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Radical unschoolers and rude kids - Page 2

post #21 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundhunter View Post
Interestingly enough Karen, my child isn't unschooled, but I think I might unschool her BECAUSE she is prone to such behavior. Emma is a very loud boisterous kid who is very very hyper, she really cannot sit still. She is 3. She would require sedatives to stop moving in many circumstances, though she's getting a bit better with age. When she was 2, she woke up every morning to run laps around the house at full speed, and she never stopped except to sleep. She is loud verbally, everything she does is full tilt, as a newborn people would comment on how ultra alert she seemed, and once she became mobile it was a challenge to keep her still whenever we where out, so it probably seemed like we let her do whatever she wanted, but the truth was unless we where to have restrained or sedated her, at 2 years old her movements and sounds where larger than life.

I am learning to ignore people's opinions and to cut her a bit of slack to be a kid, kid are by nature noisy and active. She does have rules, we do say no, we're certainly not that radical, but she still behaves the way you describe and we're more likely to radically uschool her because of the way she is, rather than her being this way because we live a radical unschooling lifestyle.

(though she's not particularly aggressive or rude)
For me, it's not this. I know lots of busy 3 yr olds, and even a busy 5 yr olds. That's not what I am mean.

It's older kids, a little mean, a lot edgy with parents who won't point out that it might be fair to not push the child ahead of you to get to the ball.

I don't even consider a 3 yr old a 'homeschooler'. That age is toddler, babies, who need something different. I am talking about actual 'school age' children.

edited for clarity and poor composition.
post #22 of 200
I think of us as radical unschoolers. We "strongly recommend" things like vegetables and tooth brushing, but no rules, really.

But we do discuss things, like how people feel when you say things like "please" and "thank you." (Although, social niceties like that sort of annoy me, I can't lie.) We discuss things in a very reasonable and respectful way. She's very receptive to that sort of thing.

Honestly, I have people tell me all the time how polite and sweet and funny my daughter is.

I've been thinking lately...maybe sometimes people confuse neglect for radical unschooling...? Because I don't think it means you shouldn't give your kids a heads-up on what society expects of them.
post #23 of 200
Radically unschooling, polite family here.

I think I may be taking this too far, but this conversation sounds like how predjudice gets started. I can imagine a conversation:

First Mama: "I was at the park, and you can't believe how rude those (insert country of origin here) immigrant children were."

Second Mama: "I know just what you mean. They just don't teach their kids manners."

If I heard that conversation, I would suggest the kids in question perhaps were having a bad day, that there are cultural subtlties I don't understand, that those particular kids can be jerks without implicating their entire nationality. I think that most folks here at MDC would be equally offended by the implications that nationality has something to do with being a decent human being.

So what is it about my choice of curriculum that effects my expectation that my kids treat fellow humans with respect? They aren't perfect, but gee, who is? Is it fair to assume that because I don't use a curriculum, I have no values? There are nice people and mean people in this world. Some of each group may be (insert teaching philosophy of choice here).

Sorry if I have gotten a bit defensive here. But I don't want to be painted with that particular wide brush.
post #24 of 200
Quote:
hesitated to post this. But I do see some of this, and I am not sure what to make of it. I do not tend to think of unschooled children as rude at all...but there is another element that I would more call 'radical free- of -anything'. It's not about education or respect of the child. It's like a new sub group that is yet to be named. lol
THANK YOU! Yes I didn't know how to word this. In the open hs groups (open to anyone) the behavior issues are often from a type of family you are describing here.

It's not about a philosophy of radical unschooling, but a desire to be radical, period. It's something else entirely. I don't know how to word this either but it is phenomenon I have seen. I don't know what to call it.

But the impression is that you are with a person who likes to be shocking, wants their kids to be edgy, and encourages a kind of in-your-face aggressiveness. There is an unspoken contempt for manners or politeness. It's like a sign of weakness. Homeschooling is part of their dedication to not do what they think is expected~to be different in any way possible.

It isn't about an educational or parenting philosophy.
post #25 of 200
Oh, yes! I have known people like this, although we generally never stopped to chat much... so annoying! Actually, Rain tended to avoid their kids, but I've talked to moms like this... and yes, they have to keep bringing up all of the "radical" stuff they do, and they seemed almost proud when their kids refused to negotiate with other kids.

FWIW, my radically unschooled kid was often overly sensitive about other's feelings (and her own, too, which was more of a problem).

dar
post #26 of 200
Quote:
and yes, they have to keep bringing up all of the "radical" stuff they do, and they seemed almost proud when their kids refused to negotiate with other kids.
Yep. That's exactly what I've seen too. In addition to some pretty shocking social aggressiveness~I don't mean immature isolated stuff~I mean barking orders to all the other kids, degrading them, ordering children not to speak to another child, that kind of thing...all with the parent looking on...
post #27 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
Yep. That's exactly what I've seen too. In addition to some pretty shocking social aggressiveness~I don't mean immature isolated stuff~I mean barking orders to all the other kids, degrading them, ordering children not to speak to another child, that kind of thing...all with the parent looking on...
Acckk, that doesn't sound fun to hang around with at all. I've known some kids like that from time to time, some of them homeschoolers, but I have no clue if they were unschooling/RU or not.
post #28 of 200
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Sorry if I have gotten a bit defensive here. But I don't want to be painted with that particular wide brush.
I was trying to be clear in my initial post that I wasn't trying to imply that all radical unschooling families produce rude children. I was trying to say that our particular homeschooling group (in a large city, so it's not all that small) tends to have a lot of radical unschooling families, and the we have had problems with many of their children being mean. On multiple occasions, so it isn't just a "bad day" kind of thing. My ds has bad days, bad moments, but overall he's a very kind child. And I'm tired of his only "friends" being kids whose behavior makes me angry.
post #29 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
Quote:
hesitated to post this. But I do see some of this, and I am not sure what to make of it. I do not tend to think of unschooled children as rude at all...but there is another element that I would more call 'radical free- of -anything'. It's not about education or respect of the child. It's like a new sub group that is yet to be named. lol
THANK YOU! Yes I didn't know how to word this. In the open hs groups (open to anyone) the behavior issues are often from a type of family you are describing here.

It's not about a philosophy of radical unschooling, but a desire to be radical, period. It's something else entirely. I don't know how to word this either but it is phenomenon I have seen. I don't know what to call it.

But the impression is that you are with a person who likes to be shocking, wants their kids to be edgy, and encourages a kind of in-your-face aggressiveness. There is an unspoken contempt for manners or politeness. It's like a sign of weakness. Homeschooling is part of their dedication to not do what they think is expected~to be different in any way possible.

It isn't about an educational or parenting philosophy.
I have run into these types of families too and I am always suprised when I encounter them(although lately, we have been seeing more of them ).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
...Actually, Rain tended to avoid their kids, but I've talked to moms like this... and yes, they have to keep bringing up all of the "radical" stuff they do, and they seemed almost proud when their kids refused to negotiate with other kids.
This has been my experience with the families that we have met as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
FWIW, my radically unschooled kid was often overly sensitive about other's feelings (and her own, too, which was more of a problem).
And this is true of my radically unschooled son too.
Helping him navigate his interactions with these families has certainly been a learning experience for both of us.

Take Care,
Erika :
post #30 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
I was trying to be clear in my initial post that I wasn't trying to imply that all radical unschooling families produce rude children. I was trying to say that our particular homeschooling group (in a large city, so it's not all that small) tends to have a lot of radical unschooling families, and the we have had problems with many of their children being mean. On multiple occasions, so it isn't just a "bad day" kind of thing. My ds has bad days, bad moments, but overall he's a very kind child. And I'm tired of his only "friends" being kids whose behavior makes me angry.
Oceanbaby,
Speaking as a RU, I didn't feel that you were painting all of us RU with a broad brush. And because I have noticed some of the same behaviors that you talked about in your OP, I am glad that you started this thread because I was beginning to think that I was alone in seeing this particular phenomenon.

Take Care,
Erika:
post #31 of 200
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post #32 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I hesitated to post this. But I do see some of this, and I am not sure what to make of it. I do not tend to think of unschooled children as rude at all...but there is another element that I would more call 'radical free- of -anything'. It's not about education or respect of the child. It's like a new sub group that is yet to be named.
I call it unparenting.

I know very few unschoolers IRL, but I used to post and lurk on a couple of unschooling message boards, and a good portion of unschoolers also seem to unparent.

Learning without a curriculum doesn't have anything to do with disregarding common courtesy. I seriously wish that people would stop mixing the two philosophies.

As for mean, homeschooled kids...I've encountered a couple. There was one kid my children disliked so strongly that whenever an activity was planned, they asked if that child was going to be there. If he was going to be there, they wouldn't go. However, the few really obnoxious homeschooled kids I've known hadn't always been homeschooled, had behavior problems in regular school, and left school at least partly because of those problems.
post #33 of 200
I wonder if some of the unschooling groups on the internet are creating the trend... because you're right, I didn't notice people like this 7 or 8 years ago, either online or in person, but I do see a lot of it online now. Not here, of course, cause we're cool like that... but other places.

Dar
post #34 of 200
Quote:
However, the few really obnoxious homeschooled kids I've known hadn't always been homeschooled, had behavior problems in regular school, and left school at least partly because of those problems.
Yes! Again, I've seen this too.
post #35 of 200
I've run in to families who have a certain way of raising their children that I find uncomfortable in being around. It's sort of a no respect for others, life revolves around me, my child can do nothing wrong way of thinking. I think radical unschooling might attract these types because SOME of their ways are similar, not dictating what their kids eat, no TV limits .....

I don't meet families like this very often but I met a few at an unschooling conference that I went to recently. It was my first unschooling conference and my first reaction was to be a bit frightened because frankly people like this make me want to run from anything we have in common.

But it didn't take long for me to see the bulk of families around me were not only nice folks but were fantastic human beings. Creative, smart, respectful, witty and yes, radical. A good kind of radical.

So I chalked it up to the pendulum theory. When ever you enter a world where something is so far one way, you get that pendulum swinging full force the other way and get parts of both sides.

OK, that's clunky i know. I'll attempt at another analogy. It's like my own two kids. As they grow older our hard times seem somehow harder and they take more effort and energy to move through them, why at the same time I notice our enjoyable times are the best I've ever experienced. One doesn't go without the other.

Anyone jive with what I'm saying?
post #36 of 200
ITA it's a parenting style and not homeschooling style. My aunt unparented her children in way that made them think they could treat anyone however they wanted with no consequences. That it was OK because they were just so special. All three of her children went to school.
post #37 of 200
What an interesting thread! It's 3 AM, so my ideas are probably a little foggy, but I'll give it a whirl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverSky
I don't know any homeschooled children like that at all, unschoolers or not, though I knew plenty of public or private schooled kids like that. I find that homeschool and unschool parents are the most attentive parents I know, at least 98% of the ones I know seem to be.
ITA. The great majority of homeschoolers I've had the pleasure of getting to know over the years are some of the most dedicated, attentive, concerned and caring parents in the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I wonder if some of the unschooling groups on the internet are creating the trend... because you're right, I didn't notice people like this 7 or 8 years ago, either online or in person, but I do see a lot of it online now. Not here, of course, cause we're cool like that... but other places. Dar
We're super cool. I lurk on just about every unschooling list out there (save for some of the local/regional ones), but I only post here. I like the diversity, the respect, and the cool peeps.

I wonder if it's not the groups themselves, but the new wave of people joining them.... I think that the mainstream press has done a disservice to unschooling. Because most of the articles only skim the surface and harp about the "hands off" approach, the lack of bedtimes, etc., people get the idea that unschooling equals parenting without guidance. I wonder how many people have come to unschooling after reading one of these articles - without researching the philosophy further....

Quote:
Originally Posted by simple living mama View Post
I've run in to families who have a certain way of raising their children that I find uncomfortable in being around. It's sort of a no respect for others, life revolves around me, my child can do nothing wrong way of thinking. I think radical unschooling might attract these types because SOME of their ways are similar, not dictating what their kids eat, no TV limits .....
I know just what you're talking about. Most of the parents I've known like this send their children to public school, but that's likely because nearly everyone does. I guess there are bound to be some "my-child-is-the-center-of-the-world-and-can-do-no-wrong" types unschooling, but I haven't met any, yet.

Also, I think someone mentioned "unparenting" earlier - a stereotype that most unschoolers try their darnedest to dispel. In fact, I hate the word, but only because I've heard unschooling described so often as unparenting. Unparenting, in my book, is parenting without guidance - not something related to unschooling, at all. There are certainly unschoolers who unparent out there, but that's completely removed from unschooling, as far as I'm concerned. There are also other types of homeschoolers who unparent, as well as public schoolers and private schoolers. I'd consider this a subset of society in general, rather than a subset of unschooling. Those who unparent may be attracted to unschooling, but that's probably because they don't understand what it's really about. Parenting takes work, no matter what educational philosophy the family follows. And, of course, unschooling, itself, is a lot of work.

Here's my opinion: the biggest difference between "unparenting" and the parenting done by those who consider themselves radical unschoolers is that the RUs ensure that the children have all the facts in order to make informed decisions. They make sure their children understand how and why their actions might hurt another and how the other person might be feeling. They let their children know why people brush their teeth or take baths. They make sure their children understand the nutritional differences between broccoli and Cocoa Puffs. Then, they let the children choose what's right for them and respect their decisions. Unparenting involves none of the above.

Oh, and there's the opposite end of the spectrum, as well, which makes me equally (perhaps even more) uncomfortable. I know several micromanaging, extra-strict homeschooling parents, and watching them relate with their children just makes me shudder. The kids almost always have trouble playing with/relating to others, and it's just heartbreaking to witness.... :

Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
In our experience the homeschool classifications you read about in books and online are never neat and tidy in real life. For me personally, it has been a disaster trying to find families I respect by using labels.

"Radical unschooling" is just a label. I think people read into that a degree of uniformity that does not exist in real life. I never give any importance to labels like that over the vibe I get from a person. If a parent is inattentive or aggressive, if the kids are habitually selfish and hurtful, I won't give them special consideration because they use the label "radical unschoolers". They are not people I'm going to hang around.

People basically are what they are. I am looking for attentive, gentle, strong people as friends for me. I want ds to find friends that are respectful and basically kind to him. If I find that, chances are good the experience will be positive. When I looked for "unschoolers" I got such a mixed bag it backfired. Permissive, aggressive, inattentive parents use the label too. It's no good trying to know a person by that label, at least not for myself. Better to remain open and look for a type of person, not a type of label, kwim?
:

Whew! Sorry this is so long!
post #38 of 200
Many great posts and tidbits here! It's late so I am crazy uneloquent. I will agree that there are folks who aren't really involved much in parenting, there are folks who are radically unschooling, and I suppose there are those that do both. That kind of radical unschooling wouldn't match up with how I define the term or live the life though.

Radically unschooling means I am very involved in my kids' lives and that I definitely offer information and guidance to them respectfully. (I strive to do so respectfully...sometimes we all miss the mark. ) I don't think it would be at all kind of me to fail to help the kids recognize and understand social and cultural things like basic manners, general sharing, etc. Sometimes they decide when it's time to stop being polite in a certain situation, and that's alright too. It just depends. I am not convinced that kids being allowed to decide to eat ice cream for dinner, not wear a jacket when it's drizzling outside, to play Grand Theft Auto, or to watch a mature-ish themed movie when they are 7 is to blame.
post #39 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by folkypoet View Post
I guess there are bound to be some "my-child-is-the-center-of-the-world-and-can-do-no-wrong" types unschooling

Oh, and there's the opposite end of the spectrum, as well, which makes me equally (perhaps even more) uncomfortable. I know several micromanaging, extra-strict homeschooling parents, and watching them relate with their children just makes me shudder. The kids almost always have trouble playing with/relating to others, and it's just heartbreaking to witness.... :

I know one family like the first IRL...and they are classical! Their kids have a terrible time trying to play.

And I agree on the other end of the spectrum is tough to deal with...we changed our hs gymnastics class after dp overheard a mom offer her 2 year old a spanking for putting her shoes on the wrong feet!
post #40 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
It's not about a philosophy of radical unschooling, but a desire to be radical, period. It's something else entirely. I don't know how to word this either but it is phenomenon I have seen. I don't know what to call it.

But the impression is that you are with a person who likes to be shocking, wants their kids to be edgy, and encourages a kind of in-your-face aggressiveness. There is an unspoken contempt for manners or politeness. It's like a sign of weakness. Homeschooling is part of their dedication to not do what they think is expected~to be different in any way possible.
Exactly! I wanted to post something like this yesterday but I didn't know quite how to say it. I have encountered this before. My old bf used to call teenagers like this "the decadent, angst-ridden youth of America," and although that might not translate well over the internet, it perfectly described the kind of kids who want to be different for difference's sake. I think some of those kids grew up to be parents who continue to do the same thing with their kids.

Namaste!
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