or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Unschooling › RU's please educate us here
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

RU's please educate us here - Page 3

post #41 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraBoo View Post
I am working with this solution so far: most nights dd (she's 9, by the way) goes to bed with us. some nights I ask her to sleep in her bed but ask for morning snuggles with me when she first wakes up. this gives dh and I time alone and I also get to fall asleep quicker and get better rest. HOWEVER, dd isn't happy the nights she is asked to sleep in her bed. So, see, someone is always going to be unhappy. I will keep trying though! (I'm in the middle of a huge move so dd is sleeping with us all the time right now because I think she needs the contact and because i'm too exhausted to give any "alone time" to dh! LOL)
Keep trying. I don't believe that "someone is always going to be unhappy." I like to think, when it feels that way, that we just haven't found the solution YET.

Could you lay down with your dd and snuggle with her while she goes to sleep in her bed and then join your dh? If "alone time" with dh is a euphemism for sex, couldn't you all mess around at some time other than bedtime? (Ditto that if you literally mean alone time.) I didn't realize the age of your dd at first--have you talked to her and explained that you and dh need time alone? When my kids were younger than your dd, we used to be able to slip away into another room for "private time" after making sure the kids had snacks, toys etc. and they were good about not interrupting.
post #42 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by SagMom View Post
Why not ask questions about that list in your head and maybe people can tell you if they think it's accurate, or dispute it.
I thought about doing that, but re-thought it as I posted the above and concluded that it could be hurtful to others who may have put those ideas in my head in other places. I hate to be a moron but to be honest, I never thought about these definitions until recently. (I am going to follow those links you posted.)

Thank you all for your responses. I am gaining a lot of insight from this thread.

Jenniey
post #43 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
To me, RU is a lot more than that - it's about the parental will not trumping the child's will, and vice versa.
And that right there is why I am not an RUer. When push comes to shove, my will DOES trump that of my kids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
The more I read, the less difference I can see between Radical Unschoolers and "plain" unschoolers. <snip> It sounds like the self- described "non radical unschoolers" don't have a firm grasp on what 'radical unschooling" is to begin with.

Down with labels!
See above. I'm not an RUer. But I AM an unschooler and I DO try to be as flexible with the children as I feel I can reasonably be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
But I guess I see this as a continuum with "radical unschoolers" at one end and "controlling school-at-homers" at the other...
I agree with that.
post #44 of 143
OK, here's my best definition of what unschooling and radical unschooling mean in our family. A lot of plain old unschoolers do the same things, but a lot don't. I'm sure I have more to add to it but this is it for now. There is a bit of overlap for sure. Everyone is different, blah blah blah This is really just my idea of what parenting is to me, and what my family is striving for. It really has nothing to do with the label because in my real life, I wouldn't use the label, it's just our life.

IS:

Letting go of the standards, guidelines, and lists of 'need to know by age whatever'. Letting go of the idea that there is a list of things that all children should learn at all. Believing that whatever activity they are doing right then and there is a valid learning moment and doesn't need to be interrupted.

Not dividing life into categories, such as educational activities vs. just for fun activities. Accepting and embracing that learning happens all the time, everywhere no matter what, even if you can't see it. Helping your children live a full and rich life, full of whatever is deemed full and rich by your children. Facilitating the learning process by encouraging, providing, discussing, brainstorming and creating. Presenting new ideas and activities without an academic agenda, when they want new ideas.

Having a keen awareness of your particular child. Being really in tune with them so that you know when they need help or when they need you to back off. Helping them discover the world in a meaningful way that has no academic agenda.

Having principles, not rules. Showing them how to function as a respectful, considerate, honest, helpful, loving, kind, mature, reasonable, open-minded, fun person by being one. Accepting them for who they are.

Helping them get what they want, and helping them figure out what they want. Accepting the choices they make. Realizing they are not just miniature versions of you. Breaking down the wall that divides parents and children. They are their own people, now, not in the future. They are people now with thoughts and feelings and opinions and ideas.

Throwing out our ideas of what success means, and letting our children decide what success means to them, for them. Talking, talking, talking and listening, listening, listening.

Re-thinking limitations, and explaining the natural limitations. Not creating an environment that your child will want to rebel against. Creating an environment your child feels safe to express and discover themselves.

The 'radical' side is the part that acknowledges that not only should your child be free to learn what they want, they should also be free to eat what they want, when they want, decide for themselves how much 'screen time' they get, decide for themselves when and where they need to sleep, decide for themselves what toys or other things are valuable to them, and just generally respecting their wants even when, and especially when they don't fall in line with yours. Not assigning chores; instead, doing housework joyfully and letting them come to help as they see it's not an awful miserable task.

Communicating respectfully, as in, not barking orders, making demands, or saying anything negative or demeaning. Speaking to them with the same respect as you would a family member or friend. Sharing your opinions about something without expecting them to automatically agree and comply.



Is NOT:

-letting them run wild
-condoning violent, disrespectful, or un-safe behavior, rather finding the cause of the behavior and helping them work it out. Or finding a way that can do the activity in a safe and respectful way.
-buying anything and everything they want
post #45 of 143

where I got my def of RU

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post

It sounds like the self- described "non radical unschoolers" don't have a firm grasp on what 'radical unschooling" is to begin with.

Down with labels!
Well, I got my definition of radical unschooling from these sources, the first of which I have been reading for over 6 years now.

*Sandra Dodd's web site and related google group,
*and a few RU'rs I know IRL.

I don't follow every tenet they do. But we unschool. so the other thread asked for non radical unschoolers and I thought that label applied to me. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the way I see it is when Radical is placed in front of unschooling general parenting philosophies come into play and when left off the unschooling label only describes the traditionally academic areas.

I like labels. I like to organize and classify things. I'm kinda left brained that way. However, I'm still for my original all you can eat buffet idea that you can pick and choose from at will.
(once again, I have to know if anyone loves TODAI as much as I do?

This discussion reminds me of the political spectrum thing, is it a line or circle from poli sci courses. Or of the sexuality spectrum thing. Is sexuality black and white, shades of gray etc.?

All this being said, if I can place some limits on nutrition with my son and get him ready for bed at a certain time and still call myself and RUer let me know all the RUers i know IRL are super cool and I totally want to be one of them! (I think I still have issues left over from jr. high )
post #46 of 143

Jesus camp

[QUOTE=Ruthla;10700641]

I mean, I see a clear distinction between "school at home"ers and "unschoolers" and I've certainly encountered homeschoolers who are rather disrepectful to their children's unique learning styles (it's heartbreaking to watch how some of the parents interact with their kids at one of the classes I've signed DD up for).[QUOTE]

Have you seen the documentary Jesus Camp? There is this scene with a home schooling mom and a daughter is supposed to be working on some sort of work text or something. The mom is out side on the porch swing looking at some notebook. When the daughter wants to come outside and feel the summer rain, the mom is so cold (seriously devoid of any emotion) and forces her back into the house with her school work. And them mom stays on the porch. I'd be dancing out in the summer rain with my teen daughter if I had one. These are the types of school at homers I think you are talking about.
post #47 of 143
Wow granolapunk! I think that was an excellent post.

You have given me a lot to think about. A lot of what you post in the "radical end" is definitely my idea of an ideal ... but hard for me in the real day to day (not in theory but in practice). I wonder if this is true for you (and/or others) as well or if it used to be an ideal and is now easy, or if it was always second nature?
post #48 of 143
serial posting sorry.

granolapunk,
I have a hard time reading large unformatted blocks of text like that. (sorry, I don't know what it is, my eyes and head haven't been doing so great) Are you able to format that with line breaks or something so the ideas stand apart a little bit. I'm very eager to read it because I honestly don't know if we're radical or not.
post #49 of 143
I'd like to call myself RU. I just have not been able to completely let go as of yet. I feel I am not deserving of the label. (Maybe I should just allow myself that label and maybe then I'll become it?)

But I try, on a daily basis, to be a little more radical than the day before. Sometimes I'll have a really bad day that will put me back where I was a week ago. DD(5) has started telling me, "Okay, Mom, you're being a control freak again." And I stop yelling, and then we laugh.

RU, the ideal picture of how I want to live. I get it, I do. I completely understand it, and it looks all rose hued and just there on the horizon. I want that muchly.

To me, RU is unschooling plus (and let me say I'm not saying that those of you who call yourselves plain unschoolers are not doing these things too):

(besides true safety concerns)
Requesting my child to do something, and being okay if she says no.
Coming from a place of good intentions rather than a desire to control.
Discarding old tapes like, "Because I said so," or "I'm the mom, so I'm the boss, and therefore YOU WILL OBEY." Realizing that I've said no to something unreasonably, and saying, "Hey, that was me being a control freak, you go on ahead."
Asking myself, "Ah, why the hell not?!"
Using validation. Not the same as being sympathetic. Letting my child be upset, letting her know that those feelings are valid, and "letting go of my need for a constantly happy child." (Thanks, Arun!)
Not using the tired old system of punishments and rewards.
Understanding that sometimes need/want is not so clear with children-- they have needs that I would have before claimed as only wants. Trying to always find a balance for their needs, my needs, and my partner's needs.
Putting the relationship with my children first, then fitting everything else around that.
Realizing that I can't MAKE my kids do anything unless I physically intervene or scream at them, which I am not so fond of doing.

A lot of this is parallel with mindful/peaceful parenting. I'll quote this from 12 Exercises for Mindful Parenting:

"There are important times when we need to be clear and strong and unequivocal with children. Let this come as much as possible out of awareness, generosity, and discernment, rather than out of fear, self-righteousness, or the desire to control. Mindful parenting does not mean being overindulgent, neglectful, or weak; nor does it mean being rigid, domineering, and controlling."

Substitute RU for mindful parenting there, and you've got the idea
post #50 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertMommy View Post
serial posting sorry.

granolapunk,
I have a hard time reading large unformatted blocks of text like that. (sorry, I don't know what it is, my eyes and head haven't been doing so great) Are you able to format that with line breaks or something so the ideas stand apart a little bit. I'm very eager to read it because I honestly don't know if we're radical or not.
ok, i tried to break it up a bit. i wrote it as one free flowing idea so i'm sorry if it's disjointed.
post #51 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenniey View Post
Wow granolapunk! I think that was an excellent post.

You have given me a lot to think about. A lot of what you post in the "radical end" is definitely my idea of an ideal ... but hard for me in the real day to day (not in theory but in practice). I wonder if this is true for you (and/or others) as well or if it used to be an ideal and is now easy, or if it was always second nature?
hmmm...tough question.

well, i had my son when i was 17. a lot of this stuff was second nature to me then, but i was completely unaware that it was any sort of valid parenting style. i was just barely out of childhood and still so close to a world where my parents were in charge and made all the rules, and didn't want more from me than compliance and silence really. i don't mean they were awful, they just didn't accept that i was not the same person they were and that they couldn't change me. well i sure proved them wrong

i wanted a real relationship with nic and i was determined not to treat him the way i was treated. i had no friends with kids, obviously, and the family i had with kids were VERY mainstream.

the natural childbirth, the co-sleeping, the food options, the not wanting to order him around, etc was all instinct. but when he was about 2.5, i met my husband and moved really close to his family. his family is the epitome of mainstream. i started to believe that my choices were not 'parenting choices' but were just the result of being a young mother. keep in mind, i knew nothing of AP/RU/CL/TCS etc.

so, we started to go against our instincts and tighten the reigns so to speak. we started a bedtime, had arguments about food options, tv, toy guns etc.

but once we decided to have ella, i started planning her homebirth and trying to find fellow homebirthers because i felt like the freak of the world in my community. that's when i found MDC, and AP stuff and have slowly been making our way back to our instincts, which are in line with the RU stuff.

It's been a gradual process, but a remarkable one. My house is not the picture of peace at every moment every single day, but i can honestly say we are all exponentially happier now than when we were a year or 2 ago. The issues that arise now don't leave us all feeling completely miserable because I know that the goal is peace, happiness, and respect rather than compliance, control, and a sense of order.

I guess I'm rambling and not even answering your question...the 'in practice' questions are easier to answer if you give specifics I guess. In general, I'd say it's a lot easier for me than trying to control everything they do because that wasn't working anyway. But harder when we're talking about giving up the ideals that I wanted to instill like not being TV freaks, avoiding plastics, violent video games, not being irresponsible consumerists etc. But like I said in the other thread, forcing your ideals on your kids does not mean they will take them on for themselves.

OK, i gotta make dinner but feel free to ask more questions if i can help clarify something...
post #52 of 143
Thread Starter 

Questions for RUs:

I'll state my biases up front.
My experiences IRL with RUs are not positive. I have 4 RU families in my immediate homeschooling circle (either part of co-ops we belong to, or friends of friends who we interact with semi-regularly) The children in these families vary in ages from baby to early teen (about 13ish now).

Do you have expectations for behaviour for your kids and if so how do you communicate those? I'm thinking of things like do you expect kids to treat other people respectfully and if so, how do your children know that that is an expectation of yours? If you don't have expectations for your kids behaviour (or you don't see them as 'expectations'), are you concerned with teaching them that others in their community will have expectations for their behaviour (and I am talking basic common social norms and courtesies here, not a "children are to be seen and not heard" type of expectation).

Do you distinguish between RU and NVC or TCS? If so, how?

Thanks
Karen
post #53 of 143
can you give an example of the dis-respectful behavior?
post #54 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Is it unschooling if the child wants to follow a curriculum?
Yes. If the kid wants to do it and is welcome to start or stop it as they wish without bribery or fear of consequence from the parents/adults it's unschooling. IMO, anyway.
Quote:
Are you still eclectic if you mostly follow a curriculum but skip certain parts?
Yes, I suppose so. Maybe you get those "other parts" from somewhere else?
Quote:
Are you still an unschooler if you follow a curriculum at the child's request and stop using it when the child gets bored of it?
If the child has the freedom to totally pass on the curric then yes.
Quote:
Are you a radical unschooler if you give a bedtime to a 6yo who's been cranky from too little sleep?
It's all in the approach and the way you involve the kid IMO. Demanding he go to sleep at 8 just because you said so... not really RU.
post #55 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by granolapunk View Post

Realizing they are not just miniature versions of you. Breaking down the wall that divides parents and children. They are their own people, now, not in the future. They are people now with thoughts and feelings and opinions and ideas.
I love the whole post but esp this part
post #56 of 143
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by granolapunk View Post
can you give an example of the dis-respectful behavior?
disrespectful behaviour I've seen?

lol the list is long. I don't want to turn this into an RU bashing thread. These are things I have experienced first hand with the children of self identified RU families in our homeschool group. I hang out with a pretty relaxed crunchy group of families, who are aware of developmental milestones for kids and who treat their own children and the children of others with respect (ie they don't bark orders, or say no for the sake of saying no, or expect kids not to be kids) so I don't think that the behaviours I have seen from the RU kids is a result of being dealt with disrespectfully by the adults around them.


~ nasty name calling - both to children and adults.

~ continually ignoring the needs and requests of others - for example at a program, library story time, or lesson setting continuing to interrupt, be disruptive, blocking other children's access and not being respectful of the adults trying to faciliate for all the kids. When adults have asked the children to cooperate with the rules or go find their parents the kids are beligerent, rude and disrespectful, and sometimes violent. They very clearly communicate to others around them that they don't have to do what adults or children ask of them.

~ destroying other's property despite being asked and then told not to

~ hitting and kicking children, adults and hurting animals (kicking a dog, pulling the cat's tail, throwing stones at birds and squirrels)

~ ignoring the rules of the location we are in - no yelling, throwing books and running in the library for example, not slamming the piano at the church we sometimes use for meetings (and I'm talking kids 5 y/o +, not little ones),

~ ignoring common social conventions and cues around things like personal space, respecting other children's attempts/requests to stop a particular behaviour (ie stop poking me), not overstaying welcomes (a girlfriend of mine has a horror story about a 2 hour playdate that turned into a 5 hour one because the RU parent would not put expectations on her kids to get out the door in time to catch the bus despite repeated attempts by my friend to help her get her kids ready to leave)

I had one 8 year old kid start to rearrange my living room furniture so she could walk on the backs of my chairs and couches around the perimeter of my living room. When I asked her not to, she told me she didn't to listen to me and could do what she wanted. I've had kids ruin pull down blinds in my daughter's room after I asked them to stop playing with them, had one kid cut open a dress up dress so that she could fit into it even though my kids asked her not to.

I've known most of these families for years - and their kids are not growing out or through these behaviours, or learning to pick up on social cues. The children are not special needs (ie on the autism spectrum). Unfortunately the natural consequences for these families is that they are not being included, or are avoided when they attend group events. Fewer and fewer all members events are being organized in our group because these families tend to attend a lot of them and the organizers are burning out trying to manage these kids.


In general with these particular familes the kids exhibit little understanding that there are societal norms, and very little ability to behave in ways that acknowledge others. If it were one or two families I might chalk it up to family eccentricities. But 4 of them? And I don't think my experiences are unique as I read of similar concerns and frustrations online fairly regularly.

I'm not saying that the RU kids I know are the only ones who have challenging behaviour, because they aren't. The difference is that I don't see the RU parents address it in a meaningful way that helps the kids understand what is acceptable and what isn't from a community standpoint. If/when they address it, it is in the context of the child's needs as central to the situation without balancing the needs or rights of others in any way. Their behaviour reflects their lack of understanding about limits or the need to behave appropriately in society.
post #57 of 143
holy sheep! that sounds awful.

um, no. i have no idea what RU is to anyone else, but none of that falls into my definition of it. my children don't act like that, and none of the RU families i know have children like that and i belong to a group of about 20 families. my kids are NOT shy and soft spoken either. they are just normal people. i obviously can't explain the actions of those kids but i guess i can say that yes, i have expectations for my kids behavior. if there's an issue we sit and talk about it. it's really been that easy, at least with my 6yo.
post #58 of 143
Wow. I have to say, I've never even met any unschooled kids like that at all. We're about finding solutions and resolving issues, not... well, whatever those parents are doing. Ignoring?

Well, I take that back. When Rain was younger and we were involved in TCS, we knew one family like that, I guess... but in their case I think the mother was just depressed and overwhelmed, and claimed to be TCS because it allowed her to neglect her kids without admitting (to herself or anyone) that that's what she was doing. I don't see what she was doing as truly TCS, but that's another thread... but she would have considered herself RU as well.

My kid has strong ideas about what is good and kind, and and I've shared my ideas about those things as well. She's always been very sensitive and concerned about people's feelings. I don't see how parents could not talk with her kids about these things, honestly, unless they're just ignoring the kids. We all live in this world, and I do think it's unfair to kids to not share information with them about what's acceptable behavior in different situations. It's her choice to ignore it, I suppose, but my kid at least generally wants to get along with others, and she knows that things run much more smoothly when the world is on your side...

The RU kids I've known tended to be more open about issues and problems, but they were also generally quite concerned with people's feelings. Rain's best friend in the whole world (who I consider RU) comes out to visit us for a week or so every year, and she's the perfect houseguest - Rain and I both look forward to her visits, and I really wish we saw more of her.

And I do consider my kid to have good social skills, and a good understanding of societal expectations. She is well-liked by pretty much everyone we know...

dar
post #59 of 143

Tcs?

Three quickies:

*What is TCS?

*The RUers and not so radical unschoolers we know IRL behave way better than the school at homers we know. Well except the TJed kids we know who are kind of their own ball of wax.

*I think age is a huge deal when defining the radical in RU. Some RUers here have pretty old children. I know what its like to forget a little bit about the ins and outs of having a younger child. I babysat a one year old for the first time since caring for my son as a baby 6 years ago. I couldn't remember anything. It wasn't like riding a bike either I had to consciously think about every thing I needed to do for that babe. Are some of you with older kids forgetting about daily struggles with wee little ones? (bedtime can be bliss when you are really frazzled parenting a younger child)
post #60 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Wow. I have to say, I've never even met any unschooled kids like that at all. We're about finding solutions and resolving issues, not... well, whatever those parents are doing. Ignoring?

The RU kids I've known tended to be more open about issues and problems, but they were also generally quite concerned with people's feelings.

And I do consider my kid to have good social skills, and a good understanding of societal expectations. She is well-liked by pretty much everyone we know...

dar
Ditto to all of that.

I think my RU kids, and perhaps RU/unschool kids in general, are pretty upfront or blunt about what they think and feel in a way that other kids might not be because they don't have the freedom to do so. Many kids live in a world where adults are in charge of kids and a kid's opinion is just not really all that important. My children have not grown up that way, and from time to time we find ourselves in a situation where an adult(s) is offended or shocked by the way my kids talk, that they aren't afraid to share an opinion that's maybe different than mine (the parent) or the other adults around, and etc.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Unschooling
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Unschooling › RU's please educate us here