May 2017 Unschooling Thread - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 64 Old 05-02-2017, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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May 2017 Unschooling Thread

I'm taking my turn at getting us started...

This is the anything goes, let's have a bit of unschooling conversation happen here, thread.


Cassandra
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#2 of 64 Old 05-02-2017, 05:05 PM
 
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May Loving the nice weather.
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#3 of 64 Old 05-02-2017, 10:16 PM
 
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Had our first nice spring day on Saturday. Our second one was today... looks like it's finally done being cold and nasty! Hoping the leaves will be coming out on the trees this week. They're almost 2 weeks late, and last year they were almost 3 weeks early, so I'm tired of waiting.

Fiona had some unexpected free time this evening due to a couple of cancelled rehearsals. She explained to me that when she has an evening like that and she doesn't do anything but chill, she feels guilty for not being productive. But if she uses the time to do all sorts of productive stuff, she regrets wasting the opportunity to relax and enjoy herself. And if she does a bit of both, which you'd think would be the perfect balance, she feels both guilty and full of regret. Hahaha! My poor neurotic kid. At least she sees the irony.

I think I've mentioned before that one of the really positive aspects of Fiona starting school is how she's been able to connect with some interesting adults (i.e. teachers) who are strong, inspiring, fun and seem to genuinely enjoy relating to her. She has schoolmate/teen friends too, but I'd say more than half the time the anecdotes she shares when she comes home are about conversations she's had with various teachers. She, her former chemistry teacher and the two senior English teachers seem to have an informal women's book club going on. They eat lunch in the English room together and chat and share reading recommendations, loan each other books. Then she'll tell me about her conversations with her crazy outside-the-box preCalc teacher, and the constant good-natured razzing that she and her history teacher give each other. I told Fiona the other day that it's so great that after years of homeschooling, she went off to school so that she could make friends ... with teachers.

I finished working on the downstairs bathroom! It cost about $150 in paint, caulking, new cabinet pulls and a ventilation fan, which is pretty minimal in the grand scheme of things. It was so grotty when we moved in, and all we had done since then was to kill the mildew. Everything was still stained with mildew spots and looking like a 1970s rental, holes in walls, horrible paint and mismatched cove molding. It was about 10 days of work, but so worth it. It looks actually nice now, and neat and clean. Proper drywall joints, everything sanded and patched and smooth. Timing is good; we have a roommate/tenant arriving this weekend and it'll be nice to have two decent bathrooms.

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#4 of 64 Old 05-03-2017, 10:19 AM
 
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I told Fiona the other day that it's so great that after years of homeschooling, she went off to school so that she could make friends ... with teachers.

miranda
That is great.
Most of my friends are much older then me and much more educated. LOL
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#5 of 64 Old 05-03-2017, 01:40 PM
 
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Friends with teachers. Why not? It's pretty limiting to focus on same-aged people.

I know spring is here when we get big low tides. Spent 4 mornings last week poking around on the beach, looking for baby octopus, nudibranchs, crabs, etc... Including 2 days camping by myself with 4 kids. But those kids are some of my kids' best friends, so it was great.

When they aren't out exploring, kids are watching biology videos a lot, generally being geeks. They've kind of come together in their interests in the realm of biochemistry/genetics/physiology, which creates a kind of funny dynamic.
The other day they wanted me to draw with them. I couldn't think of something, started doodling something squiggly. My 6yo "Oh, is that a hyena's reproductive tract?"
They have now memorized several sections of Crash Course Anatomy and Physiology, including the whole series about the reproductive system. Probably the most thorough possible sex-ed for a 6 and 8 yr old.
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#6 of 64 Old 05-03-2017, 06:38 PM
 
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My 6yo "Oh, is that a hyena's reproductive tract?"


That's hilarious!

When I was pregnant with Sophie, I bought this human reproduction CD-ROM (remember CD-ROMs?) for Erin because it had a child's introduction to "how a baby grows inside mommy" on it that had been highly recommended. She watched it once, in all its chipper-voiced cartoony glory, and then headed for the adult module on the same disc and became obsessed. She would talk your ear off about fertilization, implantation, mesothelium and primitive streaks and invagination and morulas. It's crazy how knowledgeable young children can become when they're really interested in something.

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#7 of 64 Old 05-04-2017, 08:19 AM
 
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Well I have BRAGGIN news to share. Kiddo has been quasi accepted into the 4 year uni. He doesnt need to finish the Assoc in Science degree because the rest of the credits will not transfer. There are basically 2 uni's to choose from here (I cant send him out of town or out of state, he is 16- remember) so #1 is HUGE jumbo state uni and was ranked largest uni in country a couple years back. That was where he was all set to go, until reality hit and ummm so NOT happening. Homeschool kid, on very small, smaller than high school campus - community college school. He has one class this term with NINE people in it- to expect him to go to jumbo school with lecture halls with HUNDREDS of people isn't realistic. So I called the Uni I go to for my online grad school. With in hours they were able to import his transcripts, do a write up of what transfers, what he would need, a course outline for 'BS in computer programming' and offer scholarships and grants based on his current GPA (over 3.75). So we are going to meet with the actual campus next week- after his final and get it in actual writing vs email.

IMO there is no sense wasting FAFSA money at the community college another year if he can transfer now. THere is no sense in wasting time at the CC if the credits won't transfer and he doesn't need those classes for school #2 . School #2 does NOT require any science labs, no more math etc. School #2 is private and he would have to take one religious class that is required of everyone- for the $$ they seem to be taking off tuition the school will cost less than big jumbo state uni and he can tolerate one measley churchy class for that.

Needless to say this city has a huge post secondary education drought. Education is not high on the list around here. And what is sad is kid can probably go to any school of his choice but because he is 16, i dont feel comfortable letting him go. oh well, he will be 19 when he graduates then he can pick his masters/PhD level university hehe.

In other news we had our first 'official' 100 degree day yesterday.

I've had some tweaking done with my psych meds, had the courage to find a new pdoc and things seem to be going much better for me. I am able to go to my yarn club and not have to leave after an hour and i dont leave in tears. So IMO this is huge success with one rx change.

All that being said- I think we are taking the summer off, I really want kid to start classes in August/Sept so we can have some time for daytrips, a possible trip for a few days to Las Vegas or somewhere quick and just have some gosh darn fun.

My own online class is going well this term. The topic is so much better and the work is meaningful this time.

In sad news kid aged out of homeschool art club and had his very last class this week . he is a gifted artist and loved the 4 years with this teacher. she is an awesome sweet lady who is very patient with 'quirky' kids like mine and was willing to modify the activity. For example my kid HATES clay so on clay days she would have an alternative for him. We are going to miss her and the club very much.
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#8 of 64 Old 05-04-2017, 08:24 AM
 
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Miranda-
Has Fiona tried Guided Imagry for those times she is feeling overwhelmed or disappointed or flooded with emotion? There are tons on youtube or apps you can install? Also white noise has been helpful for me.

I know she does circus class and dance, has she implented Yoga? Our circus school had some type of silk yoga? and i know the yoga studio my hairdresser and friend goes to has meditation yoga (calm yoga),

Also the 4-7-8 breathing method?

Just a few thoughts... feel free to disregard or anyone else with anxiety, panic or calming issues- feel free to 'pick up'

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#9 of 64 Old 05-04-2017, 06:33 PM
 
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Has Fiona tried Guided Imagery for those times she is feeling overwhelmed or disappointed or flooded with emotion?
She's tried a bunch of things, no magic bullets, but honestly she is doing pretty well these days. She's very self-aware and very forthcoming, and she shares even her fleeting neurotic thoughts make light of them.

She does still have difficulty getting to sleep once in a while (maybe once or twice a month) and can get herself into a spiral at those times, but has recently been doing a cognitive shuffle and has found that the most helpful. Info here if anyone is interested. She just does the spelling thing, no app.

That's great news about your ds and the private college. What is he going to study?

I never thought much about university size as a factor for homeschoolers. My dd goes to a big university (>50,000 students). She has a bunch of those monster classes with 500+ students, but she says they feel similar to all the online courses she took back in our wee village. Impersonal, but not unfamiliar. My other kids attended large universities too, but they were in fairly small programs with a lot of group work focus, so they knew most of their fellow undergrads by the end of first year.

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#10 of 64 Old 05-05-2017, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok. So I know that there is not a set of "rules" to unschooling. It will look differently in every family. That how we respond to someone's perceptions of unschooling depends on a lot of factors. Etc. etc. etc.... ;-) Now, just because I'm curious about my own thoughts and reactions to this I'd love to hear what your general, "in your head" thoughts would be to reading this:

"We're starting out a new #unschooling technique of giving the kids an allowance and also offering money for jobs around the home.

This way when they see something cool at the mall or whatever they might see at a store it's no longer the parents saying no, it's them choosing if they have enough money and if it's worth it.
In this case it was only $1.80 USD for a ten minute jumping session.
So on one hand it's only $2... sure I could pay that, on the other hand it's only for 10 minutes... kinda lame.
However the kids paid for it themselves and one had to sit out, because he didn't have the money for it. Hard lesson to learn at age 9 but a valuable one eventually.

Here's to flying high on a trampoline with bungee cords attached!"

***

In other matters you all really did help talk me down at the end of last month about my need to get outdoors and my children's needs that didn't neatly align. The SLOWLY changing weather is helping and I'm just being more proactive, using even little bits of time outdoors to help, and also focusing on what gets my kids truly excited to get out. I capitalized on my youngest son's excitement over a new tag-along bike (attached to mine but he can pedal) to go "show it off" to Grandma and Grandpa down the road. Ended up with 45 minutes of play at the "frog pond" there as well. Yay!!
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HM- IMO at 9 yrs old thats a perfect time to learn about money and consequences. I've said before my kid had a bank account way before then (I was working at a bank). Maybe take things a step further and get the kids little coin pouches or wallets so they bring a few dollars with them when you are out so they 'plan' how much they want to spend? Turn it into a thinking and pre-thinking and planning lesson. At 16 my kid knows he needs to take his wallet with him for ID reasons and his bank card needs to have at least $50 on it (UBER, food, emergencies etc) but your kids may only want to keep $5 on them at all times for the trampoline or candy. Now my kid rarely needs that $50 but its a lesson I taught him to be prepared, yes you can access your bank on the phone but what if there isnt wifi or you cant get the phone to work, your phone is dead, the app is down etc? what is for some odd reason zombies attack the bank and you can't transfer money, then you are STUCK with no money etc? Yes its a long learning process with tons of scaffolding but I think you are on the right path.

Yea for the bike thing and getting outside. I'm glad you are doing better.

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#12 of 64 Old 05-05-2017, 08:42 AM
 
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Zela graduates next week from MECA. I probably don't have the ingenuity to weave her conversation last night into some of the ideas in the threads above, but I'lll throw a couple of things into the pot.

Last night Zela video called, asking if she could go to the emergency room if she had to! (She has a cold, but also upset stomach, and if her blood sugar goes awry she can get in big trouble fast, as she discovered once when she was staying with friends in Maine, had a stomach bug and didn't want to wake anyone up: cost, a day in the ICU and a bill for us.) So, anyway, she said she'd feel better if she talked to us while waiting for her Pepto-Bismol to kick in...

She and DH did most of the talking, but I listened in. Like moms will.

(long, feel free to skip)...

She talked a lot about this last semester and how it was the one where she put everything together: her theses, her "studio practice", everything. And she mentioned that she thinks that friendships between same-aged people are fraught and not optimal...she likes the imbalance created by age and different life experience and focus and all of that sort of thing, that friendships at school are also informed by a competition that tends to darken them. Some of her most meaningful interactions at college have been, not with peers, but with professors and staff. She was one of two in her department (painting) who were not "ripped" in their final "crit", who were essentially told that "you've learned what we had to offer".

So the other day Zela checked out a student from the first room she lived in at MECA ("I had two suitcases. I don't think everything would fit in two suitcases now." No lie. Fortunately the Albatross House has an attic.) She talked about how scared she was, and husband asked her to remind us how she got there. This, much cut, is roughly what she said:

I went to Maine in May, to stay with the W's, and then I went to Camp Adventure (counselor for diabetes camp; she'd just got her lifesaving certification so she could do this), and then I went back to Waterville to be a lifeguard and I lived with Kim (in our house) and I bought my own groceries and I felt very independent. And I didn't want to go to MECA at all; I wanted to go to Ringling or CAI. But I'd heard that you should do a college tour, so I called MECA and asked if I could have a tour on July 11, because that was when Matt (friend's father, a philosophy prof) was going to Portland to do a lecture. So I had a tour and a portfolio review. And then I went back to Waterville and one day when I was riding my bike (home from pool, I guess) I thought I would like to apply to MECA. So I called Mom and said, "I don't want to come home and do another class with Carol (mentor at small college here) because I would get the same thing at MECA." So Mom said, 'Apply wherever you like'. Very supportive. I filled out the application. I guess I could have done it on line, but I wanted the paper, real in my hand, application to send off. And it had my Maine address on it. ...and I did the video essay. 'All college essays are stupid. They're only 500 words. I could write such a killer one now!' Five days later I found out that I was accepted, with a scholarship."

(That's when I had to spend the weekend cobbling together what I called a "mastery based transcript", no grades. I did a second version that had grades; the GPA came out to 3.76 because it was still "mastery based; little gets by in our house that isn't mastered, which is...A. But they never asked for the other on: because of her "atypical transcript" and no SAT they put her on academic probation for a year, which got discontinued after her first semester because she got all A's and A-'s. It is interesting that her homeschool "GPA" is almost identical to her final GPA at college, about 3.8. She also had to have a letter from a doctor attesting to her need for dyslexia accommodations; I sent off a sample for a doctor friend who had hosted my daughter for months at a time over many years and she let it sit for about a month because she thought it would take a lot of time and she hadn't much; when she finally looked at it, she said it would fly as written, with the deletion of the two words "my patient"... and then there was the FAFSA, and everything else. What eventually happened with the financing is that three of relatives provided substantial funds, for one semester or more: an aunt from each side of the family, and particularly my mom. Zela ended up with one small loan, but the huge sums some of her friends borrowed would be absolutely disastrous for her because her dyslexia makes her unable to do some kinds of jobs, especially the ones that pay enough to pay the loans off!)

Zela was terrified when she first got to school because it seemed "everyone else had been taking Waldorf Art classes since the sixth grade, they'd had solo shows", and she'd never written an essay and hadn't the slightest idea what a "thesis statement" was. Well, she learned. Enough of that...

So, moving on, to college size and location...

MECA is tiny, around 400 students. One thing that Zela noticed over and over was that when they had a teacher from "outside" (usually the state university system), the prof was invariably astonished at the high level of the writing; Zela, after laboring over paragraphs for days at the beginning, got to the point where she could write an elegant three page paper in a couple of hours and the profs would gush over them. I do not think that she (given her trouble with reading and writing English) that she would have matured as a writer in a place with large classes. I love the college down the road, 2,400 students; almost anyone can get in, but it's like an overlooked gem, I think can deliver an experience similar to a much pricier private liberal arts college: even though the administration wants to push majors like criminal justice, the arts are thriving, on very little money. (I get to play in the outdoor "Fantasticks" this summer, yay, I love "town and gown" opportunities...) I went to large universities, including Texas' flagship UT Austin and I think that I'd have done better in some ways at Sul Ross: my obvious gifts would have been mentored and my obvious weaknesses addressed.

I think a very competent and driven student, like Miranda's daughter, will likely do extremely well in the large university environment. My husband thrived at the University of Kentucky in Lexington; he had a lot more full professors for his lower level classes; I had a lot of TA's, especially in math, and they were scrambling so hard on their own classes and research that they didn't really have a lot of time for either class preparation or for meeting with students who had not understood what happened in their poorly prepared classes.

When we moved to trans Pecos Texas, my eldest elected to finish public high school here. My daughters (9 &13 when we moved), particularly the older, spent a lot of time in Maine, two to four months a year, every year, staying with the friends mentioned above whose household included sisters they had met in my violin studio. Given the right circumstances, a 13 year old is perfectly capable of spending time out of the nest, including far away out of the nest. I know Miranda's kids have had similar experiences. So I do not think age itself should necessarily prevent a young person from going for an otherwise optimal educational experience.

Zela was the one who schooled me; she didn't want to go to the college down the road. It turned out that, of all possibilities, MECA was her best option for a lot of reasons. I'm amazed at her intellectual growth, at the interpersonal skills gained from her job (she is a very shy person who does not "look it"), at her maturity and independence. She got a lot of things from college that I didn't, and part of it was that her college was a very good fit. And part of it was...that she was unschooled. She was used to captaining her own boat, although she did not always captain it very well, but somehow even the opportunity to luff and run aground gave her an unusual set of tools that allowed, not even allowed, more like ensured that she would be able to Do That Which Must be Done...

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#13 of 64 Old 05-05-2017, 08:44 AM
 
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This way when they see something cool at the mall or whatever they might see at a store it's no longer the parents saying no, it's them choosing if they have enough money and if it's worth it.
...um, what is this "mall" you speak of?
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#14 of 64 Old 05-05-2017, 12:50 PM
 
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If you follow the word "unschooling" with the word "technique" there's a fair chance you're no longer talking about my kind of unschooling.

I think the ideal situation, if you are lucky enough to have the kind of life where it works, is to have a family life that is unencumbered by stress over finances, where the children are privy to or included in family financial decision-making, where money and gifts are not used as tools of control but tools for learning, and where children have regular opportunities to direct their own discretionary purchases without judgement.

For us this meant a small regular allowance for our kids. Not tied to chores, because contributing to the household is part of living together, not a paid gig.

But it didn't mean creating situations of artificial scarcity (no one would lend the kid $1.80? in what kind of a world would a bunch of people out for the day refuse to cover their friend for less than two bucks?) in order to exact particular lessons from a situation.

Again, the word "technique"... it doesn't resonate for me as a parenting approach.

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#15 of 64 Old 05-05-2017, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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HM- I think you are on the right path.
Interesting as someone just coming into the money issue with my own kids (4 and 9) to hear how others have approached it. I certainly think keeping a bit of cash on hand is a good idea for emergencies - although I don't always follow through on this myself! ;-)

I did want to clarify though that the above situation was NOT something I am doing. This was something that another family that I know posted.

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#16 of 64 Old 05-05-2017, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If you follow the word "unschooling" with the word "technique" there's a fair chance you're no longer talking about my kind of unschooling.

I think the ideal situation, if you are lucky enough to have the kind of life where it works, is to have a family life that is unencumbered by stress over finances, where the children are privy to or included in family financial decision-making, where money and gifts are not used as tools of control but tools for learning, and where children have regular opportunities to direct their own discretionary purchases without judgement.

For us this meant a small regular allowance for our kids. Not tied to chores, because contributing to the household is part of living together, not a paid gig.

But it didn't mean creating situations of artificial scarcity (no one would lend the kid $1.80? in what kind of a world would a bunch of people out for the day refuse to cover their friend for less than two bucks?) in order to exact particular lessons from a situation.

Again, the word "technique"... it doesn't resonate for me as a parenting approach.

Miranda
Ah! Now this was definitely in line with all that I was feeling. And I love how you zeroed in on the addition of "technique" to unschooling as a dead give away that something is off.

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#17 of 64 Old 05-05-2017, 04:00 PM
 
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I certainly think keeping a bit of cash on hand is a good idea for emergencies
Not sure what you mean by cash. I almost never carry cash. Debit card for me. The only thing I use cash for is craigslist type transactions. I'd be happy if there was a phone-to-phone mobile payment system that would fill that need, like they have in Africa.

When I grew up, a lot of people didn't feel like spending counted if it was more abstract than the dirty leather-smelly stuff that felt like real money. My generation did a lot of stupid things with plastic money, because we had grown up with the 'real' kind. I wanted my kids to grow up thinking of money as a token of wealth, whether the token was virtual or real. I don't think it makes sense to start them out with mostly cash just because that's how their parents started out. It's a brave new world, and I think it will be almost entirely cashless by the time today's 9-year-olds are adults.

When my kids were too young for debit cards, we had a ledger system for allowance that was essentially the Bank of Mom. We wrote down their allowance, and then we wrote down withdrawals from their account. It didn't matter whether I paid for their gum with the rest of the groceries, gave them a five dollar bill to get ice cream at the fair or paid for them to download some computer game from Steam ... I could just debit their accounts in the ledger. Having everything written down prevented forgotten allowance, theft and absent-minded loss, and allowed them to track their spending and saving habits so they could figure out why they did or didn't have any money. The bonus was that it helped them grow up feeling that spending was real whether you held cash in your hand or not.

By age 11 or so they all had bank accounts and debit cards and they're as cashless as me. I understand that it can be harder to get young kids bank accounts in the US, but hopefully mobile finance systems will fill the gap before too long.

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#18 of 64 Old 05-05-2017, 04:13 PM
 
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Hi guys. I hope you don't mind me popping my head into here. Unschooling is a concept that I find myself really drawn too. It's been something that I've thought about since one of my children has really managed to struggle in school.

I'm finding more 'forest' type schools around me and those also appeal to be greatly. I know of one group who meets simply for hanging out in nature. I love the nature and outside aspect.

Have you guys done anything like that?
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#19 of 64 Old 05-05-2017, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not sure what you mean by cash. I almost never carry cash. Debit card for me. The only thing I use cash for is craigslist type transactions.

When my kids were too young for debit cards, we had a ledger system for allowance that was essentially the Bank of Mom. We wrote down their allowance, and then we wrote down withdrawals from their account. It didn't matter whether I paid for their gum with the rest of the groceries, gave them a five dollar bill to get ice cream at the fair or paid for them to download some computer game from Steam ... I could just debit their accounts in the ledger. Having everything written down prevented forgotten allowance, theft and absent-minded loss, and allowed them to track their spending and saving habits so they could figure out why they did or didn't have any money. The bonus was that it helped them grow up feeling that spending was real whether you held cash in your hand or not.

Miranda
Yes, when I say cash I do mean that old fashioned cloth/paper and metal type of money. ;-) Not too long ago my poor Sis ended up at a toll booth with none of this type of cash and that is all they take. The whole situation ended up being pretty upsetting for her. And then there are things like parking meters and the odd little shop around us that only takes cash and it sucks when you get up to the counter to buy something and you have only plastic money. Oh, and I can't forget the yard sale "emergency." ;-) So, while I totally get what you are saying it still behooves me to have a small stash of cash in my car or wallet.

I am really glad you brought up your ledger system. THIS is going to be awesome for us, I just know it. We were trying to do an allowance with my older child and do you think we could remember to actually get the money to him each week. Yeah, right. Then we'd all try to remember when we'd done it last, etc. etc. It was such a pain. It will be great to have everything written down and give them a better sense of where their money is going.

Cassandra
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#20 of 64 Old 05-05-2017, 05:58 PM
 
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Hi guys. I hope you don't mind me popping my head into here. Unschooling is a concept that I find myself really drawn too. It's been something that I've thought about since one of my children has really managed to struggle in school.

I'm finding more 'forest' type schools around me and those also appeal to be greatly. I know of one group who meets simply for hanging out in nature. I love the nature and outside aspect.

Have you guys done anything like that?
I did think of sending my kids to a forest school. I have always loved the idea ever since I read about it in Mothering Mag
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#21 of 64 Old 05-05-2017, 07:08 PM
 
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Cash- many places here give 'cash discounts' or what I like to call 'credit fees' so I know when I am going to those places and make sure I have enough cash to cover my purchases. That 5-10% 'discount' adds up over time Plus my therapist gives me a $65 discount for paying cash EACH SESSION. Needless to say that was a no brainer with her. Luckily I have a bank that refunds ATM fees and doesn't charge for using ATMs (up to a certain limit per month per account and I avoid this by having 2 checking accounts).

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#22 of 64 Old 05-05-2017, 09:27 PM
 
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I'm finding more 'forest' type schools around me and those also appeal to be greatly.
Welcome Nicole!

My kids are older now (14 through 23) but we kind of lived a forest school life as a family I guess. We live in a log home in a forest miles from anywhere. I think there are a few of us here who have kind of lived a rustic life... whether playing, hiking or camping in a natural setting on a regular basis, living and working in a sort of family homestead type environment, or just intentionally spending a lot of time outdoors as part of a community.

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#23 of 64 Old 05-05-2017, 10:17 PM
 
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I guess we have more ubiquitous electronic payment options in Canada than most of you do. Here road tolls have worked via license-plate recognition and online payment for years. Debit card fees to merchants are really low in Canada, I think around $0.25/transaction. Since handling cash has its own associated costs (the need for greater security, time spent counting, the need to replenish a float, having to go to the bank in person to do deposits, etc.), debit is the cheapest way for merchants to accept payment and no one offers a cash discount. In fact when a business requests/encourages cash transactions, that's considered a vaguely disreputable practice here and it invites rumours of undeclared income. We also have a simple cheap system for money transfers from person to person operated by the banks via email or SMS; the only problem is that it takes up to a couple of hours to go through so it's no good at point of sale. When Fiona babysits that's how she usually gets paid, my adult kids pay rent this way, and I use this system increasingly for Craigslist type transactions.

That being said, I forgot that our Community Market operates mostly on a cash basis here. That's the other time I use cash: Friday mornings in the summer.

The other day I saw a photo of a busker with a debit machine, lol.

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#24 of 64 Old 05-06-2017, 10:28 AM
 
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I'm finding more 'forest' type schools around me and those also appeal to be greatly. I know of one group who meets simply for hanging out in nature. I love the nature and outside aspect.

Have you guys done anything like that?
In a home-grown informal sense. I have helped organize and co-led preschool once a week hikes, once a week skiing, science hikes, multi-night ski camp, backpacking trips, low tiding, etc... On top of our regular life with tons of outdoors, wilderness, and multi-month wilderness expeditions. The outdoors is the most central thing to our family culture.

zebra -- congratulations to your kid!

Money is kind of tricky. When I tried to give my kids an allowance, they never used it. Now they dug up some tooth fairy money to buy new stuffed animals, so maybe they'll be motivated to have some in future. If I really am willing to fill my house with stuffed animals. It would have to be virtual-- 90% of shopping here is on amazon

Mostly, they're geeks with a fairly unlimited "educational" budget, and interests that primarily fit within that "educational" framework. The school district will reimburse me $1900 per kid per year, so telling them no on most things would be imposing an artificial scarcity. But I do worry that they won't learn how to be frugal if they get whatever they want all the time.
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#25 of 64 Old 05-06-2017, 01:18 PM
 
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We didn't ever do much in the way of formal allowance, most things that we needed, we got. (Most needs were very small, and large things (aa violin, a bicycle) were clearly out of reach for the kids.) My eldest got an actual allowance for food and spending money when he was in high school; I seem to recall that all of my kids were earning their own money from pretty early on, and certainly by age 13 or so they were getting paid pretty regularly for pet sitting and the like.

I did like Miranda's ledger system (she blogged about it years ago I seem to remember) but by that time mine were making their own money.

Where I live, cash and checks are often preferred by merchants. And you don't have to write anything on the check, like your driver license....so. (I was surprised when I went to the Austin area a while back and had to provide ID for my credit card. Even our closer version of the Big City doesn't require that...)

This morning I used a spare dollar to buy a springerle roller from the First Saturday flea market down the road...a friend of Dutch ancestry from South Africa (selling stuff from her own overfilled house; she used to be my next door neighbor but one, in an identical house plan) said "I was going to buy that!"...but reason prevailed. But not for me!

And my friend who runs the market gave me a vintage pamphlet to me for my husband, from the time where we work was still new.

Deborah
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#26 of 64 Old 05-06-2017, 03:11 PM
 
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she blogged about it years ago I seem to remember
Lol, so I did! I had forgotten. More than ten years ago, too! How time flies.

Allowance.

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#27 of 64 Old 05-07-2017, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm finding more 'forest' type schools around me and those also appeal to be greatly. I know of one group who meets simply for hanging out in nature. I love the nature and outside aspect.

Have you guys done anything like that?
My local home based education community often centers our general gatherings around the outdoors for things like hikes, beach play, playground time, sledding, etc. Definitely some of our best times together and seem to be the best for a wide spread of ages.

In addition, this last fall two friends and I drew from this community to create a 14 week Nature Connection program. It met weekly and we asked for a firm commitment to attend. However, this was couched in asking that each family truly talk to their children and make sure that the kids actually wanted to participate and not just the parent wanting it. And that if someone decided it wasn't for them that it was okay to drop out but it wouldn't work for the style of learning community we were creating to have people just showing up now and then. Guess who's child was the only one to drop out? Mine! Ha! I have two children and the youngest one (almost 4) made it clear in no uncertain terms that he did not want to continue after the first day. But it ended up being an amazing 14 weeks with my older son and the rest of the families.

While we were unfortunately unable to continue that particular program we did follow it up with a month long outdoor fun morning that met once a week and was just a drop in gathering. That was fun as well but something my oldest didn't want to continue because he couldn't handle it when friends his age didn't show up and he couldn't just go home because we were hosting the event. So we just let it lapse after a month.

Those examples above are to highlight that I think many outdoor programs can be fantastic - if your children like them. If you have some options that your child is interested in, it certainly couldn't hurt to try them. If your child doesn't end up liking them then it just means there is something else waiting to catch his/her interest. Exploring the options is the fun part!
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#28 of 64 Old 05-07-2017, 05:00 PM
 
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I stopped at a yard sale today and found the Life of Fred. I figured that might work for us.
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#29 of 64 Old 05-08-2017, 11:29 AM
 
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Thanks for the replies! Definitely food for thought on how each outdoor program is run. What may work for one family may not work for another.
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#30 of 64 Old 05-09-2017, 05:34 PM
 
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It is an interesting thing. We started reading Life of Fred. I was very pleasantly surprised how much my guys know. They are enjoying reading the book and even wanting to work the problems out.

D (8) is playing the guitar and making up his own songs. He is starting to sound like he knows what he is doing. LOL

N (11) is coming a long way with his group that he joined. He has not made a friend, but I see that he is fitting in more and more.

L (5) is writing letters all over the place. She is still making a letter book. I would like to start having her write her name. So that is something that I am going to see if she wants to do. (We send out B-day cards and I have everyone sign the cards. So, this would fit in with that)
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