gifted 4 year old LOVES preschool...... *sigh* - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 98 Old 01-21-2012, 05:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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sweetsilver.... LMAO!! lol.gif  don't i *wish* this kid was interested enough in TV for her to actually finish watching a program. (which she will do when tired) but in the AM, she is full of energy to greet the day and is very busy feeding her mind!

 

 

 


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#62 of 98 Old 01-21-2012, 07:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post


Will you hate me if I tell you (kindly!)  to suck it up in regards to mess?

 



No, I wouldn't.  I think that is what I've been trying to do-- find that place where the mess can happen without bringing the house down around our ears!  The hairbrush game the OP mentioned sounds exactly like one of her games, and I laughed.


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#63 of 98 Old 01-21-2012, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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SS, this was this morning's game 3 minutes out of bed: takes empty contact lens solution box, fills with water. "mmmmm it leaks. i wonder what will make it not leak. this is my experiment, see what will make the box not leak." me: "it's cardboard honey, it doesn't hold water, no matter what it will leak." looks in closet. "how about these q-tips?" grabs handful of q-tips. starts wedging them into the flaps. me: "do you have to use q-tips? they are kinda expensive." shrieking "it's my experiment!!!!" fills box with water, water shoots out around q-tips. "well, i need something better." box collapses. "well, this box sucks." walks away, leaving waterlogged box, q-tips in sink and water everywhere. this was while i was putting in my contacts! wild.gif

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#64 of 98 Old 01-21-2012, 08:29 AM
 
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Someone a couple posts back recommend the Play at home Mom blog.  Seriously, it is a-mazing.  Check it out.  Those ladies have the best idea.  From what you have described about your DD, I think she would love some of the activities on there. 


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#65 of 98 Old 01-21-2012, 11:38 AM
 
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OT a little:

 

I was reading the book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" a few days ago and immediately thought of this thread.  I think it gives a good picture of what using with young children can look like!  

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#66 of 98 Old 01-21-2012, 12:30 PM
 
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Using your example of the cardboard box/ Qtip experiment, because that is exactly the kind of thing I see at my house.

 

Despite my expressed frustrations on other threads about the craziness in our house, I have had a few successes in exactly this kind of thing.

 

Disclaimer: this has worked with my kids for the most part, they might not work with yours.

 

First, I wouldn't burst the bubble of your daughter's experiments.  It's helpful to use this preschool time to develop that kind of patience (I'm not suggesting you haven't!  Just pointing it out in general.)

 

The water in the cardboard box (depending on how big a box):  water games belong in the sink, tub, or outside.  I don't want to see water pouring out onto counters and floors.  I have more patience with this that my dh.

 

The expense of some materials.  First, I count it as a homeschooling expense.  I rarely refuse outright, but there has to be some limits, doesn't there?  "Qtips are expensive.  How about you use just 10."  If she fusses, ask her to "pick a number, then, and leave the rest for mama to use.  I'm happy to share some but those are too expensive to use them all."  Then negotiate if she hasn't had a tantrum at this point.  You can do this from the shower.

 

My girls are playing in the sink right now.  They've stopped whining when I say I need 10 minutes to finish the chores and have a clean sink.  They keep the water at a nice trickle-- I don't even need to remind them of this anymore.  They turn the water off.  They keep the water mostly contained, at least as far as my own expectations go.  They still need practice to please their dad. Some water is also counted in my head as a homeschooling expense.

 

This is where the vegetable peelings came in, in the sink and water game (as feed for their animals).  I give the girls quite a lot of leeway if they follow certain rules, but those rules took a lot of reminding.  At 5 and 7, it has literally taken a lifetime to teach them these rules.

 

Like kathymuggle suggested, I accept quite a bit of mess and "chaos" as part of the USing process.  It is an ongoing struggle in our house in some areas, but in others, like the example you've given, they pretty much will follow the rules (at least now they do!)  I think because it has been matter-of-fact and over and over and over again, and not flipping out about the messes made meanwhile (ahem!  I wish dh would take this advice!)  

 

Damn!  .....I just wish/hope this could work with the other issues I'm struggling with and are taking longer to resolve.  It is not a perfect process at. all.

 

 


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#67 of 98 Old 01-21-2012, 08:06 PM
 
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I know they are generally for toddlers, but have you looked into having a modified busy bag swap with some other moms? Is there a public email list you could use for this (or even the finding your tribe area of MDC? Something like:

http://unsolicitedadvice-n-such.blogspot.com/p/busy-bag-swaps.html

http://www.intrepidmurmurings.com/2011/03/ideas-for-toddler-preschooler-activity-bags/

 

Also, as far as sensory activities, have you looked into sensory integration therapy ideas? They were developed for kids with sensory processing disorder, but a lot of them are very fun and helpful for high energy kids as well. Something like the book, "The Out of Sync Child Has fun" would have a lot of ideas. They are the ones that developed things like texture tables (rice bins, etc.).

Here are some examples found by Google, but the Special Needs Parenting forum in MDC might have a bunch more:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/14670-sensory-modulation-and-sensory-integration-activities-for-home-and-school/#JUMP1

http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/sensory-integration-activities.html

http://www.the-special-needs-child.com/sensory-integration-activities.html

Have you read about actve alerts?


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#68 of 98 Old 01-23-2012, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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SS, i do *try* to approach my kids like you described... i do try to provide a way to support what they want even if i can't find an outright yes answer to them. we try to focus on what they *can* do not what they can't do. i like the idea of *limiting* her chaos by providing her with options (she's really bad at decision making though.. if i give her a choice, sometimes it's like mind lock for her) to her usual tornado way of approaching things! but i must admit, in the above situation... i was like 30 seconds out of bed and my brain was still off. and ummm the whole thing took like 90 seconds!! she always woken up like a speeding train! 

 

pookie, thanks so much for your links. my son has a SPD and so we *do* try to do lots of sensory activities (i have those books! and we do use the basket system from the explosive child)... i do let her play in water... and not complain too much about water everywhere (it is water after all), i think the issues that i am having center on her freaking out when i do try to put any kind of limit on her behavior and the difficulties she seems to have with impulse control. (runs in the family!) and of course balancing everyone's needs... i have a son i homeschool, i business to try and run, a house to try and keep clean enough for us to function in and of course, just breathing and having time to brush my hair!! 

 

and no i have not ever heard of active alerts! please tell me more. 


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#69 of 98 Old 01-23-2012, 10:48 AM
 
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NAK http://www.amazon.com/Living-Active-Alert-Child-Groundbreaking/dp/0943990882


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#70 of 98 Old 01-29-2012, 05:15 PM
 
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Okay, I do not know a lot about unschooling, but I 100 percent agree with your thoughts on public schools and I understand that it is difficult now and you are looking for suggestions to meet your daughter's needs.  (quick note about myself: I am a special ed teacher birth-5, have not worked in a school, though.)  I read through all of these suggestions and the the piece that kept coming up about your daughter is that she is very social.  Since, like I said before, I do not know very much about unschooling, this idea may not work for you or your lifestyle, but....have/would you consider having another child (maybe preschooler) in your home as a peer for your daughter?  Sort of like being a nanny or babysitter.  If you find a like-minded parent who wants something similar for their child but has to/wants to work, it may be a great fit.  You can (possibly) earn some money and be able to afford some more activities (if you wanted to) for the kids and most importantly, your daughter would have a friend to spend time with each day.  I have no idea if this is even a suggestion that you would welcome, but as a working parent of a 2 year old, thinking about what I want to do for my daughter when she turns five, it would be really nice to find someone who has a similar lifestyle that I could trust to carry over values we hold in our family.   Maybe there is a parent like that where you live.

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#71 of 98 Old 01-30-2012, 02:35 AM
 
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The real problem is that unschooling is not as structured or as social and that is what your daughter needs.  So, if you want to create a new environment for that, then you have to do a few things differently.  You will need to create a strict scedule, work her butt off, and work daily with other parents and children groups.  This is a ton of work, so i would join some type of homeschooling system that supports this.  There is a reason so many parents fail at homeschooling and it is because it is so incredibly difficult to do well.  Many kids are destructive when they are bored and not getting their needs met.  This means she isn't working hard enough, being challenged enough, and needs more social interaction.  So, you have to do those things on a daily basis and on a strict schedule.   

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#72 of 98 Old 01-30-2012, 08:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misskitty View Post

The real problem is that unschooling is not as structured or as social and that is what your daughter needs.  

 

Unschooling should end up being exactly what the child wants, even if that's highly structured and highly social. I have a highly social, very driven newly-9-year-old. Today she has the following things on her schedule: snowshoeing, violin practicing, baking cookies, math, science, geography, baking pitas, a social date, a 90-minute violin rehearsal with friends, chores, readaloud, craft time. Tomorrow she's out of the house for 6 hours for social time plus her violin lesson. Friday she has an all-day art workshop with a bunch of fellow homeschoolers. Wednesday is a ski day, plus music group class. She's busy, she works hard, she has a very full schedule. And we are definitely unschoolers! 

 

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#73 of 98 Old 01-30-2012, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oops!


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#74 of 98 Old 01-30-2012, 11:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misskitty View Post

The real problem is that unschooling is not as structured or as social and that is what your daughter needs.  So, if you want to create a new environment for that, then you have to do a few things differently.  You will need to create a strict scedule, work her butt off, and work daily with other parents and children groups.  This is a ton of work, so i would join some type of homeschooling system that supports this.  There is a reason so many parents fail at homeschooling and it is because it is so incredibly difficult to do well.  Many kids are destructive when they are bored and not getting their needs met.  This means she isn't working hard enough, being challenged enough, and needs more social interaction.  So, you have to do those things on a daily basis and on a strict schedule.   



ROTFLMAO.gif

 

Is this post a joke?  Because it is SO funny.

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#75 of 98 Old 01-30-2012, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i was thinking "does this person know what unschooling is?" & "is this person a troll?" 'cause i had a similar reaction!

 

 

yup, she/he's a troll. check out the photo... and the other posts. 


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#76 of 98 Old 01-30-2012, 12:06 PM
 
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The sentence that begins, "There is a reason so many parents fail at homeschooling" makes me scratch my head.  Who says all these people are failing?  And even if they were, what makes the poster think she has the one answer to it all?

 

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#77 of 98 Old 01-30-2012, 12:19 PM
 
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Quote:
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i was thinking "does this person know what unschooling is?" & "is this person a troll?" 'cause i had a similar reaction!

 

 

yup, she/he's a troll. check out the photo... and the other posts. 



She might just be new and more mainstream than many here shrug.gif.    I skimmed her other posts, nothing screamed "troll"

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#78 of 98 Old 01-30-2012, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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   I skimmed her other posts, nothing screamed "troll"


really? 


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#79 of 98 Old 01-30-2012, 05:00 PM
 
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really? 



Yeah, but I might be wrong/naive, lol.  I generally choose benefit of the doubt.  

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#80 of 98 Old 01-30-2012, 07:33 PM
 
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You know, I think part of the initial problem was the thread title. A very common theme that pops up in this forum is "my kids loves school or says they want to go to school, should I give in?"...and then there is the usual discussion that follows where some folks argue that letting your kid choose to go to school is like letting them choose whether they should eat cake for breakfast every morning - it's bound to appeal to them but is not good for them for reasons they don't understand. Then there's the other camp that argues that school isn't so bad and unschooling isn't for everyone, etc...

 

TBH, when I first read this thread I thought it was one of those. Today I decided to re-read the original post to remind myself about this discussion and for some reason this time I noticed that the OP quite clearly stated she was not questioning whether to send her child to school, but how to handle her needs. This is a bit different than the kind of thread I noted above, and I think that confusion may have been why some people started suggesting school.

 

In fact I even said in my first reply to this thread that it might not be the end of the world if she went to school (thinking the OP was considering it). But then I read the OP stating clearly why she would never consider school and I felt a bit ashamed of myself.

 

The truth is I feel the same way she does and sometimes I temper that so as not to offend all the people whose kids are in school. But this is an unschooling forum, and why should I or the OP feel bad about laying it all out on the line - there is something fundamentally wrong with a society that essentially removes children from their homes and family and the Real World for a huge percentage of their waking hours for 12 YEARS...leaving paid strangers to handle the bulk of formative moments for our kids, not to mention the highly unnatural social environment...and she is bang-on about how school allows both parents to work and fuels the economy, which is why governments fund it so highly.

 

And this is NOT the same thing as saying that no child could ever be happy in school or that parents who send their kids to school are somehow "bad". 

 

This is an unschooling forum, and nobody here should have to defend their view that school is inherently damaging to children, to society, etc. If people find that offensive then perhaps this isn't the forum for them.

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#81 of 98 Old 01-31-2012, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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"The truth is I feel the same way she does and sometimes I temper that so as not to offend all the people whose kids are in school. But this is an unschooling forum, and why should I or the OP feel bad about laying it all out on the line - there is something fundamentally wrong with a society that essentially removes children from their homes and family and the Real World for a huge percentage of their waking hours for 12 YEARS...leaving paid strangers to handle the bulk of formative moments for our kids, not to mention the highly unnatural social environment...and she is bang-on about how school allows both parents to work and fuels the economy, which is why governments fund it so highly."

 

nicely said. clap.gif


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#82 of 98 Old 01-31-2012, 03:21 PM
 
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I am guessing my post got lost in the shuffle as it was right before the one that got everyone angry.  Or else it just wasn't a suggestion worth commenting on?  just wondering which...

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I am guessing my post got lost in the shuffle as it was right before the one that got everyone angry.  Or else it just wasn't a suggestion worth commenting on?  just wondering which...



i thought your comment was good - indeed my own daughter goes to a babysitters one day a week who is a HS mom with a daughter her age - it is a total win-win for everybody!

 

That being said - you gotta know that posts are regularly not commented on.  I would say only about 25% of my posts get comments.  Lack of comments does not mean you were not helpful - either to the poster or subscriber.

 

 

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#84 of 98 Old 01-31-2012, 04:38 PM
 
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I am guessing my post got lost in the shuffle as it was right before the one that got everyone angry.  Or else it just wasn't a suggestion worth commenting on?  just wondering which...



I think your post was an excellent one!  and I am sorry it got lost in the kerfuffle.  

 

You made a brilliant suggestion, one that I hope the OP takes into consideration.  I have considered doing exactly what you suggested for my own son - (youngest in family with two older sisters).

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#85 of 98 Old 01-31-2012, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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nicolette, i already do something of the sort... tuesdays i watch one little girl and on fridays i watch another. on fridays i switch off. if the mom works, i watch her DD. if she is off, she takes my DD. 

 

i don't think having the same kid here day after day next year would work well, but i am sure i could work something similar out with my homeschool mama friends. i have two HS friends who are having babies this spring, so i am sure i will get a chance to take care of several of my DDs friends this up coming year. 

 

interesting that a friend of mine started a preschool out of her house (she's a former reading teacher) because she wanted to HS her DD, who refused to do any of the local HS groups/activities. now her DD is in public school! interesting irony, but she was pretty primed for it. (one of the reasons i am not big on school at home)

 

 

 

 


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#86 of 98 Old 02-02-2012, 07:06 AM
 
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I have a friend who sent her very social, very busy (as in gets into everything) dd to a democratic school (Sudbury) three days a week, but it didn't work out due to bullying and boredom on her dd's part. Although towards the end of the school year she did end up liking it, it was only after lots of struggle and it wasn't worth it to them to send her there again. Which is why they decided on an outdoor school one day a month (it was once a week but getting up that early was too hard for her), and the Y (but they have a special homeschool Y program in their area, not something that exists everywhere).


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#87 of 98 Old 02-02-2012, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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yup, i just have to be careful how much i sign her up for. money is tight. 


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#88 of 98 Old 02-04-2012, 11:25 AM
 
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Okay, first off, as a new poster to this particular forum and a long-time lurker on MDC (and just because it has to be said, just because someone doesn't have a lot of posts doesn't mean they don't read and pay attention to what goes on here), I have to admit that I'm a little afraid to post anything.  Honestly, I have to admit, the OP seems to be a bit on the hostile side towards anyone who doesn't share her opinions, and I think maybe it should be said that the kind of hostility displayed may just scare people off, like myself, who really could use the support in unschooling with my kids, especially since we've had a number of problems as of late that have made it a LOT more challenging than usual.  I've heard several unschooling moms say "public schools aren't the end of the world" and have even considered it myself when I felt that maybe I couldn't meet the needs of my kids, as much as I hate everything about public schools and seem to share a lot of the same views as the OP.

 

I hate to say it, I came to MDC after a friend of mine told me how welcoming, friendly, and caring everyone here was.  She told me how there was very little drama and even less hostility.  In my experience, many people here like to keep it that way.  Instead of reacting to something that offends or upsets them, they just let it roll off their back.  Thinking about it, this is a skill I've had to learn from the very start of my parenting journey.  Sometimes it's just better to say, "That's interesting advice.  I'll take that into consideration."  Then just let it drop.  Hostilities are meaningless if no one takes the bait.

 

That being said, I'm going to speak my mind and hope that I don't get pounced on because I'm just a "newbie" and my post count isn't high enough if my opinion isn't what wants to be heard...

 

From what I'm reading in all of this ISN'T a matter of unschooling versus school.  It sounds like the huge problem here is a matter of discipline and boundaries.  For example, if your daughter could respect your boundaries, she wouldn't have barged into the bathroom to start playing with everything while you're showering.  She wouldn't be destructive (I think I read she cut up the couch?  Or something at least) if she could learn to respect property that isn't hers.  Whether you use formal and more traditional punishment and/or rewards or use unconditional parenting techniques, there still needs to be some way of communicating to your daughter that some of her actions are not acceptable.

 

Let's look at the bathroom incident.  There are a number of places there where there is a recognizable need to put your foot down.  First was her demand that you play a game with her, though that was fair well handled.  The second was the point at which she entered the bathroom.  The third was the point at which she started playing in the sink and filling the bin with water.  It's not so much that I think your kid shouldn't want to play games with you, or that she shouldn't be allowed to play with water, but you stated a clear boundary, you needed 10 minutes to take a shower, and she walked all over it.  The situation with the contact box and the water could be another of these situations depending on how you feel about it.

 

I'm not going to tell you how to correct the "behavioral" problems, but simply to point out that it's time to consider ways to help her to respect the needs of everyone around her and their property. She's old enough to understand concepts like your feelings, and to respect your feelings.  She's also old enough that she can start learning to respect the property around you.  While I can't tell you how to raise your kids, I can give you some examples from my daughter in similar situations, like wanting to set up all her toys in the hall outside my room because I was in the shower.  We simply made it a rule that playing in the hall is not allowed because it's dangerous.  Someone could get hurt stepping on or over the toys and it makes it hard to get out in the case of a fire.  If she wanted to play with her toys, they belong out of narrow lanes of travel, like hallways.  If I saw the toys there again, I would put them away until the end of the day.  I figured it was better to put up with the temper tantrum that would ensue than the very real possibility that her younger brother or I could get hurt trying to get over or by them.  When I caught her playing with scissors and cutting up things that were not hers to cut up, I informed her that she could only use scissors on her own things without permission.  We had to set up a rule that she was no longer allowed to use scissors without permission.  I tried as much as I could to sit down with her and help her come up with the problems of respecting the space and boundaries of those around her when she was bored, but it wasn't easy in those days because I was so burnt out with dealing with a child that did crazy things like unlock the door and sneak out of the house when I was preoccupied with something else at the time.  It was pretty necessary given that in many cases she was either doing something that could pose a great danger to herself (like sneaking out of the house at 4 when there was a kidnapper known to be stalking in the area) or were destructive for the property around her.  It's a matter of picking your battles, and focusing on what will keep her safe, not cost you a small fortune in things that need to be replaced because she destroys them, and trying to find enough personal space and peace that you can have enough energy for her needs.

 

I know this doesn't address the unschooling/homeschooling issue, but I don't think that's the only concern unless she doesn't do those things at all during the year that preschool is running, but from the sounds of it, that's not the case.  That means there's something else going on.  On top of helping her understand and respect the boundaries you need in your home for everyone's safety and sanity, you could also talk to her preschool teacher.  Perhaps they have some advice on things that they do differently than you do at home.  Perhaps it's because there are plenty of options for structured activities for her to do.  Many preschools use time-out as a way to re-enforce following the rules.  There could be any number of things that they're doing that help her engage in non-destructive activities and it's not just the socialization.  That's a resource you have that I didn't with my daughter.  She never went to preschool and only spent a short time in daycare while I was working.  As a result, I had to figure it all out on my own.

 

From the sounds of it, you'll probably feel a lot better once you set up some boundaries in your house and some guidelines for respecting both other people and the things around her.  Once we set that up with my daughter we had a lot less problems with her being destructive.  Sure, she had her moments (though she had other reasons for that, like the absence of her father in her life), but for the most part, things started to flow much better around here.  We chose to go with primarily unconditional parenting techniques, but given my boyfriend and I both have backgrounds very different than that, I'll admit that we've both slipped up more than we'd like.  I started this before my boyfriend was even a part of our lives and we saw a miraculous change in my daughter.  It took a couple months (not the weeks that I've heard other people tell me to expect a major change) but I found that I was able to take a shower, take out the trash, get the mail, and even cook Thanksgiving dinner without having to worry about my daughter getting bored and destructive because I wasn't there to provide her with the social interaction she wanted.  We worked together to find what worked for her so that we could all co-exist more peacefully.

 

In a lot of ways, I understand where you're coming from.  My family doesn't have a lot of money for activities.  Waldorf style activities, while wonderful for my son, proved to be rather dull for my daughter and she lost interest pretty quick.  We didn't have much options for stuff like that either.  There wasn't much for kids in her age group when we first got here, and now it seems like the focus is still on the older set.  Socialization at free things like play groups worked wonders for making sure she still had plenty of time with friends, but we haven't been able to attend them as much as we've liked because we're currently without a working vehicle.  However, building this style of communication and the basis of respect and understanding that there are reasons I tell her I need or the family needs to work within the limitations we have has made this difficult time that much easier.  I've never been one for harsh rules, strict discipline, and restrictive boundaries, but I think it's important for my kids to know that I'm much more capable of tending to their needs when I know that I can take a shower, make dinner, or do whatever I need on my own without having to worry about turning around to see the house destroyed or the kids climbing on the counters to get into the granola bars I'd put away for the co-op on Monday.  It's nice to know I can sit down to read a chapter of my book or do a row or two of knitting without having them come up eight million times to ask questions.  Having those little breaks to get things done while the kids are on their own, entertaining themselves and being respectful of their home and each other (usually...it's been hard since we've moved into a 2 bedroom temporarily) means I'm more available to meet their needs because I have the energy to do it.  On top of that, learning to respect the needs and wishes of those around them will only help them grow into respectful and caring adults, so in my eyes, I'm really getting two things out of one.  I was able to let my kids have alone time without worrying that their means of entertaining themselves would also mean being destructive, and I'm providing yet one more lesson to my kids about respect.

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Okay, first off, as a new poster to this particular forum and a long-time lurker on MDC (and just because it has to be said, just because someone doesn't have a lot of posts doesn't mean they don't read and pay attention to what goes on here), I have to admit that I'm a little afraid to post anything.  Honestly, I have to admit, the OP seems to be a bit on the hostile side towards anyone who doesn't share her opinions, and I think maybe it should be said that the kind of hostility displayed may just scare people off, like myself, who really could use the support in unschooling with my kids, especially since we've had a number of problems as of late that have made it a LOT more challenging than usual.  I've heard several unschooling moms say "public schools aren't the end of the world" and have even considered it myself when I felt that maybe I couldn't meet the needs of my kids, as much as I hate everything about public schools and seem to share a lot of the same views as the OP.

 

I hate to say it, I came to MDC after a friend of mine told me how welcoming, friendly, and caring everyone here was.  She told me how there was very little drama and even less hostility.  In my experience, many people here like to keep it that way.  Instead of reacting to something that offends or upsets them, they just let it roll off their back.  Thinking about it, this is a skill I've had to learn from the very start of my parenting journey.  Sometimes it's just better to say, "That's interesting advice.  I'll take that into consideration."  Then just let it drop.  Hostilities are meaningless if no one takes the bait.

 

That being said, I'm going to speak my mind and hope that I don't get pounced on because I'm just a "newbie" and my post count isn't high enough if my opinion isn't what wants to be heard...

 

From what I'm reading in all of this ISN'T a matter of unschooling versus school.  It sounds like the huge problem here is a matter of discipline and boundaries.  For example, if your daughter could respect your boundaries, she wouldn't have barged into the bathroom to start playing with everything while you're showering.  She wouldn't be destructive (I think I read she cut up the couch?  Or something at least) if she could learn to respect property that isn't hers.  Whether you use formal and more traditional punishment and/or rewards or use unconditional parenting techniques, there still needs to be some way of communicating to your daughter that some of her actions are not acceptable.

 

Let's look at the bathroom incident.  There are a number of places there where there is a recognizable need to put your foot down.  First was her demand that you play a game with her, though that was fair well handled.  The second was the point at which she entered the bathroom.  The third was the point at which she started playing in the sink and filling the bin with water.  It's not so much that I think your kid shouldn't want to play games with you, or that she shouldn't be allowed to play with water, but you stated a clear boundary, you needed 10 minutes to take a shower, and she walked all over it.  The situation with the contact box and the water could be another of these situations depending on how you feel about it.

 

I'm not going to tell you how to correct the "behavioral" problems, but simply to point out that it's time to consider ways to help her to respect the needs of everyone around her and their property. She's old enough to understand concepts like your feelings, and to respect your feelings.  She's also old enough that she can start learning to respect the property around you.  While I can't tell you how to raise your kids, I can give you some examples from my daughter in similar situations, like wanting to set up all her toys in the hall outside my room because I was in the shower.  We simply made it a rule that playing in the hall is not allowed because it's dangerous.  Someone could get hurt stepping on or over the toys and it makes it hard to get out in the case of a fire.  If she wanted to play with her toys, they belong out of narrow lanes of travel, like hallways.  If I saw the toys there again, I would put them away until the end of the day.  I figured it was better to put up with the temper tantrum that would ensue than the very real possibility that her younger brother or I could get hurt trying to get over or by them.  When I caught her playing with scissors and cutting up things that were not hers to cut up, I informed her that she could only use scissors on her own things without permission.  We had to set up a rule that she was no longer allowed to use scissors without permission.  I tried as much as I could to sit down with her and help her come up with the problems of respecting the space and boundaries of those around her when she was bored, but it wasn't easy in those days because I was so burnt out with dealing with a child that did crazy things like unlock the door and sneak out of the house when I was preoccupied with something else at the time.  It was pretty necessary given that in many cases she was either doing something that could pose a great danger to herself (like sneaking out of the house at 4 when there was a kidnapper known to be stalking in the area) or were destructive for the property around her.  It's a matter of picking your battles, and focusing on what will keep her safe, not cost you a small fortune in things that need to be replaced because she destroys them, and trying to find enough personal space and peace that you can have enough energy for her needs.

 

I know this doesn't address the unschooling/homeschooling issue, but I don't think that's the only concern unless she doesn't do those things at all during the year that preschool is running, but from the sounds of it, that's not the case.  That means there's something else going on.  On top of helping her understand and respect the boundaries you need in your home for everyone's safety and sanity, you could also talk to her preschool teacher.  Perhaps they have some advice on things that they do differently than you do at home.  Perhaps it's because there are plenty of options for structured activities for her to do.  Many preschools use time-out as a way to re-enforce following the rules.  There could be any number of things that they're doing that help her engage in non-destructive activities and it's not just the socialization.  That's a resource you have that I didn't with my daughter.  She never went to preschool and only spent a short time in daycare while I was working.  As a result, I had to figure it all out on my own.

 

From the sounds of it, you'll probably feel a lot better once you set up some boundaries in your house and some guidelines for respecting both other people and the things around her.  Once we set that up with my daughter we had a lot less problems with her being destructive.  Sure, she had her moments (though she had other reasons for that, like the absence of her father in her life), but for the most part, things started to flow much better around here.  We chose to go with primarily unconditional parenting techniques, but given my boyfriend and I both have backgrounds very different than that, I'll admit that we've both slipped up more than we'd like.  I started this before my boyfriend was even a part of our lives and we saw a miraculous change in my daughter.  It took a couple months (not the weeks that I've heard other people tell me to expect a major change) but I found that I was able to take a shower, take out the trash, get the mail, and even cook Thanksgiving dinner without having to worry about my daughter getting bored and destructive because I wasn't there to provide her with the social interaction she wanted.  We worked together to find what worked for her so that we could all co-exist more peacefully.

 

In a lot of ways, I understand where you're coming from.  My family doesn't have a lot of money for activities.  Waldorf style activities, while wonderful for my son, proved to be rather dull for my daughter and she lost interest pretty quick.  We didn't have much options for stuff like that either.  There wasn't much for kids in her age group when we first got here, and now it seems like the focus is still on the older set.  Socialization at free things like play groups worked wonders for making sure she still had plenty of time with friends, but we haven't been able to attend them as much as we've liked because we're currently without a working vehicle.  However, building this style of communication and the basis of respect and understanding that there are reasons I tell her I need or the family needs to work within the limitations we have has made this difficult time that much easier.  I've never been one for harsh rules, strict discipline, and restrictive boundaries, but I think it's important for my kids to know that I'm much more capable of tending to their needs when I know that I can take a shower, make dinner, or do whatever I need on my own without having to worry about turning around to see the house destroyed or the kids climbing on the counters to get into the granola bars I'd put away for the co-op on Monday.  It's nice to know I can sit down to read a chapter of my book or do a row or two of knitting without having them come up eight million times to ask questions.  Having those little breaks to get things done while the kids are on their own, entertaining themselves and being respectful of their home and each other (usually...it's been hard since we've moved into a 2 bedroom temporarily) means I'm more available to meet their needs because I have the energy to do it.  On top of that, learning to respect the needs and wishes of those around them will only help them grow into respectful and caring adults, so in my eyes, I'm really getting two things out of one.  I was able to let my kids have alone time without worrying that their means of entertaining themselves would also mean being destructive, and I'm providing yet one more lesson to my kids about respect.

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