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Unschooling Outtakes

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

You know you have them--

 

--so does my husband, who inspired this thread.  (I, on the other hand, am perfect.  2whistle.gif)

 

Last night there was a meltdown when the girls realized we were going to a different pool (cheaper, slightly shallower) for open swim.

 

"But I'm not going to have any fun!"

 

"You're not there to have fun, you're there to learn how to swim!"

 

Ugh!

 

Do-over?

post #2 of 20
Thread Starter 

I bribed my daughter to the 4-H meeting with the promise of a giant cookie.  Sheepish.gif  

 

To my credit, I did talk with them about reassessing our involvement with the local 4-H club.  There are other ways we can approach 4-H and the fair, namely as a family club.  I also mentioned that it wasn't enough for them to merely be compliant and go and eat cookies.  

 

So, I feel I kinda sorta redeemed myself.

 

Man, this thread is lonely place!

post #3 of 20

Haha...this is a great idea! I don't have a ton to add as DS is only 15 months, but please keep posting these, and others too....they are great to read. Makes me feel a little better when I start to shout "no, no, no to my LO across the room when he is pulling on a plant. duh.gif and then I stop myself and think...Of course he is pulling on the plant, he is VERY busy teaching himself about the plant, instead of shouting no, I need to walk over to him and get the plant down lower so he can REALLY learn about it. I am a retraining myself to say YES as often as possible while keeping things safe for him!

post #4 of 20

I don't have any great outtakes to share right now....but, this reminds me of something I should really be better about sharing with parents of younger kids. It was the basic foundation of my parenting ideals. At Crash's baby shower, before he was born. My sister gave me a throw for my couch, and a framed copy of the following poem. The framed copy is on the living room wall, and I've referred back to it, whenever in doubt, throughout my journey as a parent. 

 

http://capabilitymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/sarkchild1.jpg

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Sweet!

post #6 of 20

I have more general parenting moments than unschooling-specific ones. For example, I was taking my kids plus one of their friends out to lunch at kind of an upscale pizza place.  After a rather animated mealtime, I'm holding the door open for all three and balancing the leftovers in my arms, and ds does this sort of spin jump maneuver as he's pulling his coat on the rest of the way, sending the boxes I'm holding tumbling into the street.   I just sort of shriek at him like a pterodactyl, and there's a man in a suit trying to come in at the same time. His eyebrows shot up so hard they practically disappeared into his hairline. 

 

I do have this periodic recurring situation with ds though. Sometimes his creativity outstrips his planning or critical thinking skills, and he wants to take on some project that is so ambitious as to be nearly impossible, and insist that I help right. now.   (Elaborate science experiments that we don't have supplies for, making a working video camera/projector/movie theater entirely out of legos, building an electric car, inventing a device that would translate between human and animal languages, that sort of thing.)  So then I have to try to point out the practicalities of what his idea would actually entail without discouraging him.  So it's an unschooling fail on a couple of levels for me because I can't seem to impart either the need to think things through or the confidence to start working on something and see what happens.   Plus he's so dependent on my approval.  Anyway, aside from the larger scope of the problem, this is where my bad behavior is at its best, from flat out telling him that something is impossible, to flipping out and ranting about how he comes up with the big idea and then dumps it in my lap for me to do the actual work while he runs off to play videogames.

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

Qalliope, this happens in our house, but not to such an extreme.  Both girls have had some pretty amazing ideas that were entirely impractical for their age (developing a ID system for chickens that would dispense the proper food.  Big Ag would love this.... at 6yo?  What do you do?)

 

Just yesterday the conversation about what-to-do-with-4-H led to talking about doing 4-H as a family club.  I thought it was sweet that they named it (the "Just Fun Family 4-H").  Then they started planning a fair at our house (ummm...), charging  a quarter for entry, (so it says on the *sign* to post around!) and prizes for showing chickens (1st prize is a secret code puzzle that spells out "you are the winner", third place is homemade cookies).  This would not work on so many levels, not to mention issues that county fairs deal with (parasites, diseases).  I feel like I have teenagers and they've just told me about the camp-over weekend party they are throwing for all their friends.....ugh!  What do I say to something like this?  I'm paralyzed and just hope the whole thing will go away.  I've never disliked an idea so much.


Edited by SweetSilver - 1/21/13 at 7:43pm
post #8 of 20

Heh. I actually hosted a couple of these kind of things when the kids were little. They got all into it, so we sat down and discussed how to make it happen. First was understanding that we couldn't do it in the name of 4-h or any other organization. I think we called it like "Family Fun Fair". The first one was in our back yard. We told friends and family and word kind of spread around church and the homeschool group we were in, too. A few people volunteered to lend talents. So, there were some fair treats, balloon animals, face painting, and a couple homemade games. We didn't have county fair style competitions though. It was more like a project fair (like a science fair, but with history, art, whatever categories people wanted). The second one, a whole kind of committee of kids and moms had formed and there was so much interest that the local library let us take over their facilities for a day. There was a talent show and more games and activities for that one. Then it became an annual thing. My kids had lost interest, so we didn't mind that a bunch of homeschool moms took it over. Over the course of about 6 years, it slowly morphed. It became a talent show with refreshments, where kids could put up displays too - not just get up on stage. Then they started giving out diplomas and awards too. Now, it's a formal award cerimony and banquet, held in a hotel ballroom. Kids still make projects to display, but there are no games. We've long since moved away, but the last I knew they were having a state senator give a speech and hand out the awards and diplomas and things.

 

Is that an outtake, because I still feel somehow responsible for this crazy, over the top event. lol If we only knew what we were starting!

post #9 of 20

That is fantastic! And exactly why I don't want to crap on his ideas. Because what do I know?  Maybe his huge, over the top ideas will turn into something both real and incredible. I don't want him to be afraid to think big.    

 

SweetSilver, that is intimidating, but I think I could even jump on board with the fair thing (though probably on a smaller scale than they're imagining), or even a huge teen campout. Those are at least physically possible, and they are starting and moving forward with the idea on their own, so maybe they will come up with creative ways to get around whatever problems lay in front of them, which is always awesome.  I was so up for helping him with his hot chocolate stand and being editor for the weekly newspaper he made a couple of issues for before quitting. 

 

The ideas that both impress me and make me a little berserk are the ones where he wants to build something like a portal to another dimension, or an actual working TARDIS...

Also on my list of don't-even-get-me-started: a full sized pirate ship that would be a playground but also functioning so we could sail it in the tiny lake at the park across the street, to be built in a single weekend, no less; an x-wing; and a network of secret tunnels and passageways throughout the house. (I believe we discussed digging the tunnels to some of our favorite spots in town as well, so we wouldn't have to cross busy streets anymore.)  Now, I take on some ambitious DIY projects, but I do have limits on what I am capable of!

post #10 of 20
Wait until they're teens! Then the ideas have potential, but you still find yourself being pulled in. My son has talked me into starting a business. I'm trying to figure out just how to fund it.

The chicken feed ID is possible, but is something like that needed? I thought chickens all ate the same thing.

Does anyone know if beans that you eat can be planted and actually grow a bean producing plant? I'm wondering if we should take our old beans if we move into a house with a yard (for a garden!).

Sorry about taking the thread off topic.
post #11 of 20

Well, you can usually sprout dried beans, so I don't see why you couldn't plant them. I'd try just sprouting some first to see if they'll grow. 

 

I've heard it said that keeping unschoolers on topic is like herding cats. I wouldn't feel too bad about the topic shifting. It's just nice that everyone hasn't wandered away from their computers, and the conversation, completely. ;)

post #12 of 20
I love the herding cats comment! Is that an analogy? A metaphor? I never can remember the exact meaning of those words.

I struggle with spelling, too. Thank goodness for spell check! My son learned to spell by writing on the computer and running spell check.

I live in a suburb of a city, so I have no chickens, garden or 4-h stories. I regret the garden, most of all! I grew up with one, and wanted to pass that onto my son. He's a teen now, so I kind of feel it's a little late, but hope we can move to where I can have a garden this year, anyway. That's for me. I think I deserve it, after years of sacrifice. My other want is a piano. Not that you all care, but I want to put in writing anyway.

Thanks for letting me ramble!! I do have to leave my android, now, and make dinner. Hope to see you all tomorow!
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post


The chicken feed ID is possible, but is something like that needed? I thought chickens all ate the same thing.

 

We were having trouble with one hen getting fat, especially when her coop-mate's chicks started running around.  Chicks are not supposed to eat a laying hen's feed: not enough protein, too much calcium.  Hens can get fat on grower feed.  She was the only adult having trouble with it.  I've heard of a similar system for use in cows.

 

About our family 4-H fair: as they were telling me this, I was trying to work out in my head how it could all work.  I was having a tough time not interrupting with practicalities.  They made the sign, hopefully they will get distracted....

 

Yes, it's wonderful, amazing and a bit frustrating (for the parent) the ideas that pop up at this age.  I try to keep "project cards" listing all their ideas for projects, things that need to be collected, etc.*  I can just imagine one up there saying "Portal to Middle Earth".  What I can't imagine is what needs to be collected to even begin.

 

*Before anyone thinks "Cool, how organized!", let me tell you 1)  I do think it's a pretty cool idea and 2) I've completed exactly *one* project involving a pop bottle, hot water and ice water.  Probably the thing it is most useful for is giving the girls a boneyard tangible place to place their insane incredible ideas until they forget about them we can pull everything together.

post #14 of 20
Portal. Hmmm. There must be a way to do that ...
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post...1)  I do think it's a pretty cool idea and 2) I've completed exactly *one* project involving a pop bottle, hot water and ice water.  Probably the thing it is most useful for is giving the girls a boneyard tangible place to place their insane incredible ideas until they forget about them we can pull everything together.

ROTFLMAO.gif    It's nice to know I'm not alone in feeling this way.

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 

Dug up this old thread to find a place for this because it makes me laugh.

 

Isn't it such a sweet picture?  Two readers sitting in a sunny window together.  Sweetness.  Harmony.  Light.  I was feeling so warm and fuzzy when I took this picture.  Belongs in a blog, doesn't it?  "The Picture of Unschooling"

 

The real "picture": 20 minutes of this, and they were fighting over the chair.  This was the eye of the storm.  So, I have this lovely photo, and it makes me laugh.  For 2 seconds, I was rethinking my decision to not start a blog.  The rest of the day was reality!

post #17 of 20

sweetsilver- sweet happytears.gif

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qalliope View Post

 

I do have this periodic recurring situation with ds though. Sometimes his creativity outstrips his planning or critical thinking skills, and he wants to take on some project that is so ambitious as to be nearly impossible, and insist that I help right. now.   (Elaborate science experiments that we don't have supplies for, making a working video camera/projector/movie theater entirely out of legos, building an electric car, inventing a device that would translate between human and animal languages, that sort of thing.)  So then I have to try to point out the practicalities of what his idea would actually entail without discouraging him.  So it's an unschooling fail on a couple of levels for me because I can't seem to impart either the need to think things through or the confidence to start working on something and see what happens.   Plus he's so dependent on my approval.  Anyway, aside from the larger scope of the problem, this is where my bad behavior is at its best, from flat out telling him that something is impossible, to flipping out and ranting about how he comes up with the big idea and then dumps it in my lap for me to do the actual work while he runs off to play videogames.

 

Off topic but, Man I really hope I have that problem some day. I'm really exicted for my sons crazy ideas. 

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8boarder15 View Post

Off topic but, Man I really hope I have that problem some day. I'm really exicted for my sons crazy ideas. 

I'm a bit confused. What problem, exactly, are you hoping for?
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 

I think she would rather contend with overly ambitious ideas than with an apparent lack of motivation some unschooling parents have difficulty with.  I also am pleased that my girls are motivated, energetic, creative and ambitious even when it winds up in the realm of impracticality.  It is fun hearing all their wild ideas and I feel like a wet rag when I occasionally have to bring them back down to earth (sorry for the mixed metaphors).  I would even prefer to have it be so wild and constant as to be frustrating, than to feel like my kids weren't interested in anything.  At least, it is easier to accept this outward explosion of ideas and maybe even more fun for the parent as well.   sk8boarder's son is still very young.  She has a lot to look forward to.

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