Monday, April 20, 2009

The big picture

I hope that I can convey my thoughts in a manner that makes sense.

It makes sense in my head :)

When we talk about unschooling and extending the philosophy into our lives not just in academics some people miss the big picture.

I was recently talking with a homeschool mom with two young children. She always picks my brain and looks to me as her radical unschooling go to girl.

She was among some homeschoolers who were talking about SAT's and getting into college and all of the preparations they had to make. She felt very overwhelmed and uncomfortable.

She realized that she doesn't even have to think about that stuff for several years and she told me that when things like this come up she asks herself *what would Stephanie say*

It's kind of cool but sometimes it makes me feel like I have to really watch what I say.

Luckily she is perceptive and open to my suggestions and then chews on it and makes up her own mind. I like people who think for themselves, those are my kind of people.

She was telling me about a friend of hers that mostly unschools but she has bedtimes and tv limits and eating rules etc. She said you know stuff that doesn't have to do with schooling.

We talked a bit about *bedtimes* and I offered her my perspective and my experience. I have 4 kids, I do know what I'm talking about, I'm not making this up.

We talked about finding our natural rhythms and listening to our body not what time is on the clock. Sure her kids are young and go to bed when told but I talked to her about being open to change as they grow and may express their desire to stay up later.

Just be open to change, discuss everything, don't set anything in stone.

Be your child's partner not their adversary, build a solid foundation of trust and respect while they are young, it will flourish as they grow.

Kids need to have choices, they need to know how to think and make decisions. They won't learn that if someone is constantly telling them what to do, when to do it and how to do it.

In one sense unschooling is just not schooling and if you choose to separate life you are missing the boat.

There are many buzz words, whole life unschooling, radical unschooling, extending the philosophy into all areas of life etc.

It boils down to trust and respect no matter what.

When you get that at a philosophical level then things like bedtime and video games are not an issue.


MamaLou said...

your comments about bedtimes really make sense to open to kids are 3, 5 and 7 and still go to bed sometime between 7:30 and 8:15, and wake up sometime between 6:30 and 7, and if they miss bedtime we suffer (you know pointless endless meltdowns that you can't fix) the next day because they still wake up as usual. As I'm reading to them (I aim for min 30 minutes a night) they often tell me they are tired, put their head on my shoulders and want to get into bed. I didn't know what "no bedtimes" looked like, and couldn't begin to imagine, but you have given me a jumping off open to change...

WomanHonorThyself said...

thanks Steph for the great advice!

Amanda said...

Stephanie, I think as long as you are true to yourself and our beliefs, you shouldn't have to guard what you say. I have learned so much from you over the years, and continue to learn every day. I's ironic, but the two best examples of unschooling that I know personally are both concerned with saying too much, pusing people too much. I don't think you or my friend Amy realize how much you help the rest of us when you share.