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#61 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 03:47 PM
 
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Jumping in here with many random thoughts
I loved your "random thoughts" ! Beautiful post!


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#62 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 03:48 PM
 
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I can't tell you how many times i've read things from new posters on unschooling boards similar to "well, i'm comfortable unschooling XYZ subject, but how will they ever learn MATH???" or "if i let them eat XYZ all day, they would NEVER eat anything else!" or "if i didnt limit videogames they would NEVER stop playing!"
I guess my frustration comes from those always being part of the same discussion. I would love to be more involved in discussions about unschooling math, but it inevitably comes around to parenting, and how I can't really unschool math unless we let him eat cupcakes all day long. I just don't get why parenting and education can't be two separate things?
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#63 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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I just don't get why parenting and education can't be two separate things?
They can...personally, i think its a "better" fuller more joyful life that benefits the relationship i have with my child, by having the foundations of trust and partnership that occur in "academic" unschooling extend to all other areas of our life. And i think the fears that people usually post about (all those "if i dont do x they will never learn y" fears about food or tv or toothbrushing or bedtimes) are usually fears without foundation, fears that can be overcome. And i think its hard for those of us who *dont* separate our lives into academic unschooling and RU, for whom its ALL unschooling...to give only "academic" advice.

That being said...i have no problem if you really dont want RU advice, but advice about, say, math, to say "please dont give me advice on nonacademic type stuff, we're really happy being non-RU unschoolers!"...dont know if you've tried that or if we've been guilty of ignoring such a request, but i hate to think that you wont get helpful advice just because you dont want to RU and dont want to debate it.

A question for you though...is part of the reason you dont want to RU, because you've seen those families that identify as RU and you know you dont want to do *that* (that is "if RU means my kids a little bully and i dont step in to redirect him, uh, no thank you then!") or is it because you really have a philosophical objection to the idea itself? I'm betting much of my parenting as a radical unschooler is very similar to your parenting as a non-radical unschooler.


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#64 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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Now that I think more about it, especially after Shannon's post, I think it's perfectly appropriate to say 'We unschool except for math'.

With the gluten example, it would make sense if instead of saying 'I'm gluten free' she said 'I avoid gluten, but I do eat some' or 'I'm mostly gluten free but I'm not strict about it'.

Shannnon, you could say 'I'm striving towards being RU' or 'We are RU in a lot of ways but still have bedtime(or whatever)'.

I don't call myself a non-smoker because about once a year my husband and I have a cigar together. I say I'm an occasional smoker.

I'm a vegetarian and I have a friend who calls herself a vegetarian, but she eats fish. I wish she would say 'The only meat we eat is fish' or 'We are mostly vegetarian but we do eat fish occasionally'.

My sister says she's an unschooler. We have different ideas about what that means. And I admit, I felt a little funny when I found out she was like the unschooling guru to her friends because I felt like she was spreading mis-information. It just doesn't matter though. Really, if these parents even take a little of what unschooling is about I think they're better for it.

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#65 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 04:06 PM
 
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#66 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 04:19 PM
 
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I only have a sec but--

I was thinking. I think a problem with parents "letting go" with a certain area (i.e. math) is that they themselves lack passion in that topic, so they project that their children will as well. I think this is, at least for me, a major issue with regard to USIng in general. IF a person is full of passion and loves learning, I do think he/she is more capable of trusting his/her child. If you were like me and did "well" in school but learned nothing, then it's much harder to make the leap.

I guess, in a sense, I am lucky that my DD is so vocal about what works for her. If she were a complacent person, I probably wouldn't be trying to go down this path (for now, all it means is that I am not pulling out any set curriculum) because of my past . . .my lack of trust in MYSELF. The funny thing is, when I was a teacher (and that was my 2nd profession . . .my undergrad was in music performance), I already had the mentality of USing without knowing how to do it in a classroom. I always believed that we don't need school for knowledge, as I am an easy example of how knowledge comes and goes, how it really can't be tested in a school setting, etc. My biggest obstacle was always motivation-- I constantly pondered how/why I should motivate students when THEY could see no purpose (and neither did I) with some of what we did. Funny how I am now with DD and was trying to create those same problems without needing to!

Thankfully, this has been a fast lesson (DD is a good teacher) since we've only been HSing for a few months, with several "vacation" weeks in there anyway.

RE: the poor parenting . . .I would not blame that on RUing. I'd blame that on lazy parenting (not guiding their children at all). I've seen parents who would never call themselves RU-- they don't even HS-- and yet they aren't really there for their children.

Sorry, this got long fast!

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#67 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 04:19 PM
 
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Well, what do you call a family who embraces natural learning for their children and themselves, but may not embrace many of the lifestyle choices that many unschoolers follow?

We are natural learners, but because we don't co-sleep, and do have regualar mealtimes, sleep times, and parent-directed discipline (though gentle), we don't consider ourselves unschoolers. Similarly, we don't have much in common with those who follow a scheduled learning, school-at-home approach, either.

I guess everyone has a different approach to learning and living, and I love the fact that we have the freedom to do what works for our family.
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#68 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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To quote oceanbaby:
[I guess my frustration comes from those always being part of the same discussion. I would love to be more involved in discussions about unschooling math, but it inevitably comes around to parenting, and how I can't really unschool math unless we let him eat cupcakes all day long. I just don't get why parenting and education can't be two separate things?]

This sums up perfectly why I have a hard time understanding why a person who doesn't unschool would call themselves an unschooler when they clearly have such a poor view of unschoolers.

Jen...wife to Shawn...Radically Unschooling Mommy to Connor (4/03), Autumn (1/07) Aiden (1/08) and Ella (10/14/09) Just had the of our dreams!
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#69 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 04:34 PM
 
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Well, what do you call a family who embraces natural learning for their children and themselves, but may not embrace many of the lifestyle choices that many unschoolers follow?
There are plenty of unschoolers who arent "radical" unschoolers, and so if unschooling describes how your children learn, you could say you were unschoolers, if you wanted.

Although i still think there is a little misunderstanding about RU...having regular bedtimes, or mealtimes, etc is not "forbidden" ( ) in RU...about the same time each night i put my baby to bed, give him a bottle, and lay there while he falls asleep...sometimes he resists a little, and i know him well enough to know that he's "fighting sleep" and will fall asleep soon. The lights are off, i dont talk to him (though i might sing a little or pat his back)...now, if he truly clearly is not tired, we get up and try again in an hour. But i dont just ignore him til he falls asleep from exhaustion. Our family isnt big into "sitting around the table eating regular meals" but many families are...that doesnt mean they arent RU. I think one key is, is the child free to make a different decision? How flexible are you?

I guess i just have the type of kid that refuses to be forced to do something. I could say "well, toothbrushing is important therefore you must brush your teeth!"...but unless i was willing to lay down on him and forcibly do that (which doesnt seem to respectful or kind or gentle yknow?) i needed to come up w/ a better plan. So in our home, i'm big on doing things like saying "why? Why dont you want to? Is there something i can do to help you like that situation more?" and also talking about possible consequences of whatever action or inaction my child wants to take. I think this kind of "working it out" is very very common (imperative, really) in most RU homes.

Katherine

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#70 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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There are plenty of unschoolers who arent "radical" unschoolers, and so if unschooling describes how your children learn, you could say you were unschoolers, if you wanted.

Although i still think there is a little misunderstanding about RU...having regular bedtimes, or mealtimes, etc is not "forbidden" ( ) in RU...about the same time each night i put my baby to bed, give him a bottle, and lay there while he falls asleep...sometimes he resists a little, and i know him well enough to know that he's "fighting sleep" and will fall asleep soon. The lights are off, i dont talk to him (though i might sing a little or pat his back)...now, if he truly clearly is not tired, we get up and try again in an hour. But i dont just ignore him til he falls asleep from exhaustion. Our family isnt big into "sitting around the table eating regular meals" but many families are...that doesnt mean they arent RU. I think one key is, is the child free to make a different decision? How flexible are you?

I guess i just have the type of kid that refuses to be forced to do something. I could say "well, toothbrushing is important therefore you must brush your teeth!"...but unless i was willing to lay down on him and forcibly do that (which doesnt seem to respectful or kind or gentle yknow?) i needed to come up w/ a better plan. So in our home, i'm big on doing things like saying "why? Why dont you want to? Is there something i can do to help you like that situation more?" and also talking about possible consequences of whatever action or inaction my child wants to take. I think this kind of "working it out" is very very common (imperative, really) in most RU homes.

Katherine
Yes. I'm MUCH more irritated by the misunderstandings of Radical Unschooling than Unschooling. Like eating cupcakes and playing video games all day is our goal or something.

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#71 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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A question for you though...is part of the reason you dont want to RU, because you've seen those families that identify as RU and you know you dont want to do *that* (that is "if RU means my kids a little bully and i dont step in to redirect him, uh, no thank you then!") or is it because you really have a philosophical objection to the idea itself? I'm betting much of my parenting as a radical unschooler is very similar to your parenting as a non-radical unschooler.
I don't have a philosophical objection to RU - I think it sounds really great, and I agree with many of the underlying principles. But some of it just doesn't work for us.

Bedtime, for example. A self regulated bedtime would work just fine for ds2. He will say to us "I'm tired, I want to go to sleep." Ds1, never, no matter how late he has been up, has ever said that. He has, however, since he was a baby, been very regular about when he got tired, and we quickly realized that he does best when he goes to sleep around 8pm. So we try to make sure that happens. We've never had kicking or screaming, he goes willingly and happily, but nevertheless, we are the ones directing the bedtime. Left to his own devices, he will spin further and further out of control the later it gets, getting not only beligerent, but also hyper and will literally start falling down or running into things. That's not fun for any of us, and it's really not fun the next day, as he tends to wake at the same time each morning regardless of when he went to sleep. I guess someone could say that we are putting our desire to not deal with a crabby kid ahead of his desire to stay up as late as he wants, but we are okay with that.

TV is another interesting one for us. We don't allow the tv on first thing in the morning. Time and time again we found that when the tv goes on first thing, they are crabby and there is a lot of fighting. I don't know why exactly - it's like they need to get shifted into the day before going into tv mode. So it's not that we don't trust them to self regulate per se, but we have found that things go much more smoothly for our family if there is no tv in the morning.

But things like mutual respect, taking their needs and wants into consideration, their thoughts and opinions being valid - those are all things that are important to us as parents. But we do have limits as to what behavior we will tolerate before stepping in and saying "okay, that's enough." We'll talk about it if it's appropriate, or move him into a room where he can rage without hurting anyone and then talk later.

Basically I am not opposed to it in a philosophical sense, but it's not something that seems like a good fit for our family, especially the way I have seen it in action.
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#72 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 04:53 PM
 
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This sums up perfectly why I have a hard time understanding why a person who doesn't unschool would call themselves an unschooler when they clearly have such a poor view of unschoolers.
I don't understand - I don't have a poor view of unschoolers, nor do I call myself an unschooler.
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#73 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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Does anyone here actually know anyone who calls themself an unschooler (which I think is different from saying you unschool in certain subjects) - when clearly, by anyones definition, they are not?
Not currently. But one of my friends went through a phase of calling herself a "structured unschooler," and talking about how she let her son choose which courageous woman of the Bible he wanted to write his 3-page essay on ...

And how when he wasn't getting around to doing his assignments, she responded to his need for no distractions by making him stay in his room til he got his work done.

It got her back up a little, when she'd post on homeschooling boards and people would tell her she wasn't an unschooler. But she eventually decided on her own that she wasn't an unschooler, and started calling herself eclectic instead.

For people who don't like having their personal labels challenged by anyone, "eclectic homeschooler" seems like a much better label than "unschooler." I, personally, don't mind if anyone wants to challenge my self-perception and tell me I'm not a "real" unschooler. But I'll argue right back at 'em.

And I'm totally with QueenJane that if one of my children ever wants to attend school, I'll support them in this and I'll still consider myself a Radical Unschooler. Or if one wants to follow a curriculum at home, that's cool, too. We're still unschooling because it's still totally up to the child.

And, yes, I have heard some say that if your child chooses to attend school, that means your child has rejected unschooling. I disagree, but that doesn't mean I'm going to get all up in arms, and call people "snobs" for thinking that a child can't choose some externally-imposed structure and still be an unschooler.

Of course, if the child says she's not an unschooler, that's her call -- but it's not for someone else to say. Just as I can choose to take a class at the local college and "still call myself an unschooler."

Maybe I just like to argue too much. I'd actually enjoy having someone challenge me and tell me I'm not "unschooly" enough.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#74 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't understand - I don't have a poor view of unschoolers, nor do I call myself an unschooler.
I'm sorry. I think I mixed you up with someone else who was saying they were unschoolers. But phrases like, "Let them eat cupcakes all day" seems like a dig at unschoolers. Like Serendipity said, that's certainly not the goal of RU families.

Jen...wife to Shawn...Radically Unschooling Mommy to Connor (4/03), Autumn (1/07) Aiden (1/08) and Ella (10/14/09) Just had the of our dreams!
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#75 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 05:24 PM
 
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I guess my frustration comes from those always being part of the same discussion. I would love to be more involved in discussions about unschooling math, but it inevitably comes around to parenting, and how I can't really unschool math unless we let him eat cupcakes all day long. I just don't get why parenting and education can't be two separate things?
Seriously? Someone actually told you that? That's pretty rough if a child's diabetic or something, huh? Then he'll just never be able to learn any math unless it's forced on him ...

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#76 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 05:25 PM
 
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I'm sorry. I think I mixed you up with someone else who was saying they were unschoolers. But phrases like, "Let them eat cupcakes all day" seems like a dig at unschoolers. Like Serendipity said, that's certainly not the goal of RU families.
I was responding to the idea of not regulating sugar being somehow connected to not forcing a curriculum.
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#77 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 05:25 PM
 
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I'm sorry. I think I mixed you up with someone else who was saying they were unschoolers. But phrases like, "Let them eat cupcakes all day" seems like a dig at unschoolers. Like Serendipity said, that's certainly not the goal of RU families.
Yes to this! You made the same point I was just trying to make in my previous post, but with no snarkiness!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#78 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 05:27 PM
 
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Seriously? Someone actually told you that? That's pretty rough if a child's diabetic or something, huh? Then he'll just never be able to learn any math unless it's forced on him ...
I have to go get in the shower and get some work done, but yes, I've been involved in unschooling discussions where it was pointed out, in not so many words, that of course unschooling wouldn't work if I wasn't willing to let go of all my control over things like sugar and tv.
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#79 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 05:28 PM
 
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Oceanbaby, i'm no expert in RU, nor do i know if we're "doing it right" (LOL)...but what you describe to me doesnt sound outside the realm of RU parenting.

I know many RU parents myself included, who are into "creating an atmosphere conducive to sleep"....NOT kids "left to their own devices". Its not like you have to just let your child eat "whatever" with no input or advice, no cooking of healthy meals, etc. My son is now 12 (baby is one yr), and for many years i really had to parent him to sleep (now, i just say 'hey i'm going to bed, turn off the lights when you're done, k?' and more often than not he'll say "if you're going to bed, i'll go too" though sometimes he'll stay up much later)...sometimes this would be long drawn out events....first reading several chapters of a book, then turning off the lights, telling him a long story that i made up as i went along, etc etc. Sometimes if he was having a really hard time falling asleep (but i knew he was tired or needed to sleep), i would do guided imagery(yknow "you're on a beach, the sun is warm, so warm, the waves are going crash, crash, crash...")....then, if he said "yknow i'm just not tired yet" or something, or if his behavior told me this, we'd try again later.

Sometimes, i would let him just crash in front of the tv.

I think sometimes there is this view that RU parents really "dont care" if their kid eats cupcakes all day, and that we do nothing to try to change that behavior. If my kid was really into the idea of eating cupcakes all day, i'd probably go buy a bunch of cupcakes and let him...we did this with candy bars, he thought it would be neat to have an endless supply of chocolate so i went out and spent about $10 on a bunch of mini bars of all varieties...probably 100 little candy bars in all, and he ate them for awhile. Months later i found that little backpack full of chocolate in his room and threw them away. But...beyond a fun experiment like that, most RU advice i've seen is to make yummy healthy food for your kids, get them involved in the process, bring them food when they are engrossed in something like a computer/videogame, talk to them in a natural way (as opposed to a lecture) about nutrition, about the effects certain substances have on our body, the pros and cons of different choices...get their input...find out what they think and why.

I have found raising my son in an RU home to be so beneficial now that he's headed toward teen years....we've had some really great discussions about things like alcohol and drugs and sex.

My experience has been that the younger the child, the more they might need physical support and guidance and parental input....so its not about saying to your two yr old "oh, you dont want to sit in your carseat? Ok fine!" but rather finding ways to help the child be happy in the carseat (and many parents would go beyond that to finding ways of travelling other than by car, hiring someone to watch the child while you ran errands, etc...)

Where the heck do you live that there are all these radical unschoolers? Even though they sound like maybe they dont fully "get" RU (if they are fine with throwing sand, bullying, being rough with the toddlers in the group, etc)..but still, i'm jealous! Where i live, my choices are the local church oriented HSers, or driving twenty miles to the eclectic openminded group with several "unschooly" type people but not many RUers (so we drive.)

I would love to live where there is a big group of unschoolers, of any variety...i dont think my son would have chosen to go back to school if he had that experience...we basically live for Live and Learn, but now that there won't be anymore we have to seek out other conferences.


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#80 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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I was responding to the idea of not regulating sugar being somehow connected to not forcing a curriculum.
I was the one (i think) that said i dont really get why someone would be an academic unschooler (for lack of a better term), yet not embrace RU.

I understand that you CAN do that, i just didnt really get why someone would want to. And for me, thats because the foundation of our unschooling lives is trust...trusting that my child (with alot of support and guidance and facilitation and with living in an atmosphere totally rich in information and learning) will learn what he needs/wants to know when he needs/wants to know it. I think many moms come to unschooling via attachment parenting...AP is very much about listening to your child's cues, about following your child's lead, about believing that when the time is right your child will do xyz (whether its transition to their own bed, or weaning, or using the potty etc)....but somehow when it comes to sugar, and tv, and videogames (etc) suddenly the parent needs to exert Control..or Bad Things Will Happen.

So i suspect when someone tells a parent that they should be RU and it will make unschooling itself easier...thats what they are getting at...that by developing a trusting relationship w/ your child in those other areas, it will make it easer to have that trust in the academic areas. (For us, i just wouldnt have a good answer for my son if he asked "why do you trust my ability to learn to read when i'm ready but not learn to turn off the tv when i've had enough?") I get that some parents have real concerns about the effects certain things (say, lots of sugar...or say, refusal to brush teeth) may have on a child's health. And i think its ok to have those concerns. But i think that these concerns CAN be addressed within an RU context, so that both the parent's and child's needs/concerns/desires are met.

But if you really dont WANT to be RU thats ok too!


Katherine

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#81 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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I have to go get in the shower and get some work done, but yes, I've been involved in unschooling discussions where it was pointed out, in not so many words, that of course unschooling wouldn't work if I wasn't willing to let go of all my control over things like sugar and tv.
I had a similar arguement over housework where very heated words were exchanged because I believe in insisting kids do housework and someone else did not.

Of course, this was a thread on the US forum, and I am definately ecletic....perhaps I was in the wrong to argue, who knows?

I learned a lot from the discussion though, so not all was lost.....

I think any discipline that dissolves into a list of do's and don't s though is going in a narrow minded direction. It is better, I think, to say this is the foundation - but the specifics are up to individual familes.

Without question - some people do seperate life from education in regards to HS. I must admit I do not really get it for me the two are quite intertwined - yet people here say they do seperate the two and who am I to say they don't?


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#82 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 05:54 PM
 
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Yep, maybe that happened. Maybe each time the kids pushed my 2yo over or threw sand in my 5yo's face or smacked my friends son, the parents had a discussion with them when they got home. It's possible. I'm not trying to change them, I'm just saying that we chose not to be around that behavior anymore.
You seem to be equating your friend's decision to continue helping her daughter after she screamed at her, to other parents' decisions to do nothing about their children's aggressive behaviors toward other children.

I'm sorry you met some parents who were totally oblivious to their children's aggressive behavior. One thing I've learned as a Gentle Discipline and RU mama, is that when my children are small, they seem to need a lot more attention and intervention while playing with other kids, than do the children of my friends who spank and use other punishments.

At our neighborhood homeschooling group, the moms of the other 3yo's were even able to sit chatting while their little ones played in an adjacent room with no adult. There were no aggressive incidents. When my dd and I entered the scene, I knew I had to be with her wherever she was.

Which to those moms was an indication that my methods "don't work" and theirs do. And that I "wasn't disciplining." To me, it's just an indication that Gentle Discipline is usually a lot more work when kids are little.

At the same time, I know some punitive parents of teens who discovered they kept having to amp up the punishments, 'cause when the purpose of your discipline is "parental control" rather than helping your kids to acheive their own goals, some kids eventually decide they'll endure the punishment, because the thrill of rebellion is worth enduring whatever their parents can do to them.

They often have a high tolerance for pain by this point, and if they get grounded they'll just sneak out the window in the middle of the night, since Mom and Dad do have to sleep sometimes.

Sadly, for many of these kids, their quest for autonomy is focused against their parents -- so they're not so much doing stuff they'd really want to do if they thought it through critically, they're just doing stuff to hurt their parents.

With this in mind, I'd rather miss out on some mom-chats because I'm following my little one around to keep her from bashing her friends over the head with a big truck. Maybe punitive consequences would nip that stuff quickly in the bud as it seems to have done for my friends' children ... I'd just prefer dealing with this, and helping her work through it now, over her eventually making huge life decisions based on "getting back at Mom."

And it sounds like you are Gentle Discipline, too, and are willing to put the work in. I'm sorry those other parents weren't willing to, and that they gave you the impression you couldn't unschool and still be attentive to your kids. But that's really not what RU is, even though I realize that may be what they called it.

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I might feel emotion over there not being any cream cheese too, but it's certainly not appropriate to scream at someone about it. And I wouldn't humiliate my son in front of a visitor either. I would have excused us from the room, and explained to him in private that I don't appreciate being talked to that way. Not being humiliated in front of a visitor goes both ways.
Well, there was a time when I would have felt humiliated over my child screaming at me in front of a visitor. And I may have even behaved differently because of being "watched." All I can say is that there came a point in my parenting, where I realized that even if others labeled what I was doing "unparenting" or "ineffectual" -- it just plain didn't matter.

I'm not going to claim that I never get embarrassed any more. But I recover faster than I used to, and I just try not to let an "audience" affect how I respond to my children.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#83 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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Lillian, thanks! I forgot not everyone knows about gluten. It does definitely affect everyone differently. Which, of course, is why my mom can be "low gluten" and my aunt and I are pretty strict on it.

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Now that I think more about it, especially after Shannon's post, I think it's perfectly appropriate to say 'We unschool except for math'.
I see what you are saying but it's still not something I'd say.

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Shannnon, you could say 'I'm striving towards being RU' or 'We are RU in a lot of ways but still have bedtime(or whatever)'.
I prefer the first line but not the second. Because yeah, I am RU in a lot of ways but . . . I'm not RU. And saying it that way gets too close to labeling myself IMO. But then, I like to talk (and type) so I have no problem yakking away if someone is interested.

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I'm a vegetarian and I have a friend who calls herself a vegetarian, but she eats fish. I wish she would say 'The only meat we eat is fish' or 'We are mostly vegetarian but we do eat fish occasionally'.
That's my opinion too. I'm not a veg myself but from a language point of view it just bugs me to hear the word used wrongly. But yeah, this could be unschooling. Instead of saying someone is an unschooler (or that they unschool, except for math) why not say they lean toward unschooling but have issues with some things or are inspired by unschooling but aren't an unschooler.



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Like eating cupcakes and playing video games all day is our goal or something.
Hey now! Don't you go insulting my dream life (ok, ok, so after 3 days or so I'd be craving raw broccoli and sunshine).

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And I'm totally with QueenJane that if one of my children ever wants to attend school, I'll support them in this and I'll still consider myself a Radical Unschooler. Or if one wants to follow a curriculum at home, that's cool, too. We're still unschooling because it's still totally up to the child.
I gotta admit I have trouble wrapping my head around the unschooler in school thing. I totally support it! Because unschooling should be all about what the kid wants and if they want to go to school then duh - they go! There is a huge HUGE difference between a kid who is in school because they have to be and one who is in school because they want to be. But still, it does make my brain hurt when I think about the label and whether it still fits.



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Maybe I just like to argue too much. I'd actually enjoy having someone challenge me and tell me I'm not "unschooly" enough.
Ahem. You're not unschooly enough. Stop calling yourself one







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Does anyone here actually know anyone who calls themself an unschooler (which I think is different from saying you unschool in certain subjects) - when clearly, by anyones definition, they are not?
Yes. But no longer because she finally realized it and stopped calling herself one (after about a year). She seemed to think that unschooling simply meant not using text books and curricula. I actually do see that attitude from new people online a lot (here too). So, if she came up with some non-structured way for him to learn something and then *told* (not asked) him he was going to do it, she called that unschooling. I did try to talk to her about it for awhile but I finally gave up because I just didn't care, (oh, and in that time period she was "unschooling except for math" ). But eventually she dropped unschooling and for years now has been pretty parent-led and curriculum based. We're still friends but we just don't talk about homeschooling. We're just too different in that regard.


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Frankly, I'm not interested in joining any kind of clique. I'd rather hang around people who accept me as I am, and believe I'm doing my best as a parent and homeschooler.
You obviously don't live where I do I don't want to join any cliques either. I'd also rather hang out with cool people like you described. And yet, I still call myself an unschooler and don't feel that I'm being snobby or cliquish just because I believe that some people aren't unschoolers.

Bedtimes - funny. This is like the #1 RU thing that comes up (or it seems it to me). But that's a big place I'm *not* RU. I don't know. My daughter is old enough to stay up on her own as late as she wants. She does stay up later than I do. But when she regularly is going to bed at 4 or 5 in the morning and then not waking up til 1 in the afternoon - it just makes me feel wrong. She was doing this for awhile and I felt like I wasn't seeing her. Bridget (10) wants to stay up as late as she wants but every time I let her and it goes on for days, I just feel like it's not working. Maybe it's just not working for *me*, I admit that. But yeah, that's one of the places I struggle. Which is nothing to do with this conversation, I just bring it up because it was mentioned.
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#84 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 06:16 PM
 
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I just think that so much of it is misunderstanding. When I was first learning about unschooling, because there ARE NO concrete definitions, I really thought that unschooling meant that you basically just live and that all the important things would just come up and your child would still learn all those things, just in their own time and through their own chosen course. At that point, I called myself an unschooler. I was an unschooler according to what I thought that meant. I thought it was just another way to go about achieving the same old thing.

Whomever is calling themselves unschoolers 'wrongly' surely just don't know it's wrong or why would they do it? It just seems so simple to me. I can't believe that anyone calls themselves unschoolers that KNOW they aren't. And according to the people who knew people who did this, along their journey discovered it didn't fit and stopped calling themselves that, or like I did, learned more about it and changed.

In our unschooling group we've sort of adopted the policy that when people join the group that seem to have a different idea of what unschooling is, they will figure it out. We aren't the unschooling police, we don't have to tell them they are 'wrong' or that they aren't unschoolers, we just let things take their course and people either move on or gradually change. Things seem to self-correct pretty easily given time.

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#85 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 08:11 PM
 
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I just think that so much of it is misunderstanding. When I was first learning about unschooling, because there ARE NO concrete definitions, I really thought that unschooling meant that you basically just live and that all the important things would just come up and your child would still learn all those things, just in their own time and through their own chosen course. At that point, I called myself an unschooler. I was an unschooler according to what I thought that meant. I thought it was just another way to go about achieving the same old thing.

Whomever is calling themselves unschoolers 'wrongly' surely just don't know it's wrong or why would they do it? It just seems so simple to me. I can't believe that anyone calls themselves unschoolers that KNOW they aren't. And according to the people who knew people who did this, along their journey discovered it didn't fit and stopped calling themselves that, or like I did, learned more about it and changed.

In our unschooling group we've sort of adopted the policy that when people join the group that seem to have a different idea of what unschooling is, they will figure it out. We aren't the unschooling police, we don't have to tell them they are 'wrong' or that they aren't unschoolers, we just let things take their course and people either move on or gradually change. Things seem to self-correct pretty easily given time.
Great post!

PS. Off topic: but I really thought your first paragraph was/is the definition of US? Different topic, I suppose! lol
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#86 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 08:20 PM
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PS. Off topic: but I really thought your first paragraph was/is the definition of US? Different topic, I suppose! lol
Um, me, too... unless by "important things", she was referring to traditional academic topics, rather than the truly important stuff.

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#87 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 08:54 PM
 
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. . . I really thought that unschooling meant that you basically just live and that all the important things would just come up and your child would still learn all those things, just in their own time and through their own chosen course.
Um, that sounds like unschooling to me. Are you saying you no longer think this is unschooling? Sounds like a pretty good soundbite for it in my opinion

(Though of course, understanding and accepting that no single person - no matter how they learn - will learn everything there is to learn. But with unschooling, they'll learn what is important to *them*)
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#88 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 09:05 PM
 
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Man, all this talk of gluten and cupcakes makes me want to go bake a batch of gluten free cupcakes!

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#89 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 09:27 PM
 
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Well, there was a time when I would have felt humiliated over my child screaming at me in front of a visitor. And I may have even behaved differently because of being "watched." All I can say is that there came a point in my parenting, where I realized that even if others labeled what I was doing "unparenting" or "ineffectual" -- it just plain didn't matter.
I don't have much to add, but I really liked this paragraph (and somehow missed it earlier).
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#90 of 257 Old 01-18-2009, 09:28 PM
 
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Man, all this talk of gluten and cupcakes makes me want to go bake a batch of gluten free cupcakes!
: I'm going to attempt GF chocolate chocolate chip apple muffins tomorrow. I've made them as a bundt cake before but I want to make them muffins this time. Just gotta figure out the time conversion and all that.

I'd mail you one, but I'm guessing a flat, stale muffin wouldn't be up to muster
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