Radical unschooling and organized sports - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-24-2008, 07:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post
B's dad plays softball (all grownups, mind you!) and if he doesn't show up to batting practice or doesn't feel like doing parts of the group practice, he's batting last. And he's in outfield. The coach has told some to just go home when they show up for the game because they're not giving the effort needed.
I played church slo-pitch for years.

I can't imagine the anarchy if everyone showed up and said "Oh - I'm playing 1st base tonight..."

Did I like taking my turn as catcher??? No! - but I did it. Why? Because teams work by everyone doing their part. Did I like standing in the outfield during batting practice retrieving balls? No! - I would much rather been the one batting. But it wouldn't work if everyone stood in line to bat - and no one collected the balls. We'd run out of balls pretty quickly.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:29 PM
 
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my son is pretty clear about expressing this with his dad and he's not 6 yet. why wouldn't a nine year old understand this?

and what's wrong with "getting out" of running if he doesn't like it? why should he be forced to do something he doesn't like. that seems pretty disrespectful to me. this is the unschooling forum right?
okay...what he is getting out of it is strength, edurance and stamina...all things he will need to be able to play ultimate frisbee, whether he does it competitively
or not. if he doesn't want to do it, he shouldn't be on the team. because the team isn't an unschooling team. but i tell you what, whether you unschool or not, your body chemistry is the same as everybody else, and if you jump into activity with out properly warming up, you have a very good chance of getting hurt. i've seen it happen, and i have had it happen to me.
it's not about making people do things they don't want to do, it's about safe activity. you can't (or at least, you shouldn't, unless you want torn or strained muscles) jump into an activity with out a warm up.
it's just biology, it's not about oppressing anyone's spirit, it's about preventing injury.
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:43 AM
 
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I think people do adapt.
Well, I wasn't meaning to make a blanket statement that no adult ever adapts. However, in my experience, I've seen adults who seemed pretty stuck on the taking-away-a-chair thing, and they seemed to feel it was good for the little ones to have the experience of being "out" and all that.

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I also don''t think kids need adults telling them what to play all the time.
I agree. However, some very sports-interested children find it difficult to meet all their playing needs just by arranging impromptu games out in the neighborhood. When so many other kids are in leagues, or are heavily involved in other extra-curricular activities, a homeschooled child who wants to play a sport more regularly, may often find him or herself turning to adults to get something organized.

Which I guess brings us to the issue that when adults are organizing, they feel responsible to make sure things are fair and no one gets hurt and so on.

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My questions in this thread is not related to not adapting-- I mean can the child walk the warmup? It's related to I have no idea what is going on at the practice, and whether the expectations are off or whether it's safe not to do a warm. All I know the coach is nice and the OP's child doesn't like the warmup. Can he walk it? How long is it? Is it a reasonable expectataion to have children warm up before an Ultimate Sport?
The OP quite clearly stated, in one of her previous posts, that her son tried alternating his running with walking -- and the coach kept urging him to keep up the running. So apparently walking the warmup isn't an acceptable alternative to this coach.

The OP's made it clear that neither she or her son are against warming up -- they're against the insistence that the warmup has to be done in a specific way, a way that's very difficult for her son.

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Old 06-25-2008, 11:47 AM
 
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it's not about making people do things they don't want to do, it's about safe activity. you can't (or at least, you shouldn't, unless you want torn or strained muscles) jump into an activity with out a warm up.
But the OP's clearly stated that her son isn't jumping in without warming up!

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Old 06-25-2008, 11:54 AM
 
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I think there's a HUGE difference between doing games/sports, and being on a team, if that makes sense.
The common-thread I was talking about, was the tendency to take children less seriously than adults.

When the OP's husband played Ultimate Frisbee, he wasn't put through all this.

I realize part of the issue with children is legal liability.

fourlittlebirds, do you think it might help if you signed a release, stating that you won't hold this coach responsible if your son is injured due to not being warmed up properly?

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Old 06-25-2008, 01:32 PM
 
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The common-thread I was talking about, was the tendency to take children less seriously than adults.

When the OP's husband played Ultimate Frisbee, he wasn't put through all this.

I realize part of the issue with children is legal liability.

fourlittlebirds, do you think it might help if you signed a release, stating that you won't hold this coach responsible if your son is injured due to not being warmed up properly?
that would be a good solution. if someone in my class insisted on not doing a warm-up that we were physically capable of just because they didn't feel like it, i would only allow them to participate if they signed a waiver...because i have a feeling that people who are all up in the coach's business now will be the same ones who jump all down his throat once their kid comes home with pulled muscle, or a sprained ankle.
i majored in dance in college. i took kinesiology classes specifically focusing on preparing proper warm-ups and learning about the body and how it reacts to intense activities, like Ultimate Frisbee, which was HUGE at my college. these classes also focused on the kinds of injuries (of which their are many) that a person can suffer if they don't train correctly. so as teacher, i would not feel like i was doing my job or being responsible to the safety of my students if they were not properly warming up and training. you seem intent on denying the fact that the coach is providing a warm-up, not t o be the supreme ruler of children, but to prepare their bodies for the activity.
this whole thing has become really ridiculous to me. if you don't like the coach, take him off the team. if you don't want your kid following rules or listening to a "leader", don't put them on a team, to play a sport, which will require them to do both. it's very simple.
as someone said, this is not an unschooling vs. schooling thing, this is a coached vs. uncoached thing. you will not find a coach (or at least not a well trained, informed and ethical coach) who will not do a mandatory warm-up, in which all members of the team participate in, not only to create a safe space, but to create a stronger team (teams who push through the difficult stuff together are going to play well together, teams who all participate together will perform better as a team, which, whether you like it or not, is.what.you.signed.your.kid.up.for.)
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:41 PM
 
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It's just sad that there aren't other options for kid's athletics other than sports with teams, coaches, and competitions if you don't live someplace with a crowd of neighborhood kids available to play. Growing up, we played kickball in the street but there simply aren't kids my ds' age playing outside here. Older kids roam around and younger ones are kept in.

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Old 06-25-2008, 02:41 PM
 
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this whole thing has become really ridiculous to me. if you don't like the coach, take him off the team. if you don't want your kid following rules or listening to a "leader", don't put them on a team, to play a sport, which will require them to do both. it's very simple.
as someone said, this is not an unschooling vs. schooling thing, this is a coached vs. uncoached thing. you will not find a coach (or at least not a well trained, informed and ethical coach) who will not do a mandatory warm-up, in which all members of the team participate in, not only to create a safe space, but to create a stronger team (teams who push through the difficult stuff together are going to play well together, teams who all participate together will perform better as a team, which, whether you like it or not, is.what.you.signed.your.kid.up.for.)
I'm puzzled, because you initially say that the waiver-thing is a good idea -- then you talk like the only option is for the OP's son to go along with everything or quit the team.

I saw the waiver-idea as creating a third option -- one where a parent who knows her child is already getting a good warmup before practice, and isn't worried about him pulling muscles due to jumping "cold" into an activity, can release the coach from his responsibility to see to it that her son is adequately warmed up. She knows he's already warmed up when he gets there, so the coach doesn't have to worry about that aspect.

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Old 06-25-2008, 02:59 PM
 
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It's just sad that there aren't other options for kid's athletics other than sports with teams, coaches, and competitions if you don't live someplace with a crowd of neighborhood kids available to play. Growing up, we played kickball in the street but there simply aren't kids my ds' age playing outside here. Older kids roam around and younger ones are kept in.
I agree. We do have kids my 8yo's age out playing sometimes -- but not always as often as she would like (it's happening more now because of nice weather -- but some of her favorite neighborhood friends aren't even allowed outdoors in cooler weather). And sometimes a group of boys will be playing soccer, and she's all eager to join them, then is devastated when they don't want to include a girl.

It's getting better as we've joined a homeschooling group, and have also met some new friends at the park recently. But it's still a challenge, because as children's lives in general are becoming more "organized," I'm finding that even those of us who balk at "scheduling childhood," sometimes feel a need to resort to joining organized stuff -- especially if we have very extraverted and energetic children.

Also, we live in a very mobile society. Dd's had some good friends move away, and our new friends are admittedly very mobile. They're not sure if they'll stay in this area beyond March when the husband's contract runs out, so I'm realizing we really have to keep getting out there, keep getting involved in stuff, keep generating new contacts.

Of course, this isn't strictly related to organized sports -- it just explains why some unschoolers who'd rather not sign on for rule-laden activities, sometimes find themselves at a loss when trying to come up with viable alternatives for meeting their children's needs. Since this is an unschooling forum, I think it's okay to vent about that, and also to brainstorm together about ways to create better situations for our children.

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Old 06-25-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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it's just biology, it's not about oppressing anyone's spirit, it's about preventing injury.
Am I the only one who perceives this comment as rather unsupportive of Radical Unschooling?

This isn't the first thread I've seen where the person who started it actually put "Radical Unschooling" in the title -- and people came in who seemed pretty much opposed to the ideals of RU -- to the point of sarcasm -- just to let the OP know how "ridiculous" they thought she was being, and how "unrelated" all her concerns were to RU.

I'm not just talking about the post I quoted -- and I don't want to come across like I think this is an exclusive forum or anything: I realize it's public, and I think everyone here welcomes input from a wide variety of people. I know I do.

However, I think anyone who decides to post on a thread with "Radical Unschooling" in the title, should be willing to treat this philosophy with respect. I'm not saying you have to be RU yourself -- but why would you even participate in an RU-thread if you weren't at least respectful of RU?

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Old 06-25-2008, 04:46 PM
 
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i agree MM. i had a similar thing happen in another forum not too long ago. i posted asking a question about something and the thread evolved into a judgmental free for all criticizing me about my radical unschooling/consensual living choices with my DS. so many over the top assumptions were made about me and my DS that i was questioning my sanity at posting what i did.

(several of the same posters are here on this thread too!)

it really makes me sad when a mama comes here for support and she gets judged, criticized and mocked. in fact it shocks me too... who would speak so harshly to people like this in real life??

i did think MDC was for alternative minded mamas to support and help each other in living alternative lives..... instead, parts of it seems to have devolved into a mainstream meat grinder. <------ was that a UA violation?

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Old 06-25-2008, 05:08 PM
 
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I'm sorry about your experience!

And I think when someone puts RU into the title, they're doing it in the hopes of avoiding this kind of hostility.

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Old 06-25-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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Of course, this isn't strictly related to organized sports -- it just explains why some unschoolers who'd rather not sign on for rule-laden activities, sometimes find themselves at a loss when trying to come up with viable alternatives for meeting their children's needs. Since this is an unschooling forum, I think it's okay to vent about that, and also to brainstorm together about ways to create better situations for our children.


Suck it up or stay home comments aren't terribly helpful or even getting near the real point of the thread.

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Old 06-25-2008, 05:40 PM
 
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Suck it up or stay home comments aren't terribly helpful or even getting near the real point of the thread.
:

and they seem needlessly mean too. why are so many of the posts on MDC so angry? why are so many mamas so angry and why do they dump that anger on other mamas?

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Old 06-25-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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and they seem needlessly mean too. why are so many of the posts on MDC so angry? why are so many mamas so angry and why do they dump that anger on other mamas?
I don't know about in general -- but as pertains to RU, it seems that many think we (RU or RU-leaning parents) expect the world to conform to us (or our kids). It's simply that hard for someone with a two-option mindset to understand those of us who question rules, try to understand the concerns behind them, and then have the gall to suggest alternatives to the People in Charge of an activity.

The mainstream idea is you go along with everything, or you go your own way and create your own society. RU or CL-people, in contrast, see myriad options for meeting everyone's needs. Our questioning a current set-up isn't a demand to get everything our (or our children's) way -- it's a request for the other person to consider our perspective, and consider other possible ways to satisfy their concerns.

From what the OP has shared, it sounds like this coach is concerned about her son's safety (and possibly about getting blamed if her son is injured due to not warming up). And possibly he's also concerned that the OP's son won't be able to play as competitively if he's not doing the whole warmup routine.

I think the safety concern could surely be met by the OP signing a waiver. As for the competitiveness concern -- perhaps there could be some kind of open discussion to find out what the other kids' focus is.

I like the OP's idea of trying to get the names of the families that dropped out, to see if they're interested in forming a team that's less focused on competition.

One thing that stands out to me, is that the OP said she and her son have satisfactorily resolved this specific issue for themselves. She just started the thread to open up a general discussion about these issues for RU families.

I find we encounter many rules out in society -- and some of them seemingly make no sense. I recently questioned staff at our neighborhood pool (the only pool we can currently afford, and can walk to), about the "no water-wings" rule. I understood that large flotation devices could block the lifeguard's view of the pool, and might keep him from seeing a struggling child -- but water-wings?

I found out that the rule was made due to so many parents not adequately supervising their small children. The children are often on their own in the water, and the water-wings give them false security, and there's concern that they'll venture into deep water and the wings might malfunction.

I still find the rule frustrating. When my oldest was 2 and 3, I got tremendous exercise swimming alongside her while she swam all over the pool in her water-wings. Then, by age 4, she took the wings off and started swimming independently. Of course, I still stayed next to her in the deep end, until such time as she got strong enough that I felt okay about keeping an eye on her from several feet away.

Now I have another 3yo, but we don't have access to the more-lenient pool that dd1 and I used to frequent. One interesting fact is that the more-lenient pool didn't have a lifeguard on duty -- there was a "Swim at Your Own Risk" sign, so maybe that has something to do with it. This would be ideal for me, as I'm an expert swimmer and could easily keep both my daughters afloat in a crisis -- kind of a moot point, actually, since the deep-end at our neighborhood pool is only 5-feet and I'm 5'10!

So I don't quite get the need for a lifeguard, anyway, as many adults could just walk into the deep end to save a drowning child. But I guess it creates jobs. Maybe we could do away with the lifeguard-position, and everyone could get in for $1 a piece instead of $2.

Anyhow, I guess when a lifeguard's on duty it creates a greater risk of liability for the people operating the pool (in this case the Parks and Recreation Department). However, I find myself wondering why "no water wings" is the only way to ensure safety. Why couldn't they just stipulate that any child with water-wings in the deep-end needs to be accompanied by an adult?

Of course, I didn't go into all this with the pool staff: I know they're not the administrators making the rules. I probably should write a letter with my suggestions, which might result in some changes by next summer.

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Old 06-25-2008, 07:00 PM
 
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i apologize if i offended anyone. not my intention. as a dance teacher i just felt like i had to share some of why the coach may seem insistent on doing the warm-up.and my comments about free will were not sarcastic, i sincerely meant that this was one thing that, to me, is not about forcing kids to do stuff that is meaningless and pointless, it was about protecting their bodies from injury and playing on a team, which is what they signed up to do.
even though i enjoy the concepts of RU, which is why i come here to read and observe, i still feel like someone participating in a team sport should have to fully participate with everyone else that he is agreeing to be on a team with. i feel like if that philosophy is something that doesn't meld with your personal philosophy, then you should take your son off the team. that doesn't mean i am unsupportive of RU in anyway. there are a variety of ways a person can apply a certain philosophy of education and lifestyle to their own individual life. obviously we disagree. but to say that simply because i disagree with you means that i am not cool enough to kick it in a unschooling forum is pretty darn elitest. and doesn't really seem to go along with the whole consensual living attitude, of allowing people to do things the way they feel comfortable.
i wasn't aware that being radically outside the norm of society was something you could only do one particular way. my bad.
i hope the OP finds a solution to her problem.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:15 PM
 
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I dunno. I think that's one of the dilemnas of an unschooling approach. It teaches independence---but it makes it hard to willingly conform in a group situation. I think sports may be one exception to any rule about doing things one's own way. You really can't win that way--and it's dangerous for everyone. A coach--or someone in charge of overseeing a safe sports event (and who may be evaluated on wins/losses) must expect everyone to "conform" without hesitation. I tend to support that. If your child (or anyone's) does not want to do what's expected, or is not in shape to participate to the extent that is expected, then I think he should find another activity. I would not hesitate to tell my child "that's fine--you make the call. It's your body and your time. But we cannot play on this team and follow YOUR rules instead of the coach's rules. Let's try tennis instead." That's how I would handle it.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:20 PM
 
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i hope the OP finds a solution to her problem.
The thing is she wasn't really asking for a solution. She was wondering how others handle the situation.

I certainly agree people need to come up with a general agreement on rules and such when playing a game in a group. I explain to ds he can play any way he wants but he and the people he is playing with need to agree on the rules first. The problem with kid activities like this Ultimate Frisbee is no one communicates about them upfront. The OP even said the team was much different than last year, that the coach was more driven and aiming for getting the kids playing tournaments. How were they to know that the emphasis was going to change? Why was the assumption it was going to be like last year ridiculous?

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Old 06-25-2008, 07:31 PM
 
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I dunno. I think that's one of the dilemnas of an unschooling approach. It teaches independence---but it makes it hard to willingly conform in a group situation. I think sports may be one exception to any rule about doing things one's own way. You really can't win that way--and it's dangerous for everyone. A coach--or someone in charge of overseeing a safe sports event (and who may be evaluated on wins/losses) must expect everyone to "conform" without hesitation. I tend to support that. If your child (or anyone's) does not want to do what's expected, or is not in shape to participate to the extent that is expected, then I think he should find another activity. I would not hesitate to tell my child "that's fine--you make the call. It's your body and your time. But we cannot play on this team and follow YOUR rules instead of the coach's rules. Let's try tennis instead." That's how I would handle it.
that's all i am saying. sorry if it came across as anything but.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:38 PM
 
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If your child (or anyone's) does not want to do what's expected, or is not in shape to participate to the extent that is expected, then I think he should find another activity.
Wouldn't it be nice if that attitude could be applied to going to school?

Oh wait, it is. Here, at least.

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Old 06-25-2008, 07:40 PM
 
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there are a variety of ways a person can apply a certain philosophy of education and lifestyle to their own individual life. obviously we disagree.
Who's been saying that there's only one way to apply RU? In response to some others saying there were 2 options (stay and comply, or move on), I was saying there are myriad options.

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but to say that simply because i disagree with you means that i am not cool enough to kick it in a unschooling forum is pretty darn elitest.
I haven't heard anyone here say that you or anyone else isn't "cool enough to kick it in an unschooling forum." Anyway, RU is not representative of the whole unschooling forum.

I was expressing my belief that the reason the OP specified "RU" in the title was to get support from others who understand where she's coming from. She can hear plenty of the "take it or leave it" stuff in mainstream society.

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and doesn't really seem to go along with the whole consensual living attitude, of allowing people to do things the way they feel comfortable.
Huh? Because I mentioned that your comment seemed disrespectful of RU, I'm not allowing you to do things the way you feel comfortable? I haven't reported you to a moderator or anything -- it's not like I feel you or anyone should be "silenced" -- I just didn't feel your comment was very supportive of RU.

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i wasn't aware that being radically outside the norm of society was something you could only do one particular way. my bad.
Is this really an apology-post? I'm not saying you owe anyone an apology -- but you came on here apologizing, then went on to say some rather insulting things.

Oh, I get it! I'm being too rigid in my definition of "apology." I'm not really, I actually think there are many different ways to express regret over something I've said or done. But following the apology with more insults just isn't one of them.

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Old 06-25-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
Wouldn't it be nice if that attitude could be applied to going to school?

Oh wait, it is. Here, at least.
Here, too!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:52 PM
 
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Hey! I am very hardcore hsing/AP and I* totally respect my kids yada yada. I am absolutely on the 'unschooling' spectrum.

I resent the whole notion that anyone who questions or ask for clarity about an "'RU' situation gets flack for not falling in step with whatever is posted by an 'RU.'

It's totally unfair. Even Unschoolers have varying opinions, and I don't like that we're all supposed to rah rah each all the time no matter what it is we are discussing.

I am not a tin soldier for anyone. Not for AP, not for Unschooling, not for RU.
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I resent the whole notion that anyone who questions or ask for clarity about an "'RU' situation gets flack for not falling in step with whatever is posted by an 'RU.'
It didn't seem there was much questioning or asking of clarity by everyone, just more of a "Of course that happened, what did you expect, your kid shouldn't play if he doesn't follow commands" sort of response by some.

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Old 06-25-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
It didn't seem there was much questioning or asking of clarity by everyone, just more of a "Of course that happened, what did you expect, your kid shouldn't play if he doesn't follow commands" sort of response by some.
Ok. I disagree.

But really, carry on with whatever party- lines make you comfy.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:11 PM
 
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Ok. I disagree.
I thought you were asking for clarity, not that you need validation from the likes of me . I just don't think everybody was looking past the bafflement of someone thinking sports could or should be any other way.

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Old 06-25-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
Hey! I am very hardcore hsing/AP and I* totally respect my kids yada yada. I am absolutely on the 'unschooling' spectrum.

I resent the whole notion that anyone who questions or ask for clarity about an "'RU' situation gets flack for not falling in step with whatever is posted by an 'RU.'

It's totally unfair. Even Unschoolers have varying opinions, and I don't like that we're all supposed to rah rah each all the time no matter what it is we are discussing.

I am not a tin soldier for anyone. Not for AP, not for Unschooling, not for RU.
thank you.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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I thought you were asking for clarity, not that you need validation from the likes of me . I just don't think everybody was looking past the bafflement of someone thinking sports could or should be any other way.
I did not get that. I was trying. I kept asking questions, but they went unaswered. The OP doesn't even seem to care about the thread. So you know, what the heck are we discussing? Is her dc even on the team any longer?
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:19 PM
 
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Ok. I disagree.

But really, carry on with whatever party- lines make you comfy.
see it might just be me, but this just seems really disrespectful.

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

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Old 06-25-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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I did not get that. I was trying. I kept asking questions, but they went unaswered. The OP doesn't even seem to care about the thread. So you know, what the heck are we discussing? Is her dc even on the team any longer?
I think you were asking some questions she had already answered at one point, but maybe I'm confused. I think the OP ran away and is waiting for this thread to die a natural death.

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