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#1 of 49 Old 10-18-2005, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do any of you consider yourselves radical unschoolers? I'm trying to figure out where I want to be in terms of my unschooling--I do unschool...we unschool--and I like the idea of children becoming completely self-regulating with bedtimes, food, sugar consumption, T.V.-watching etc. But...the pendulum swinging from limited controls to no controls, so therefore a time of overindulgence on the part of the kids, I don't think I can handle, or want. Nor do I completely buy it all.

I think kids need walls. I don't mean in any arbitrary, authoritarian way, but in a safe, refuge kind of way. And in a way, I think that kind of bending over backwards because (for example) a child wants to stay up until 2 in the morning playing on the computer, or watching dvds and is scared to be by themselves, so you end up staying up too, is ridiculous. I've read people posting about that kind of thing happening on unschooling websites. I think it insults the idea that the kid is really a genuine part of the family. It treats them as if they are so fragile and that just because they want something it means that you will supply it without considering you, or the rest of the family, or balance or what your family culture is (limited T.V. little junk food etc.)

Any way, I'm toying with these ideas. I'm turning them over in my head and I am attracted to them. I'm not going to debate anyone.

If you are a radical unschooler I would love it if you could explain how you came to that choice, how things worked/didn't work before and how they work now.

Thanks in advance,
Laura

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#2 of 49 Old 10-19-2005, 12:17 AM
 
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I consider us pretty radical. My kids do have certain limits. I don't let them do dangerous things just becasue they want to for example. The example you gave about staying up until 2 am but being to scared to be alone, is a situation where I would make my child go to bed. I don't think my kids need to do things that puts out other family members like that.
Mostly my kids do what they want during the day but they do have to pick up their toys and my dd (she's older) does wash dishes sometimes , feeds the cats and other such age appropiate chores. As a part of our family they need to do certain things and we do enforce said things. When it comes to "school" it is all them though.

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#3 of 49 Old 10-19-2005, 12:23 AM
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I've always considered myself a radical unschooler. I don't control my daughter's sugar inatke, tv watching, bedtimes, or anything else, except when it affects me (like throwing myself to the ground at her feet and demanding a turn on the computer, for example )

OTOH, I've never stayed up all night with my daughter because she wanted to stay up and didn't want to be alone, because that's just not something I want to do. I did keep the computer in my bedroom for a while, so she could stay up late and I could sleep... I'd try to find a solution like that, if it were an issue, but my wants matter too.

I see a big difference, though, between your child being able to make her own choices on tv watching and your child being able to compell you to stay up all night because she doesn't want to be alone. The former only affects her, except for things like the noise annoying me or me wanting to watch a show of my own - but generally, it's not about me. If she wants me to stay up with her, though, it affects *me*, in a big way. Different ballgame. She can stay up as late as she wants - I can't even remember the last time Rain went to sleep before I did - but I go to bed when I'm tired. We do talk about how our actions affect the family, but I don't think her eating or tv watching is about the family - it's about her.

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#4 of 49 Old 10-19-2005, 01:10 AM
 
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I think we followed many radical unschooling principles even before we started homeschooling. I'm only h/s one of my 3 kids, so I probably don't qualify right there but as far as the lifestyle? Yeah, I think it describes us a bit. I never felt the need to put limits on things like bedtime, tv, sweets, etc. I just never thought about it. My kids are 11, 9, and 4 and all of them are usually asleep before 10pm. My 11 y/o goes into bed at a very reasonable time (btw 9 and 10) and my other 2 usually fall asleep in the living room with dh and me. And even when in their own beds, they usually crawl in with us. No biggie.

I don't keep many sweets in the house and they never overindulge when they have them. All of them are aware of what happens to oversweetened, unbrushed teeth and I find them surprisingly mature about food choices. I remember the first time I gave each of the girls $5 to spend on anything they wanted in the supermarket. I meant anything. They chose apricots, crackers, soup, yogurt, and cucumbers. How fascinating was that? I learned a lot about my kids that day. They still do that, too.

TV has been my weakness all my life. I always watched too much. Maybe that's why I don't think it's a big deal. They watch it and I have no limits for them. Mostly it ends up being just background noise and I will shut it if no one is watching. They hardly notice. My cousin severely limits tv time for her dd and every holiday when we all get together and the tv is on, she sits in front of it like a zombie while none of the other kids even notice it's on. It's weird.

I would never bend over backwards in the way you describe. I can't see my children being inconsiderate in that way (even if it's unintentional). When I go to bed and someone is up, they will automatically go to bed, too, without a second thought. And I don't have to tell them to. Maybe it's because we have always lived this way. I don't know. If there's something I don't feel like doing I only have to mention it once.

I believe kids need walls as far as their safety and health are concerned. I will suggest things I think would benefit them, such as trying new foods or saving some of that money for tomorrow. And I issue plenty of reminders regarding cleaning up after themselves and brushing their teeth. So how fine a line is there between limits and guidance? I'll have to think about that one, myself.

Fully radical? I don't think so. But then again, I never even heard the term until this year. We just do what's comfortable and what works.

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#5 of 49 Old 10-19-2005, 04:16 AM
 
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We are radical unschoolers. Well, from what I gather anyway

My kids choose their own media, foods, clothes, time spent on the computer, vocabulary, hair color etc. It's not about them being driven to having whatever they want always and everyone else's needs be damned, but rather about them being guided by parents who share info and opinion...and them being given the same respect I would want. We work stuff out.

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#6 of 49 Old 10-19-2005, 10:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
My kids choose their own media, foods, clothes, time spent on the computer, vocabulary, hair color etc. It's not about them being driven to having whatever they want always and everyone else's needs be damned, but rather about them being guided by parents who share info and opinion...and them being given the same respect I would want. We work stuff out.
Yeah, that. But those were priciples we lived with before we ever even thought of homeschooling. Actually, I think it's that lifestyle that allowed us to become homeschoolers--although ps was initially our default choice, when it became clear that that wasn't right for us, we looked for alternatives rather than telling the kids, "All kids have to go to school."

But it started way before that. When my oldest was small and I'd be about to say "no" to something, I kept stopping myself and asking, "Well, why not?" Most of the time, there was no real reason, it was just a knee-jerk reaction to my own upbringing. So I stopped saying "no" so much and kept trying to find ways to say "yes" and it grew from there.

For us, it's about choices and problem-solving. I do want to help my kids find a way to get what they want and do what they want, but that can't happen through someone else's suffering. We try to find a way for everyone to be happy, while still being free to make their own choices.

I don't know if that's "radical unschooling" or just "radical" or just weird... :LOL but that's where we are.

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#7 of 49 Old 10-19-2005, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your responses, you guys. I have always communicated with my kids in a way that allows them, encourages them, to help find solutions to problems. So, I think they are good problem solvers--they always come up with reasonable, sensitive solutions. But, sometimes I just want to shorthand it and I do say "no", with an explanation.

I guess I'm bothered with the notion that some people would find that objectionable. That really shouldn't bother me, and yet OTOH I know I would be bothered with some of their choices. I don't feel this way with people who are freaked out that we homebirthed, didn't vaccinate, did extended breastfeeding, have a family bed. I don't care about their opinions.

I suppose I think of homeschoolers and other MDC types as more enlightened than the average bear and so to find choices of some radical homeschoolers so different from my own, and that they may judge my choices, is very unsettling. I feel uncomfortable.

I don't think there's an absolute truth...I don't think. And yet, in ways I kind of do. Breastfeeding is better. Homebirth is better. Homeschooling is better. I understand people not making those choices for their own reasons, their own way of having their family. OK. I try not to judge them. I see that they have a loving relationship with their kids, just as I see AP parents sometimes not being particularly loving or playful with their kids. A lot of good parenting is about how you are with your kids, not just lifestyle choices.

Do you guys think saying "no" contributes to a tyrant/victim relationship? Don't other cultures say "no"? I mean we were drawn to our other parenting choices because of the naturalness of them--and so they were universal ways of being. Around the world there has always been breastfeeding, family beds, playful parenting. Radical unschooling the way I have seen it expressed on some boards seems so unnatural and unbalanced I think that is what's been bothering me.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.

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#8 of 49 Old 10-19-2005, 02:59 PM
 
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I guess I'm bothered with the notion that some people would find that objectionable.
Sometimes, when I've felt this way, it means that, on a level I haven't examined yet, *I* find it objectionable too. It's sort of a signal to me to look deeper at what I'm doing. Other times, it just means I'm being self-conscious. I'm not sure what it means for you.


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Originally Posted by lauradbg
I
Do you guys think saying "no" contributes to a tyrant/victim relationship?
Yeah, maybe...I don't know. There are different kinds of "no" I think. There's the "Because I said so" type of "no" that's often arbitrary...then there's "No--don't hit the cat, that hurts him. Be gentle, like this." So "no" in and of itself is not a bad thing, imo.

I do know that the way I was brought up was very controlling, which I don't think is healthy. There were a lot of rules and they were non-negotiable. You did not question the rules, because that was considered disrespectful and respect for one's parents was expected to be absolute. Sometimes I followed the rules, more often, I broke them, which required that I be very good at sneaking and lying, which I was. I don't see any of this as healthy and I didn't want my kids growing up like that. I remember feeling that my opinions and ideas counted for nothing.

So, I questioned "the rules" and continued to do so as a parent and the more I did this, the less reason I found to say "no." My kids and I talk a lot. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort, sometimes it flows easily. Sometimes, I think it would be easier to have a list of rules and to be able to just say "no" and have the kids blindly follow my direction. But *I* don't feel it's right and it's not the way I want to parent. Almost everyone I know irl parents more traditionally. I know we're not the norm and that doesn't bother me (well, the spanking/screaming people bother me, but I don't hang out with them. )

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I mean we were drawn to our other parenting choices because of the naturalness of them--and so they were universal ways of being. Around the world there has always been breastfeeding, family beds, playful parenting. Radical unschooling the way I have seen it expressed on some boards seems so unnatural and unbalanced I think that is what's been bothering me.
Well, I can't comment on the other boards you're talking about...but this DOES feel natural to me. It feels fair and reasonable and gentle and respectful. My kids are people, who's feelings and ideas and thoughts are just as valid as my own. That's the basis of all the rest.

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#9 of 49 Old 10-19-2005, 03:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Joan
It feels fair and reasonable and gentle and respectful. My kids are people, who's feelings and ideas and thoughts are just as valid as my own. That's the basis of all the rest.

That sums up my feelings really well. I believe that my kids deserve the same respect that I do. Have I ever said "no" to them? I am sure I have. Though most of that was probably when they were very little and NO really quick escaped my lips in some moment of danger etc. Like Joan said, there is "No because I said so." (which drives me up the freaking wall to hear people say, btw. ) and there is "No, it's not nice to knock someones block tower over." etc.

I do feel that saying "No" a lot sets up a negative relationship or cycle I would rather not be in with my kids. I prefer just being a part of their lives and decisions as a guide, a helper, and a trusted source of info.

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#10 of 49 Old 10-19-2005, 04:41 PM
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I also think there's "No, I don't feel like reading to you right now" (I had a general policy of not reading aloud after midnight) and "No, you can't watch that show/eat that cookie/etc." The former is me stating my boundaries; the latter is more tyrannical And even when I say no about something I won't do, I usually offer options - "But I'll read to you in the morning before work" or "but you can get a Jim Weiss tape and put it on" or whatever.

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#11 of 49 Old 10-19-2005, 07:18 PM
 
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...The former is me stating my boundaries;
Dar
An important point--I hate when people assume that kids having freedom means that they have no concern for anyone but themselves.

Actually, a short while ago, I yelled, "NO!" at my 5 y/o. Granted, it was from a point of shock and fear and not an arbitrary "no," but still. He called my name, and when I turned around I saw him holding a rubber band, ready to shoot it, aimed at my face about 2 feet away. After yelling "NO" I explained, more calmly, how that would hurt. I suggested he point it at an inanimate object, or explained that he could shoot it at me if he moved farther away and did not aim at my head. So, yes, I'll help him get what he wants (to shoot rubber bands) but no, I won't let him hurt me. Of course, he didn't really WANT to hurt me, he just didn't realize how it would. Now he knows, and he can happily shoot rubber bands without putting anyone's eye out.

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#12 of 49 Old 10-19-2005, 08:25 PM
 
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Can I be the devil's advocate for a minute.....I am so interested in the whole unschooling/gentle disciplining/AP in fact we do homeschool and I like to think I lean towards ap...however, I was raised completly different and so I do have some "concerns" about "radical unschooling". Ok, help me out mamas to these arguments
1. If you let your child dictate what they watch, wear, eat and when they go to bed, how are you teaching them that life is not always about getting what you want when you want it?
2. If you treat your child as an "equal" (and i dont mean children are any less or more equal in the human sense...just in experience/knowledge sort of way), how will they learn respect for any sort of authority...mainly a boss or college professor when they are older?
3. Dont children need some limits, borders, structure?

Thanks mamas.....

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#13 of 49 Old 10-19-2005, 10:01 PM
 
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Children learn that not everything goes the way they want it to without any forced stuff just because they see it and experience it as a part of living. I don't think I need to say "no" to something just to teach my kid some sort of lesson. We learn as we go that sometimes things just don't go our way. That being said, I don't think that deciding when to go to sleep, what to eat, or what to read has anything to do with that. That stuff falls into the category of me treating my kids with the same respect I want, and the same respect I would give an adult. Kids deserve no less.

My kids know that when you work a job there is usually someone "in charge". They can jump through hoops if they determine it's necessary and worth it to them for some desired end result. (which, in the case of a job, would be money/experience in a certain field/ a step up to a better position...etc)

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#14 of 49 Old 10-19-2005, 11:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mykdsmomy
Ok, help me out mamas to these arguments
1. If you let your child dictate what they watch, wear, eat and when they go to bed, how are you teaching them that life is not always about getting what you want when you want it?
*I* decide what I watch, wear, eat and when to go to bed, don't you do that for yourself? I don't see any reason for my kids not to decide those things for themselves. I think personal needs for sleep and food and clothing is a separate issue from getting what you want when you want it.

I'm not sure why getting what one wants is a negative. Of course, my kids are not growing up in a vacuum, so they are always having to consider those around them and know that they can't bulldoze their way through life, hurting others in order to get what they want. As long as you're not hurting others, what is the problem with striving to get what one wants? (Don't we refer to those people as "go getters" and "take charge" type people, and people who "make things happen?")


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2. If you treat your child as an "equal" (and i dont mean children are any less or more equal in the human sense...just in experience/knowledge sort of way), how will they learn respect for any sort of authority...mainly a boss or college professor when they are older?
I think that respecting our children is the best way to show them how to treat others. My kids relate to all kinds of people, just in their daily lives. Some they respect, some they don't. But they don't have a problem knowing how to speak with anyone, regardless of their position. Actually, I've heard from many people that they're surprised at the maturity of my kids and their ability to relate to adults.

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3. Dont children need some limits, borders, structure?
There are lots of limits, borders and structure in the world already. I don't feel the need to create more just...because. We talk about the limits that are out there already--natural limits, limits created by laws, limits that exist because of social expectations--and they develop their own internal limits (like treating others the way they'd want to be treated.)

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#15 of 49 Old 10-20-2005, 02:05 AM
 
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Thanks mamas...just wanted to hear those arguments because "my" arguments were how I was raised and even though my mother was abusive, I still have to go against the grain in a lot of my parenting ....even when it feels like the right thing to do ie: homeschooling, ap parenting, eating more naturally, it still is not the way I was raised so it's harder, kwim? It just doesnt come naturally to me I like to hear other mama's who are parenting similiar to me so I know i'm not alone and my kids wont end up screwed up......hope that makes sense....just to clarify I agree with you all :LOL

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#16 of 49 Old 10-20-2005, 06:51 PM
 
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"(for example) a child wants to stay up until 2 in the morning playing on the computer, or watching dvds and is scared to be by themselves, so you end up staying up too [...] just because they want something it means that you will supply it without considering you, or the rest of the family, or balance"

Unschooling is about learning in a non-coercive self-directed environment. Radical unschooling is about applying the philosophy of freedom, trust in self, and validity of making one's own choices to all areas of life. These parents are talking about something else. If they're claiming that it falls under the banner of unschooling, I guess they're free to do so, but it doesn't make any actual sense.
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#17 of 49 Old 10-20-2005, 08:08 PM
 
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Isn't that the difference between unschooling and radical unschooling? I thought basically the radical unschoolers incorporate unschooling principles into their whole lives.

I kinda break it down like this:
Classical (purchased all-laid-out curriculum)
Eclectic (Creating a curriculum by putting different methods together)
Unit Studies (Covering many academic subjects using one main theme)
Unschooling (Non-coercive, child-led, interest-based, living is learning)
Radical Unschooling (Same as unschooling, but also following a non-coercive, child-led philosphy throughout all or most aspects of life)

Isn't that it? Or am I getting too carried away with all these labels ?

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#18 of 49 Old 10-20-2005, 08:31 PM
 
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1. If you let your child dictate what they watch, wear, eat and when they go to bed, how are you teaching them that life is not always about getting what you want when you want it?
Children have so little actual freedom to begin with. There is so much they can't do for reasons of safety, legality, or just plain developmental inability. They are already learning this lesson from the time they are born, naturally and without help from "teachers". Denying them legitimate choices is really about something else -- conditioning them to be accepting of the notion that people who have more power than them have the right to make arbitrary demands of them. Which only makes sense if your ultimate goal for them is to be nothing more than good little worker bees.

Personally, though, I don't think most people actually even put this much thought into it -- I think they say 'no' simply because it is more convenient for them, but don't want to look selfish so they parrot some theory they've heard about that says it's good for the child.

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2. If you treat your child as an "equal" (and i dont mean children are any less or more equal in the human sense...just in experience/knowledge sort of way), how will they learn respect for any sort of authority...mainly a boss or college professor when they are older?
I'm not sure how to answer this because I don't know what you mean by "treating your chlid as an equal". Examples?

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3. Dont children need some limits,
I'm assuming you don't mean it as a general rule, as in "children need to be limited" but rather that they may need a specific limit such as, "you may not play in the street where cars are rushing by because it's dangerous." Well sure, that's just common sense. Sometimes children don't have the experience to foresee the ramifications of a very dangerous thing, or they don't have the empathy to know to keep from hurting others. So if they try to, we restrain them. Of course.

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borders, structure?
It depends on how you are defining those things. I mean, in general human beings just do not thrive in chaos. But neither do they thrive in restrictive environments, or when everything is ordered for them in a way that has nothing to do with their own needs and desires.
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#19 of 49 Old 10-20-2005, 08:36 PM
 
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Isn't that the difference between unschooling and radical unschooling? I thought basically the radical unschoolers incorporate unschooling principles into their whole lives.
That's right, my point was that those principles don't involve being a slave to your child or your child getting to do whatever they want regardless of how it affects others. (Other post edited to reflect that. )
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#20 of 49 Old 10-20-2005, 08:57 PM
 
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If you let your child dictate what they watch, wear, eat and when they go to bed, how are you teaching them that life is not always about getting what you want when you want it?
I was also just thinking... this is like saying, "We have to teach you that life is hard, so we're going to make life hard for you." Or, "Love can be painful. So we are going to set up a situation where someone courts then dumps you, so you can learn that love can be painful."

Put in a different context, it's not hard to see how utterly absurd and pointless it is to teach someone a "fact of life" by creating a situation solely for the purpose of them experiencing it.
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#21 of 49 Old 10-20-2005, 10:30 PM
 
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Linda, thanks for all the great explanations....I really am trying to learn more about this.....
An example for my comment about "treating your children like equals" I'm still trying to figure out how to put it into words....can I get back to you on that one?

But my question about letting them choose what they watch, wear, eat, etc.....what if they choose to watch something like Desperate Housewives when they're 10? What if they choose to open the fridge up and pick out pickles for dinner five nights in a row? What if they want to wear a leather mini skirt and tube top when we got out for grandma's dinner? PLEASE PLEASE know I'm asking you these things out of thinking out loud to my first response to this idea of radical homeschooling. I am VERY interested in it but Im also wanting to understand where the balance lies?
For instance....I was talking to a lady this morning who has a 15 year old who refuses to help out around the house, is always demanding her laundry clean, and who complains when dinner is not to her liking.....the mama told me...."all i can tell you, Judy is to be really strict with your kids because I wasnt and now i'm paying for it ) She was basically saying her kids were brats because she gave them what they wanted as kids.... :
I dont get it but i've heard it over and over again....set limits now, set boundries now or you'll pay later.....
Can you give me some feedback on this as it relates to radical unschooling? Thanks

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#22 of 49 Old 10-20-2005, 10:45 PM
 
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OH and I kind of got off track with my post but I forgot to add .....


I was also just thinking... this is like saying, "We have to teach you that life is hard, so we're going to make life hard for you." Or, "Love can be painful. So we are going to set up a situation where someone courts then dumps you, so you can learn that love can be painful."

Put in a different context, it's not hard to see how utterly absurd and pointless it is to teach someone a "fact of life" by creating a situation solely for the purpose of them experiencing it.

ITA with you. My point was but if we are giving into their every want, and they DO get to a point in life where you are basically following someone's rules and boundaries....will they be ready for that? Will they have enough practice at being told no? I know we dont necessarily want our children to completly conform to society but we do want to equip them to deal with disappointments and rules they dont like.....does that make sense? I see what you're saying about life already being hard enough without us setting up mini scenarios for our kids to live out...that's not what I mean....I just mean, saying no to the candy or no, we're not having peanut butter tonight, we're having chicken...doesnt seem unreasonable or does it??? hmmmmm

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#23 of 49 Old 10-20-2005, 11:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mykdsmomy
what if they choose to watch something like Desperate Housewives when they're 10? What if they choose to open the fridge up and pick out pickles for dinner five nights in a row? What if they want to wear a leather mini skirt and tube top when we got out for grandma's dinner?

It wouldn't be a problem for my kids to choose/do any of those things. My 11 yr old has been watching CSI and Law and Order type shows for years. We tell them what any show might have in it (scary images perhaps, or sexual content) and then it's up to them. My son watches all sorts of stuff that I have no clue about.

We might tell them that a diet of pickles alone probably won't meet their bodies needs for long, but they still can choose it. They have been deciding what clothes to wear for ages now. My Dad used to grumble a bit about it (Dd is fond of some shirts that show her stomach and Ds likes baggy pants, no belt, shaggy hair..) but he figured out pretty quickly that these are not his choices to make, and if he wanted his grandkids to hang out with him he was going to have to mind his own business.



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Can you give me some feedback on this as it relates to radical unschooling? Thanks
In my family there is respect all around. We respect the kids and they respect us. Dh and I respect each other, and the kids respect each other. There is give and take. Because no one in our home wants to live in a filthy house where garbage is everywhere and there are never clean dishes, we respectfully pitch in and do something to help.

Discussing why I did things was helpful when they were little. "I need to get the kitchen cleaned up so that it's ready for the next time we cook." or "I just have to throw some laundry in the washer before we go to the park so we can take showers later." Simple. I tried to convey the idea that work such as cleaning and cooking or whatever wasn't some terrible torture that one must be forced to.

It wouldn't be respectful for me to say "You must do the dishes now or you will be grounded for a week." (or whatever kind of punishments parents give? I have no clue.) It would be respectful for me to say "The dishes are dirty. Is someone available to do them/help me get them done?" In my experience, in an environment where no one has been forced to do dishes (or whatever) or had the idea that work is bad/to be avoided, getting things done with give and take is not a problem.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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#24 of 49 Old 10-20-2005, 11:59 PM
 
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My point was but if we are giving into their every want, and they DO get to a point in life where you are basically following someone's rules and boundaries....will they be ready for that? Will they have enough practice at being told no?
My experience says yes, but I don't think it's a simple yes. Dealing with some rules, law, someone elses guidelines is part of being human in our society. Of course dealing with and following them aren't always the same thing. I've been a passenger in a car and chose not to wear a seatbelt, I drank some alcohol before I was 21, I snuck my own candy and drink into a movie theatre, etc. In each of those cases I clearly broke a rule or law and I had decided that I could live with the consequences should I get "busted".

My son was asked to stop running through the library when he was 6 by a staff member. He ran, he was told "Running is not allowed in the library. Please do not run here.", he stopped running. A neighbor asked my kids not to play on the edge of her lawn years ago (flowers there etc) and they stopped. My MIL told my daughter that she couldn't have cake before dinner when she was visiting my MIL. Dd said that she didn't appreciate that, couldn't abide by it and came home. Sometimes we decide that we can deal with rules and such, and sometimes we decide that we cannot.

My kids took Japanese and a journalism class last year. There were assignments, homework, classroom rules, and a teacher who was very much into being in charge. They did just fine because they decided that whatever the rules it was worth it to them somehow.


Quote:
I see what you're saying about life already being hard enough without us setting up mini scenarios for our kids to live out...that's not what I mean....I just mean, saying no to the candy or no, we're not having peanut butter tonight, we're having chicken...doesnt seem unreasonable or does it???
For me? Mostly yes it would be....because it's just not necessary. There is no reason we can't have peanut butter tonight, and there is no reason you must have chicken even though you don't want it. I sure don't eat chicken if I don't want to.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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#25 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 12:40 AM
 
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You guys are so inspiring
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#26 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 10:02 AM
 
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In the thread, "Are there any Unschoolers" or something like that, Lillian said that I was confusing TLC with Unschooling, which I readily have admitted in the past that I do.

Okay, so this is the thread where I got TLC confused with Unschooling. Some of you make it sound like these principles of TLC are part of unschooling or else I just can't parse it out. :
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#27 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 10:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RubyWild
Okay, so this is the thread where I got TLC confused with Unschooling. Some of you make it sound like these principles of TLC are part of unschooling or else I just can't parse it out. :

In OUR family, it's all jumbled together, but they are two different things. TCS is a philosophy about children, unschooling is a philosophy about learning. You can tcs and not unschool and you can unschool and not tcs, or you can do both.

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#28 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 11:01 AM
 
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I guess what confuses those of us who are trying to understand what unschooling is that when people are describing themselves as radical unschoolers, it seems that to these people, unschooling + TLC = Radical unschooling, as if TLC is a part of the continuum, yet TLC wasn't mentioned until I brought it up. For example:

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
We are radical unschoolers. Well, from what I gather anyway
My kids choose their own media, foods, clothes, time spent on the computer, vocabulary, hair color etc. It's not about them being driven to having whatever they want always and everyone else's needs be damned, but rather about them being guided by parents who share info and opinion...and them being given the same respect I would want. We work stuff out.
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Originally Posted by Dar
I've always considered myself a radical unschooler. I don't control my daughter's sugar inatke, tv watching, bedtimes, or anything else, except when it affects me (like throwing myself to the ground at her feet and demanding a turn on the computer, for example )
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citymomx3
I think we followed many radical unschooling principles even before we started homeschooling. I'm only h/s one of my 3 kids, so I probably don't qualify right there but as far as the lifestyle? Yeah, I think it describes us a bit. I never felt the need to put limits on things like bedtime, tv, sweets, etc. I just never thought about it. My kids are 11, 9, and 4 and all of them are usually asleep before 10pm. My 11 y/o goes into bed at a very reasonable time (btw 9 and 10) and my other 2 usually fall asleep in the living room with dh and me. And even when in their own beds, they usually crawl in with us. No biggie.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
Unschooling is about learning in a non-coercive self-directed environment. Radical unschooling is about applying the philosophy of freedom, trust in self, and validity of making one's own choices to all areas of life. These parents are talking about something else. If they're claiming that it falls under the banner of unschooling, I guess they're free to do so, but it doesn't make any actual sense.
So, it seems to me that the radical unschoolers are the ones who see TLC as part of Unschooling. I suppose they don't care about labels, but when I'm trying to see where I fit in, I'd at least like to correctly understand the labels so I can accept or reject the shoe as fitting or not fitting. I suppose that could be considered unsophisticated, in that we're expected to eschew labels, but I really am trying to understand and just when I think I do, I get confused. Now I'm beginning to think that it's not just me who is confused, or, at least, confusing.
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#29 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 11:21 AM
 
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So, it seems to me that the radical unschoolers are the ones who see TLC as part of Unschooling.
Maybe that's what separates unschooling from radical unschooling? I'm not really sure.

Until this thread, I've never called myself a "radical unschooler." I probably never will again, either. IRL, I usually don't even identify myself as an unschooler, because "homeschooling" is enough of a stretch for most people I know. The exception is when I'm talking with other hsers irl and we start to discuss methods. THEN I'll mention unschooling.

Similarly, with the tcs label, I don't usually use it, even though I believe in the ideas behind it. Lots of people have decided for themselves that tcs means something that I don't believe it does. I get tired of explaining over and over again about tcs only to have people insist that their interpretation is correct and tcs is therefore, neglectful or otherwise a bad idea.

Now that I think about it, I don't call myself "AP" either. I think I dislike using the lables outside of communities where people already know the definitions, if that makes sense. If I say, "I believe in tcs" and someone has already decided for themselves that that equals my kids running wild" then there's a strike against us already, yk? If otoh, I describe how we live, most people think it's pretty cool, even if it isn't for them.

But, since you brought it up, yes, tcs is part of our lifestyle, as is unschooling. It would seem silly to me, to allow my children to be in charge of their learning and then turn around and tell them they can't be in charge of what clothes they wear. But, that's just me. As I said, you can be one and not the other. I'm not sure if that answers your question or not--it almost sounds like you're asking others to label you. I'm not gonna touch that.

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#30 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 11:29 AM
 
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I'm not sure if that answers your question or not--it almost sounds like you're asking others to label you. I'm not gonna touch that.
No, like I said, I just want to understand what the labels most generally mean.
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