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#61 of 152 Old 09-07-2007, 09:48 AM
 
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Why can't I make a decision that I don't constantly doubt?
Fear?

I'd humbly suggest (since I don't know you personally, anything else would be arrogant...) that you're feeling somewhat paralyzed by fear.

This stuff feels 'high-stakes.' As in if we don't make every right decision we'll completely handicap our children. That's fear talking. BTDT!

For me unschooling is about trust. I trust my children to learn what they need to & to communicate (through word & deed) where they need my help. I trust myself (or am trying) to intuit what they need from me.

Every decision has its pros & cons. At the end of the day, I have to trust that my heart knows these children, and their spirits.

And I have to remember not to 'sell them short.' They will turn out just great, even if I don't do everything right...

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#62 of 152 Old 09-07-2007, 09:55 AM
 
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A friend on another board suggested I do a pro and con list, so I'm going to share that here:

I feel like she should be homeschooled because otherwise I feel:
-she will be robbed of her childhood by being cramped up inside a small space outside, instead of being 'free-ranged' at home and able to climb trees and build see-saws and forts with scrap lumber, and catch snakes and crickets
-she will be robbed of the joy of learning by being forced to learn things that bore her and she will lose the chance to learn on her own and discover how her own mind learns best
-she will be disciplined for behaviours that are misunderstood, possibly to the point where she is also robbed of her self-esteem via harsh punishment
-I worry about sending her out into the mainstream world and be influenced so early on by all the things we've avoided so far (ie Barbies, Dora, McDonald's food, you know), and I also worry about holidays and religion, as we're in a rather conservative area (and we are pagan)

I want to send her to school because:
-she will be with local kids her age (whereas if she started primary next year,, most kids would be younger than her since she actually is before the cut-off age for this school year)
- it feels "normal"
-I get excited about the 'back-to-school" feeling, I always have loved this time of year - fresh start, clean looseleaf, an empty notebook, new pencils. It's almost like a fetish or something- like school would be a novelty
-the school seems like a pretty good one, the primary teacher has a good rep for students with needs, I year for the community aspect of being with parents of other kids. When I drive by the school and see the smashed equipment, I want to help them fundraise to fix it, and then I want to fundraise more to put in an outdoor classroom. I want to be part of an effort to make it better for everyone


Right now she's excited about going to preschool, so I don't want to even mention public school. She hasn't brought it up recently, but she may the next time she sees a bus go by. But I am also afraid of the hassle that will be present with preschool, having make lunch at 10:30 so I can serve it by 11, so we can leave by 20 after, to get to school for 12 (what a stupid time to start a program!), and then have to find something for g and I to do for 2 1/2 hours, even in the winter, and to do all this three days a week. And they still have Barbies.

Last week, Waldorf was her choice (we have a history with waldorf that is not so rosy for her, so this came as a big surprise). Just the fact that she changes her mind so much makes me feel she can't be responsible for a decision like this. Then again, I can't make up my mind either.
I have also decided that I am going to go to the homeschool group and see if I can arrange for a subset of us with kids around this age can meet for weekly playgroup outside the regular meetings.


I think you're right, it's fear based. I'm afraid school will mess her up, and I'm afraid that unschooling will make her miss out on making friends with her peers and getting to live a normal life. With the third option, the parttime preschool, I am afraid it will be too much hassle to make happen.
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#63 of 152 Old 09-07-2007, 06:25 PM
 
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Forgive me,and im sorry im jumping in here...(I have read the threads, and I will respond to other people) Im not new, but im SO not computer savvy...how to you subscribe to this thread? I didnt even knwo there was a Sept thread because when i checked a while ago there was none so I figured id come back..but i need a reminder!

We have been doing great...but ive been catching myself every once in a while thinking omg they need to read omg they havent done math today! omg they dont know as much as their school going friends! I write in a journal everyday what we do and math is SO in there, its just not in worksheet form. Reading....they pick up books everyday, why do I constantly feel i need to make them do it at a certain time? they are perfectly happy doing it when they want. Why does math frustrate my 7 y/o? why do i feel i need to shove it down her throat until she learns it? (I DONT, but i still have these feelings that I *should* be doing those things) I am listening to those things within me that want to "school" and i know where it comes from, years of being programmed by schools to believe this is what is best. But theres so much more that they do when not set on a schedule. We do so much....golfing to swimming to hiking and asking questions about trees and leaves and why is the moon so bright and what makes people different colors (my 9 y/o asked that one lol and i had an answer--dna and melanin!)...they ask and ask and ask and I love it! I guess part of me is still scared...fear......i dont want fear to be why i do what i do. I am just afraid that the state will say "Ok well theres only 20 math worksheets you submitted for the whole year, CPS is coming in to take your kids away". we do math in so many ways...when we play a game my 7 y/o learns tallying....then we do brain quest and they do math on a scrap paper to see who can get the answer first....we counted chips and weigh things and so much more! It really is a happier way to learn though. i love it. I just wish those nagging thoughts would go away! ok thanks for letting me rant lol

BTW...pam and abigail.....i am pagan too and i love your pro and con list. Like i mentioned above..i dont want to base my decisions on fear either. Its not a wise thing to do. But i know in my heart unschooling is great and works for us...might not work for everyone, but for us it really does. They do have friends and a social network of homeschoolers and regular schooling children too....and they are all begging to have "playdates" lol. theres a homeschooling community that does swimming and blueberry picking and museum trips....and much more. Maybe there is something in your area where you can get involved and have your daughter choose friends there? My kids arent social butterflies and theres nothing wrong with that, why force something that isnt natural to them? So i dont...and you know what, they still get socialization! they see their friends riding bikes down the street and sometimes they join them, sometimes they dont. They are happy, but do want to make sure that they talk to their friends often

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#64 of 152 Old 09-07-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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Fear?

I'd humbly suggest (since I don't know you personally, anything else would be arrogant...) that you're feeling somewhat paralyzed by fear.

This stuff feels 'high-stakes.' As in if we don't make every right decision we'll completely handicap our children. That's fear talking. BTDT!

For me unschooling is about trust. I trust my children to learn what they need to & to communicate (through word & deed) where they need my help. I trust myself (or am trying) to intuit what they need from me.

Every decision has its pros & cons. At the end of the day, I have to trust that my heart knows these children, and their spirits.

And I have to remember not to 'sell them short.' They will turn out just great, even if I don't do everything right...
I thought this was worthy of repeating

todays question: "mama, do frogs have intestines?"
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#65 of 152 Old 09-07-2007, 09:38 PM
 
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We learned about Alice Paul today. I think I should learn about frog intestines too now. LOL!

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#66 of 152 Old 09-07-2007, 11:46 PM
 
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I decided a couple days ago that a coop kindergarten was not for us, so we are officially unschooling! I am so excited, and I can see how well it's working... I thought my son was way behind with numbers, since he can only count to 11, but he's been saying things lately that prove that he can count by 5s and 10s, and that he understands 100, 200, 300, 1000, a million, a billion, etc. in order. WOW! How does he know this stuff? He also pointed out that when he's 15, his brother will be 12.
Today we went on a 2.5 mile bike ride and I said, "This is a fun bike ride, not too short, not too long." and he said, "And not bad for the world since bikes don't need gas!"
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#67 of 152 Old 09-08-2007, 01:31 AM
 
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He's a sharp little guy it sounds like! Welcome to unschooling. It rules.

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#68 of 152 Old 09-08-2007, 03:43 AM
 
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I decided a couple days ago that a coop kindergarten was not for us, so we are officially unschooling! I am so excited, and I can see how well it's working... I thought my son was way behind with numbers, since he can only count to 11, but he's been saying things lately that prove that he can count by 5s and 10s, and that he understands 100, 200, 300, 1000, a million, a billion, etc. in order. WOW! How does he know this stuff? He also pointed out that when he's 15, his brother will be 12.
Today we went on a 2.5 mile bike ride and I said, "This is a fun bike ride, not too short, not too long." and he said, "And not bad for the world since bikes don't need gas!"

what a sweet kid!
lately my DD pointed out that when she's 16, I'll be a million. :

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#69 of 152 Old 09-08-2007, 09:49 AM
 
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what a sweet kid!
lately my DD pointed out that when she's 16, I'll be a million. :
After I explained that there were no iPods when I was a kid, Julian asked me if dinosaurs were alive when I was a kid.

I'm 23.
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#70 of 152 Old 09-08-2007, 09:57 AM
 
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rofl! he sounds very wise....

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#71 of 152 Old 09-08-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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These age stories are cracking me up! Technology has moved so fast since I was a kid, that even my older kids have a hard time imagining my childhood--no i-pods, no dvd's, no cd's, no computers--my dd recently let this gem slip: "She was older, but not as old as you."

Yesterday we had our "Not Back to School" picnic and had a great time. We hung out with friends, saw some old friends and made some new ones. I was telling dh about it last night and realized how incredibly diverse our group is--way more diverse a group than my kids would find in our local school. We had, infants through teens, white, black, muslum, jewish, pagan, atheist, German, deaf, school at home, unschoolers, classical schoolers--and that's just the ones I'm aware of, lol. I came away feeling, "Life is good."

doulajewla, I think those "nagging thoughts" go away with time. I worried less and less as time went by and I saw that my kids were fine. I think unschooling is one of those things you have to see to believe, yk?

Speaking of which, dd and I came home from our volunteer shift this a.m. and my 7 y/o announced, "I read a story today." So, I smiled and said, "Oh yeah?" (he doesn't read.) Then he pulls out Down By The Cool of the Pool and READS THE BOOK TO ME! I was so excited I could hardly sit still (I think if I had 10 kids it would be just as exiciting the 10th time around.) This is a library book and I only read it to him once, so I know he didn't have it memorized. How cool is that?

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#72 of 152 Old 09-08-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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Well i found a good website someone gave me here (another thread) and i am not having those nagging thoughts today! i want to totally let go and let them find their own paths....and now i feel I can---i was just so worried about reporting to the state, but now i realize that i dont have to submit hundreds of worksheets! we are free to learn

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#73 of 152 Old 09-08-2007, 07:10 PM
 
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Hey feel like sharing that link?
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#74 of 152 Old 09-08-2007, 09:17 PM
 
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I will share the link, but its for Vermont. I dont know if that will help you much though....but hey you never know.

http://www.vermonthomeschool.org/curriculum.html

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#75 of 152 Old 09-09-2007, 07:34 AM
 
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DD went next door to see if her friend was home, but she came running back crying that there was a wolf coming to eat her.

We hugged her and let her calm down, and explained that there are no wolves in australia... she didnt want to believe us, but we talked a lot about it, and eventually, read the wikipedia entry on wolves. then we watched a bunch of YouTube videos of wolves. slowly, that became videos of lions, and other animals...

We watched a lion eating a giraffe, and then DD asks if the food goes into the lion's stomach and then intestines. Again back to wikipedia... then she wanted to watch videos of inside people's bodies. We watched lasik eye surgery, and some guy with tiny worms hatching out of his face and some totally gross-out open-heart surgeries, and a hysterectomy. then we found some really cool, fun videos about the digestive system, and a couple that have a camera going through the mouth and down into the stomach, and another showing in the intestines. DD is totally into that stuff now.

Then we got into birth videos, watched a bunch of homebirths (DD's been to a bunch of births with me and she's really really excited about it). One vid we watched was of a hospital birth, and DD asked me why they made the mama lie on her back like that. They did an episiotomy, and she shouted at the screen; "dont they know that its really BAD to cut the vagina!!! the baby can come out by himself!" after that I added "water birth" into the search and we got lots of nice movies. then she wanted to watch videos of Barbie. (: ) So we spent ages watching vintage barbie commercials. :

So you see, a child's fear of non-existant wolves (thankyou, brothers grimm) can lead to a learning journey all the way to Barbie. because when you're 4, pretty much everything relates back to Barbie

Who needs school when you've got youtube!

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#76 of 152 Old 09-09-2007, 07:37 AM
 
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That actually IS helpful, thanks!
I think I'll send in what I have for curriculum, more or less.
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#77 of 152 Old 09-09-2007, 07:39 AM
 
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wow, majickfaeries! that's great!

You know, as much as I detest Barbie and hope my dd never discovers they exist, if your dd is watching birth videos and real births, I think she's going to have a good foundation between real life bodies and a pretend doll.
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#78 of 152 Old 09-09-2007, 08:21 AM
 
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Funnily, I just wrote an article today about how Barbie doesnt actually destroy children's self-esteem, but telling them their desire to play with barbie is bad can

I'm still working through my Barbie conditioning, but I'm managing to let go of all the voices in my head chanting "barbie is bad, barbie promotes negative body image, etc" and respect DD's choice to play with them.

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#79 of 152 Old 09-09-2007, 08:50 AM
 
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I just saw this nice article that is a very nice simple intro to the concept of unschooling:
http://www.livescience.com/history/0...hn_school.html

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#80 of 152 Old 09-09-2007, 03:56 PM
 
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Thanks for that article, Majikfaerie, it's neat to read a pro-hsing article that doesn't try to justify hsing by trotting out test scores and high-achieving kids. Raising my child to be a responsible and capable adult is one of the big reasons why I homeschool.

So, ds and I started out our official school year last week, I was planning on moving into a more academically structured kind of format, but we both are not happy with it. It seems the more I plan out and take responsibility for, the less ds does and is willing to do. Ok, it's a lesson I have to learn over and over again every few years. So we're moving back, rather quickly, into a more unschool-y groove. Though still will, probably be more structured than most around here. Left to our own devices, we would, both of us, spend all our time playing video games, eating doritos, and generally living like pathetic bachelors We may not be total, card-carrying unschoolers, but I feel we fit in the best here. The structure we do have is to make our lives smoother and happier, and the academic stuff we do has always been more discussion and debate, rather than study and write, so hope no one minds if I hang out here again.

So, we did one day of "school", and have now spent the rest of the week watching Simon Pegg/Nick Frost comedies, starting with Hot Fuzz, then got Shaun of the Dead from the library, and topped it off by watching episodes of Spaced on You Tube. Totally hilarious, I love these guys.

A really freaky thing happened last night, my cat caught a bird and dragged it inside. This was really wild cause we live on the 5th floor, and the cat has been trying to catch anything for years and has never gotten anything but moths. So after chasing the cat off and locking it up, this poor bird is flying around totally freaked out. I finally managed to catch it in ds's fez, and brought it out to the balcony, but it was still stunned and ds was afraid that it would fall off the balcony trying to fly, so we caught it again and brought it down in the elevator. The poor thing was so scared, it wouldn't let go of me after a whlie. I was wondering what kind of bird it was, and if it was a baby, or if it was nesting in the tree the hangs over our balcony, and ds knew all the answers to my questions. Well, he didn't know what kind of bird it was, but he knew what it wasn't (a sparrow, starling or similar bird), that it ate bugs (because of it's beak), that it wasn't a baby (a baby of that size would mean it was a hawk or other largish bird of prey), and that it wasn't nesting because it's too late in the year. Now he's trying to figure out what kind of bird it was. I think the bird's ok, cause once it realized it was outside and on solid ground, it flew up into the nearest tree.
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#81 of 152 Old 09-09-2007, 04:34 PM
 
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So you see, a child's fear of non-existant wolves (thankyou, brothers grimm) can lead to a learning journey all the way to Barbie. because when you're 4, pretty much everything relates back to Barbie

Who needs school when you've got youtube!

This is so great! Youtube does rule.

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#82 of 152 Old 09-09-2007, 04:35 PM
 
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I'm still working through my Barbie conditioning, but I'm managing to let go of all the voices in my head chanting "barbie is bad, barbie promotes negative body image, etc" and respect DD's choice to play with them.
I think this is wonderful of you!

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#83 of 152 Old 09-09-2007, 05:25 PM
 
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This is my second month here, and after reading Joyce's website, I realize I need to give more thought to why I'm "unschooling." I love the idea of living freely and just guiding my kids as they pursue their interests, but deep down, I still have my own "goals," (e.g., that someday they'll go to college and have a successful career ... whatever that is). Do any of you feel this way, or how have you been able to let go and trust your kids? My boys are still young (ages 3 and 14 months), so the academic pressure isn't something I'm dealing with now, but how can do you separate your goals and your child's goals once they get older? (I hope I'm making sense.)
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#84 of 152 Old 09-09-2007, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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because when you're 4, pretty much everything relates back to Barbie
: True words my friend.

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#85 of 152 Old 09-09-2007, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do any of you feel this way, or how have you been able to let go and trust your kids? My boys are still young (ages 3 and 14 months), so the academic pressure isn't something I'm dealing with now, but how can do you separate your goals and your child's goals once they get older? (I hope I'm making sense.)
Wendy, I had to really examine how my own education was impacting my feelings for my kids. It was a fascinating and sometimes painful experience. But I'm so glad I did it. It took me quite awhile to get to the place I am at today. I found that my children helped me to learn how to separate my own personal goals and theirs. They speak up about it!

And now it's wonderful because I can be passionate about the things I want for myself, and GO for it. And they can do the same for themselves. It's very freeing.

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#86 of 152 Old 09-09-2007, 08:27 PM
 
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Thanks for replying, Greenlee. I have a lot of self-exploration ahead of me.
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#87 of 152 Old 09-09-2007, 09:02 PM
 
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If radical unschooling has taught me anything, its that there are millions of uses for food dye; none of which involve food.

use for food dye #23,598: face paint.

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My mindset has been for our unschooling adventures is that if they want to go to college, they can. I will help guide them and show them what they will need to do in order to be successful in college. But I want them to choose. If they choose not to go, I want to make it clear to them that no matter what paths they choose, as long as they are happy and know what their personal agenda is, then they are free to pursue it however they feel fit. Its not about being successful or having alot of money, its about living they way they feel comfortable and being able to eat well and stay healthy, in body, mind and spirit. So i am letting them be free to learn...free to explore every avenue and find who they truly are without having relatives and friends constantly telling them they need to make big bucks for everyone to love them. What I want for my kids is to truly be comfortable in themselves, and not worry about what I think their goals should be. I believe they need goals, but I dont believe in choosing them for them. It is about trust...and I learn this everyday, and everyday I see them learning things that I know and trust will help them be who they want to be That is how I am letting go and trusting.

Mamma to my four wonderful, amazing and unique children~~Wife to my true soulmate who sees things the way I do, together we are truly a team!
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#89 of 152 Old 09-09-2007, 09:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by doulajewla View Post
My mindset has been for our unschooling adventures is that if they want to go to college, they can. I will help guide them and show them what they will need to do in order to be successful in college. But I want them to choose. If they choose not to go, I want to make it clear to them that no matter what paths they choose, as long as they are happy and know what their personal agenda is, then they are free to pursue it however they feel fit. Its not about being successful or having alot of money, its about living they way they feel comfortable and being able to eat well and stay healthy, in body, mind and spirit. So i am letting them be free to learn...free to explore every avenue and find who they truly are without having relatives and friends constantly telling them they need to make big bucks for everyone to love them. What I want for my kids is to truly be comfortable in themselves, and not worry about what I think their goals should be. I believe they need goals, but I dont believe in choosing them for them. It is about trust...and I learn this everyday, and everyday I see them learning things that I know and trust will help them be who they want to be That is how I am letting go and trusting.
YES!!!

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#90 of 152 Old 09-09-2007, 09:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by doulajewla View Post
My mindset has been for our unschooling adventures is that if they want to go to college, they can. I will help guide them and show them what they will need to do in order to be successful in college. But I want them to choose. If they choose not to go, I want to make it clear to them that no matter what paths they choose, as long as they are happy and know what their personal agenda is, then they are free to pursue it however they feel fit. Its not about being successful or having alot of money, its about living they way they feel comfortable and being able to eat well and stay healthy, in body, mind and spirit. So i am letting them be free to learn...free to explore every avenue and find who they truly are without having relatives and friends constantly telling them they need to make big bucks for everyone to love them. What I want for my kids is to truly be comfortable in themselves, and not worry about what I think their goals should be. I believe they need goals, but I dont believe in choosing them for them. It is about trust...and I learn this everyday, and everyday I see them learning things that I know and trust will help them be who they want to be That is how I am letting go and trusting.
YES!! Ditto!

Pat

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