I’m reading the newly published Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us by Christine Gross-Loh. Just read the chapter “Buy, Buy, Baby”. Well, now I’m inspired and ready to start all over!
And here’s a little article from her:
I keep imagining a kid, maybe 12, 14 —who may be but is not neccesaily my kid in the future— gently smiling contentedly, coasting along on their bicycle, the
sun on their skin and the spring breeze in their hair, as they ride over to
their fellow unschooler friend’s house. For me, this daydream is about
connections that have an ease to them. The kids “get” each other in a way that
kids who aren’t unschooled may not, and these connections are not impeded by
space and time. They are local and immediate. And furthermore, they are
supported by a network of connected families which offer even greater sense of
Do you have unschooler friends? How did you find them? Is there a special connection there?
Ok so the first egg cost $250? What?! But the rest are free! And so are the myriad of lessons learned, knowledge gained, joy and fulfillment had by our kids and ourselves. I knew it was going to be good. But I never predicted how many aspects of our lives it would benefit. It’s incredible.
Recently Phoenix has discovered the word “boring.” While I despise the word, I am thankful for this opportunity to discuss those “boring” times as an opportunity and thus transform her perception of boredom. One of the most valuable things i believe unschooling offers is boredom and the opportunity to be in one’s own head. I think nowadays, most children are just too damn scheduled. Its a reminder to let boredom be and not jump automatically to solving it with a coat of empty calorie digital candy (ie the tv or any screen). What has your child discovered through boredom? Here’s a BBC article about the importance of boredom.
Our cultural emphasis on being “naturally smart”, instead of learning, makes kids lazy. Our cultural discouragement of reporting truth makes the honest child an outcast and ostracized as a “tattle tail”. (Plus see must-read book Nurture Shock‘s chapter on the many ways we actually encourage children to be dishonest.) All this adds up to justification for the untruth of cheating, the lazy path to gain praise in order to feel valued. Not the plan for my child! http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/streams-of-consciousness/2013/04/17/how-to-make-kids-smarterand-ease-existential-terror/
Tantrums. Tantrums. Tantrums. How to turn the inevitable misery into a learning opportunity? How about the chance to turn “no you can’t have it” into yes, we don’t have money today but we can put it on hold until tomorrow and open your piggy bank and count it the money from grandmas birthday gift of $5. Then we can bring the money to buy it tomorrow! Yay! A lesson in delayed gratification that might actually now make sense to her. She is ready. And along the way we are learning counting, saving, responsibility for our own needs and belongings, weighing our options, and appreciation for thoughtful gifts. I see a light at the end of the tunnel of tantrums. But I also see many more challenges coming my way with this new lesson about what money can do, and I’m sure that freedom to choose will bring other frustrations for Phoenix, also. But today’s lesson feels like a tiny step up. I’m looking forward to seeing what Phoenix will do with that money tomorrow. Will it still be the stretchy lizard that is the cutest thing ever, or will money become another cruel limitation?
When they don’t want to go to a class we’ve paid for, when is it too lenient to let them stay home? Will they learn value? Should they be encouraged to go? I remember feeling the pressure and it became no fun anymore. I don’t want to turn her enjoyment into a chore to satisfy my own culturally constructed idea of getting our money’s worth.
2 most extreme places I’ve managed to breastfeed:
On a rock jetty overlooking the Pacific Ocean while fishing
Standing up, surrounded by multicam and knives, in a military supply store
How about you?
Being an INTJ, I continue to analyze the connection between personality type and unschooling. Here is an online discussion. Can you tell us what your type is (free online test here) and your approach to educating your children?
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