bottom of the issue.
I also am glad that you let your girl cry because it was her way of letting out her disappointment about the situation and I feel that it was completely appropriate for her to do so in that way. Thanks for being one more mother who is growing the whole child!♥
And speaking as a long time unschooling mom, I will say that I find that the minute you mention that you are having a problem with a teacher/coach/instructor online and you are known to be unschooling, there are all kinds of judgements made about how your kids handle schooled situations because they are unschooled. The biases can be pretty startling!
Just know that plenty of people who make comments in unschooling forums are not unschoolers and they come here hoping to be the voice of reason when offering advice.
Thanks again for sharing your story here, I think that will help others in similar situations.

Take Care,
Erika(I don't wear a fro, I'm just a sister who likes this smilie!):
post #86 of 99
Indeed. My child would love to dance, but does not want to have to dance a certain way, yet would enjoy going somewhere specfically for that.

Our city has one fabulous option that could possibly be replicated in others. One of our gymnastics centres hosts a weekly homeschoolers drop-in. We pay an annual insurance fee of $11 per child, and sign a waiver. Then we pay a drop-in fee of $6 per kid, siblings are cheaper, and we have access t all the equipment for the hour. There is one staff member in the gym to help us, remind kids of certain safety rules and just be our person to ask about equipment and such. But otherwise we are free, whether a child wants to just sit in the foam pit and throw foam blocks, or practice their balancing beam, or just jump, jump, jump on the tramp. It's great, with teens to toddlers all mixed together. No other gym in our area would ever consider such unstructured fun. I've yet to find it in any other sport.

We did convince our skating rink to offer a homeschoolers drop-in hour weekly, because their facility is pretty empty during the day. The rule is your parent must be on the ice with you, and helmets are a must. We block off half the rink for hockey and the rest is for whatever you'd like.


We have left so many activities when they try to teach us and enforce grades and levels, when we did not request or seek this, we just want access to dabble.
post #87 of 99
Wow, I totally get why you were upset (arbitrary and manipulative rule) and am glad it worked out and the coach was honest enough to admit his mistake.

Surprised and disappointed in some of the less than gentle responses directed your way.
post #88 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikaDP View Post
I just finished reading this entire thread and I have the same question that the OP has. Why is it that every activity that children partake in these days has to lead to a "serious" pursuit?
I have a 17yr old son who enjoys soccer and baseball but because he just wants to play for fun(not for college/scholarship money), since he turned 10, it is impossible to find folks to play with. Same thing about almost all of his passions-He is always asked where, when or how he thinks those interests are going to further his career/employment opportunities in the future! Sheesh!:
Wow. Where I live, 99.99% of sports teams for children are "serious" in that they keep score, have rankings, play according to rules, etc, but are completely for children who just want to have fun playing a sport but don't have the potential or inclination to pursue sports either for a scholarship or a career. This is more true for younger kids, but even older teens (and even adults) can play in rec leagues which are competitive, but don't have a min skills requirement. There are elite teams, but they are invite/tryout only are very very serious. Kids are only pressured to join the elite teams if they are extremely skilled.

I wonder how much of this issue is about sports vs. play. To me playing sports is different than goofing off and having fun. Yes, it should be fun to play a sport, but that's not the primary purpose of it. To me if I just want to have fun doing something, I don't seek out an organized structured environment. I just go out and goof off. It is the difference between playing front lawn football, and going out for pop warner. IMO.
post #89 of 99
This is why I'm going to encourage Lina towards soccer. Yeah, there are leagues and teams and so on, but all you actually NEED for soccer is a ball and some open space. Less equipment means more chances to play however you like playing.
post #90 of 99
See but that's just it. Why can't you 'pla' at a sport? I played softball as a kid and liked it, so I joined an adult league through our local rec centre. But over the months our team became more and more competitive and actually would not accept the less-than-perfect-or-young players the next year. So only 'serious' folks could play, there were no other adult baseball league options.

So, I like to play sports for FUN, not to win, but to play with other people. And my kids do too.

For most of these oudoor pursuits (soccer, volleyball, baseball, street hockey) you need a good bunch of kids to make it even happen, which is why you end up seeking out a community group/rec centre etc . . but then the competitiveness gets started, and it's all about geting better, and less about having fun.

Don't misunderstand, there IS a place for improving skill. My kids both play league soccer and it is hugely frustrating for them when less-than-serious kids sign up, as it ends up distracting everyone from the skills they are there to learn. But that is why it's a pivate, costly academy, not the 'have fun' local scene where it'd be welcome to be a 'newbie'.

But there should be a place for both, and not one place, two separate options. At our kids pool, once you pass a certain level (5?) your only option to continue learning s to join the Lightening Fast Swim team. but my son doesn't want that, he just wants more practice on his regular swimming. so he opts not to go at all.
post #91 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by WCM View Post
So, I like to play sports for FUN, not to win, but to play with other people. And my kids do too.
I don't know what to say, other than as soon as you introduce the concept of winning and losing a competition has begun. Some people have a really hard time curbing their competitive spirit to have fun even if they are losing. I know my DH is one of them. But he is a typical "sports guy". Sports really matter to him.

Quote:
But there should be a place for both, and not one place, two separate options. At our kids pool, once you pass a certain level (5?) your only option to continue learning s to join the Lightening Fast Swim team. but my son doesn't want that, he just wants more practice on his regular swimming. so he opts not to go at all.
I think it is a supply and demand thing. I think the number of people who are interested in playing at a sport are hugely outnumbered by the people interested in playing a sport and that it is why most coaches, teams, etc. are competitive in nature.

Do you know if your pool has Jr. Masters? They have both competitive and fitness programs. The fitness programs will have challenges and events, but they are more of a personal fitness challenge vs. a swim meet.
post #92 of 99
I've known about winning and losing since was a kid, but I just don't care. I feel great when I do well at my sport, and support myself when I mess up. I see my teammates in this same light and treat them with respect and encouragement.

I think it is our culture and our misguided idea that each child is a hidden talented genius if only we expose and guide them correctly. That if they like soccer, sign them up to a team (how else can they ever get any playtime?) and get into it. That if you want to dance you must pick a style, buy the gear and get serious. No talking, no letting your parents watch. You need to start the kids young so they can find their niche and master it quickly. It's okay to be an artist and shun academics, but you must show an affinity for your art early on, so we can keep you on track and churn our another Mozart or Gretsky.

My in-laws read Outliers and now they are all about the kids logging 10,000 hours at their given talent.

My brother played hockey for years and was picked for an Olympic training team. He dropped it as soon as he was picked (he just wanted to keep having fun playing) and now is an artist in tech design. He wishes he could have stayed with hockey without it having to 'go somewhere'.

Hmm . . my point? We make everything too serious and competitive, when there is no reason to. I don't need to prove anything through sport, and my kids have learned that too. When I run into folks that are uber-competitive, I just walk away. I have passion for sports, I have a really fun time and work hard, but the winning/losing gig? So not my interest. And yes, one can exist without the other.
post #93 of 99
Where we lived, starting at U-10 or so, there were "rec" (recreational) soccer leagues and "travel" (competitive) ones. It was a nice system, because everyone was sort of on the same page. Travel leagues required try-outs and more time, rec leagues were more for fun.

Rain also played Y-ball through the YMCA one year, when she was maybe 9? She'd never played softball before, and this was a really non-competitive sort of introduction - no scoring, everyone gets to bat until they hit the ball, everyone plays the whole game... really, for her it was a little bit *too* uncompetitive, but for some kids I think it was perfect.
post #94 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by WCM View Post
I think it is our culture and our misguided idea that each child is a hidden talented genius if only we expose and guide them correctly...
Hmm . . my point? We make everything too serious and competitive, when there is no reason to. I don't need to prove anything through sport, and my kids have learned that too...
I have passion for sports, I have a really fun time and work hard, but the winning/losing gig? So not my interest. And yes, one can exist without the other.
Thank you for saying this WCM! I totally agree with you!♥

Take Care,
Erika(I don't wear a fro, I'm just a sister who likes this smilie!):
post #95 of 99
i think it's an interesting question about playing for fun and being competitive/serious.

a lot of it, i think, has to do with parents living vicariously through their children, rather than having their own athletic pursuits. i note that parents who have their own athletic pursuits tend, in general, to be the parents least interested in whether or not their children are "serious" about a sport. most of these parents are not looking at how it will help their career, or trying to go pro or get scholarships--they are choosing it because they enjoy it.

aside from that, i think it is possible to have fun and be competitive (prefer to win or strive for excellence). it is possible to 'be serious' and to have fun as well. but i do agree that it doesn't ahve to be about winning or the strange pressures that a lot of groups put on their chidlren, teams, etc.

strange, really.
post #96 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
i think it's an interesting question about playing for fun and being competitive/serious.

a lot of it, i think, has to do with parents living vicariously through their children, rather than having their own athletic pursuits. i note that parents who have their own athletic pursuits tend, in general, to be the parents least interested in whether or not their children are "serious" about a sport. most of these parents are not looking at how it will help their career, or trying to go pro or get scholarships--they are choosing it because they enjoy it.

aside from that, i think it is possible to have fun and be competitive (prefer to win or strive for excellence). it is possible to 'be serious' and to have fun as well. but i do agree that it doesn't ahve to be about winning or the strange pressures that a lot of groups put on their chidlren, teams, etc.

strange, really.
I totally agree with you Zoebird! Especially the part in bold because I have noticed that too!

Take Care,
Erika(I don't wear a fro, I'm just a sister who likes this smilie!):
post #97 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
A lot of it, i think, has to do with parents living vicariously through their children, rather than having their own athletic pursuits. i note that parents who have their own athletic pursuits tend, in general, to be the parents least interested in whether or not their children are "serious" about a sport. most of these parents are not looking at how it will help their career, or trying to go pro or get scholarships--they are choosing it because they enjoy it.
I completely disagree. 99.99% of children participating in competitive anything have no chance of going pro or getting a scholarship. Most sports parents want their children to be serious about sports (or music, or dance) because they feel it is an analogue for adult life, and it is a safe way to learn how to assert yourself, to learn the importance of repetition and precision, how to manage disappointment, how to be a gracious winner, etc. Expecting a child to be serious about their sport (or instrument, or dance) is not the same thing as being a crazy person living vicariously through their child's endeavors. If you don't think that children should be serious about sports if they don't want to be, that's fine. Especially as an unschooler, where the expectation is that child will determine what they will be serious about and what they won't be. But many families successfully use sports to raise kind, adjusted, confident people.

If you want to just "have fun" playing a sport, there is no need to join any kind of formal organization or do structured activities. But formal organizations and structured activities are not evil soul sucking enterprises.
post #98 of 99
Rhiandmoi,

Do you mind telling me how old your children are? The reason that I am asking is because most "serious" sport parents I have met in 27 years of having kids involved in sports are/were not looking to develop "an analogue for adult life, a safe way to learn how to assert yourself, to learn the importance of repetition and precision, how to manage disappointment, how to be a gracious winner, etc."
Most of the serious sport parents that I have met are looking for a way for their child(ren) to have a competitive edge when it comes to getting into good schools(both high school and college).
And if your own child(ren) are fairly young(under 6 or so)you might not have come in contact with the kind of parents that some of us on this thread are talking about.
I noticed a real change in what parents wanted out of sports for their children right around 8 or so and before I witnessed it first hand, I would not have believed that parents would want to be so competitive either.
I think that how you see sport parents is all about the age of your children, what kinds of experiences they have and your perspective of how the sport should be.

Take Care,
Erika(I don't wear a fro, I'm just a sister who likes this smilie!):
post #99 of 99
Just wanted to tell op I totally agree with everything you've written. I read the WHOLE thread and would never agree to random rules by someone who. was not in a place to make rules. I also hate pushing children to take sports more seriously during "playtime". My dad always did this. My brother and I could never play sports during our spare time without my father coaching . Shouting out the house windows to us " no hands on the ball' while we played in the back yard with a soccer ball. Telling me to practice my jumps during open skate. Dads cleaning car while we shot baskets "guys gotta stop traveling" we never played these sports competitively we just wanted to goof around he was the boss though and we did comply. I am competitive and did compete in other sports seriously but sometimes kids just need to PLAY.
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