I think I get it, wait maybe, I'm not sure.

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Lizzil32

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Nov 15, 2007, 12:42:46 PM11/15/07
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I think I'm getting a better understanding of where many of you are
coming from. I'm not a radical unschooler, and I can not even fathom
that our current evolution would end up within that realm. Radical
unschooling, even moderate unschooling appears<<that's the operative
word>> in conflict with the principles we value in our home. I think
the closest I'm going to come from both an educational and parenting
perspective is relaxed home education. But my mind isn't completely
closed to this way of thinking, and I believe there to be insight and
wisdom in how you all live.

I apologize for taking things as personally as I did. I know, and you
are correct in admonishing me for forgetting, that this is the public
domain. Though not fully public since you have parameters on your
discussion group and you moderate I'm sure who joins. Nevertheless,
public enough.

I still have trouble, from the outside looking in, seeing how the
ideals you believe in are applied across the board in every
situation. When I look at my children, much of what you say about
your children is true of my own. But then I wonder how you deal with
situations that arise such as when my children got together with a
neighborhood child (who used to live in our house...long story), and
decided it would be fun to yank the pickets from the back fence. Not
only was it distruction of property, but then the yard which backs to
a steep ravine became unsafe for my 2 year old. Should I turn my back
for a few minutes she could be down the incline in no time. Or how
would you all handle it when in just goofing and having fun my
children put a HUGE hole in the wall. My son was pushed backwards off
my daughters bedside and his behind landed in our wall. They thought
they were protecting him with a small mattress on the floor and it's
true he wasn't harmed. But the wall was. We had to pay 400 bucks to a
man just to fix what we are simply not handy enough to fix ourselves.
(it was not a conventional plaster or drywall board, the previous
owner had used some other material (thin material) to wall in that
area. I think it was plaster board which was meant to have been
plastered but just ended up painted. Or perhaps you know how to deal
with sidewalk erosion because when even asked not to spray the water
hose on the fragile ailing sidewalk they persisted on water blast
excavation just to get the particulate out the concrete. Or a
beautifully decorated journal, which I'd hoped would inspire drawing
or writing, but which ended up unbound and strewn from one side of a
room to another. Markers for school projects which are sneaked up to
bedrooms in the middle of the night and left uncapped on brand new
carpeting. I feel like the most hurrendous parent in the world that I
cannot discipline or even help them self-discipline themselves from
such disasters.

There are even simpler things like drinking milk every time they want
a drink because it's available. We've asked them please only drink
milk at meals. It cost more than gasoline, and my kids have less
mileage than my van if you get my drift. LOL I can't afford a huge
dairy appetite. So then what would y'all do in this situation? Would
you not buy the milk? Would you set parameters one when the milk could
be consumed as we've tried to do? Or what? See if one person consumes
a gallon of milk in 2 days, what does the family as a whole do when
the milk is gone? Milk for cereal, milk for the baby, milk for snack
time with cookies (because you can't have cookies and no milk right??
jk) is no longer available. I guess you might ask them to stop, or
consider others, but what if they don't stop or consider others?

This is what my husband and I grappled with last night. We didn't
argue we just sort tried to see how some of what many of you said
would hold up in different situations that have arisen in our family.
What would radical unschooling look like in application in our
household and could we as a couple successfully affect it. I'm not
sure we can. I'm not sure if its because of our personalities and
preferences, or if its our moral belifs, or what. I'm not sure what
hinders us from foreseeing this methodolgy in application over our
lives. How would these principles change the behavior we dislike in
our children and exalt the behavior that we do so enjoy when they
present it.

nellebelle

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Nov 15, 2007, 2:05:04 PM11/15/07
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Drinking "too much" milk?
 
Surely there must be some way to buy enough milk, even if it means doing with less of something else. Can someone link to Pam's essay about scarcity? (economics)
 
My kids vary greatly in food consumption. Sometimes won't drink milk for weeks, then want it constantly for hours, or days, or weeks.
 
We went through 2 boxes of those little oranges (usually just sold around the holidays here) in just a few days. 12yod ate probably 1.5 boxes herself. Should I have told her she was eating too many? That I couldn't afford them? Sadly, dh didn't get as many as he wanted, but that is OK, because we are going to the store today to get more.
 
Once she ate 7 eggs. I had cooked her one. She asked for another. And another. Finally the 7th one satisfied her need. What would have been served had I told her to eat something else instead of more eggs? She obviously needed the protein or something else that eggs have.
 
I have a degree in nutrtion. Not that it makes me THE expert. If anything, my eduation made me realize how little we still understand about human nutrtition. We have pretty good ideas about what the "typical, average" human of a given size, age, and activity level needs, but really no idea of exactly what and how much any given individual should consume on a daily basis. Children who are allowed to eat to satisfaction seem to do a really good job of eating and not eating based on their own body's needs.
 
Mary Ellen

Robin Bentley

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Nov 15, 2007, 2:20:23 PM11/15/07
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Joyce Fetteroll

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Nov 15, 2007, 2:20:53 PM11/15/07
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On Nov 15, 2007, at 12:42 PM, Lizzil32 wrote:

But then I wonder how you deal with

situations that arise such as when my children got together with a

neighborhood child (who used to live in our house...long story), and

decided it would be fun to yank the pickets from the back fence.


You tell them no, without the conventional parent tone of "how could you do something so wrong!". You tell them why. You help them find something better to do.

In a home where children feel their wants are often met with no -- judging by the *children's* perception of whether it's often, not the parents' perception -- no to something unsafe, even if you explain,  will sound and feel like mom once again getting in the way of something fun.

In homes where children know their wants and needs are important, where they feel that mom puts effort into helping them get what they want (not just need!) then "no" has a very different feel to it.

Or how
would you all handle it when in just goofing and having fun my
children put a HUGE hole in the wall.

Cost shouldn't come into reacting to a mistake.

If you were upset, it suggests to your kids that they were destructive on purpose. That they do things deliberately to hurt you because they don't care.

If you accidently brushed an expensive something off a table at a friend's house, how would you feel if she made a point of how expensive that something was and how you obviously don't care about her because you weren't careful with her things? Would you learn your lesson to be more careful? Would you respect her more and feel you'd learned a valuable lesson because of her reaction?

If we treat our kids as though they're always doing the best they can with the knowledge and skills and development they have, they will respond by being the best they can be.

Think about it this way: Think about your own reaction when you've made a mistake. Would you respond better to someone who approached you with the attitude that it was a stupid, idiotic, thoughtless thing to do and that you should know better, or to someone who surveyed the situation and said, "Well, let's figure how to get this mess fixed up"?

Or perhaps you know how to deal
with sidewalk erosion because when even asked not to spray the water
hose on the fragile ailing sidewalk they persisted on water blast
excavation just to get the particulate out the concrete.

How much effort have you put into finding something *else* they can excavate with the hose? It's obviously something that's just so drawing and nothing else matches it and all you're giving them is a barrier between them and it. So of course they're going to find a way around the barrier. (And don't we admire fortitude in the face of obstacles between the hero and what he wants in books and movies? Do we *want* people to give up something they want as soon as someone says "No"?)

Stones on the driveway to push off? A pile of dirt to whittle away? Ask them. See what they come up with. Show that you want to help them meet their needs and they'll help you meet your needs as they're developmentally able.

Or a
beautifully decorated journal, which I'd hoped would inspire drawing
or writing

Expectations are a huge bane of relationship building. While I won't say get rid of all expectations, it helps loads to have as few as possible.

If it was something precious to you, you should have kept it safe. If it was a gift, then it needs no strings attached. Expecting them to use it as you envision it, sets them up for failure and you for disappointment.

Markers for school projects which are sneaked up to
bedrooms in the middle of the night and left uncapped on brand new
carpeting.

They have a need that isn't being met if they're risking your displeasure by sneaking. (Sneaking is one of the skills that rules encourage in kids!) Kids *don't* want to be destructive. But sometimes when they're trying to meet a need that no one's helping them with, they end up choosing a solution that has problems. They really don't see the stains. Their kids. Their environment isn't as noticeable to them as it is to you. It will be later (or not!) when they're older but you can't make them notice or care before they're developmentally able to. (Though you can make them miserable as they're growing towards being able to notice!)

A *huge* boon to peaceful parenting is having old stuff in the house! It's nice to have new things, but think of all the negativity that fills the environment while trying to preserve their newness.

If the carpet is already stained, then what will more stains hurt? If it's still okay, get another carpet or some vinyl to cover it from Goodwill or Salvation Army. Something you won't mind if they stain.

I feel like the most hurrendous parent in the world that I
cannot discipline or even help them self-discipline themselves from
such disasters.

It's our responsibility, not theirs, to keep the house the way we want it. That doesn't mean let them have a free for all in the house -- which they won't when they know mom puts great effort into helping them get their needs met -- but it means we let go of some standards and find ways to redirect them. Rather than trying to control them, we control their environment. (For instance, if they like to draw on the walls, we can cover it with butcher paper, or let them draw and paint later. Depends on our circumstances.)

We've asked them please only drink
milk at meals.

Why do they need milk with meals? Why can't they drink whatever you'd have them drink at other times?

If there's no milk for cereal, you can say "Would you like me to mix up some powdered milk or eat something else?" without any punitive tone. It's just how life is at the moment. Real life limitations are great opportunities for kids to practice problem solving. If dad needs milk for his cereal in the morning, put it in a special container.

Can you put the baby's milk in baby bottles and put them at the back of the refrigerator? Does the baby need milk? I don't remember my daughter drinking milk as an infant.

The grasping seeming uncaring attitude of kids (and adults!) goes way down when kids feel their needs are being met. Rather than looking at situations with "Here's the problem and here's how you have to change to make it go away," make them part of the solution. Ask for their advice. Work *with* them rather than against them. Reassess solutions with them. Be their partner in what they're trying to get rather than their adversary.

Joyce

k

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Nov 15, 2007, 3:31:54 PM11/15/07
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That was funny about too much milk. People are always trying to get
ds to drink more. And he's not crazy about it. I'm not either but I
doubt if my opinion has transferred. Might be genetic. But maybe he
just doesn't like it and that's the most we can ascertain for sure
about it. My nephew (blood related I assure you) still drinks almost
nothing else and he's almost 6 feet now.

One idea for children eating or drinking tons of something they want a
lot of at the moment is while you might want to consider avoiding the
backlash associated with verbally offering something else because "too
much milk" alarms and that will surface in your tone, you could still
make sure other options are available and I have used the trick of non
verbally pointing at something different and stopping expectantly for
a second in front of them. Sometimes ds would go for a change and
other times, he just shook his head and continued toward what he had
in mind.

I have witnessed the dozen egg cooked for one phenomenon many times
with ds! It still "cracks" me up. ;)

~Katherine

Priscilla Sanstead

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Nov 15, 2007, 3:54:44 PM11/15/07
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Hi,

I am certainly not equating the nutritional values of
milk and "Swedish Fish" (the gummy-bears in fish
shapes). But, after I bought dd an $8.00 plastic jar
of them and brought it home as "a surpise gift for no
good reason because I was thinking of you", there has
been no more talk from dd of us looking for Swedish
fish every time we go in a store. She had had a need,
and now it's no longer there.

Instead of buying milk for your husband, could you try
buying your children their own personal gallons of
milk and see if that changes anything? Note the subtle
difference in the same thing. "No, this milk is for
dad" vs. "Here's lots of milk I bought just for you",
and quietly label milk for your husband and baby with
no comment. Of course, their bodies may be craving it,
and that's why they drink so much. But the gesture of
you doing the opposite of what you usually do
concerning milk consumption would make a big impact on
them, regardless.

For cheap milk, dh's mother would buy powdered milk
and mix it half and half with fresh milk in extra
cartons she kept onhand, and that cut the cost way
down.

Priscilla

--- k <kath...@gmail.com> wrote:

____________________________________________________________________________________
Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your home page.
http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs

Sandra Dodd

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Nov 15, 2007, 4:12:55 PM11/15/07
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-=-Though not fully public since you have parameters on your
discussion group and you moderate I'm sure who joins. -=-

Did anyone "moderate" your joining? For some lists, one has to write
the listowner to ask for permission, and sometimes they're asked to
explain why they want to join. Not so this list.

Some posts were let through that I knew others were going to jump on,
and one of the moderators (any of them) could have chosen to decline
to send your post on, to save your feelings.

People get angry when their posts are discussed sometimes, but they
get even more angry if a moderator says "You need to read a while
more before you post."

It's not so easy moderating a list like this.

But because others who are reading get chances to clarify their own
thoughts when the discussion gets heated, it's worth the risk sometimes.

-=-I still have trouble, from the outside looking in, seeing how the


ideals you believe in are applied across the board in every

situation. -=-

If people are living by rule, it's nearly impossible to tell what it
would look like to live by principles.

Once one is living by principles, it's nearly impossible to make a
move that's contrary to those principles. It doesn't happen
overnight, but it's much different than just changing from one set of
rules to another.

-=-There are even simpler things like drinking milk every time they want


a drink because it's available. We've asked them please only drink
milk at meals. It cost more than gasoline, and my kids have less

mileage than my van if you get my drift. LOL -=-

Try not to laugh out loud at your children in this forum. It never
goes over well.
Comparing them to a vehicle is not the best move either.

There are worse things than wanting to drink milk. There are more
expensive things than milk (fencing, walls, painting walls, repairing
sidewalks). But your children are worth that. Don't budget against
your children. Budget FOR your children.

-=- I'm not sure we can. I'm not sure if its because of our
personalities and
preferences, or if its our moral belifs, or what.-=-

I doubt that your moral beliefs are more lofty than mine or of others
here. Perhaps you see moral beliefs in terms of rules and not
principles, though, too.

-=- I'm not sure what


hinders us from foreseeing this methodolgy in application over our

lives.-=-


It's very difficult to understand unschooling at first.

-=-How would these principles change the behavior we dislike in


our children and exalt the behavior that we do so enjoy when they

present it.-=-

"Exalt" is a Christian buzzword. If your stumbling block involves
freedom or respect for children, if it seems a temptation to sloth
and sin to give children choices, then you might not be able to
unschool.

Nobody loses a commission here if you don't unschool. We're just
trying to help you for absolutely free, to be nice, to make the world
a more peaceful place.

If your priorities lean toward salvation and you've ever once in
these discussions thought "eek, humanists," then unschooling would be
difficult for you.

Sandra


visser

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Nov 15, 2007, 1:39:02 PM11/15/07
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Hi, I admit to opening my email after days of neglect and looking at the
latest, so any history this email has, hasn't been read yet by me, but this
one did tempt me a brief reply.
I am in the situation where I was once a very very rules orientated parent,
fairly controlling, not in what I saw as a negative way at the time, just
definitely a parent led...I'm the boss, this is what children are meant to
do sort of attitude.
My parenting has changed so much over the last few years but initially I had
questions like you and what I have found is this. (worded for your
experiences but mapping mine)
Respecting your children and giving them choices etc MAY end up with holes
in walls, all the milk drunk and the concrete all messed up....but your
current parenting has ended up with this also...rules and control haven't
avoided mistakes or created perfectly well behaved children.
I have found the parenting discussed on this email group does not cause the
kind of anarchy you fear....maybe at first, as it takes a little bit for the
children to trust you if you are like me and change your parenting
style...they test..but just and the point where I was ready to go back to my
old ways as a result of the chaos and lack of control I had....they
transformed. Not into perfect angels but I saw that they were more inclined
to respect me...our house, the food in the fridge and my opinions when I
respected them, and their right to choose for themselves. I still let them
know how it is.."If you drink all the milk, there will be none for us and I
really don't want to have to spend more money on it" and to be honest my
children probably wouldn't drink the milk now, they don't feel the need to
be all out for themselves anymore as their needs are met so often...they
seem to have gotten more generous as a result, but if they then drank the
milk I would just need to question what about my childs world is causing
them to not consider the others in the house. Children do want to please, I
find the more I please them, the more respected they feel the more they want
to please me...why would they drink all the milk?
there are many times when my needs are not met or they do things that make
me feel irritated, but actually less, definitely not more so (as you may
mistakenly think) than when we had 1000 rules. I do need to repeat though,
the transition stage was a little hairy.
My goal, and I think we are pretty much there)is to have them trust me to
say yes enough that when I say no (don't run on the road sort of no) they
know it really is in their best interest as I am on their side not out to
make them be something that looks good, just out to keep them alive and
happy.
I hope this makes some sense.
Sam
Acceptable use of my email address.
http://www.mcwhinnie.com/acceptable_use.txt

Sandra Dodd

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Nov 15, 2007, 4:22:09 PM11/15/07
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-=-Markers for school projects which are sneaked up to

bedrooms in the middle of the night and left uncapped on brand new
carpeting.-=-

This could never, ever happen at our house for three reasons:

Kids don't need to sneak, there are no school projects, and the only
time we put new carpet in a kid's room it was motley brown.

The hurdles you have are of your own creation.

Sandra

Sandra Dodd

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Nov 15, 2007, 4:26:22 PM11/15/07
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-=-For cheap milk, dh's mother would buy powdered milk

and mix it half and half with fresh milk in extra
cartons she kept onhand, and that cut the cost way
down.
-=-

Since milk has been compare to gasoline already, let's go with that
for a moment.

You could make cheap gasoline by mixing something in with it too, but
is it good for the car?

My brother in law ended up legally separated and in another state and
his sons (about Kirby/Marty ages) don't know him well and don't like
him.

One thing he insisted on before his wife decided she would just as
soon have him in another state is buying milk when it was on sale and
freezing it, and drinking the thawed milk.

I've always been a big milk drinker, and neither powdered milk nor
defrosted formerly frozen milk is as good as fresh milk. Skim milk
isn't as good as whole milk.

Those tricks will save money, but will also discourage kids from
wanting milk (or liking their parents, in some cases).

Milk has always been more expensive than gasoline. It's more than
salt, and less than gold. So what?

It's not a good comparison.

Sandra

Robyn L. Coburn

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Nov 15, 2007, 3:34:44 PM11/15/07
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<<<<< > I still have trouble, from the outside looking in, seeing how the
> ideals you believe in are applied across the board in every
> situation. When I look at my children, much of what you say about
> your children is true of my own. But then I wonder how you deal with
> situations that arise >>>>

What I do, and many do, is just what you have done with this post. I post
about the real situations. Sometimes I post about what happened, sometimes
about ongoing issues. (Also I check the archives if I'm going through
something that seems similar to what has been mentioned recently.)

Usually people respond with how they applied the principles in a similar
situation, which in action is making choices that turn towards, or take
steps towards, Unschooling. For me the phrase "towards Unschooling" is
shorthand for all the choices that move us towards the kind of family
centered joyous life that we *want* to live. So when I ask myself "is this
action moving towards Unschooling" I really mean is it towards happiness,
ease, comfort, trust, communication, understanding, jubilation, kindness, my
ethics and what I believe is right.

One of the things that happens is that the assumptions we live by become
different from those of conventional parents. The examined and mindful
assumptions that I live by include ideas like "all knowledge is connected",
"Jayn learns automatically and constantly", "Jayn is always doing her best
she can with the tools she has available", "Jayn will make better and better
choices when the range of options are wide", "information not directives;
help not punishment", "Jayn reflects my emotional state", "ask Why" and
"unschooling is about making Jayn's life bigger and brighter and more
sparkly (then James and my lives are too)". I make just as many mistakes and
have just as many accidents, like dropping things, as Jayn. I don't take her
accidentally breaking something as a personal affront or as something
intentional. (That is a whole different energy!)

Trust goes both ways. Children won't have the need to sneak stuff if they
can trust you to do your real best to help them meet their needs, even if
the need is something that superficially seems destructive.

The issues that are mentioned here are broadly in the area of problem
behavior situations. Our dd is just 8, and there are still times when both
she and dh and I are challenged by her behavior.

In talking things over with Jayn, what I am never asking is "am I teaching
Jayn something". I find if I am asking (or having a conversation with dh)
along the lines of is Jayn learning something negative if I respond to her
behavior in any particular way, it usually means that I am lost. This is an
interesting idea. That if I am worried about her learning that she can "get
away with rudeness" for example, or "that she can treat people a certain
way", I am on a "mindset slide" towards conventional, even punitive,
parenting.

What is better is if I bypass the question of what is she learning and just
assume that she is learning something. This is OK for us since we are past
any kinds of questions about whether children learn just as well through
Unschooling; we are totally convinced and committed to Unschooling as a
lifelong paradigm.

What is better is if I first look around to what has just been happening -
is it the end of a long day and she needs to process, have I been focussed
elsewhere, is she feeling bad about something that happened between her and
a friend and hasn't been able to express it yet. Her stress cup might need
to be emptied with some out pourings.

If something has happened that has been what could be labelled "destructive"
(eg breaking some plants) I tend to assume that she just wasn't thinking, or
got caught up in something, or that she truly is too young to appreciate the
wider consequences. It is important not to over react to things as if they
were an indication of a lifelong character defect. Usually it really is just
the excitement of the moment. If poor outcomes happen repeatedly in the
presence of any particular visitor, my first answer is to maintain a closer,
more visible presence. That way if the plan sounds dubious, I can suggest
something else. I try to be seen as the facilitator regardless of who is
there.

If you are serious in asking "what would you have done" in something similar
to the several situations you mention, we can certainly answer that with our
different ideas, as Joyce has. What is worthwhile remembering is that the
answers won't be framed along the lines of "...in order to prevent this from
happening again" or with the mindset that this is how we express our
disapproval.

<<<< They thought
> they were protecting him with a small mattress on the floor >>>>

How wonderful that they put some thought into protecting him! This shows
they had fine intentions.

<<<<< Markers for school projects which are sneaked up to
> bedrooms in the middle of the night and left uncapped on brand new
> carpeting. >>>>

OK - no more school projects - there are way better uses for markers. ;)

If Jayn were "sneaking" then that would be a sign to me that she doesn't
trust me, and probably that the restriction (do we have any? I'd have to ask
her what they are) is not reasonable in her opinion. Her opinion counts too!
More than counts, often is the most important factor. We'd find a way around
my/dh's concerns.

I bought a very (very) cheap rug from Ralphs (like Krogers) to put as a
reasonably pretty (traditional pattern) drop cloth under our craft area. It
is slowly getting wrecked and it is *great* not to care. The antique persian
rug we inherited is in storage until Jayn is older. Ikea has inexpensive
rugs. The internet has lots of places where instructions for hand painted
floor cloths exist - what a great project for the kid's own rooms.

There are also other types of markers, such as the Crayola ones that only
work on the special paper. There are markers that are spring loaded instead
of having lids.

<<<<< I feel like the most hurrendous parent in the world that I
> cannot discipline or even help them self-discipline themselves from
> such disasters. >>>

It really helps if you can stop seeing these things as being disasters. I
know they may feel like cataclysms in the moment, but really they are not.
They might be a nuisance, or a drag, or a bit of money, but as you noted
no-one was hurt, and you have the opportunity to take from these events some
new knowledge about what inpires and excites your children.

It sounds awful, but whenever I get tempted to start focussing on the parts
of my life that are problems and get into a spiral of negativity, it helps
me to remember those worse off than I am - if I am tired, I think if women
in the concentration camps or women in Africa walking miles for a bucket of
water which they then have to carry home. When I get fed up with doing
things for my family, I think of those people who have lost children to
illness or accident, and the people who have lost spouses, and remember that
I still have the wonderful opportunity to give them the gifts of my time and
effort and these little things I can do for them, like reorganize Jayn's
markers by color and type into a new container that is easier for her use.

<<<<> There are even simpler things like drinking milk every time they want
> a drink because it's available. We've asked them please only drink
> milk at meals. It cost more than gasoline, and my kids have less
> mileage than my van if you get my drift. LOL I can't afford a huge
> dairy appetite. So then what would y'all do in this situation? Would
> you not buy the milk?>>>

I would buy more milk.

I found that I need to buy three cartons at once every few days. Then we
rarely run out.

What you have done here is create an arbitrary response to a real issue. The
only way for food not to have an emotional association (that enhances the
value of the scarce) is free access and plenty of choices. I would bet that
they are drinking more milk *because* it is restricted and controlled.
Really all that drinking milk with a meal will do is prevent the person from
being able to tell when they have eaten enough to feel satisfied. I like
Joyce's suggestions. What are you buying that the kids would agree to forgo
or have less of in order to direct those funds towards more milk?

<<<< I guess you might ask them to stop, or
> consider others, but what if they don't stop or consider others? >>>>

Empathy comes on gradually and is connected to both developmental level and
how much it has been modelled to you - in the form of having your feelings,
needs and expressions honored and valued. The only people who truly don't
have empathy are sociopaths (or they now give it a different disorder name).
I bet your kids show more empathy than you realize (see note about the small
mattress) - but you can't rush the process. I once wrote about empathy
development being like the tide coming in - slowly and with the occasional
really big wave that then recedes. Sometimes I need to remember that image
to let go of my expectations about it.

<<<<<How would these principles change the behavior we dislike in
> our children and exalt the behavior that we do so enjoy when they
> present it. >>>>

I don't think Unschooling is about focussing on changing behavior. Jayn
absorbs our values by osmosis. When I am focussed on changing her behavior
the results are always sticky, icky and unsatisfactory. When I try to
understand what her behavior is telling me about her feelings and needs, the
results are always more closeness - and often very sweet apologies from her.

When I change *myself* and my thinking and attitudes and everything else
that is good follows.

Robyn L. Coburn

k

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Nov 15, 2007, 5:24:51 PM11/15/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
On 11/15/07, Sandra Dodd <San...@sandradodd.com> wrote:

If your priorities lean toward salvation and you've ever once in
these discussions thought "eek, humanists," then unschooling would be
difficult for you.

Sandra
 
 
Unschooling can inspire one to put Christian principles under the microscope and at the end do like I did and say "eek, wrong interpretations," which could make unschooling easier. 
 
Was I missing the point of dearly held principles with a distracted often thoughtless habituation to behaviorialism?  We choose our principles; they don't choose us.  Which means a focus I should have (if I'm to unschool) has to be interpreting/judging laws and principles rather than judging ds or others. Which squares up with one of those Christian principles so often glossed "Judge not that ye be not judged."  The question there might sometimes be what/who are we not to judge that we *are* judging? 
 
Because I came out thinking salvation is supposed to be *for* humans not something used against them, I thought I could afford to learn more mercy and generosity toward others, especially my children.  Unschooling provided a vehicle for living out those thoughts and unschoolers encouraged me to do so. 
 
Unschooling can clarify a lot of what seems to pass for sound principle but is really just being bound by rules that haven't been considered.  And considering what you live by takes a while and some patience.  Of course, with children growing up fast everyday, unschooling says "consider it now; don't wait."
 
~Katherine

 

Lizzil32

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Nov 15, 2007, 5:23:25 PM11/15/07
to UnschoolingDiscussion
The joke about my children was not meant to be derrogatory. It is
just my sense of humor. I can accept that you do not appreciate it
personally, but you may find my posts at times riddled with it.

The milk concern has a root in real worry. My husband and I are both
obese. The children to this point remain healthy and while DS is
overweight he is not obese. This is my stumbling block. Food is my
coping mechanism, and it could well become theirs. I do not chide or
deride them about food choices. Though it may seem so because I
assign rules to food's usage. And it could be that if I'm not careful
my rules could turn them from asking to deceiving.
>
> "Exalt" is a Christian buzzword.
>
It is part of my vernacular. I haven't tried to evangelize or offer
advice from a biblical perspective in keeping with decorum. I think
this would not be the best forum for such a discussion.
>
If your stumbling block involves
> freedom or respect for children, if it seems a temptation to sloth
> and sin to give children choices, then you might not be able to
> unschool.
>
Absolutely not. I've been to a few sites that try to tell me that
unschooling and Christianity are mutually exclusive. They even quote
scripture. But the quoted scripture was often misinterpreted, or
taken out of context. I haven't judged any post from a biblical
standpoint. I am however judging the fruit of your lives. As it
appears that the fruit of your efforts hangs heavy it is a desirable
life to have.
There are those who feel their children will not decide to follow
Jesus if they do not inculcate and innoculate them with the word. I'm
not one who believes that. I feel like I have to live what it means
to be a believer such that they choose to believe because they find my
faith something to be desired and chosen. They go to church with us
on Sundays when we go because they are not yet old enough to stay at
home. They are not made to participate in children's activities unless
they want to. The day will come I'm sure when they will test if we're
willing to let them choose this for themselves or not and we'll have
to buck up and let it be to them to decide. I can't make them have a
relationship with someone they don't want to. We just have to be
available to let them ask the questions they want and need to.

I'm hoping that looking in this direction (unschooling) and living it
that my children will be inspired away from sloth and sin as it were.
Sneaking would be seen as a sin issue, but it is obvious that I have
frustrated DD in her endeavors. So while DD might have done wrong,
it's pretty clear that by not working with her to give her a greater
outlet for her artistic pursuits I'm causing her to seek out what she
needs apart from me. I was her stumbling block. I dont want that to
happen. I want to share that with her. It is one thing I so love that
we have in common.

> Nobody loses a commission here if you don't unschool. We're just
> trying to help you for absolutely free, to be nice, to make the world
> a more peaceful place.
What there wasn't a cover charge? Who was it I gave my credit card
number to??? LOL
That's what I've come here for. I just don't know how to yet.
>
> If your priorities lean toward salvation and you've ever once in
> these discussions thought "eek, humanists," then unschooling would be
> difficult for you.

Salvation for me is a priority, but aside from that I did, and
probably do cringe a bit at times. Not in judgement though. If you
told me to do something I absolutely felt I could not do because of a
religious belief I'd probably disregard it. But insight, and
information like what Mary Ellen had to offer above was terrific. No
matter what ideologic root the advice grew from, it came across as
common sense, and it bears fruit.
>
Liz

Sandra Dodd

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Nov 15, 2007, 5:40:09 PM11/15/07
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-=-The joke about my children was not meant to be derrogatory. It is

just my sense of humor. I can accept that you do not appreciate it
personally, but you may find my posts at times riddled with it.-=-

When you're dismissive of your children it doesn't hurt me and it
doesn't hurt my children.

It hurts you, your children, your view of your children, and the
potential for an optimal relationship with your children.

Watch your language, because then you wlll see thought processes you
might not have seen otherwise.

Watch your thoughts, because without doing that you can't really
learn to choose better reactions.

Sandra


Sandra Dodd

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Nov 15, 2007, 5:41:30 PM11/15/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
-=- Food is my
coping mechanism, and it could well become theirs. -=-

If you raise them as you were raised, won't the chance be greater?

http://sandradodd.com/food
I accidentally erased my bunches-of-grapes background, and haven't
gotten to restoring that folder yet. Sorry.

Sandra

diana jenner

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Nov 15, 2007, 7:14:10 PM11/15/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
This is timely for me... I have BIG emotional scars related to food and am becoming happier, healthier and whole through applying unschooling principles to food with my kids.

On Nov 15, 2007 1:26 PM, Sandra Dodd < San...@sandradodd.com> wrote:

-=-For cheap milk, dh's mother would buy powdered milk
and mix it half and half with fresh milk in extra
cartons she kept onhand, and that cut the cost way
down.
-=-

Disgusting! Just so ya know, I'd rather drink gasoline than powdered milk!  (and tricking kids by calling it *milk* is just plain MEAN) ~ sorry, a flash memory made me want to puke all over again!!
My parents refused to buy milk for us, saying "we drank it" as their excuse. Beginning at about age 10, I would stop off with a friend after school and have cookies and milk at her house. I'd finish off the gallon in the fridge ~ almost every day for maybe 5 years!! I know this caused some angst between the parents at that house, I once heard the mom stick up for me and tell her husband it was more important that I was there and drank their milk than to send me home hungry without it. Fortunately, many, many years later, I moved in down the street from them with my kids (3 & 1, then) and was able to reciprocate with their grandson & actually acknowledge & thank them for their generosity with me as a kid.
 
I've always been a big milk drinker, and neither powdered milk nor
defrosted formerly frozen milk is as good as fresh milk.  Skim milk
isn't as good as whole milk.

Those tricks will save money, but will also discourage kids from
wanting milk (or liking their parents, in some cases).

Milk has always been more expensive than gasoline.  It's more than
salt, and less than gold.  So what?

I've discovered organic milk! OUCH to the pocketbook but YUM to my tummy (without as much of the reaction I get from regular milk) at around $7/gallon it's been a challenge to keep it stocked and yet I always find a way to have enough. Sometimes it means a 1/2 gallon of the regular stuff (I can't drink) in between the gallons of the good stuff.
This is an easy one for me to provide, as the simple gesture of having unlimited milk meant SO much to me as a kid. Being shown that you're more important than a budget or an inconvenience is the greatest gift you can give your kid.
--
~diana :)
xoxoxoxo
hannahbearski.blogspot.com

Lizzil32

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Nov 15, 2007, 6:41:12 PM11/15/07
to UnschoolingDiscussion
Yes, Sam, yes, yes yes. That's it. You get me! Not only do we have
1000 rules, but they change so often. Thanks!!!

I know I've gotta earn back the trust, that'll take a while. But
they're resilient. We'll get there. Thanks.

Lizzil32

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Nov 15, 2007, 6:47:57 PM11/15/07
to UnschoolingDiscussion
Thanks Katherine, I totally dig this view point!

>
> Because I came out thinking salvation is supposed to be *for* humans not
> something used against them, I thought I could afford to learn more mercy
> and generosity toward others, especially my children. Unschooling provided
> a vehicle for living out those thoughts and unschoolers encouraged me to do
> so.
>
>
> ~Katherine

k

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Nov 15, 2007, 7:52:55 PM11/15/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
Diana, I can so relate to your post.  So many people were generous to me when I was growing up and I feel lucky to have learned early that being generous to others last for years and years.  That's so great you could reciprocate!  Wow.  Sometimes I wish those kind people I had in my life years ago were still around, but I can still "reciprocate" (sort of) by sharing with others.  I often think of them and I like to think they see.  I don't think there's any such thing as too many kindnesses.  The movie "Paying It Forward" comes to mind.
 
~Katherine

 

k

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Nov 15, 2007, 8:20:07 PM11/15/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
One of the things that ran me away from religion is the Christian view that rules were more important than people, that things were what mattered.... not you, kid!
 
We have rules, but the purpose of those things should adhere to what's right (principle), not be a statue in the middle of our lives, our homes, our churches, everywhere we look.  It's not the rule that's important.  The principle should make the rule, but sometimes it doesn't.  Unschooling asks me to examine exactly what my rules are affecting and why, to look deeper and go beyond "that's the rule, kid... because I said so."  Principles reflect ways to interact with each other (people), living things (pets and other animals, trees, amoeba) and the world (the home of those living things as well as inanimate things like the elements and so forth).  So that when (not if ... when) the culture, the people, the climate, whatever.... change, the rule(s) should change to reflect the principle(s) needed in the first place.  Right now, the world is in such flux, our values are scrambling to keep up with what's next.  Being flexible and adapting to what is needed.  That's what I'm trying to do. 
 
Here's a thought.  It may resonate with you.  Answering the needs of an infant is one of the principles of attachment parenting, and unschooling has often been described as a way to continue relating in such a close way with our children that we in effect are extending the connectedness we had with our babies as they grow beyond babyhood.  So often, great questions to ask are what need is my child trying to fulfill and how can a parent help.
 
~K~

thef...@aol.com

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Nov 15, 2007, 8:34:09 PM11/15/07
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I agree so much and I have a a thought to offer.  When you give your child control whenever you can, they will be less likely to try to take it.
 
I love your response. I love unschooling too.

Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail!

alyson page

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Nov 15, 2007, 10:46:01 PM11/15/07
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I so agree.
People, including my husband a lot of the time, think I "cater" to my 6 kids too much. When they were babies, I let them do the leading. Family would wonder why they were still nursing at age 2, or how I could let the 2 1/2 year old help me paint the kitchen. (He's the handiest, most self sufficient, wonderfully unselfish one of the bunch at 18 now!)
It is so true about rules. I think they work with so many things, but generally not with children. We've unschooled on and off for years. Right now my 16 yr. old is home, he's been home since 2nd grade. He was the one whom the teacher accused me of abusing ( he had too many absences) and child protective knocked on my door years ago and investigated me.  Unfounded, of course. The oldest, 23, who did go back and get his high school diploma, is just getting into community college. He loves biology. They are all late bloomers, like their mom. But that just means they develop at their own pace. My middle schooler tried for two years to do school, he has tons of friends, but after a few weeks, his spirit is crushed and he's home again.  The 18 yr. old is trying to get a car on the road (don't ask me about boys and car insurance!) so he can get a job and attend daily GED prep classes in our school district. My two youngest ( there's one girl in there) have not homeschooled yet, they're in 3rd and 5th grade. They realize how absurd school is, but for now, they can handle it. 
It's getting difficult because I work (2 jobs now) and we live in a highly regulated state. And my husband is not a supporter of homeschooling. Yes, it keeps life quite interesting.
Oh yes, this is the first time I've posted, been reading for a couple months. I originally was interested because my two middle boys just want to play video games all day, and I guess I wanted some input to help me feel a little better about that. And no, they don't find something in the game, and then go grab an atlas and want to learn more about it...they just keep playing as far as I know. But then again, when I want to share some fascinating bit of knowledge I've heard, it seems they roll their eyes, and say, "Yeah, we already know that Mom." Smart kids.
 

Sandra Dodd

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Nov 15, 2007, 11:21:25 PM11/15/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
-=-I originally was interested because my two middle boys just want
to play video games all day, and I guess I wanted some input to help
me feel a little better about that. And no, they don't find something
in the game, and then go grab an atlas and want to learn more about
it...they just keep playing as far as I know.-=-

"Just" can be a damning word.

They want to play video games all day. Must be good ones!
http://sandradodd.com/videogames

They don't need to go to a book to learn when they're playing games.
They're already learning like crazy.

Sandra

Karen Tucker

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Nov 16, 2007, 9:32:33 AM11/16/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
I'm glad to see you're still here and willing to talk more.  That doesn't always happen when the opinions are so different.

I'm thinking about this paragraph:

Why do you say you "cannot" discipline them?  Are you way out-numbered--like are there 7 of them or something?  (I have 3 and sometimes I've felt outnumbered.)  I don't think my kids would have continued pulling pickets out of the fence if I had seen them doing it and asked them to stop and told them what would happen to the 2 yo if she fell down the ravine.  I think hearing the paper in the journal tearing would have clued me in that it was being destroyed and I would have asked why that was happening.  There could have been a really good reason. 

The hole in the wall seems like an accident to me--couldn't have been prevented, really, when they're being really thoughtful about safety by putting a mattress down on the floor.  Surely you heard that noisy jumping around and you could have checked to make sure there weren't other options for what they wanted to do.  Repairing the hole it could have been a learning experience for all of you.  There are books and the internet with thousands of instructions on how to fix drywall.  The tools to do it would have been way less than $400. 

Markers that can't be washed out of the carpet are generally not a good idea with small kids around.  Still, if they really needed the markers at night, why couldn't they have just asked you?  Would they have thought you would say "no" without hearing a good reason why?  (My mom was like that--we just never asked her for anything and did whatever we could get away with.)

I don't really think it's necessary to "discipline" children, either. Just wanted to point that out.  If you're with your kids in the back yard, or in the living room with them or nearby where the jumping was occurring, you can better guide them, and definitely keep your 2 year old from going down the ravine.

Karen

MrsStranahan

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Nov 16, 2007, 9:43:49 AM11/16/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com

>
> Watch your language, because then you wlll see thought processes  you
> might not have seen otherwise.
>

Christine Kane put up an excellent blog post yesterday about this very subject. She's a musician, public speaker, creativity consultant (she teaches creativity to the government!) and a blogger.

http://christinekane.com/blog/watch-your-language/

I'm going to print it out and stick it on my refrigerator.

Lauren


Karen Tucker

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Nov 16, 2007, 9:53:53 AM11/16/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
Diana, this part made me cry.  I was kind of "orphaned" and taken in by a neighbor when I was about that age, and I have never been able to repay them.  What a great kindness was done, and they probably never even knew how important it was.

Karen

Sandra Dodd

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Nov 16, 2007, 10:40:32 AM11/16/07
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-=- http://christinekane.com/blog/watch-your-language/

I'm going to print it out and stick it on my refrigerator.

-=-

Very cool piece of writing.
Holly and I were talking just two days ago about people who say
"hate" and how much better they could feel and think if they heard
themselves and stopped.

-=-use and instead of but.
“But” dismisses the statement before it.-=-

Just yesterday on another list I objected to a statement that was "I
have the utmost respect...but..." And the author thought I was
offended. I was pointing out the discrepancy in the statement.

When people speak without thinking, they're speaking thoughtlessly.
Very literally so.

When people write without thinking, they're writing thoughtlessly.
No sense arguing about that. It's just better to work on being
thoughtful.

Sandra

Kathleen McKernan

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Nov 16, 2007, 10:46:52 AM11/16/07
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Two things I wanted to say. First, my son did put a hole in the wall
of our rental house a couple of years ago. I was not happy, but he
didn't do it on purpose. We fixed it. He was probably more upset with
himself than we were. Active kids are going to make mistakes like that.

Regarding the milk. I have to say that I've found that with bigger
families that it's both harder and more crucial to take steps to
avoid scarcity thinking. I grew up in a family with seven children,
and I have four children myself. I remember how quickly we'd go
through "treats" in my house growing up. Sometimes, with extra-yummy
things, it happens in my house, too. Sometimes, there's competition
over my time as well. I feel like when that starts happening I'm
doing something wrong. It is, frankly, when I've got something else
major going on (right now, for example, we're moving again) and I'm
not giving the kids the attention they need. When I see that kind of
thing happening it's my signal to stop and pay more attention to the
needy ones.

Some things that have helped with the food are a) buying a package
of, say, cookies for each child b) making sure that they know if we
need more, we'll buy more, whether it's of cookies or milk. In my
experience, there's nothing more likely to upset kids and therefore
get them in a hoarding mode is a feeling of lack. (It's not unusual
for kids who have been removed from situations of neglect to hoard
food.) If you feel as though the kids are drinking too much milk, I
would suggest buying a ton of it for a while. Point out how much milk
you have, and that if you run out, you'll buy more. I've also found
that when there's too much parental talk about consideration for
others that children began to feel less treasured themselves. Being
generous with children seems to do a better job of creating generous
children than anything else I've found.

Kathleen
in SoCal

> . Or how
> would you all handle it when in just goofing and having fun my
> children put a HUGE hole in the wall. My son was pushed backwards off

> my daughters bedside and his behind landed in our wall. ...

Laura Endres

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Nov 16, 2007, 3:11:08 PM11/16/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
Sandra,
 
Thank you for continuously compiling all this information!  I almost always follow your links when you post them, even though we have been unschooling for 9 years and growing more radical by the year.  It is an especially useful tool to refer others to, as I did just last week on vacation.  My husband and I took a trip sans kids and stayed at a hotel that was more bed-and-breakfast than hotel (though you wouldn't know it from the outside) and owned by a young couple with a toddler.  They actually live in the hotel and I was fascinated with their interesting lifestyle and struck up a conversation with Brian, the owner.  The conversation eventually turned to unschooling and he was extremely interested, making comments like, "Everyone is trying to convince us that our son needs to be in preschool, but I just see how bright he is and how well he interacts with all sorts of people and I think, he got this way without school so far, so why would he need it now?"  I, of course, was more than happy to give him all sorts of affirmation, unschooling food for thought, and recommended reading.  And which reference came to mind, on the fly, first?  www.sandradodd.com of course.
 
And now, this link - http://sandradodd.com/videogames - comes down the pipe, and I click over, get engrossed, immersed, lost in all the valuable, affirming, pro-video game unschooling philosophy, and I send links to my game-designer son about colleges he can attend, and I whop myself upside the head because just today I told my other son he might want to take a break from video gaming to rest his eyes.  Not a horrid suggestion in itself, especially after they get to the squinting bleary-eyed mode, and I didn't *require* he get off, but *I* knew that underneath the request was an ulterior motive, one that still rears its ugly head even when I think I have this whole thing down pat.  And what commenced after he stopped gaming?  About an hour of "I'm bored," when I was busy doing heavy fall cleaning - something I was wanting to do and actually enjoying - and I rolled my eyes at myself for creating this little conundrum where he desired my interaction, when things had been as they should be just before that. 
 
So today, I needed the reminder.  I love serendipity like that!
Laura
 

http://piscesgrrrl.blogspot.com/
http://piscesgrrlmindchatter.blogspot.com/
*~*~*~*~*~*
What does education often do?  It makes a
straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook.  
~Henry David Thoreau
*~*~*~*~*~*
 

Kelli Traaseth

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Nov 16, 2007, 5:03:55 PM11/16/07
to UnschoolingDiscussion
****I originally was interested because my two middle boys just want
to play video games all day, and I guess I wanted some input to help
me feel a little better about that. And no, they don't find something
in the game, and then go grab an atlas and want to learn more about
it...they just keep playing as far as I know.*****

I'm not sure if they boys you're talking about are unschooling but I
just wanted to mention that...

They might not ever go grab an atlas while playing a game, but they
might go look up strategies and walkthroughs. A walkthrough is pretty
much a game atlas. http://www.gamefaqs.com/ is amazing and if they
don't know about it you could share.

If they've been in and out of school and questioned in what they are
doing or if they are learning anything, they might just need to be in
a "vegged" state for a while.

Are they having fun while they're playing? Are they enjoying it?
Certain games might be simple fun, other games might be totally
challenging and intellectually stimulating.

Games can lead to a whole lot of other learning and interests but it
might take a while, or it might just lead to a lot more playing and
maybe a vocation in gaming.

Happy, doing what they like and making a living?? Doesn't sound so bad
to me :)

I tend to put this up whenever people start worrying about gaming.
Excuse it if you've seen it before, but if you haven't checked out the
site, please do.

http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/default.asp

There are tons of articles there to put a worrying mind at ease. A
worrying mind that might wonder if video games are a real way to
learn.




Kelli~

http://ourjoyfullife.blogspot.com/

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." ~Anais Nin

Sandra Dodd

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Nov 16, 2007, 5:09:55 PM11/16/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
-=-They might not ever go grab an atlas while playing a game, but they

might go look up strategies and walkthroughs. A walkthrough is pretty
much a game atlas. http://www.gamefaqs.com/ is amazing and if they
don't know about it you could share.-=-

Kirby learned to read ALL maps from the map of the first Mario
Brothers game.
Kirby learned to read ALL indexes from the index to Nintendo Power
Magazine, which he bought with his own money before he could even
read fluently, and would ask me to help him look things up.
Understanding 15:32 in a magazine index enables one to look things up
in the Bible or Shakespeare or anywhere.

Fifteen years later / today:
Kirby called me a couple of hours ago, while he was walking to work
at his video-game-company job in Austin. He's very happy where he
is, and he had uploaded some photos for an article I'm working on.
He told me he loved me.

it's not an "end result," but it's a life-point filled with data.

Sandra

Priscilla Sanstead

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Nov 17, 2007, 1:13:50 AM11/17/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
Sandra was quoting me about dh's mom and the powdered
milk.

Yes, unfortunately that money-saving trick and others
had a very negative effect on dh's relationship with
his parents.

Priscilla


--- Sandra Dodd <San...@sandradodd.com> wrote:


> -=-For cheap milk, dh's mother would buy powdered
> milk
> and mix it half and half with fresh milk in extra
> cartons she kept onhand, and that cut the cost way

> down...........


........Those tricks will save money, but will also


> discourage kids from
> wanting milk (or liking their parents, in some
> cases).

> Sandra


____________________________________________________________________________________
Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your home page.
http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs

Nicole Willoughby

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Nov 17, 2007, 2:48:33 PM11/17/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
Understanding 15:32 in a magazine index enables one to look things up 
in the Bible or Shakespeare or anywhere.>>>>>>>>>
 
*grin* I r went to public school. Can someone please explain 15:32 to me?
 
Nicole


Be a better sports nut! Let your teams follow you with Yahoo Mobile. Try it now.

Sandra Dodd

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Nov 17, 2007, 3:26:15 PM11/17/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
-=-Understanding 15:32 in a magazine index enables one to look things up  
in the Bible or Shakespeare or anywhere.>>>>>>>>>

 

*grin* I r went to public school. Can someone please explain 15:32 to me?

 -=-



The general name is "citation" or "reference."


The Nintendo Power index shows the issue number and page number, so 15:32 would be Issue #15, page 32.


In traditional/older magazine notation, there might be a volume number (probably the year, probably in Roman Numerals) and then an issue number, and then a page.   I just picked up the nearest magazine, and in the fine print on Page 16 it says OK! Volume 3 Issue No. 37.  We bought it for a photo of Zac Efron, I think.  So that's not very important, but if we needed to cite the source for some reason we could say OK! Vol3 37:19 or something.


For Shakespeare, the notation is the play, the act, the scene and the line number.

It will look like Hamlet III.ii.33  (I just made that up...  Now I'm looking up what I pulled out of the air.... It's part of Hamlet talking to the players.  "neither having the

accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and...")



For the Bible, first they name the book (Genesis, Matthew, whatever) and then the chapter and the verse.  From that comes the phrase "chapter and verse," meaning that someone communicated in solid detail.


Here's part of an article I wrote for people wanting to use early-modern English for purposes of historical re-enactments:


Here are some interesting passages which can be read painlessly and without fear of religious effect. The first number is the chapter, and the second is the verse. There will probably be a list of the books in order in the beginning of the Bible.


For a little more serious reading, try Genesis 27, the entire chapter. It's the story of Jacob and Esau - disguise and intrigue. The chapters following that are good, too (including the mandrake story recommended above, and a genetics lesson).

If you read a more modern version of the Bible you won't get the effect we're after. Language like "And the King said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee" will be changed to "'Keep the money,' the king said to Haman, 'and do with the people as you please.'" (Esther 3:11, chosen at random, first King James and then New International)


Sandra

Heather Woodward

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Nov 17, 2007, 10:17:30 PM11/17/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com

I have something that may be rather funny to add here. My mil is very much
of the "clean plate club" and there have been times in the past when she has
tried to make me see why she is right. Once my daughter asked if she could
try a pickle that she had bought and when she didn't like it and wanted to
spit it out - she proceeded to tell her she couldn't and that it was rude
etc. I told her she could spit it out in the kitchen, discretely- and thus
began many contradictions to her food "rules". Now she has gotten to the
point where she is quiet and leaves them all alone - though she may not
agree with me.

The funny part - her dog!! She has a small dog and she only gives him 1/4
cup of food twice per day. Her vet did prescribe this and all - but he will
grab at any and everything foodlike when they are staying with us. It is a
constant struggle to keep cat food up, door to the litter box closed
(ewww), etc. What does this have to do with food and children...it's like he
is deprived! My dog always has access to his food...not that he wouldn't eat
things that drop on the floor - but he doesn't seem as desperate as her dog.
I think it is the same with children - or people for that matter. If you
feel deprived you are more likely to overeat. Now I understand that with
certain gene types people can have a tendancy toward obesity - and msot of
the food culture we have can lead people more in that direction but for the
most part it is when you feel deprived that you tend to overindulge. Maybe
this is a generalization and looking at dogs and children should be
completely different. I just feel like her food rules are now applied to
her dog - and it is a constant struggle for her.

I do notice that my kids react differently to abundance. For example -
halloween candy...my son will eat it first things in the monring and all day
long until it is gone. My youngest daughter makes a candy "collection" and
she eventually winds up throwing out some of it when we find it months
later. My oldest daughter likes to share hers with all her friends.

I used to get into trouble for eating things like frosting out of the
cupboard - because it was the only thing sweet - or chocolate in the house
but my mother thought it was for cakes not snack. The other day I bought
chocolate chips to make this really good hot chocolate. So we had it two
nights and I had enough for another batch. Well, I came in and found my
daughter eating the chocolate chips - and my immediate thought was 'those
were for something!" - not for eating...well duh - thankfully I thought
better before I said anything. But those old "rules, and ideas" about foods
really are hard to not fall back on.

I will say that I am not perfect in this area. There have been tough
finanical times where I have a hard time with wasting food...and I can
cetainly understand the milk dilemma - but I would rather they be drinking
milk because it is good for them. My husband has very few preferences. One
is limeade and the other cranberry juice...so the kids all percieve this and
tend to never take the last glass of it. They all have certain things they
pick-up at the grocery store and the others for the most part respect that
and don't eat it all on them. I try and stress that we can always get more.
I figure it is just something that comes along with living with a group of
other people....

Heather


----- Original Message -----
From: "Sandra Dodd" <San...@sandradodd.com>
To: <Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2007 5:41 PM
Subject: [UnschoolingDiscussion] Re: I think I get it, wait maybe, I'm not
sure.


>

Lizzil32

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Nov 17, 2007, 10:33:56 PM11/17/07
to UnschoolingDiscussion


I checked out that link http://christinekane.com/blog/watch-your-language/
It was interesting. There's one part where Ms. Kane talks about saying
"I'm great!" when people ask how you are. She says "A disease of the
artist temperament is a belief that we must be authentic at all
costs."

It really isn't just the artist temperment that lends itself to
needing authenticity. Sometimes it's a cultural phenomenon. I also
think its something everyone needs. Perhaps we don't need it with
every stranger, but at some point on an deep personal level we need to
be it with someone. She continues "say 'I'm great'" for yourself
because no one cares whether you are not. So I thought I'd remember
this experience to y'all.

I met a wonderful woman from Hawaii who when I'd ask how she was,
would actually tell me openly exactly how she was. I didn't realize
how little I expected to hear from her in return to my inquiry until
after 15 minutes had passed, and my head was still bobbing in that
"uhmm, yes, yes, ah yea" sort of manor you get from doctors or lawyers
from time to time. She was acting authentically, within the realms of
what was normal within the culture of her youth. Later on during a
discussion class she told me how in Hawaii people dont' ask how you
are doing unless they really want to know. It was a cultural shock
for her to hear "how you doin?" from someone as they passed right
by. I was a bit self-conscious after she'd explained herself but she
was extremely gracious and understanding. She just wanted me to get
the point that I should be as authentic in the question as in the
response.

So to go back to what Sandra said in response to my joke, and someone
else's "just" to watch our words. I was being my authentic self, in
the sense that I expressed myself in a manor fitting the person I am
and the culture I grew up in (which was not always positive, but a
sense of humor helps). And the person who said "just" probably, as
someone else pointed out, did so with out much thought because there
are people who use "just" just like others of us use y'all. I also
understand that words can be damaging; jokes can be demeaning and even
cause permanent damage. I clarified that the joke was not meant in a
derrogatory fashion. That's not where my heart was in saying so. I
also think that because of the tool we are using here to communicate
that something is lost in translation. You cannot hear my intonation,
you cannot hear my emotion. The power of grace and mercy (not just
meant has faith words here--again part of my vernacular), but also in
every day life, makes it possible to not read or hear every word as a
magical rubicon--point of no return. As powerful as words can be, the
right attitude and heart behind the mistake can change how the words
were perceived.

Sandra also said, "Watch your thoughts, because without doing that you
can't really
learn to choose better reactions."

I agree with this in part. Thinking differently can certainly open up
more options for different reactions. Another reason I'm here.
However, changing our thinking doesnt always change the way we act in
word and deed right away. I become authentic in something when my
changed thoughts, change my doings, and when all my actions become so
much a part of who I am, that thinking about it isn't merely all I
do. Which is why I'm interested in what people live here.

So for example I've actually begun to try to speak and do a little
differently even though my thoughts remain in turmoil. The principles
of unschooling haven't really converted to convictions yet. I'm in the
testing phase. Let me see if this action (thought, word, and deed),
has the outcome that everyone desires--balance.

Lizzil32

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Nov 18, 2007, 12:16:35 AM11/18/07
to UnschoolingDiscussion
In response to Karen's post on: 11/16 at 9:32

Well I see it as a discussion. We don't all have to agree on
everything that's being said. And one of the benefits of this format
is that you can go away think on things a little and maybe change a
few things after a bit of time.

The fence issue wasn't a one time episode. The long story is that the
neighbor child used to live in our house. When my MIL bought the house
(we're living here on the interim making the move to MI in 2 weeks) it
was in horrendous shape. She says that she sees potential and in the
last year the place has done a100% about face. It still needs some
work here and there, but its much more pleasant than when we first
walked through. Now they live next door to us renting from the owner
who lives below them. Their DS is always with one of my children when
this fence destruction is happening. Which is making us really wonder
what's happening at the very root of this issue. Is it continued lack
of respect for the property? Or boredom. And if it's boredom why do
they not do these types of things in the NK's yard?

Our typical response has been "WHAT ARE YOU DOING???" I mean if their
thinking was "We're demolishing this fence for you since you said you
were going to replace it anyhow." What could we say but: You're heart
is in the right place, but please for the safety of everyone do not
pull off the pickets until we are really ready to put new in it's
place, right?. The first time the reason was that something went over
the fence and they wanted to retrieve it. So the answer then became
"That is a very deep ravine. Please ask for help if you need
something because if you fell down there trying to get something you
could be hurt by things you cannot see in the underbrush or even just
by the fall itself." But then there was a 2nd time. To which we said.
"DO NOT pull the pickets off the fence no matter what the reason, and
if you do so again you will not be allowed to return the back yard
with neighbor kid again." THEN it happened a 3rd time. And believe you
me, while no one here might approve, you might even be appalled but
that spanker spoon was in hand!!! Once for a 7 and 8 year old should
be enough. They had no respect for property that was not even ours
(belongs to MIL), not only that but my children who said it was "NK's
idea," didn't even try to stop this activity. With the third time
under our belts, and spanker spoon in hand (though we didn't use it--
mercy!) we sent home NK, and DD and DS were not allowed to see the
light from the outside for one week and no NK for 2 weeks. It was on
this third time that my DH finally went to NK's dad and gave him the
run down. They still excavate rocks from the back yard which we're
only half heartedly allowing. (Capital letters for emphais not
yelling)

I agree that children have needs that must be met. I didn't learn
this lesson with the first two kids, but through a book I read I
learned to do it with the last and it has made all the difference in
the world.

There is a difference between a need and a deep desire and a want.
They want to dig in the dirt, because they like to dig in the dirt.
But it is not a NEED. If they do not dig up the rocks from Nana's
yard, or pull the pickets off the fence they will not suffer
malnutrition or psychological disrepair nor will they grow to believe
that I did not love them because I did not let them. Will they need
to expend that energy differently, yes. Did I get out there and help
them find other ways to expend that energy...no. You rightly called
me on that Karen! Mostly this is because I did not attend their
outside play. I saw their break as my break, and I took the
opportunity to play a game on the internet or write on a blog
(painfully honest here). After "school" was over I was in need of a
break, mentally. This is another reason to consider a more relaxed or
even unschooling home education philosphy. If the time I spend with
them is rich in more than just battles over academics, and
frustrations over gripes, but in fun and simple moments then I'm
thinking my mental fatigue will lesson. Maybe it wont lesson, but it
will have been well spent. Like good hard work on something you are
passionate about that took so much energy but the reward just made the
backache sooo worth it. I don't want my passion for them to wane.

My right brain says everything will be different when we get back to
being our own family, in our own space in Michigan. We won't be as
stressed by Maryland woes. We wont just let things lie we'll take
care of them right away. No one will be bored because we'll have so
much to explore. My left brain says "all this--until the newness
wears off, and the snow is 8 feet deep and the sweet new house has
become a prison after 4 months indoors. Right brain says
but..but...but...we'll go outside, and Left brain who knows RB best
says "SUURE! when hades is as cold as Michigan." Right brain says
"It's a new slate, it's a new yard, and here's a list of the all the
fun things I want to do." Left brain says, "You like making lists, but
I don't like using them, and we better buy snow suits." Right brain
says "we can do crafts, and new grocery stores will be an adventure."
Left brain says, "please don't let them cut paper into small bits that
I have to clean up, and we saw those grocery stores they look just
like the ones we visit now." Lest you laugh, my brain really does
have these coversations. You might can guess which side wrote that
one post--the seething post. Actually I think they may have written
that one together. Who's to say. OH GOSH, what do I do if my right
brain is an unschooler and my left brain is a schooler?

Sandra Dodd

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Nov 18, 2007, 12:42:01 AM11/18/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
-=-So to go back to what Sandra said in response to my joke, and someone

else's "just" to watch our words. I was being my authentic self, in
the sense that I expressed myself in a manor fitting the person I am
and the culture I grew up in (which was not always positive, but a
sense of humor helps). And the person who said "just" probably, as
someone else pointed out, did so with out much thought because there
are people who use "just" just like others of us use y'all. I also
understand that words can be damaging; jokes can be demeaning and even
cause permanent damage. I clarified that the joke was not meant in a
derrogatory fashion. That's not where my heart was in saying so. I
also think that because of the tool we are using here to communicate
that something is lost in translation. You cannot hear my intonation,
you cannot hear my emotion. -=-

Too much justification for writing thoughtlessly.

You can't hear my intonation either, but others can because I write
as I speak, and speak as I write.
You can hear my voice here, if if you want to: http://
www.radio4all.net/proginfo.php?id=11724

Some someone's "authentic self" involves not being tactful or
compassionate, that's a problem.
If someone's habitual humor is harmful to their attitude toward
children, that's a problem on this list.

-=- That's not where my heart was in saying so. I


also think that because of the tool we are using here to communicate

that something is lost in translation. -=-

Don't try to use a saw as a hammer.
The tool we're using here can be used very well, but it takes thought
and practice. No one is preventing reflection and proofreading.
It's fine (and would be good) for you to hold a post and edit it
carefully. Those who choose not to shouldn't complain about reactions.

-=- As powerful as words can be, the


right attitude and heart behind the mistake can change how the words

were perceived.-=-

Words can harm children forever. You're very unlikely to traumatize
any of the moms reading here, but we can help you learn not to
traumatize your children, and to think and write more clearly, if you
want.

-=-Sandra also said, "Watch your thoughts, because without doing that

you
can't really learn to choose better reactions."

-=-I agree with this in part.-=-

IN PART?

-=-However, changing our thinking doesnt always change the way we act in
word and deed right away. -=-

So what? Without changing your thinking you can NEVER change the way
you "act in word and deed" ever.

I think perhaps you're confusing quantity of words with quality of
words. Could you please send shorter but more carefully thought out
posts?

-=So for example I've actually begun to try to speak and do a little


differently even though my thoughts remain in turmoil. The principles
of unschooling haven't really converted to convictions yet. I'm in the
testing phase. Let me see if this action (thought, word, and deed),

has the outcome that everyone desires--balance.-=-

It will take long months to years for unschooling to become a
conviction. Don't share all your thoughts with the list, just the
best ones.

Sandra

diana jenner

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Nov 18, 2007, 1:45:07 AM11/18/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
On Nov 17, 2007 9:16 PM, Lizzil32 <lizz...@yahoo.com> wrote:
The fence issue wasn't a one time episode.

If it happened once, and there was reason to believe it would happen again, there must be a *Really  Good* reason there was not ADULT SUPERVISION in the back yard that contained a rickety fence and a deep ravine (*really good=bleeding profusely on the kitchen floor)
 
 And believe you
me, while no one here might approve, you might even be appalled but
that spanker spoon was in hand!!!  

WHOA! I am shaking from reading this... I am carefully choosing my words... not to avoid offending you ~believe me~ merely seeking a way to avoid creating any more anger in you that may possibly be taken out physically on an innocent child's body. You have NO right to threaten or hit any other human being on this planet. ESPECIALLY the little ones. MORE ESPECIALLY the ones you created BY CHOICE. There are a gazillion better ways to deal with children than to hit them, I know I was a threatened & hit child who has recovered into a non-hitting parent. Tough, yeah, but far less of a challenge than it was to still love the parents who hit me. 

Pam, do you still have your list for recovering spankers?
 
Once for a 7 and 8 year old should be enough.

Obviously it wasn't. Adult supervision and redirection probably would have been enough, though.
 
 They had no respect for property that was not even ours
(belongs to MIL), not only that but my children who said it was "NK's
idea," didn't even try to stop this activity.

Making 7 & 8 year olds responsible for a neighbor kid's behavior? To the point their punished with physical harm??
 
 With the third time
under our belts, and spanker spoon in hand (though we didn't use it--
mercy!)

Mercy on those babies. Mercy on your future relationship. No mercy for you. Big People who hit Little People should know better. Period.
 
we sent home NK, and DD and DS were not allowed to see the
light from the outside for one week and no NK for 2 weeks.

And besides learning that you were all sorts of unmentionable names, that you wouldn't listen to what their *needs* are, that you're just mean, what else did they learn? (all the things that ran thru my head when I was threatened and not respected nor listened to!)
 
I agree that children have needs that must be met.  I didn't learn
this lesson with the first two kids, but through a book I read I
learned to do it with the last and it has made all the difference in
the world.

It's not too late to begin meeting the needs of #1 & #2 RIGHT NOW!!!
If #3 is the only one with met needs, what kind of relationship are you setting up for them to have with one another? That path seems to be leading straight for anger and resentment.
 
There is a difference between a need and a deep desire and a want.

The only person who can distinguish between them is the person who has the want/need/deep desire ALONE. From the outside, especially from the mama, all should be viewed as NEED until corrected by the needer.
 
They want to dig in the dirt, because they like to dig in the dirt.
But it is not a NEED.  If they do not dig up the rocks from Nana's
yard, or pull the pickets off the fence they will not suffer
malnutrition or psychological disrepair nor will they grow to believe
that I did not love them because I did not let them.

If Super Cool Boyfriend viewed my NEED for coffee in the morning as less than real, he sure wouldn't be around very long. A mother, from whom there is little/no escape for a 7 or 8 year old, would be most loved and trusted and honored by being the ONE person in the whole wide world who never, ever belittles the needs of her babies. And yes a human being with so few years life experience is still a baby.
They've got a NEED to excavate. You now have a NEED to find a way for them to do it. win/win IS possible here, I promise!
 
  Like good hard work on something you are
passionate about that took so much energy but the reward just made the
backache sooo worth it. I don't want my passion for them to wane.

Unschooling is *more* work than you're doing right now. It is *more* involvement with your children. It involves *more* attention to what's going on. It happens to be way more fun and way less frustrating than what you're doing now, it is work, a lot of work. The best kind of work with the best kind of benefits - a great relationship with my kid & *myself*!!
Then again, anyone who has kids thinking it won't be work is deluded :D
 
My right brain says everything will be different when we get back to
being our own family, in our own space in Michigan.

And if you're all hit by a bus before you get there, you will have wasted an awful lot of Nows, waiting for the Laters. Now, Here, they're what you got.
Sandra's said: "If you got one foot in yesterday and the other in tomorrow you're pissing all over today." Don't piss all over your today, it could very well be your last one. Or worse, *their* last one and you'll be carrying an awful lot of guilt if the last thing you say to your kid is a threat with the spanking spoon or how they really don't need whatever it is they need.
 
 OH GOSH, what do I do if my right
brain is an unschooler and my left brain is a schooler?

Then leave your brain out of it and parent with your heart; remember what it felt like to look into their brand new faces - did you imagine belittling their needs? did you imagine swatting them? did you imagine loving them to pieces the very best you could? Remember that moment.

Robyn L. Coburn

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Nov 18, 2007, 2:19:04 AM11/18/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
<<<<< And believe you
> me, while no one here might approve, you might even be appalled but
> that spanker spoon was in hand>>>>

When you move to MI leave the spoon behind. Bury it in the back yard under
some of those excavated rocks. Toss it into that scary ravine. Make a
ceremony of it.

Before Jayn was born I stated aloud, a verbal commitment, never to spank
her. I have repeated that commitment, out loud and in writing, many times
since.

Because I have taken spanking off the table, taken all punishment off the
table, I must find another way to deal with her behavior. This list and some
of the others are full of better tools for my parenting toolbox.

<<<< There is a difference between a need and a deep desire and a want. >>>

You can choose not to be the arbiter of what is a "need" and what is a
"want". You can allow your children to make that determination for
themselves.

The need might be the basic human need to learn and explore.

Jayn's most central personal need, outside of food, water, cuddles and
sleep, is for her own autonomy. So much of her startling or challenging
behavior makes complete sense when I see it in the light of this core need.
It has taken me close to eight years to understand this about her. Boy do I
feel dumb!

Robyn L. Coburn

Penta

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Nov 18, 2007, 3:17:48 AM11/18/07
to UnschoolingDiscussion


When you give your child control whenever you can, they will be less
likely to try to take it.
>

ahhh...this reminds me of another saying/quote I heard somewhere...

"control and influence are inversely proportional - the less I control
my kids the more I can influence them"

Shonna

Joyce Fetteroll

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Nov 18, 2007, 5:41:21 AM11/18/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com

On Nov 17, 2007, at 10:33 PM, Lizzil32 wrote:

I was being my authentic self, in

the sense that I expressed myself in a manor fitting the person I am

and the culture I grew up in


If you are using your children as a way to release frustration or make yourself or others laugh, those thoughts don't magically disappear with the release of the joke. The thoughts and attitudes are inside of you when you're with them.

There is a shift in how we are with our children if we see them through eyes of compassion as whole, struggling, human beings than if, even subconsciously, we're building up negative feelings about them that come bursting out with other parents who will understand what we're going through.

While it isn't easy to always see them in a positive light, knowing that we don't want to think of them negatively, knowing that we will build better relationships with them if we are fully their partners, it will help us leave behind the behavior that's hindering our relationship.

We are not slaves to our feelings. Often it feels like we are! But when feelings arise that turn us away from making their lives (and our lives!) happier, we can say no to that and yes to something positive that will help.

It's not easy. It's not instantaneous. It takes conscious thought. It's not about stuffing feelings down and being inauthentic. It's about changing how we view life. Which is why the words we use *are* important. If you can *choose* not to think of your children negatively, *choose* to think positively because it will make you all happier, then you will be happier.

You can put messages around your house to remind you. You can think how empty the house would feel if one of the children wasn't there. You can think, what would I do differently if I knew they would die tomorrow. You can hold them and remember the first time you held them. There's lots of techniques that can help you change. One technique that won't help is explaining why you're doing something that isn't helping your family be happier.

However, changing our thinking doesnt always change the way we act in
word and deed right away.

Well, yes. The people who find the list the most valuable, the ones who've stuck around to contribute and build the body of knowledge we have here, are the ones who find it useful to have a clear goal to focus on rather than a pat on the back for how far they've come. They have a clear vision of the type of parent they want to be. And then they work toward that, being a little better each day. There's slippage. No one here isn't human! It's part of the process. But it helps us help ourselves and our kids to see that as a natural part of the process rather than as a failure that we need buoyed up from.

Joyce

Joyce Fetteroll

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Nov 18, 2007, 5:48:24 AM11/18/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com

On Nov 18, 2007, at 1:45 AM, diana jenner wrote:

Pam, do you still have your list for recovering spankers? 

She does:


I also have a few posts that I saved here:


scroll way down on the right to the "No More Spanking" section.

Joyce

Joyce Fetteroll

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Nov 18, 2007, 6:27:45 AM11/18/07
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com

On Nov 18, 2007, at 12:16 AM, Lizzil32 wrote:

The fence issue wasn't a one time episode.


If it's not a one time thing, if a "don't" isn't enough for them to not do it, then you need to be there. You need to be the one helping them find something else to do.

They won't sneak off to do bad things if they see you as a resource who will help them find something even better. The punishment you inflicted, while it might stop them from ripping up the fence again, *will* cause them to sneak off and do things they really want to that they're sure you will stand as a barrier before. If you act as a barrier, they will treat you as a barrier to get around to what they want.

Be their partner and they'll come to you. And they won't rip up fences when you say don't.

All the words you wrote were justifications on why the children need to change. The one who needs to change is you. You are using rules and words as ways to remotely control their actions. It doesn't work. When they have a need, they aren't going to turn to you for help. They're going to try to meet it themselves. Their actions show the results of that.

We have children who aren't yelled at, who aren't punished, who aren't give rules as substitutes for being with them, who aren't ripping up fences when they've been told no twice.

Our kids aren't ripping up fences because they're naturally model kids. They aren't destroying things because they're treated with respect, treated as trustworthy and because they trust us to help them.

There are parents here with some very challenging children. We're not talking about ways of being with kids who only do what we want them to from the get go. We're talking about regular kids who have wants and needs that can be a challenge sometimes. But the more they understand we're working to meet the wants and needs, the more they're willing to help us meet our wants and needs (like keeping fencing intact.)

You're kids aren't monsters. They're kids who are acting like kids do under control. The transition to being their partner *will* be rough! I promise! They will challenge you because they don't trust you. It takes time to regain trust. The answer is being there with them to *help* them get what they want and need.

There is a difference between a need and a deep desire and a want.

We can look inside ourselves and sort them. We can't look inside someone else and do the same.

Think of all the things you want during the day. Imagine not being able to get any of them without help from your husband. How would you feel if he dismissed them all as merely wants, not needs. What if he met them only when it was convenient for him, and sometimes he let you know what a pain in the ass it was for him to meet them? Would you turn your thinking around to say "Oh, well, he's right! They're just wants. I have food and shelter. I have all my needs met. I should be gloriously happy."

When you give according to *your* judgement of how important something is for someone else, you model that behavior for them. So when you tell your kids "I need to go to the store to get something for dinner," you've modeled for them that they can judge your need by their standards and say "No, you don't need to. Figure out something else. We're not helping you get that because it's just a want, not a need."

If we treat needs and wants by the child's judgement of how important they are, we model for them to treat our wants and needs by how important they are to us. (It won't happen instantly. It will happen as they grow and are able. It's much less likely to happen if we judge their wants and needs before meeting them.)

If they do not dig up the rocks from Nana's
yard, or pull the pickets off the fence they will not suffer
malnutrition or psychological disrepair nor will they grow to believe
that I did not love them because I did not let them.

They will grow up to believe you're not their to help them meet their wants and needs though. They will grow up to seek out those who will help them. You can't squash the wants out of by saying no. You can make them *act* as though they don't want it, but it will be a lie.

You can, though, send them seeking elsewhere to get that want met. *Is* that what you want? Right now their wants are pretty simple. If you see the light when they're teens it could very well a horrendously emotional ride for all of you.

My right brain says everything will be different when we get back to
being our own family

If we want for happiness until everything is perfect, we can be waiting a lifetime.

Way quicker way to happiness is finding a way to be happy now in the moment.

You're letting the voices in your head control you. Ask yourself which choice will lead to a better moment for all of you. If you need downtime, don't steal it from your kids. Don't make them responsible for your happiness. They need you now and you need to find ways to meet your own needs that doesn't take from them.

Joyce

Joyce Fetteroll

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Nov 18, 2007, 8:28:45 AM11/18/07
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On Nov 18, 2007, at 6:27 AM, Joyce Fetteroll wrote:

Our kids aren't ripping up fences because they're naturally model kids.

Our kids aren't ripping up fences *not* because they're naturally model kids.

Too many negatives makes it confusing!

I think conventional parents can look at our kids and think "Well, yeah, you can treat them like decent people because they act like decent people. Mine are rude and disobedient. Once they act in ways that deserve respect, I'll treat them with respect."

Doesn't work that way. Respect for who they are comes first. When they feel respected then they can treat others with respect.

Joyce

Karen Tucker

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Nov 18, 2007, 9:19:35 AM11/18/07
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I'm so glad you said this, because I really didn't want to have to say, "Watch your kids!"  That's what I was thinking.  All this "mischief" going on leads me to believe you are not actively engaged with your kids as much as they need.  The fence being dismantled three different times?  Definitely--you are not engaging your kids enough.  They're probably doing it to get your attention.  GIVE it to them!

Karen

k

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Nov 18, 2007, 10:56:18 AM11/18/07
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When I started thinking about what needs really are, it was not easy for me to decide between my *own* wants/desires and my needs.  One of the things that helped so much was getting into attachment parenting which basically said "meet the child's needs" and "when the baby cries, there's a need to fulfill not ignore." 
 
When the child grows older it's tempting (because it can seem very convenient in light of things *I* want to do) to see my child's needs as wants/desires because all along they are growing in competence and independence.  I saw how easy it is to think I'm *done* with it and for the child to have magically matured into a more or less self-sufficient being.  I found my thinking to be rather off base, let's say.  The desire for a mom to have time alone doing what she wants and the desire for a child to investigate things and make decisions on their own must be balanced by the one who has more experience -- the adult.  This is not *more* responsibility; it's the opportunity to see your children as less experienced on a continuum of total dependency toward the other end of total independence (a group with probably zero membership).  I hope you realize that your children lacked the skills to make the proper decisions and are not (as the law would agree) responsible for the picket fiasco. 
 
 
Unschooling is *more* work than you're doing right now. It is *more* involvement with your children. It involves *more* attention to what's going on. It happens to be way more fun and way less frustrating than what you're doing now, it is work, a lot of work. The best kind of work with the best kind of benefits - a great relationship with my kid & *myself*!!
Then again, anyone who has kids thinking it won't be work is deluded :D
 
Right now, what your emails are describing in the relationship between yourself and your children is damage control, which is to say attention occurs post-damage.
 
The reason it seems that unschooling is more work is because it's effortful for an adult to come into the knowledge and acceptance of how to unschool, to think in terms of choices (as opposed to issuance of orders to our little children soldiers whose job it is to simply obey, not think or choose from a range of good options).
 
The doing of unschooling is far less effort than grappling with the concepts of unschooling.  Therein lies our difficulty.  Therein lies a great deal of double-mindedness.  Just begin (like Diana says) now.  Begin to give good ideas for what one could do to meet needs (to know what those are, ask your children and they'll tell you) besides tearing off pickets. 
 
I think it's interesting you should mention rightsided thinking and leftsided thinking in yourself.  Your children have a lot of both and are using it intuitively, untempered by experience.  One of the best illustrations for what issuing orders will get you in the realm of raising children is to rephrase your orders into what children hear, and the younger they are the more this applies.  If I were to say to ds, "don't do x" he would logically hear, in very child-like intuitive fashion, "do x, to find out the y result."  Issuing statements simply causes a person to formulate more questions for investigation.  By giving orders, parent can find that they are fueling a fire they don't want burning unsupervised.  Intuitive thinking is extremely inventive and without experience to guide against dangers as a by-product of experimenting, it can have unintended results. 
 
Basically what your email tells me is that your children are in prime learning mode, that their ability to experiment with your stated orders not to tear off pickets is having unintended results: mom relating to them in unpleasant ways. 
 
So what can you do?  Light your own fire and become curious again about your children's development, their interests.  Do you really know why they are pulling off pickets--- without talking to them about what they wanted in the first place?  An alarmed loud question or emphasis in caps of ""WHAT ARE YOU DOING???"" is not investigative.  It's intimidating.  And the feeling your children get from aggressive contact with you when something potentially damaging occurs can have unintended results too.
 
~K~

k

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Nov 18, 2007, 11:36:07 AM11/18/07
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It helps immediately when we realize that adults can still learn too. 
 
Joyce wrote:
If you can *choose* not to think of your children negatively, *choose* to think positively because it will make you all happier, then you will be happier.
 
Yes. 
 
And if I actually couldn't choose to think in such a way, why would I expect my child to try understand and agree with me?  That would mean the child could possibly be capable of choosing to agree with the parent. 
 
What would make the scenario very weird is to believe that children can choose between obedience or punishment and I can't choose a better way.  Hmm...  No wonder if a parent feels unable to think in negative ways, it seems only possible to think of children as incapable of making decisions, and only capable of hearing commands.
 
We can and are making choices whether we realize it or not.  ALL of us, adults and children.  We can choose to learn or lack the desire for knowledge.  If we say to ourselves that we "can't" choose to think non negatively about children, it is at that moment we lack the desire to think well them.
 
~K~
 
 
 

Ed Wendell

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Nov 18, 2007, 10:01:46 AM11/18/07
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Oh no not Esau !  My dad would teasingly call me Esau and I hated it because he was the hairy one ;)  He didn't call me that because I was hairy, but that Esau is close to Lisa. 
 
He loved us all deeply but didn't always show it in the best / respectful ways IMO.
 
Lisa
 
 
 

For a little more serious reading, try Genesis 27, the entire chapter. It's the story of Jacob and Esau - disguise and intrigue. The chapters following that are good, too (including the mandrake story recommended above, and a genetics lesson).

Sandra

Ed Wendell

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Nov 18, 2007, 10:13:05 AM11/18/07
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 If you feel deprived you are more likely to overeat.
 
 
Darling husband Ed had surgery Friday to repair a badly torn rotator cuff - anyway we were back home by 11:00 and he was starving.  He said it was funny how he was so ravenously hungry and it seemed to be because they said he could not eat - as he does not usually eat until 11:00 ish most days and he is never starving hungry by 11:00.  He also mention that when he goes in for other types of medical tests and they say "do not eat" - then he gets hungry.  Zachariah, our 13 yr old son, said that when he goes to the dentist and they say do not eat for an hour, he immediately gets hungry and that is all he can think about.
 
 
Lisa

d.l...@bresnan.net

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Nov 18, 2007, 11:43:06 AM11/18/07
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***So to go back to what Sandra said in response to my joke, and
someone
else's "just" to watch our words. I was being my authentic self, in
the sense that I expressed myself in a manor fitting the person I am
and the culture I grew up in (which was not always positive, but a
sense of humor helps). And the person who said "just" probably, as
someone else pointed out, did so with out much thought because there
are people who use "just" just like others of us use y'all. ***

When my authentic self isn't the nicest or best self, I can fix
mydumbassself. My authentic self has done some growing to get to
where it is now. My authentic self might have sent my kid to school
when he didn't want to go, or put some lofty environmental or social
"responsibility" before my kids happiness, or pressed my kid to be
something other than his authentic self. The "real me" of twenty four
years ago wouldn't have been the nicest mom.

I had a friend whose authentic self was a mom who screamed at and hit
her kids for years. She did change, but she changed late enough that
when she was dying, one of her worries was that her kids would be
relieved by her absence. She said, "I made their lives so hard my
death might be the thing that finally brings them happiness."

Being authentic when authentic is thoughtless isn't beneficial to
kids. There are better goals for unschooling parents than being
authentic.


Deb Lewis

d.l...@bresnan.net

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Nov 18, 2007, 11:50:37 AM11/18/07
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***Which is making us really wonder
what's happening at the very root of this issue. Is it continued lack
of respect for the property? Or boredom. And if it's boredom why do
they not do these types of things in the NK's yard?***

Maybe you could have asked? "What do you want those boards for?"
Maybe they had a project and that seemed the most convenient source
for building materials. You might have been able to find other
building materials for them.
Maybe they wanted to take something apart? You might have found an
old pallet or fruit box they could whack apart with a hammer.

***The first time the reason was that something went over
the fence and they wanted to retrieve it.***

So, they did have a good reason and weren't being destructive. It
wasn't a "lack of respect for property." They were problem solving.

*** Please ask for help if you need something ***

How would you have retrieved their lost toy? How would you have
gotten past the fence? Would you have climbed down the ravine after a
toy?

***But then there was a 2nd time***

Were they trying to retrieve a lost toy that time too? Is there a
reason they didn't come to you? Did you ask?

***THEN it happened a 3rd time. ***

And this time? Lost toy?

I think it's pretty cool they had the problem solving skills to take
apart the fence, and the high spirits to take on the challenge of the
ravine!
Is there a reason the ravine doesn't seem as dangerous to them as it
does to you? Are you an especially worried mom? I ask because my mom
thought everything was dangerous. Climbing trees was dangerous,
riding bikes was dangerous, "No, you'll get killed," was her usual
answer, and we did ALL of those dangerous things and others besides
that probably really were dangerous and lived to tell the tale so we
knew very early on that she lied or that she didn't have good
judgment. Is it at all possible that the ravine is not the black hole
of death you think it is?<g> I understand your fears for the toddler
but would the toddler be outside much without you anyway? My toddler
would come and go out the wide open back door while I did dishes. But
I could see him and get to him lickety split if he needed me. We
didn't have a fenced yard in those days but we had enough things in
the yard to make it more appealing to a toddler than the back alley or
the street out front.

***while no one here might approve, you might even be appalled but
that spanker spoon was in hand!!! ***

Yes, I'm appalled and I'm glad you didn't use it. I hope you never
threaten a child with a weapon again. I hope you give more thought to
the morality of assaulting another person and especially a person
who's smaller than you.

You've thought a lot during this discussion about how to justify your
choices but it doesn't seem you've thought much about why the kids
made the choices they made. You assumed it was disrespect and
deliberate destruction. I don't see much of the grace and mercy you
wrote about earlier when you consider the motivations of these kids.
Children especially deserve our grace and mercy. They have less
experience than adults have, they have fewer problem solving skills
than adults, they have less information.

Most of the time, nice parents don't have (deliberately) destructive
kids. If you are not deliberately destroying stuff it seems unnatural
you would think your kid would have calculated out the destruction of
the fence for reasons only his destructives mind can understand. I
admit to rushing through this thread - short of time but longing to
respond.<g>

Deb Lewis



Sandra Dodd

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Nov 18, 2007, 12:06:22 PM11/18/07
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-=-I think conventional parents can look at our kids and think "Well, yeah, you can treat them like decent people because they act like decent people. Mine are rude and disobedient. Once they act in ways that deserve respect, I'll treat them with respect."

-=-Doesn't work that way. Respect for who they are comes first. When they feel respected then they can treat others with respect.-=-


At the end of this long post I'll tell why I kept on adding to it.

That's some of what I know about having children who are respected by others and who respect others.

Here's some of what I've just discovered in the past few days, after Marty used his own money to go to Oregon (from New Mexico) to hang out for a few days with several unschooling families he's known for several years:


That last one has a video of him, as does this


Also, on a more direct and personal note that came only to me, my friend Jeff, a father of two boys, one in midschool, and someone I've known well since he was 19 or 20, went on and on the other day about how *NICE* Marty is, how charming, how considerate.  Jeff is Marty's godfather, and in the SCA, he's Marty's teacher in that Marty is a squire to Jeff (Duke Artan MacAilin, for those who would prefer such details.  http://sandradodd.com/artan ), so he knows and sees Marty in ways that I don't.

I hit Marty when he was little.  Not much, but too much.  I shouldn't have; it was stupid of me.  Here's some documentation of one of those times:

Marty was the star of a weeklong junior police academy the Albuquerque Police department hosts in summers for honor students interested in police work, when he was 14.  A friend of ours is a policeman and he and I wrote letters of recommendation for Marty since there were no pieces of paper with high grade point averages for him.  So first, was he an "honor student"?  He plays some video games really well...

Marty was IT all week--very successful, even though he could barely write.  When they took notes on gun safety, he brought his notes home and re-wrote them so they would look better.  I doubt anyone else there re-wrote their notes.

At the closing dinner, I went to thank one of the sergeants who had volunteered his time to do that and to tell him how much Marty enjoyed the week.  Here's a passage from what I wrote right after it happened:

----------------------
[The Police Sergeant] said "You can always tell a kid who comes from a family with a lot of discipline, and rules." 
 
He said Marty was really well behaved and enthusiastic and cooperative.  (I wish I had the exact quotes there; I wish I had VIDEOTAPE.) 
 
I said "We hardly have any rules at our house.  We just tell them to always make the best choice, to be helpful and not hurt people."  (That's maybe 85% close to exact words; I need my audio back!) 
 
He said they had talked about a lot of things like that over the week.  I wanted to make light again, because it was maybe kinda tacky to counter "you can always tell" with "GOTCHA!  Wrong!  CAN'T always tell."  So I said, "Y'know, Monday was really his first day at school of any sort.   It was his first day taking notes or anything like that." 
 
"Oh, right, he's homeschooled, right?" 
 
"Yes." 
 
"Most of the homeschooled kids I've met were not so good at social interactions.  Marty's really confident and outgoing." 
--------------------------------------------

That post could've ended anywhere along there, but I wanted to show a couple of things.  We appreciated Marty, and we have appreciated other people appreciating him.  We have acknowledged his goodness to him and to others.  Here I am doing it again.

In a way we take his good behavior for granted.  But the kids have a friend who was grounded for a whole year in midschool because he got a C on his report card and was usually an honor student.  Grounded for a year for one passing grade.  (I have the thought in my mind that it might've been for a B, not a C, but the kids are asleep and I'll check later.)  Did that make him love his parents more or love good grades more?  He could no longer AT ALL choose to get good grades.  He was doing it because he had no choice.   Even as an honor student who loved school he was made powerless.  He goes to counselling every week too, at the age of 23, so budget that in to what you think you family can afford when you're making decisions about what to say yes or no about to your children.

We could show point for point how the freedom and choices Marty has been given have led to his being the way he is.
In a case of difficult, destructive, sneaky kids I know well, I could show point for point what shaming, rules, punishments and parental disdain led to those things too. 

Sandra




Sandra Dodd

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Nov 18, 2007, 12:18:48 PM11/18/07
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-=-Oh no not Esau !  My dad would teasingly call me Esau and I hated it because he was the hairy one ;)  He didn't call me that because I was hairy, but that Esau is close to Lisa. -=-

Oh my gosh!  
Sorry to have touched that wound.

Esau was also the hard-working, loving and honest one, though, and the one who should have inherited and was cheated by a lying sneaky... (Oh wait... for some odd reason that ends up being the founding of Israel...)

Sometimes it's best to just read Bible verses for the story or the language and not think too hard about it.



Sandra


Sandra Dodd

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Nov 18, 2007, 12:24:24 PM11/18/07