Just some things I've been thinking about... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 3 Old 12-04-2013, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I think we've officially embraced unschooling. It was slow and kind of happened by itself, but here we are. It's exciting to finally just let go. I still have my days of course, but Im getting there.

I do wonder about some things though. I've been reading Homeschooling our Children, Unschooling Ourselves and it's really helped me a lot. I love how she talks about having the same fears I do, and how she overcame them. She talks a lot about her kids opportunities outside of the home. Camps, classes, jobs... But it seems like some of that stuff just isn't available these days. There aren't enough jobs to go around as it is, much less to a kid. Nobody wants to take on an apprentice anymore. There are so many regulations on work age and such. Has anybody dealt with this?

My oldest is still only 11, but I'm just thinking ahead here.

Thanks

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#2 of 3 Old 12-04-2013, 04:53 PM
 
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My kids are 10, 15, 17 and 19. We're in Canada, and in a rural area. Perhaps things are different here, but we've been able to find them lots of opportunities. We don't stumble over possibilities daily or anything, but cumulatively over the long term there seem to be enough. To give examples of kids at different ages and stages...

 

Ds17 got work at a ghost town museum last summer on a Student Employment program funded partly by the government. Did a lot of tour-guiding work there. He's been volunteering his computer expertise throughout the fall to continue some of the digitizing work he was doing for them last summer. He was also elected to the Board of Directors of the local Youth Society, and has taken on the secretarial role. He helps run a local club for gamers (kids, mostly) ... building and fixing computers, installing and tweaking software, setting up servers. He plays viola and sings, so he does various music performances both paid and unpaid. He'll be working as the Photos With Santa photographer this weekend at our community's Christmas Market. He has a good camera that he bought with his museum work and is pretty slick with it.

 

Dd10 has been working as a mother's helper an afternoon a week. She also does housekeeping at an apartment in town about a half day a month. She's planning on getting certified in food-handling and babysitting through extension classes offered by the community college once she turns 11, and that will open up more possibilities for volunteer and casual work. She helps out at all sorts of events, stacking chairs, doing dishes, working aid stations at endurance sporting events, selling admissions, handing out programs, etc.. She can't officially be employed until she's 12, but there are lots of 'unofficial' jobs in our area anyway, especially volunteer jobs.

 

Things young kids can often do for 'work:" pet-sitting while owners are away, walking dogs during the day, shovelling snow, raking leaves, mowing lawns, washing dishes after a banquet, babysitting, manning laundry at a laundromat for a neighbour who likes to spend the time grocery shopping. There are also all sorts of entrepreneurial possibilities, from lemonade stands to art cards to candy sales. My kids have sold hand-crafted herbal teas, candy and baked goods, and they've busked with their musical instruments at the community market. 

 

Start with volunteering: for my kids, getting paid has been a bonus and the real value has been in the work and the mentoring that tends to occur around it. There may not be jobs for adults who want forty hours a week, a contract and benefits, but an 11-year-old is not competing for that sort of work: instead he'll be looking for volunteer work a half day a week, or to spend 3 hours helping with a big clean-up job at a community venue. Most of these possibilities get communicated word-of-mouth, so just ask around. "My kid would love to volunteer. Would there be any jobs you could use her for?" The skills and contacts that accrue out of this volunteerism will pay dividends over the long term. 

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#3 of 3 Old 12-04-2013, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the ideas! I'll have to keep my eyes open for things like that, she'd love any of them!

Amee + James (1998) =
Amethyst (May 2002)
Asheby "Bear" (November 2006)
Abbott (January 2011)
Atlas (March 2013)
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