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#1 of 21 Old 09-07-2013, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting article, still reading through this.  This is particularly relevant as I am hearing this more and more in my house.

 

Quote:
Boredom is a really crappy, cheapskate answer to helping your kids develop creativity and authentic interests.

 

Thoughts?  Boredom and working through it seems to be practically an Unschooling Tenet, so I'm curious to hear what others say.

 

http://project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog/boredom-lazy-parent’s-strategy-inspiring-creativity


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#2 of 21 Old 09-07-2013, 01:14 PM
 
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In a certain context, I can her point. You can't schedule 95% of a child's life, and then expect allowing him to be bored during the other 5% to be a good way to ignite creativity. I also don't think that boredom in and of itself is a good thing. I think boredom is a problem to be solved.

 

However, I do think that learning to solve that problem is a good life skill. Moving beyond boredom requires adopting a curious, optimistic, passionate view of the world. It's probably true that the kids who are most curious, optimistic and passionate seldom experience boredom. That's the goal, isn't it? To get them to the stage where they aren't the passive receptacles of others' plans for them, nor are they passive receptacles for media entertainment -- they are the active authors of their own lives. If you are lucky enough have a 13-year-old who has become that sort of person, that's awesome. 

 

That doesn't mean that many people don't need to learn their way to that end. That could be because they have experienced a relative lack of autonomy -- perhaps they're the ones who have had 95% of their life controlled by others' schedules or else filled up passively by media entertainment. They don't have that self-starting attitude, that curious and optimistic view of the world and their role in it, because they haven't yet had a chance to learn it. Learning it may require fallow periods where they have to grapple with, and hopefully learn to move beyond, the issue of not having someone else or something other fill their time for them.

 

I also think there challenges for kids who are immersion learners by temperament. My kids, the older three especially, are like this: they tend to delve deeply in something to the exclusion of almost everything else. For days and weeks on end they'll do almost nothing but devote energy to their obsession: five, ten, fifteen hours a day. It's passion, but not a passion to fit many things in, it's a passion to do as much of one thing as they can manage. And so it continues, until they reach a watershed of some sort. Perhaps they've pushed it to the point where they are tired, or have lost interest, or perhaps they have accomplished what they set out to do, or maybe they just feel like their life has become unbalanced. Then there's often a period of time where they do feel bored. It's the discontinuity between their total immersion in Obsession A and their moving forward into something else. Obsession A has been their default, their daily life, their routine, and they haven't had to think about how to spend their time. Now they have to think again, and there's often a bit of "what do I do?" feeling to it. I think this is a common experience for most of us: having a bit of a let-down after an all-consuming immersive experience. After returning from an awesome backpacking trip, or family reunion, or getting through a challenging performance review or audition, or coming home from a retreat or conference, or finishing an all-consuming home renovation project or something like that. (My youngest kid is more like Lori's 13-year-old: she usually keeps several interests on the go at a time, and every day is an opportunity for her to intentionally fit several things in. She doesn't suffer the post-obsession-let-down that my other kids tend to.)

 

Anyway, I agree with Lori that it's simplistic to say (even though I've probably been guilty of doing so) that boredom is good for kids. It's not so much that the boredom has value in and of itself; it's that moving beyond boredom is something that many kids need to learn through experience. Supported experience, to be sure. But not the sort of support that removes responsibility for the problem from them. 

 

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#3 of 21 Old 09-07-2013, 02:06 PM
 
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Wow! Well said, Miranda. I tend to be more of the furtive obsession type who experiences the let-down after a completed or ended experience. I am still learning how to solve that, but household responsibilities pretty much fill in the blanks these days. I definitely experience a grief period after a particularly engrossing novel or film, where I just can't imagine what I could do to bring that rush of pleasure back again. How will I ever find another book THAT good? Kwim?

However, I have no shortage of under explored interests to choose from, and only need that little inner push to get me back in motion.

My kids are still little enough to not yet grapple with that issue, if they ever will. The most boredom they ever experience is typically from the desire to do a certain thing that just can't happen right now, so we must find an alternative in the meantime. Your post, and that article definitely opened a door in my mind to be aware of how their interests and perceived boredom play out over time.

Thanks for posting, SweetSilver!
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#4 of 21 Old 09-08-2013, 12:59 PM
 
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I don't think I agree actually. (ETA sorry I don't agree with the article not the PP)

 

I think if you are actually scheduling 95% of your kid's time...well apart from anything else, if I had a kid THAT scheduled-and I can think of a few kids, in private school mainly with parents who really, really want them to get into Oxbridge-they shouldn't have anything at all else expected of them.

 

But I think there's another issue to the article. I think it misrepresents how boredom actually works in an unschooling context. My understanding would be that for unschoolers-for most good parents-boredom isn't about giving kids a load of poor quality dull options to make them as bored as possible and so force them to learn to make fun from nothing. Its more about providing a generally interesting environment, usually to some extent influenced by the child themselves, and the freedom to explore that. Its often about providing a general level of modelling and getting on with having an interesting life yourself, interacting with your kids as a family does, but putting no more weight on their intellectual development than their moral or emotional development, or their sense of humour. Its also about not seeing yourself as having the right to pry into their learning, seeing their learning as something that potentially entirely belongs to them. 

 

Its about believing that kids will learn, that kids are hardwired to learn, and getting out of the way and putting them in charge. 

 

Its about saying and communicating to your kids, you are always welcome in my life, I will always share with you what interests me, but its your choice. And I will make sure there are other interesting adults around doing interesting things, and that your life is interesting. But what you take from that is up to you.

 

And boredom is a part of that. Its part of it because if you are in charge of your life and your learning, boredom is a part of that. Learning to manage boredom. Learning what makes you bored. Learning to like boredom a tiny bit, because sometimes its ok not to be doing stuff. 

 

It is completely different to my mind, to scheduling your kid's life 24/7 and then expecting them to, off their own bat, choose to become an expert in pottery in their spare odd minutes. The issue here is that such kids get no time to decompress. Its totally different for unschooled kids. 

 

"Boredom, rather than being an on-ramp to creative play and invention, is just as likely to be the on-ramp to passive consumption and a fear of empty time.". See, in familes which simply do not model these things, in families with lots of interests, where the parents give themselves time to follow their passions and grow as people,  with parents who, when they have time, love to engage with the kids about the things they love or are delighted to share the kids passions on the kids own terms, just not necessarily at a particular time, not necessarily in a particular space, not necessarily planned in any way or anticipated-where passive consumption is far from modeled and empty time is rare-well, my experience is that its pretty rare to end up with kids who just like to veg in front of the tv drinking Coke.

 

I dunno, maybe in some ways its a bit lazy. In that, its easier and considerably more fun to try to live an interesting and fulfilling life yourself, and interact with your kids on that basis. And I totally think that for some kids, for some families, PBH is right. And for others, unschooling is right. For some kids extreme structure suits them best. I don't believe in one size fits all. 

 

For me, the real reason boredom is good is that its a bit of a safety value. The ability to do nothing-that's a real skill. To be able to "wallow" unproductively. Goodness,if you can't do that when you're eight....

 

I struggle with the language too...maybe its a European thing but to think of a kid's time in terms of "investment..."

 

Maybe I'm missing something. Its not meant as a criticism of PBH or of anyone who uses it, not at all. I just have a sense that this makes a kid accountable, gives them a sense that every minute should be productive. It seems to me to give parents the responsibility for making kids productive. And the absolute beauty of unschooling for me is that its possible to have a relationship with your kids that isn't about coercing them to learn, or if not coercing them, worrying about making sure that there is learning and teachable moments and so on throughout their days. Unschoolers step back and don't micromanage and for us as a family, with two Type A ish parents, that's a lot healthier.

 

oh god that is long I am sorry


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#5 of 21 Old 09-08-2013, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Fillyjonk View Post
 

I struggle with the language too...maybe its a European thing but to think of a kid's time in terms of "investment..."

 

Maybe I'm missing something. Its not meant as a criticism of PBH or of anyone who uses it, not at all. I just have a sense that this makes a kid accountable, gives them a sense that every minute should be productive. It seems to me to give parents the responsibility for making kids productive. And the absolute beauty of unschooling for me is that its possible to have a relationship with your kids that isn't about coercing them to learn, or if not coercing them, worrying about making sure that there is learning and teachable moments and so on throughout their days. Unschoolers step back and don't micromanage and for us as a family, with two Type A ish parents, that's a lot healthier.

 

oh god that is long I am sorry

I don't think it's just a European thing.  As much as I love reading Lori's thoughtful blogs (it is, in my mind, some of the best stuff out there currently) I still disagree with some of her value judgments, and this is one of them. 

 

And, please, don't apologize for a long post.  It's why I posted this in the first place, to hear everyone's thoughts at length.


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#6 of 21 Old 09-08-2013, 02:44 PM
 
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thanks SS. But when you are rattling away and you post and then notice that you have to actually scroll down at least a screen...sorry

 

I think with PBH, my honest feeling is that I am glad people have found it. It doesn't work for us. My kid who would suit it, tbh I want her to be more self directed, less keen to get adult approval. It would be so easy to make her the kind of kid who works hard and does a project on elephants to get the interaction with adults and the praise. But I truly feel she has a lifetime to do this stuff. She doesn't need to actually learn now how to work, how to immerse herself in a project at age 8. Becuase one of my three kids does really like approval, I feel like I have to work harder against it, if that makes sense. And I feel thats a more important job for her than me mentoring her to learn. I also think, IME, left to her own devices she's off reading or needle felting or whatever. She just doesn't need me to stucture her days. Actually she just likes to talk nonstop, as long as she can do that she's happy to do her own self directed thing.

 

 

 I grew up doing projects-its a very European way of teaching, and often they would be entirely self directed with just a few hours set aside each day and a couple of teachers on hand. Maybe this is why projects are a BIG thing with UK homeschoolers-we often grew up with them. I don't do projects now I am an adult. Never. As an adult I flit from one interest to the next without feeling any need to justify myself and without any sense that I should really keep at it

. What I got out of school projects was a lot of knowledge of specific narrow areas-the Tudors, the area of London I grew up in-but I don't think I have any greater knowledge than I got from just reading stuff I was interested in. I also didn't especially learn how to learn from projects-I think, in the primary (under 11) years, kids aren't really primed to acquire study skills and I also think study skills aren't something you need to learn gradually for years, you need them and you put the work in and you get them. Actually after a childhood of projects, I still had to sit down and teach myself to study, to write an essy and dissertation (paper? Huge end of course paper?)

 

But people use PBH, people I respect-on here, and in my local HS community. And I think it does work for some people, and it also works, I think, as something that isn't unschooling to a lot of people but is fairly close. It feels like a high academic expectation form of unschooling with stabilisers on. But that's no bad thing, and it suits some families and some kids down to the ground. I know highly experienced HSing families who use it so its clearly suiting some people well.


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#7 of 21 Old 09-08-2013, 04:08 PM
 
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"Space + time + materials + experiences + skills = interests that spill over the edges of every day. My kids get up every day excited to do the things they want to do and they never run out of things they want to do. And we don’t do any activities. And we schedule nothing."

So, right ... if you have a family culture that reflects the above quote from the article, then you're set. It effectively eliminates boredom.

I think Lori is aiming this article at folks who trust that 'boredom,' in and of itself, will inspire. I agree with her that it won't, and that by hoping it will, folks will be sorely disappointed when their kids just sit around waiting for the Next Thing To Do to roll around, be it swim lessons, play date, or new episode of Doctor Who. Without first deprogramming kids from imposed and scheduled 'busyness',' what can you expect? I think that's what she means by investing.

Investing in the time and energy and intention to create a family culture of curiosity, DIYness, craftiness, exploration and learning as a Very Cool Thing.
It does take an investment to set up a family culture that celebrates inspiration and has the tools and gear and space at the ready to facilitate it. I invested in perpetuating free time by creating a rhythm to our day that includes several chunks of it. After I get the kids breakfast, I sit down with my coffee and a book and I read. All by myself. My two kids (4 & 2) get up to the most awesome things during that hour or two; inventing and setting up a business to sell cat toys, creating and building handcuffs, marble runs, inventing games, playing make believe, reading, putzing around, cutting and gluing, doing what looks like very important work.
It took a LOT of effort on my part to set this time up so that I can read BY MYSELF while they do things BY THEMSELVES.

If I hadn't invested in establishing and maintaining this space during the day, it wouldn't happen. They've learned that I'm busy and they're to get up to whatever they want. And because we have an atelier stocked with supplies that they have unfettered access to, they do.

I tell my daughter that I don't believe in boredom. I tell her that so long as she has an interesting thought in her head, she is not bored. I am never bored. Not ever. Not for one single second of any day, ever in my life. To be honest, I don't even believe in it. When people say, "I'm bored," it means they haven't learned to sit with their thoughts until something clicks. They haven't let themselves entertain themselves. They're waiting to be entertained, inspired, directed by someone else. And so, if parents use that sort of boredom with hopes of knocking creativity into action, that's where the fail will happen.

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#8 of 21 Old 09-08-2013, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I tell my daughter that I don't believe in boredom. I tell her that so long as she has an interesting thought in her head, she is not bored. I am never bored. Not ever. Not for one single second of any day, ever in my life. To be honest, I don't even believe in it. When people say, "I'm bored," it means they haven't learned to sit with their thoughts until something clicks. They haven't let themselves entertain themselves. They're waiting to be entertained, inspired, directed by someone else. And so, if parents use that sort of boredom with hopes of knocking creativity into action, that's where the fail will happen.

I tell my daughters that being bored is OK.  Boredom means that something is out of synch-- either the body is tired, but the brain wants stimulation, or the brain wants a break but the body needs to run off some steam.  It means, like others have pointed out, that sometimes it is an adjustment from an exciting activity (camping at the beach, county fair week, Christmas, etc.)  It can also mean that what you really want to do isn't quite ready to put together for whatever reason (having to leave in 2 hours, needing key materials, etc.)  Again, out of synch.  So, I do believe in boredom, and it is totally OK.  

 

As long as boredom isn't breeding more boredom, I don't mind it taking up a fair chunk of the day.  I'm doing things constantly, we have ample materials and space in and around the house that beckon, I have no expectation that a kids' day needs to look a certain way i.e. being busy all the time and never bored.  

 

Spiritual paths actually cultivate boredom, according to Trungpa and "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism".  The Japanese Tea Ceremony, according to this book, is all about hyperfocusing on every mundane detail of serving tea and cleaning up after.  He wrote that Westerners find it fascinating because it is out of context in their culture--the Western equivalent would be cooking spaghetti or something.  It is the ego fighting for breath-- SAVE ME!  I'M RELEVANT!!  YOU NEED ME!!!   Mantras attempt to achieve the same state that Trungpa interprets as boredom.

 

Anyway, not sure spiritual boredom is relevant here, just made me think of it.

 

Quote:
 "Space + time + materials + experiences + skills = interests that spill over the edges of every day. My kids get up every day excited to do the things they want to do and they never run out of things they want to do. And we don’t do any activities. And we schedule nothing."

Space + time + materials + experiences + skills = the opportunity for interests to spill over, but they don't necessarily for everybody, and that's OK.  If they do, that isn't necessarily that the parent is doing any better than another (though, maybe they are) but that their kids are simply like that, and they've found a good formula for cultivating their child's energy.  I don't see expressions of boredom as the sign that you are failing somehow in "investing" yourself.  Sometimes it is simply that.... boredom, and THAT'S OK.

 

I do recognize that, in my situation, there is more I can do to create an environment that encourages more creative activity.  I do need my house cleaner on a regular basis.  I need to not have to clean for 2 hours to make space for hauling out the sewing machine.  I need to not have to choose between spending time on a project for my daughters and having the house bury us under all the crap.  I need to make lists so that I remember to pick up little mirrors to make periscopes out of OJ cartons.  There are things I can do, and who knows if this will have an effect on their boredom ( I think it will lessen the depths of boredom) but that's because I feel like the boredom in my house is a bit out of balance, not because it exists at all.


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#9 of 21 Old 09-08-2013, 05:17 PM
 
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Bravo, Starling&Diesel! I love that your children are so self-directed at such a young age. They are similar ages as mine (5&2), but my son frequently terrorizes his little sis, and she frequently busts up whatever he's gotten started on. Good for you, and please feel free to share your tips on such an enviable start to the day! smile.gif

ETA: that "bravo" was toward your entire post, not just your awesome morning routine.
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#10 of 21 Old 09-08-2013, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My kids were never bored at 4 and 2 either, and I agree that is saying something, because not everyone has this experience.  However, things can change a bit.  My 8.5yo complains of boredom fairly frequently, and so does my nearly 7yo, who I never thought would ever be bored.  Of course, sometimes she complains of it 2 seconds after completing one activity, but, sometimes she is genuinely bored.  I think kids go through transitions that can be difficult to navigate smoothly, transitions from the full-body play and creativity of the young set, to the more cerebral creativity of the older child.  (I think the Waldorf philosophy articulates this transition quite nicely.)

 

So, I think there are some transitions ahead.  And while parents certainly should pat themselves on the back for children who won't be bored (because what parents do and allow really does make a difference) but a parent shouldn't rest on their laurels.  Of course, isn't that  true with just about every part of parenthood?


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#11 of 21 Old 09-08-2013, 09:42 PM
 
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Thanks Sweet Silver for those thoughts on boredom. I have a nearly 8 yo who has recently started to complain of boredom for the first time in his life, and I can see that he is making this transition. His "play" is starting to look really different too and I have been wondering if I am doing enough to inspire his self directed learning. I will look for more information on these phases - if there is a specific source you know of I'd be grateful if you could let me know.
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#12 of 21 Old 09-08-2013, 10:30 PM
 
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Not patting myself on the back or resting on any laurels, sweetsilver. Simply sharing where we're at now. Having worked with kids for decades, I'm content with adjusting and adapting as we go, but I am thoroughly enjoying what we've got going on right now, especially having worked darn hard to make it happen.

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#13 of 21 Old 09-08-2013, 10:35 PM
 
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Oh, and I meant to say that when my three (now adult) unschooled nieces shifted towards the more cerebral, it threw my sister for a loop. It's definitely a sea change!

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#14 of 21 Old 09-08-2013, 11:32 PM
 
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I am wondering if SS might have hit another nail on the head actually, quite an important once, which is that this boredom thing is, I think, very age/development directed.

 

I'd agree with those who have experienced transition with older kids. I think its comparatively rare for an unschooled kid to complain of boredom, IME, before a certain age. There's this shift at 7, and they start wanting to do certain things and not do others. In an unschooling context, with kids who are comfortable with being entirely in charge of their lives and the learning that comes from it, I think that transition is probably smoother and in our house has been really a case of giving them space and time to get on with their own stuff. 

 

I am very, very wary of wanting to suggest that unschooling might be this thing or another. In the context of the wider HS world, I think that would be unproductive and anyway, who am I to say? But I do think that, just as, say, Classical homeschooling has certain characteristics so does unschooling, and to me, one of them is this thing of trusting your own kids to manage their own lives and the learning that results. That doesn't mean not asking for help. My experience is that a lot of talking goes on in unschooling families (endless....). If a kid has a passion, IME they will talk to you about it. Now PBH does seem to me to operate without that fundamental assumption that, when kids have access to tools and materials relevant to their interests, people to talk to and time, they will gravitate to working toward their interests. I feel that if we were to use it it would take away my trust in my kids.

 

 To some extent of course PBH tools are unschooling friendly but from everything I can see that's because they are common sense life with kids, I feel. Eg if you have a kid interested in music, talking about where to take that-concerts, playing an instrument, friends who play etc. I think any unschooling parent - any parent- would do that. PBH is more to my mind about suggesting-outright or not-that a kid should a. want to sit and make the list and b. should follow through.

 

I also think this feeds into an earlier discussion we had about depth vs shallow interests. I can't remember the thread name but it was a great discussion, about whether we really want depth, narrow focus for our young kids. Even something as simple as a project on birds, to me, the intentionally there - you've made a decision to spend a morning looking at birds. And so you are missing other opportunities. In PBH it sounds like there is a suggestion to keep roughly on track and reminding a kid to come back to it occasionally, giving them a desk with bird pictures, etc. Whereas my kids are still young enough-my oldest is 10-that I feel we still have the option of just letting life unfold.


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#15 of 21 Old 09-08-2013, 11:42 PM
 
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Ah sorry I can't edit the last post. Just wanted to pick up on this S&D :)

 

"Without first deprogramming kids from imposed and scheduled 'busyness',' what can you expect? I think that's what she means by investing.".

 

See I don't see PBH as actually deprogramming really, just imposing another set of expectations for a kid. To me, "investing" carries connotations of expectation. And that's the reason, in a nutshell, we don't use it.

 

I also think, long term, in terms of creating independent self starting learners, I am not convinced PBH is that great. I think its like any other form of child-led learning but adult overseen learning really. Just to say, I'm picking this up in an unschooling context because its on the unschooling board. So it seems appropriate to me to discuss how it fits.

 

I do think-ahem, well. The article IS selling something, isn't it? Buy my book and your kids will not be bored. When in fact I'd say, stand back, give them their head, chill, and your kids will not be bored. You don't need a special method to do it, IME. As a parent, you have all the tools and resources you need to have kids who aren't bored. This raises my European hackles! To create a worry in parents and then try to sell them a solution-ok I know this is controversial but I have never felt comfortable when people do that. 

 

Starling and Diesel in particular. I love your posts-they always make me think-and I'd hate you to think I was having a go in any way about choices you've made. Just want to make very clear that I'm not making a judgement about how you, or anyone, uses PBH with their kids. I think the way we interpret and use any framework is so dependent on so many factors and then again, how we conceptualise these things and to explain to others what we are doing...I have a preference for a framework I'd tend to call unschooling and PBH isn't consistent with my understanding of that framework. That doesn't mean, marketing aside, that its not a good thing for a lot of familes who are different to mine :-)


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#16 of 21 Old 09-09-2013, 09:06 AM
 
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Thanks fillyjonk ... smile.gif
I don't see PBH as deprogramming at all ... I was referring to a more systemic cultural norm of "busy=good," and "downtime=between busyness."
It seems like we're rolling around in semantic stew again, because when I say that I've 'invested' in establishing chunks of down time for us, that's all that I mean. No expectations. I don't announce the end of it and wait loftily whilst my gloriously precocious offspring skip forward with their brilliant creations, awaiting my calculated praise. All I mean is that it took an investment of time and energy and even money (quality art supplies, reams of paper, pipecleaners) to get them to move away from waiting for me to doing their own thing. It took being consistent and persistent. It took a solid amount of intention, in particular.
And sure, Lori's trying to make a living, but I don't think her posts are money grabs. Not in the least. Sure, she's put forth a book and people are drifting towards her ideas, and that is awesome for her and i wouldn't begrudge anyone for their entrepreneurial spirit. Whether or not the public whips people up into guru status is a whole other subject ...
I like what you said about frameworks, and how they differ from family to family. Can't quote right now, but I wanted you to know that I appreciated that thought. And I agree.

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
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#17 of 21 Old 09-09-2013, 09:10 AM
 
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Oh, and I do want to add (can't edit on this dang iPad) that I emphatically believe that PBH philosophies absolutely do mesh with our family's style of unschooling. We're not radical unschoolers, but we are unschoolers.

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
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#18 of 21 Old 09-09-2013, 10:03 AM
 
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One thing I feel strongly about right now is not holding up some keys to a mythical kingdom of unschooling. We have had awful problems-are having awful problems-because of factions judging who can and who cannot call themselves unschoolers. And then people like me, whose main influence is John Holt, trying to work out why exactly some of these people call themselves unschoolers at all. Its a complex label. Really reminds me of debates over who gets to call themselves a feminist.

 

At the same time I do believe that the unschooling philosophy is a distinct one and one with a specific ideological framework. I've been reading lori's stuff for a while and there was a thread at one point about PBH which she commented on, and I've read the book. I think the techniques of PBH can be used in by unschooling families if they already have kids that those techniques work for. But from everything I've seen, I just kind of think they are surplus to requirements for many, not all but many, US'd tweens and up.

 

I have felt quite marketed to by her, I'm afraid. Sure she has to earn a living but so do many of us. The issue I have is that I feel she misrepresents the other side. I don't think she is fair to unschooling. Like most people, if you haven't seen a child grow in an unschooled fashion, you really don't necessarily get it. Here, for example, when discussing boredom she uses a really extreme situation where a kid is more scheduled than a prisoner-its straw men. All of which would be fine and dandy, were she not ending all these posts with a plug for her book. Making people feel a new worry and selling them the thing to take away that worry is insiduous but far more so when we are talking our children and still more in the HS community. Might be a European thing, I think advertising is so much less acceptable here generally and we do have stricter controls, that here, for someone to advertise like that would probably be counterproductive. Fair enough, I'm not her market :-)


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#19 of 21 Old 09-09-2013, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillyjonk View Post
 

 

I have felt quite marketed to by her, I'm afraid. Sure she has to earn a living but so do many of us. The issue I have is that I feel she misrepresents the other side. I don't think she is fair to unschooling. Like most people, if you haven't seen a child grow in an unschooled fashion, you really don't necessarily get it. Here, for example, when discussing boredom she uses a really extreme situation where a kid is more scheduled than a prisoner-its straw men. All of which would be fine and dandy, were she not ending all these posts with a plug for her book. Making people feel a new worry and selling them the thing to take away that worry is insiduous but far more so when we are talking our children and still more in the HS community. Might be a European thing, I think advertising is so much less acceptable here generally and we do have stricter controls, that here, for someone to advertise like that would probably be counterproductive. Fair enough, I'm not her market :-)

I am just beginning to read Lori's writing, and am waiting for my Interlibrary Loan request to be processed to read her book, but initially I get the sense that she is directing her writing towards parents who might otherwise have come to homeschooling from a more curriculum-oriented perspective.  That explains the comment about boredom for the kids whose days are 95% scheduled, and I have to agree that those kids, even if not nearing that ominous "95%", will have a difficult time, because none of their experience teaches them how to handle boredom.  

 

I think the main problem is really in the heavy parent-led atmosphere, because if you do schedule up days according to your needs, and what you perceive as their needs, then all the planning in the world is not going to guarantee that  their "free" time will be filled creatively.  And kids with that much scheduling might need heavy downtime, whether the scheduling is parent-led or child-led. My niece and nephew scheduled themselves to the hilt with dance and sports and all kinds of activities, quite apart from what their mom expected of them, and on Sundays they slept in and vegged on the couch in front of the tube until 4pm.  (Not, incidentally, bored.)

 

But also, kids who might try scheduling their own days could use some "lessons" in spontaneity.  It could be that these kids are as uncomfortable with not having anything to do as kids whose schedules are imposed.  

 

I do take exception with her value judgments that a child's time should be spent creatively and full of activity and drive.  I disagree that having a child so excited about their days they use an alarm clock to make room for all the activities they want should be held up as the successful outcome to a parents' investment.  But then, as far as I have read (which is not very much) PBH does not address unschooling so much as those homeschoolers who could be talked down from a school-like environment for their home.


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#20 of 21 Old 09-09-2013, 11:34 PM
 
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SS-I do take that point.actually, that she's primarily marketing at those already in the market for a curriculum. And I think we are all so finely tuned into what our families need that if a kid seems to thrive on PBH then that's all that's needed. I also think you do get a phenomena sometimes in unschooling families where one kid wants that much more structure and accountability and sometimes there it is not a case of them needing to learn how to learn for themselves but its just that they appreciate and work better with an adult-while keeping completely control of the process themselves. 

 

I see PBH as about arranging your child's environment and interactions to produce a self directed learner. I see unschooling as a philosophy that takes your kid as a self directed learner fascinated by the world as a given. Reading nooks for example. We don't have a special place to read, we have a houseful of books and sofas. We don't teach or encourage self directed learning, we work on the assumption that it will happen but also that it doesn't have to happen 24/7, we don't have to be worrying about it. Enough learning will happen to make our kids functional, happy adults. More than enough.

 

To me, unless you had a kid who really liked projects, I'm not convinced that, by the time you'd been unschooling a few years, she'd have much to add and I think she does have a wrong view of unschooling which does show through at times in her value judgments. Unschooling to me, radical or not, is about the whole person, not just their education.


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#21 of 21 Old 09-11-2013, 07:07 PM
 
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nice article ... not sure where i stand on the issue but it was nice and i agreed with many of her points.  what she may not have realized though is that many people, me included, will read "lazy parent" as a positive term, meant to counteract the "helicopter parent."


no longer momsling.GIF or ecbaby2.gif orfly-by-nursing1.gif ... dd is going on 10 (!) how was I to know there was a homeschool going on?

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