|Smiles and laughter involve safety and trust. Those emotions are good for families, for relationships, and for learning.|
photo by Sandra Dodd
|Every time "have to" comes up in writing, speech or thought, back up two words and see it as a choice, and not a have to.
You don't "have to" do that, but your ability to make choices and to live a life of abundant gratitude will be hampered if you don't.
When pretend violence exists without the other issues (parenting, school, neglect) it just doesn't have the effect that people fear it will.
For kids who are respected and loved, all sorts of aspects of life that they wouldn't want in their lives can be interesting to visit through fantasy. When you know you'd have to give up the things you value in life to have the "fun" of a violent life as well as the real life consequences, why would anyone choose it? It's only the kids who are growing up severely lacking in love, understanding, support, respect that see violence as a means to something better.
If someone is kind, it makes him a kinder person immediately, right then. No one has to endorse or approve it. It's done; it's already happened.
Every bit of peace one adds to a situation adds peace to the world, that moment and forever.
Then comes deschooling and noticing how much of one's thoughts might be school-based and how easy it is for adults to belittle and discount children. That will take a year or so.
After school starts to recede it will be like the stars showing on a clear dark night in the country. They were always there, but you couldn’t see them for the glare of the sun or the city lights. So now you'll start to see that they're not all the same, and there are patterns, and a history, and there's science, mythology, art, and then the moon comes out! And then you hear coyotes and owls and water moving somewhere… what water?
It might be like that, or it might be exactly that. But until you stop doing what you were doing before, you will not see those stars.
After a few years of reveling in natural learning and the richness of the universe, if you or your children decide to take a class it will be an entirely different experience than you would have had when school loomed so large in your vision of the world.
|Some people say "no" before they even think, and then they justify it by all kinds of child-belittling means. You don't have to be one of those people.|
|Some people seem terrified of a monster they have imagined called "Screen Time."
I don't see them trying to put limits on paper time, or cloth time, or time with other people. I've never heard anyone say "That's enough 'imagination time' now."
Get witnesses.That's one reason people join support groups and confess to their friends what they're doing, because you've told somebody what your intention is. You've told them what your problem is and what your intention is and now you have witnesses and for some people that helps. Sometimes it needs to be an imaginary witness, sometimes it needs to be a real witness. But maybe, if it will help you, imagine that the friend that you most want to impress is there and would you do it if they were there.
When I was little I didn't get things, and I was told no a lot, and I still get a thrill from spending money, eating out, getting something new. It's as though something in me broke, when I was little, and a switch is stuck that makes me want something, vaguely. My kids don't have that at all, none of them.
Keith said he wanted them to grow up undamaged, and this might be part of what "undamaged" looks like. They're realistic and not needy.
Luckily for us all, we can see Shakespeare in our own homes, done by professionals, and we can pause or rewind or fast forward, we can eat chocolate chip ice cream or hamburgers (neither of which were known to anyone at The Globe Theatre), sit on soft couches with kids in our laps, have subtitles playing... I love DVDs. And I'm grateful to anyone who has ever made a film of Shakespeare.
Unschooling looks different for everyone and that's why you are having trouble nailing it down. I felt the same when I started. It's nearly impossible to describe because every kid is different and since unschooling is about focusing on your child as an individual, then it's going to be different for everyone.
If I were to say unschooling looks like laying on a quilt at night, looking at the stars and talking about constellations or it looks like taking long car drives just for the sole purpose of having long winded discussions about every single US war in history, there would be 30 people who popped in and said that's not what it looks like at all, because their kids aren't interested in those things.
Unschooling isn't about where or how you learn something, it isn't about doing what everyone else is doing. It's about creating a rich environment for your naturally curious child to learn things that spark their interest. If you can do that, you'll be headed in the right direction. —Rachel Marie
LOTS of parents create stimulating environments and give lots of support for their kids' interests; this is not unique to unschoolers. What makes it unschooling is that unschoolers give up the rest of the schooling and trust that their kids will learn what they need to learn by being immersed in the rich and stimulating environment and with parental support of kids' interests.
|If you don't think before you act, if you don't consider two options, then you haven't made a choice.
If you don't think before you act, you have acted thoughtlessly.
If you get bad advice, and it seems bad, don't take it!
If you get a bad suggestion, and it doesn't seem to be helping, don't do it!
Read a little, try a little, wait a while, watch. If you're going the wrong direction, don't keep going.
Read some, do some. Think. Rest. Watch your child directly and as clearly as you can...
|The books that have helped us with unschooling have been things that amused or intrigued or provided answers to questions. How-to and trivia books have been popular here. Real-life combined with humor makes for easy learning.|
|Did you do something to make a child's life better and richer? Be grateful that you thought to do that, or know how to do that. Did your child look at you with affection? Can you tweak your life enough that those affectionate looks come even more often?|