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Any radical unschoolers here? - Page 4

post #61 of 267
Thread Starter 
Hi unfrozncavegrl-
I know what you mean about the plastic junk.

We talk about sweat shops and Made in China junk and I will bring this up with my 5 1/2 yo when he wants to buy something I consider 'junk'. Usually he decides to buy something that is 'quality' instead.

As far as TV, etc. I must say I do not agree with many of the unschoolers whose kids watch lots of tv and play with video games. We do not have either in our homes. I feel like it is such a waste of time for young children to learn from such a passive media.

That said, I can see a time in the future as our kids grow up when they might want to watch tv and play video games. I think that will be ok. But not at such a young age when being outside and active is so important imo.

cheers,
jenn
post #62 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantorganics View Post
Hi unfrozncavegrl-
I know what you mean about the plastic junk.

We talk about sweat shops and Made in China junk and I will bring this up with my 5 1/2 yo when he wants to buy something I consider 'junk'. Usually he decides to buy something that is 'quality' instead.

As far as TV, etc. I must say I do not agree with many of the unschoolers whose kids watch lots of tv and play with video games. We do not have either in our homes. I feel like it is such a waste of time for young children to learn from such a passive media.

That said, I can see a time in the future as our kids grow up when they might want to watch tv and play video games. I think that will be ok. But not at such a young age when being outside and active is so important imo.

cheers,
jenn
Hey Jenn,
Yes. This is how I handle the purchasing of stuff. We discuss it. The value of it. How the interest level may wane once it is home. How breakable it is.

I agree with you about TV. I have tried allowing free use of the TV and PC on and off for the past couple of years. My children have not reached a plateau as many unschoolers state. If the TV is on they are watching. Hours can go by. Frankly, at times it breaks my heart.

So having said that can anyone give me advice on how to reverse this process. I do not have a problem with some use of TV and PC. There are certain shows they love and I'd like to allow them to enjoy. Also, they like Starfall and generally I sit with them and play. I guess I answered my own question; we simply need some structure regarding the use of media.

Other then that I allow them to eat what they want and when they want. We have very little processed foods in our house, so I have no reason to say no to what we have. As far as sleep goes, each night is different. Many nights they go to sleep when they are ready. There are nights however, when I am so exhausted and I invite them to bed to cuddle and read. There are other times when I put them in the car(especially in the middle of summer in Alaska, when it is light almost all night!)and we take a drive and they generally fall asleep.

I suppose I take each day as it comes. I have a hard time identifying myself with a label, simply because, I as a parent, am growing and changing each day.
post #63 of 267
We are unschooling for the moment. We have an only child that is hard to keep entertained and busy, and I have health problems that make it difficult to go out as much as she would like. We have a bedtime, but we all eat on demand. We're not radical unschoolers, but certinly not mainstream. Overall we try to let her have a lot of choice over what she does and when.
post #64 of 267
We're radical unschoolers...the "radical" part, since my son was born (i was also raised without arbitrary limits on tv, food, bedtimes etc so it came very naturally to me)...he left school at age 7 (he'll be 11 in Oct)...

I have to say, after spending so much time for the past few years on unschooling forums (specifically unschooling.com and then unschooling.info), it was a little shocking to come to these forums and read the constant posts against tv, computers, certain toys, etc. Those kinds of posts make me so sad....yknow how sometimes people will post that they saw a small child disrespected in the grocery store, or a new baby being ignored with a bottle propped, or that a child was smacked in a restaurant and they were so horrified? I feel like that when i read posts where otherwise "loving" and "respectful" parents talk about "regulating screentime" and kids being "addicted" (to sugar, to computers, to tv, etc), when parents talk about their child's interests as useless "crap" or their child's toys as "junk"...it just really bums me out. I honestly don't get it. Mothers who honestly in their heart of hearts think that a twinkie is more damaging to their child then feeding organic food w/ shaming or force attached. (NOT saying that its either/or and NOT saying that all mothers here do that, just to be clear.)

I really enjoy the passion my son shows for his interests, no matter if its shooting pixels on a screen or watching a certain tv show or eating something made with sugar. For me, happiness, joy, mindfullness, relationships...thats where its at. All that other stuff, all that control control control that some mothers feel they have to maintain....it feels so bizarre and foreign to me now.

Someone mentioned all this theory on unschooling sites and how sometimes you just want to hear its ok to tell the kids to go to bed...the thing is, while i know that unschooling moms have their bad moments, and that we're all human, i dont think its ok to say "oh well, you did your best, no big deal"...would that be acceptable here, in say, the sleep or breastfeeding forums? I doubt it...if someone posted "Well, i was so tired, i just let him cry it out"...yes of course you comfort the mother, reassure her that her child isnt forever damaged and that what she did was better than some alternatives...HOWEVER...don't you also offer a way to do it better next time? Because when we post stuff on the internet, its not just for that one mother, its for the countless mothers that come later and read that post, too. I think its a little annoying when a parent posts and basically wants validation for something that she could have done better...it doesnt help her at all for the next time (and there will be a next time....i know there always is for me!) to hear that its fine to not do the best you can in that moment.

What i hear over and over in unschooling forums, is to make the next moment better. Not that you have to be perfect, but to make this moment more mindful than the last. To take out the more harmful tools from your toolbox (spanking, say, or yelling)and work on the rest in time. I've read lots of "real stories" from experienced unschooling parents, talking about their less-than-stellar parenting moments (when they might have spanked, or shamed, or yelled), and how they moved past it. I dont see too much of "well, if you can't be perfect and always do the most noncoercive thing possible then you are a terrible parent and shouldnt call yourself an unschooler"...not at all...at the same time, i wouldnt expect someone to give bad advice, or "there there you did the best you could" advice. That doesnt help anyone, not the parent not the kid.


Katherine
post #65 of 267
Radical unschoolers here!
Unregulated living - as much as possible.

I love living like this!
I love the amount of passion my ds puts into everything he does. He has such a clear vision of what he needs to do. Whether it´s getting the sewing machine out to make a cap, watching Scooby DOo over and over again, or making balsawood tools...or anything else...

Ds didn´t watch tv/movies until he was about 4, and I am really happy about that decision. It was a conscious decision on our part. I loved the fact that his play/fantasy didn´t relate to stuff in cartoons.
Sometimes at a friends house he just wouldn´t be interested in the cartoons.

Now on the other hand, he gets so much joy from movies and it´s been unregulated from the beginning. Rather - self-regulated. He chooses to watch movies just like he chooses to do other things. Sometimes he´s had enough iykwim.

He loves mysteries and has been watching old Nancy Drew, Remington Steele and we watch Agatha Cristie´s Hercule Poirot together.
We endlessly analyse the movies afterwards Drives dh slightly nuts - but I love it!

Oh - forgot MacGyver....ds is passionately interested in all sorts of Swissknives...and of course MacGyver has them.

The fluidity of learning what one wants and needs. It´s just beautiful.


....continuing to read this thread with great interest!
post #66 of 267
Radical unschoolers here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
I have to say, after spending so much time for the past few years on unschooling forums (specifically unschooling.com and then unschooling.info), it was a little shocking to come to these forums and read the constant posts against tv, computers, certain toys, etc. Those kinds of posts make me so sad....yknow how sometimes people will post that they saw a small child disrespected in the grocery store, or a new baby being ignored with a bottle propped, or that a child was smacked in a restaurant and they were so horrified? I feel like that when i read posts where otherwise "loving" and "respectful" parents talk about "regulating screentime" and kids being "addicted" (to sugar, to computers, to tv, etc), when parents talk about their child's interests as useless "crap" or their child's toys as "junk"...it just really bums me out. I honestly don't get it. Mothers who honestly in their heart of hearts think that a twinkie is more damaging to their child then feeding organic food w/ shaming or force attached. (NOT saying that its either/or and NOT saying that all mothers here do that, just to be clear.)

I really enjoy the passion my son shows for his interests, no matter if its shooting pixels on a screen or watching a certain tv show or eating something made with sugar. For me, happiness, joy, mindfullness, relationships...thats where its at. All that other stuff, all that control control control that some mothers feel they have to maintain....it feels so bizarre and foreign to me now.
I agree with this. Thank you for your entire post, Katherine.


I guess I don't understand how in one breathe you can talk about ALL areas of life
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantorganics View Post
For those who do not know what this means, it is applying the unschooling philosophy to all areas of life- for example, no bed time, no food restrictions, etc.
and in the next, categorize some areas as "junk" and "such a waste of time."
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantorganics View Post
Hi unfrozncavegrl-
I know what you mean about the plastic junk.

We talk about sweat shops and Made in China junk and I will bring this up with my 5 1/2 yo when he wants to buy something I consider 'junk'. Usually he decides to buy something that is 'quality' instead.

As far as TV, etc. I must say I do not agree with many of the unschoolers whose kids watch lots of tv and play with video games. We do not have either in our homes. I feel like it is such a waste of time for young children to learn from such a passive media.
I just really don't understand....



For what it's worth, buying "plastic junk" toys has been a pretty good learning experience for my kid. We talk about how stuff from the Dollar Store generally breaks pretty easily (after he noticed a pattern of this), and how often prices and quality tend to match. That's a pretty important life lesson, I think. And sometimes you just want something that's cool and cheap, even if you know it's probably going to be short-lived. And other times you want to hold off and get something of higher quality and price. But, again, without that choice, how can one start that process of discernment?

Re. TV being a waste of time to learn from: I'll just say that hasn't been our experience AT ALL.
post #67 of 267
First, and a big : to Katherine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantorganics View Post
I feel like it is such a waste of time for young children to learn from such a passive media.
When my first was small, I felt this way. Although we did have tv and he did watch, I used to think that it would be "better" if he learned by doing, than by watching. But, I've changed my thinking, first because I don't like it when people tell me that activities *I* enjoy are a waste of time, and second, because he's seen a lot of stuff on tv that he wouldn't have been able to see irl and it's led us on a number of different paths.

A funny story, someone suggested to me once that I give ds coupons for tv viewing. I think each coupon was 1/2 hour. I tried it...until dd came over to me and asked for HER coupons. Dd was a kid who had NO interest in tv previously and suddenly she was looking for two 1/2 hour shows that she could use her coupons on. This drove home the "forbidden fruit" idea for me.

And, I realized I was contradicting myself by saying that I trusted them to eat/sleep/learn but not to turn off the tv.



Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post

For what it's worth, buying "plastic junk" toys has been a pretty good learning experience for my kid. We talk about how stuff from the Dollar Store generally breaks pretty easily (after he noticed a pattern of this), and how often prices and quality tend to match. That's a pretty important life lesson, I think. And sometimes you just want something that's cool and cheap, even if you know it's probably going to be short-lived. And other times you want to hold off and get something of higher quality and price.
This has been our experience as well.
post #68 of 267
KAtherine, I don't see where *anyone* said "Ok, now everyone go to bed". We are talking about how to get everyone's needs met in a respectful way. Lowering the nights and snuggling together is not saying "Go to bed now".

See where these RU discusssions go? It's all over the place. How can anyone pull "Now go to bed!" out of a conversation about how one might calmly and respectfully end a busy day? See where it goes when you ponder, "I am not sure I want my small children watching a lot of TV"

Classic, classic. And frustrating. But still, predicatable and very .
post #69 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
See where it goes when you ponder, "I am not sure I want my small children watching a lot of TV"
I think it would "go" a very different place if that were the statement I was responding to. What I--and I think others--were responding to was:

Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantorganics:
I feel like it is such a waste of time for young children to learn from such a passive media.
There is a big difference betw. those two statements.

If radical unschooling provides that learning happens all the time, there is never a "waste of time" in anything. Just because, *I* wouldn't pick it doesn't make it a waste of time for someone else--it's like the crux of unschooling, as far as I'm concerned, so it's confusing to hear others say things like I that.....
post #70 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
I think it would "go" a very different place if that were the statement I was responding to. What I--and I think others--were responding to was:



There is a big difference betw. those two statements.

If radical unschooling provides that learning happens all the time, there is never a "waste of time" in anything. Just because, *I* wouldn't pick it doesn't make it a waste of time for someone else--it's like the crux of unschooling, as far as I'm concerned, so it's confusing to hear others say things like I that.....
I think many people of small children have fair and legitimate reasons to question lots of TV for littles. I dont think we need to shut down the conversation. Even if a parent thinks it's a waste of time, an open conversation might help them to explore all the emotions and brain issues around those worries. This can be done with children, although it's harder with a toddler-- not saying it can't be done, of course.

I think we need to be *very* clear that RU means no parental limits of any sort on TV, food, toys etc. There are some people here thinking that RU can encompass some parental 'limits' , limits that they feel might have health or social benefits. There is not much wiggle room or acceptance in RU for that. I personally think that is *fine*. RU is what it is. I just think clarity on these issues would be helpful.
post #71 of 267
UUMom, I don't think Katherine was responding to your post about dimming the lights and turning on Mary Poppins: I think she was responding to something a previous poster said about just wanting to hear it was okay to sometimes make kids go to bed.

I think there's a big difference between saying, "I'm tired, I'm going to lie down. If you want you can lie down too and I'll read you a book," and saying, "Go to bed NOW!" Sometimes I'll let my oldest know I'm getting very sleepy, and if she wants me to read a book as usual, I'll need to do it very soon, or I'll be too tired to read.

Of course, my daughter might decide to sit up and play with her kitten or rabbit while listening to the book, or she might decide to keep watching her movie or playing her computer game: sharing my need to fall asleep soon isn't the same as coercing her to go to bed.
post #72 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I think many people of small children have fair and legitimate reasons to question lots of TV for littles. I dont think we need to shut down the conversation. Even if a parent thinks it's a waste of time, an open conversation might help them to explore all the emotions and brain issues around those worries. This can be done with children, although it's harder with a toddler-- not saying it can't be done, of course.
Again, concerns are one thing. A declarative statement that it's "such a waste of time" for a whole category of people is really quite different.

And either way, I don't think anyone's trying to shut down that conversation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I think we need to be *very* clear that RU means no parental limits of any sort on TV, food, toys etc. There are some people here thinking that RU can encompass some parental 'limits' , limits that they feel might have health or social benefits. There is not much wiggle room or acceptance in RU for that. I personally think that is *fine*. RU is what it is. I just think clarity on these issues would be helpful.
I thought the original post was pretty clear--"...all areas of life..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantorganics View Post
I would love to connect with others who are also unschooling with a 'radical' twist. For those who do not know what this means, it is applying the unschooling philosophy to all areas of life- for example, no bed time, no food restrictions, etc. Kids self-regulate themselves (as we adults wish we could do better..."don't have that extra piece of cake...but I want it...ahhh! why can't you listen to me, self?"). KWIM?
post #73 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
UUMom, I don't think Katherine was responding to your post about dimming the lights and turning on Mary Poppins: I think she was responding to something a previous poster said about just wanting to hear it was okay to sometimes make kids go to bed.

I think there's a big difference between saying, "I'm tired, I'm going to lie down. If you want you can lie down too and I'll read you a book," and saying, "Go to bed NOW!" Sometimes I'll let my oldest know I'm getting very sleepy, and if she wants me to read a book as usual, I'll need to do it very soon, or I'll be too tired to read.

Of course, my daughter might decide to sit up and play with her kitten or rabbit while listening to the book, or she might decide to keep watching her movie or playing her computer game: sharing my need to fall asleep soon isn't the same as coercing her to go to bed.

I don't have any issues with what I wrote. I am not a RU, so how I do things isn't going to past RU muster/purity, and I am comfortable with that. I do have certain RU tendanacies.

However, before I posted, I went back to read, and I don't find anyone suggesting 'making' kids go to bed, or saying "Go to bed!' Just don't see it.
post #74 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post

I thought the original post was pretty clear--"...all areas of life..."
LOL Yes. But even RL, the OP, suggested she didn't want her kids playing with plastic junk from China. So you know, this is how the RU conversation goes.

All areas but mindless TV, Doritos, HFCS, junk plastic toys made by children in China, of course.

Classic, is all I am saying.
post #75 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I don't have any issues with what I wrote.
I don't have any issues with what you wrote, either.

Quote:
I am not a RU, so how I do things isn't going to past RU muster/purity, and I am comfortable with that. I do have certain RU tendanacies.
Well, you'd certainly be the one to know whether you're RU or not. But honestly, I didn't see anything in the "Mary Poppins, dimming the lights" post that "didn't pass RU muster."

Quote:
However, before I posted, I went back to read, and I don't find anyone suggesting 'making' kids go to bed, or saying "Go to bed!' Just don't see it.
Okay, maybe I should go back and re-read, too. I honestly thought someone said she just wanted to hear it was okay to tell the kids to go to bed.
post #76 of 267
I'm not sure I understand.

But it does feel kind of insulting to keep hearing that we keep having these sorts of conversations that, I guess, you find ridiculous? funny? I'm not sure...

If someone posted in the bfing forum that they believed in exclusively bfing and wanted to connect with other exclusive bfers, but then went on to say that they use formula at nights b/c everyone knows that breastmilk doesn't help babies sleep as long, I think there'd be some, "Huh?" stuff going on.

That's all I'm saying....things like "exclusive" or "all" mean just that to me....so I'm confused and disheartened when I hear things that a child is learning from labelled in such derogatory terms.
post #77 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by SagMom View Post
I don't know. I think it's your story and you just need to tell it your way. Some people will take comfort in it, some will find it scary, others will find it irrelevant to their own lives, others will find it helpful. I don't think you can tailor it to be meaningful to everyone..

Very true. I am always looking for ways to communicate gentle parenting with people while aknowledging it's not always a cake walk. What is meaningful to people will vary, so that's important to remember. ETA- I really did not mean this to sound like a whine. It's just so difficult sometimes to put oneself out there and share the bad times.
post #78 of 267
Okay, you're right, UUMom. I browsed through the whole thread and didn't see anything about someone wanting to hear it was okay to make her kids go to bed. Sorry!
post #79 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
I'm not sure I understand.

But it does feel kind of insulting to keep hearing that we keep having these sorts of conversations that, I guess, you find ridiculous? funny? I'm not sure...

If someone posted in the bfing forum that they believed in exclusively bfing and wanted to connect with other exclusive bfers, but then went on to say that they use formula at nights b/c everyone knows that breastmilk doesn't help babies sleep as long, I think there'd be some, "Huh?" stuff going on.

That's all I'm saying....things like "exclusive" or "all" mean just that to me....so I'm confused and disheartened when I hear things that a child is learning from labelled in such derogatory terms.
Are you angry? I love the conversations, that's why I am here. Finding something amusing doesn't make it a bad conversation. I find it amusing that even many RU don't realize that RU could mean candy all day, and no teeth brushing at night at times Or piles of made- in -China plastic toys from the MIL, or even the child's own piggy band. It means no Bratz banning. I think these classic conversations are helpful. I really do.
post #80 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Okay, you're right, UUMom. I browsed through the whole thread and didn't see anything about someone wanting to hear it was okay to make her kids go to bed. Sorry!
Thank you. I appreciate the effort and the respect.
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