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I did not notice this sub-forum when I originally posted this, but this is a more appropriate place for it...so, here ya go:<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?p=15399615&posted=1#post15399615" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...1#post15399615</a>
 

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Well, I'm going to answer here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> A quickie.<br><br>
OP, big hug. It sounds like you have a busy life (like mine) and this is a huge topic/hurdle/struggle you are just bloody overwhelmed by. so remember that really taps our ability to cope with it. there's just too much going on, and none of it can get dropped so you can find clarity. so you're busy and tired and uncertain of what to do next, and you still need to keep going.<br><br>
You've gotten lots of replies over there, and my only bit to add is that i think, since you asked, that you should just stop trying and use that energy to mull over your expectations.<br><br>
Yes, I know he came to unschooling because trad school was not for him. But that is a seperate topic from what we feel our children need to know, how we think they can learn etc. That the decision to keep him home is one thing, but re-evaluating how you view learning and success is another, kwim?<br><br>
I always knew I'd home/unschool my kids, so that part was a no brainer for me. And then as they aged, wowee they hit every milestone, their natural curiosity helped them learn to read, tell time, you name it. I never had to really think about what learning was to me, because hey, they were learning all the schooly stuff my critics worried about without my using text books and school-at-home stuff, so unschooling *works*.<br><br>
but that's not what it's *supposed* to e about. I expected to have kids who balked at reading, or who just wanted to watch tv all day, but they were never like that.<br><br><br>
Until now. And the past year has made me re-visit what our goals are and what unschooling (as an idea, not a dogma) means to me.<br><br>
Yes my eldest can read and did read ravenously all last summer. Then he stopped, and now the only, ONLY reading he ever does is hockey magazines. And I honestly was never watching him thinking "Where are the reading opportunities, oh good, I see them" and checking that *subject* off in my head.<br><br>
but I did assume that with the freedom to unschool, he'd be off in 10 directions with all his blossoming interests.<br><br>
He likes to play hockey, read about hockey and watch hockey. period. 24/7<br><br>
Did I mention where we live it never snows, no water ever freezes? Okay.<br><br>
but it's helped me *see*, helped me get it. Yes I could look at his current passion and deconstruct it into all he's *learning* (geography, math/stats, phys ed) but that is not how i see learning. It's how our culture sees learning, but our culture also suports trad schooling, and I don't.<br><br>
He's learning wat he wants to. And it's NOT science kits and following the moon across the sky, constellatons, WWII airplanes and bulding them out of Lego . .. we o to the homeschoolers' science fair each year, really enjoy the projects, but my kids never have any interest in making their own nor re-creating the experiments at home.<br><br>
and that is SO SO alright with me. Now. BUt at first, I did think they'd fit that eager homeschooler stereotype, just because I thought all kids with the freedom to learn what they want, will learn what our culture thinks is important.<br><br>
but they don't. they learn what they think is important, and THAT's the point of unschooling, IMO.<br><br>
Do you know what I mean? That unschooling is a counter-culture choice, and it needs to be supportd by a counter-culture view of education and what's important.<br><br>
I said I'd be brief, but my thoughts always need so many words to be made clear. Concise I am not. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Your nature and your son's are not the same, he likes mess, you are seeing all the clean-up involved. I am SO there with you on that. I am the worst at letting my kids cook with me, and so for now, I accept that and they cook with their Dad. He is Mr laod-back and I'm not. A common pairing. So don't dump all over you for being who you are. We can analyse why we are how we are, but we also need to remember that we are who we are, and it's okay to be that way. You don't have to love messes, you don't have to let it all go and try to be like him to be a od mother. I think it's more about seeing how you two differ, accepting that BOTH are alright, and then finding a way, together, to work it out.<br><br>
My kids don't clean up either, and I think it is normal. And I'm a snark about making a mess. My solution is they do it outside, and I take deep breaths (and eat chocolate). I accept that there's leaning up to do, and then doing it isn't so frustrating. but I know I'll be doing lots of it and they'll be helping only with a reminder for years to come.<br><br>
I don't want to say 'do this' because your life is your own, it is busy, and if you told me to do something different than what I do by habit or nature, it'd be a hard one, and unlikely. My point is that I've had to remind myself of what unschooling means to me, and why I believe in it, and re-evaluate what I think matters. My kids? They just needed to keep on being them and eventually my brain would catch up to supporting who they are.<br><br><br>
It is hard to feel like you are alone within a community of your peers. As homescholers we are already cutting out a huge chunk of our peers by not going to school, then we turn to our local community and still not all are a fit. And yes, taking all your kids to the skate park just for one can be really tough. Maybe it could happen once a week as a goal, then twice.<br><br>
I hope all the suport on MDC is helping. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br><br>
A short TED talk I love to watch, to remind me that it's okay if all my kid ever does is love hockey.<br><br><a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html" target="_blank">http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinso...reativity.html</a>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WCM</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15402254"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I thought all kids with the freedom to learn what they want, will learn what our culture thinks is important.<br><br>
but they don't. they learn what they think is important, and THAT's the point of unschooling, IMO.</div>
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Thank you for this. I sometimes need to be reminded of this very concept when I get in that panic mode of what my girls do and don't know compared to school kids/mainstream culture. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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yes, that is the point of unschooling. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> the only mama i know IRL who unschools is constantly emphasizing TRUST as a huge component in unschooling. trusting that the child will learn what he needs to learn when he needs to learn it. even if that means being excruciatingly patient. :/<br><br>
i'm going to answer more on the original thread, because there are SOOO many things that have been brought up over there; not all of which have been as comforting as your reply, WCM. thanks. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
and yes, i am def enjoying the support here on MDC. where else can you get 25 thoughtful responses in the 24 hours? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> i've been a member for 3 years but never really reached out for help before (mainly lurked).
 

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Just have to say, resisting is what kids do! I don't think it's the unschooling, though from your post I think that you do put a lot of pressure on him to be learning what his public school counterparts are, even if it's unconscious on your part, and maybe thats why he's resisting? Just a thought.<br>
My oldest is in public schools. He went from president of the honor society to barely scraping by and even failing several classes throughout high school. In the past, I would have panicked and freaked out, but thanks to my unschooling philosophy, I figured, it's not that important. Seriously. I dropped out of high school at one point yet now I hold a masters degree, which I acquired with a perfect 4.0. When I decided to get serious, I got serious. Him too. He came home with straight A's and B's the entire senior year, including taking credit recovery courses and making up all the classes he failed, he still graduate on the "recommended' schedule. I asked him what happened since last year I was gonna be happy if he just managed to graduate. He said, "I told you I was gonna buckle down my senior year". He did tell me that, I just didn't believe him! All that is just to say, I'm not sure the method of education is the issue. But I do know that my six year old uses words like "difficult" instead of "hard" and "actually" instead of "really" and that my five year old tells me things that make me go "how the heck does he know that?" all the time. So even without workbooks or any structured learning, I know that they ARE learning!! Those impromptu answering questions in the car that you do? I consider that very much our main method of schooling! And they retain it! Something else? I still don't know how many feet are in a yard or how to diagram a sentence cuz I tuned it all out. I passed English with an B or C because I made A's in creative writing and D's in the other stuff, so it averaged out. So I passed the classes, but I promise you that I did not meet all or even most of their learning objectives. In college I took final exams and the next day could not have told you any of the answers, stuff it in your head, regurgitate it for the A, done, immediately forget it all. Because the brain really only retains what it uses on a regular basis and weeds out the rest. That's why no one remembers all the state capitals, even though we made A's on the state capital test in fifth grade. I guess I"m trying to say don't worry so much, he'll learn what he needs when he needs it. I have no idea if I'm making any sense to you or being helpful at all. Work first on your relationship with him. my five year old is the same way, way more work than the other four kids combined, frequently out of control, always in trouble, always the one hitting or making messes for fun. He isn't really fully in control of himself and it IS hard to deal with! I'm not a real structured person myself so it's a challenge. What helps the most is, when things ARENT stressed, when he's being good or even neutral, give lots of attention and hugs and nice words. Otherwise, if all he ever gets is yelled out (and sometimes I feel like all I do with him is yell or correct or tell him no or stop or don't) then he starts to feels unloved. He'll even tell me that I don't love him and I do, I really really do! I am going to try giving him chores, he LOVES doing them and is so proud when he gets praised. Did you know that for every negative interaction a child has with you (even the deserved ones), it takes TEN positive ones to cancel it out? When I remember that, it's easier to hold my temper. When things are calm, I try to stock up on the positive ones!!!\<br><br>
I liked this article: <a href="http://www.network54.com/Realm/Spirited_Kids/dreamers2.htm" target="_blank">http://www.network54.com/Realm/Spiri.../dreamers2.htm</a>
 

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<span style="font-size:xx-small;"><i>Posted via Mobile Device</i></span>
 

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I haven't read through the other thread, but my 2 cents is this. Eight years old is very young and frankly I don't think he'd suffer if you just laid off him completely for a while, even a year. Kids can't resist when there is nothing to resist against. I know that is not possible in all aspects of their lives (brushing teeth, going to a family event they are not interested in) but when it comes to schooly stuff it sure is possible. My DD can be pretty resistant (not to learning but other stuff) and I think it goes hand-in-hand with a burst of independence (she will be 8 in July) I've noticed (not wanting my help when we go to the library, doing more things for herself, etc). So without reading the other thread I'd say just do a year of deschooling (maybe your child didn't go to school ever but it would have the same beneficial effect I think). It sounds like you may also be pretty stressed yourself and perhaps this would take a load off you as well. Honestly, I don't think your son will miss out on a happy future if you just lay off the learning stuff for a while. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 
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