maya9

Hello,
Forgive me for this (and for the length) but my mind wants to organize
and make lists in order to understand. So, I found myself this morning
doodling out a list of what I've gleaned from unschooling lists, Joyce's
site, Sandra's site, etc, trying to make sense of it all. What I would
love to do is present my list to y'all and hope you'll tell me where
I've gone astray and/or where there are holes. So, here it is:

Principles of Unschooling

1- Let go and Trust
-Let go of learning, as a focus, a concern, an issue -trust that it
happens
-Let go of control of your child -trust they know what they need
-Some examples: no chores, no bedtimes, no eating controls, no limits on
media

2- Joy and Connection as Primary Goals
-Parent's job (since it isn't the controller of the child) is something
like being the Provider of Joy. When in doubt, go for the option that
offers the most joy
-Family Relationships. Make deposits here, not withdrawals.
Relationships based on respecting needs and interests, empathy and fun
together. Being each others allies not adversaries.

3- Being a Better Person
-Principles over Rules - you must model principles (rather than enforce
rules) therefore you must LIVE them (which makes you a better person).
Some examples: Freedom, Golden Rule, Kindness, Respect
-Staying in the Moment - mindfulness, play, connection, and joy all
happen in the present moment, not the future (worry) nor the past
(fears). Kids are already the masters of this so learn from them.
Childhood is not a preparation for life, it IS life.
-Being someone they want to spend time with

4- Tools for Daily Life
-Create a Rich Environment: strew stuff they might like (but don't be
attached to them liking it)
-Ride the Waves: of interests and passions (yours and theirs), as well
as the flow of the day
-Follow Your Heart: and encourage them to follow theirs.
-Creative Brainstorming: about any situation until everyone's needs can
be met as well as possible

Okay, that's what I've got. Where am I missing the boat? So far this
learning has been so exciting and good for our family. Can't wait to
keep going...
Thank you!
Maya

hmsdragonfly

> So, I found myself this morning
> doodling out a list of what I've gleaned from unschooling lists,
> Joyce's site, Sandra's site, etc, trying to make sense of it all.

I like your list, Maya. Here are a couple of additions:

* Have fun! I can't tell you how many times one of the neighbor kids
has asked us a "Why?" sort of question about our lives and received
the simple and profound answer: "For fun!" It's the best reason of all.

* Examine critically all thoughts and statements that begin with "I
should". They tend to signal society's voices in your head rather than
your own and can usually be discarded completely.

df

Sandra Dodd

--- In UnschoolingDiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "maya9" <maya9@...> wrote:

>-=- Hello,
> Forgive me for this (and for the length) but my mind wants to organize
> and make lists in order to understand. So, I found myself this morning
> doodling out a list of what I've gleaned from unschooling lists, Joyce's
> site, Sandra's site, etc, trying to make sense of it all. What I would
> love to do is present my list to y'all and hope you'll tell me where
> I've gone astray and/or where there are holes. -=-

I liked it!

When I make lists I lose them. Maybe I'll lift yours to my newly-building page for new (and
considering) unschoolers!

I hope at some point it becomes so much a part of the fabric of your lives and yourselves that
making lists would seem superfluous. But some people are natural-born list makers, and
that's good. <g>

Sandra

peacemama45

--- In UnschoolingDiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "Sandra Dodd"
<Sandra@...> wrote:


***Simple but not easy.***

Was that a Lyle quote, and how is he doing? I learned a lot from him.

Alex

Sandra Dodd

On Mar 20, 2006, at 7:44 AM, maya9 wrote:

> Principles of Unschooling
>
> 1- Let go and Trust
> -Let go of learning, as a focus, a concern, an issue -trust that it
> happens
> -Let go of control of your child -trust they know what they need
> -Some examples: no chores, no bedtimes, no eating controls, no
> limits on
> media

I thought of a point someone should have made (and I should have
made, when I looked through these earlier today). It's not good for
a family that's had rules to drop them suddenly. It confuses the
kids, and robs the mom of a hundred chances to go "Hmmm.... Sure!
Why not?" and keeps the kids from those hundred joyous moments.

Better to move toward it somewhat gradually, humorously and merrily
than to just say one day "Eat anything and everything, and never go
to sleep." That's not comfortable.

Sandra

Sandra Dodd

On Mar 22, 2006, at 4:41 PM, peacemama45 wrote:

> ***Simple but not easy.***
>
> Was that a Lyle quote, and how is he doing? I learned a lot from him.


I brought it here from something my friend Frank (not a homeschooling
dad, but a dad) said about something philosophical we were discussing
by phone one day a couple of years ago.

Lyle is doing well! His family moved to a little mining town in
Utah, and he's selling gel stoves here:
http://ventless-gel-fireplace.com/

He had quit a job in beer marketting/advertising/something, to build
decks a couple of years ago. He stepped backwards off a deck and
torqued his back pretty badly. He lived on the couch for a while.
But now he lives in Utah.

He posted a couple of things at unschooling.info last week! (maybe
two weeks, but recently)

For those wondering who the heck "Lyle" is," here are links to a few
little things he wrote:
http://sandradodd.com/lyleperry

He's someone with two teenaged boys who's unschooled them for several
years, and who wrote about unschooling in a unique, happy kind of way.

Sandra

Joyce Fetteroll

Great list :-)

> -Let go of control of your child -trust they know what they need
> -Some examples: no chores, no bedtimes, no eating controls, no
> limits on
> media

I think it might be helpful to write them in terms of what they're
replaced with and that the goal is to help them explore their world
joyfully.

- Assume responsibility for chores and ask for help as you might of a
friend but knowing that no is an acceptable answer.

- Replace *arbitrary* bedtimes with wind down time in the evening.
Help the kids transition to bed when they're tired and help them
become aware of what their bodies are saying. (But how to get in the
idea that they may want to explore staying up all night but that
staying up every night and being grumpy all day for more than a few
days means helping them figure out a balance without imposing rules
again?)

- It's harder to summarize the eating controls since it takes so many
forms: "good" vs "bad" food, nutrition, location, time! Focus on
hunger being the body's signal that it needs food and be their
partner in meeting that need :-) Drop controls on what, where and
when and replace it with nutritious snacks that are as easy to grab
as convenience snacks are. (But how to get in the idea of
brainstorming problem solving: eg, there are more solutions to
drinking grape juice in the living room besides living with stains
and saying no. There are more solutions to dishes left everywhere
besides living with it and saying no. And how to get in the idea that
we need to explore what we think is necessary: everyone sitting down
to dinner is a separate idea from eating when you're hungry.)

- Help them find what they would like to see and avoid what they
won't like. (But how to get in the idea of being their partner in
their explorations so that they are more powerful than the media?
There are more options than letting them pop in a horror movie
because the cover looked cool and saying no that's too scary.)

Joyce
Answers to common unschooling questions:
http://home.earthlink.net/~fetteroll/rejoycing/
Blog of writing prompts for speculative fiction writers:
http://dragonwritingprompts.blogsome.com/

Melissa

<<-Let go of control of your child -trust they know what they need
> -Some examples: no chores, no bedtimes, no eating controls, no
limits on media>>

My goodness, I haven't posted on this list in so long, I can't even
remember when the last time was! A lot has happened which I won't
bore you with but, I read this post this morning and just had to say
something. :)

I suppose I'm responding to this particular quote because food,
bedtime, and TV have always been my hot buttons and I wanted to
share with you some things I've discovered with my daughter (who is
soon to be 5).

I suppose a lot of what I do with my own daughter is because I don't
want her to grow up with the same "hang ups" about food ("you better
eat everything on your plate" which I still struggle with), TV (and
how it rots your brain), and bedtimes (I used to lay awake for hours
because I wasn't tired). My response to ensure my daughter didn't
grow up that way was extreme to most of the people I knew at the
time. I let her tell me when she was hungry (and full), when she
was tired, ect from the day she was born. At the time, I didn't
know that was called "Unschooling" I just knew that it worked for us.

We (my husband, daughter, and I) very rarely eat all together. I
don't like the traditional breakfast and usually eat a sandwhich or
something. My daughter hates to eat when she first wakes up so I
usually end up making her something late morning, when she tells me
she is hungry. Sometimes it eggs and bacon, sometimes it mac and
cheese and a hot dog. :) Since I ate earlier, I'm hungry at
the "normal" lunch time. While I'm making myself something, she'll
usually say "I'm not hungry yet, mommy." So I tell her to just let
me know when she is and we'll get her something. I sometimes have
to ask because she's so busy playing and running around that she
doesn't always remember until she STARVING!! When she does realize
she's hungry, she tells me what she wants, we fix it, she'll take it
to her room or the living room (where ever she happens to be
playing) and eat it on the go. I hate forcing her to sit at the
table and eat everything until her plate is clean. Dinner is
usually when I try to have us all sit down together. However, a lot
of times, my daughter is not hungry so she sits next to her daddy
and shares her day with him. Then she's off and running and will
come to be and tell me when she's ready to eat. My family thinks I
am crazy but, I'm not the one fighting with my kids every night
at "dinner time."

As for the TV, she is like me in that way. I like to have noise on
in the background though a lot of times, I'm paying no attention to
it at all. She has a TV in her room and it's usually on all day.
However, she is not sitting in front of it like a robot. She
watches it when something interesting comes on and doesn't other
times. Again, my family members can't believe I let her have a TV
in her room. "If I let (fill in the blank) have a TV in her room,
all she would do is watch TV all day and night." When I tell them
that's not the case with us, they simply don't believe me.

I've never had a set bedtimes. My daughter used to go to bed late
and get up late. I like to go to bed early and wake up early. When
I was ready for bed, I would say "Ok, mommy is going to lay down."
and I would lay down on the couch while she was still playing. She
would pat me on the head when she was ready for bed and we would go
up together. However, that got old quick because she didn't have me
to play with. She would ask me to play with her and I would
say "No, mommy is tired so I'm not going to play but, you can stay
up and play if you want." These days, she's going to bed earlier at
about 9pm or so but, I suppose her bed times will change as she
does. :)

That's long winded enough for now. :) I hope this helps you in
your journey to Unschooling.

Melissa

Sandra Dodd

On Mar 24, 2006, at 7:03 AM, Melissa wrote:

> Again, my family members can't believe I let her have a TV
> in her room. "If I let (fill in the blank) have a TV in her room,
> all she would do is watch TV all day and night." When I tell them
> that's not the case with us, they simply don't believe me.


My relatives don't dare. <g>

All my kids have TVs in their rooms. No... Holly took hers out when
the VHS player broke, and it's in a corner in the front room now,
unused. She has a computer. So do the other two kids, just since
last year for the younger two.

Hours, whole days go by with those rooms quiet, with one of the kids
in there drawing or listening to music at the most, or playing with
lego while a familiar movie is on, and they'll look up at their
favorite parts, maybe.

Our house is really very peaceful. A house full of "no" can't begin
to be this peaceful.

Sandra

Melissa

<<She has a computer. So do the other two kids, just since last year
for the younger two.>>

Just a funny note on the computer thing. My daughter has started
really getting into playing games online. She goes to the Disney
website and they have games the kids can play to match the TV shows as
well as coloring pages she can print out and color. She told me the
other day that I needed to put Noggin (spelled correctly?) on favoites
so that she can find it easier ("just like Nana does mommy")! Oh my
goodness!! Computers still took up whole rooms when I was her age and
I STILL don't use favorites for my websites! <g>

Melissa

maya9

Thanks you everyone who commented on my list! I envisioned it as a kind
of cheat sheet for myself, something to put on the fridge to keep the
whole picture in mind as often as possible as I digest it all. As a
cheat sheet, I'm leaving the tv/food/chores portion un-fleshed out,
though Joyce's comments on this section are fabulous and true. If this
list were to be used for more general consumption then fleshing out
those points does seem important. I added more FUN (good point!) and
remembered the 'turn have-tos into choose-tos' tool, and also added
BREATHING DEEPLY. I also tried to get a little more of what Joyce was
talking about creative brainstorming-that there are always more options
than the knee-jerk part of me thinks there are... so here is my current
shorthand Essence of Unschooling for the Fridge List...


Principles of Unschooling

1- Let go and Trust
-Let go of learning, as a focus, a concern, an issue -trust that it
happens
-Let go of trying to control your child -trust they know what they need.
Especially look at The Big Five favorite parental control areas: Chores,
Sleep, Food, Media, & Personal Hygiene

2- Primary Goals: Joy, Connection, Fun
-Parent's job (since it isn't the controller of the child) is to be the
Provider of Joy. When in doubt, go for the option that offers the most
joy. Ask "Is this Fun?" and if the answer is no, question doing it.
-Turn 'I have to' into 'I choose to' wherever you notice you aren't
having fun or are sulking, blaming, or being grumpy to yourself or your
family
-Pursue excellent family relationships. Make deposits here, not
withdrawals. Relationships based on respecting everyone's needs and
interests, empathy, and fun together. Be each other's allies not
adversaries.

3- Become a Better Person
-Principles over Rules - you must model principles (rather than enforce
rules) therefore you must LIVE them (which makes you a better person).
Some examples: Freedom, Golden Rule, Kindness, Respect
-Staying in the Moment - mindfulness, play, connection, and joy all
happen in the present moment, not the future (worry) nor the past
(fears). Kids are already the masters of this so learn from them.
Childhood is not a preparation for life, it IS life. BREATHE.
-Be someone they want to spend time with

4- Tools for Daily Life
-Create a Rich Environment: strew stuff they might like (but don't be
attached to them liking it)
-Ride the Waves: of interests and passions (yours and theirs), as well
as the flow of the day
-Follow Your Heart: and encourage them to follow theirs.
-Creative Brainstorming: about any situation until everyone's needs can
be met as well as possible. There is always a third (and fourth and
fifth) option to disaster and saying NO to your child.




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Sandra Dodd

On Mar 24, 2006, at 1:20 PM, maya9 wrote:

> -Let go of trying to control your child -trust they know what they
> need.
> Especially look at The Big Five favorite parental control areas:
> Chores,
> Sleep, Food, Media, & Personal Hygiene


I want to dissect that one a little bit, still. <g>

A three year old probably won't know he needs a toothbrush, or that
there are other flavors of toothpaste, unless his mom helps him. He
might not realize he's hungry, and if it's been a few hours, you
should probably offer something you know he likes, already prepared,
visible and smelling good. If he opts out, at least you'll know he
really wasn't hungry.

A kid who's watching cop dramas because that's all his dad watches
might could use knowing there are lots of choices. <g> He won't know
what his options are, so parents should help them choose from a rich,
broad range. Somehow the wording of your item seems to leave that out.

Maybe you could say "Help them know what they need" (no, that's not
it...) or "Assist instead of control." That's better.

Sandra Dodd

On Mar 24, 2006, at 1:20 PM, maya9 wrote:

> -Follow Your Heart: and encourage them to follow theirs.


Could it be improved with "help them to follow theirs"?
Sometimes help is just encouragement or acknowledgment, but sometimes
it might need to be transportation or procurement or something physical.

Sandra

dana_burdick

Sandra said
> Maybe you could say "Help them know what they need" (no, that's
not
> it...) or "Assist instead of control." That's better.
>

This thread reminded me of a little pretend game I've tried in the
past to help me set aside my worries and live in the moment with my
children. It also reminded me of how much my ego can get in the way
and prevent me from offering the best help.

On occasion I have pretended that I'm a visiting, somewhat eccentric
aunt who just adores her niece and nephew. You know the type.
She's the aunt that shows up on your doorstep unannounced, but you
are still thrilled to see her. She doesn't have any children
herself and isn't particularly up-to-date on `best' parenting
practices. She doesn't care that the children have dirt under their
nails, know their manners, or are reading at `grade' level. For
that matter, she doesn't even notice. She's too busy helping them
build Lego's on the floor. When dinner is announced, she's the one
carrying the kids in on her back making elephant noises. The day
ends and she kisses and hugs them goodbye until the next visit.

This helps me separate myself from my own hang ups and helps me
_assist_ my children without tying my children's behavior/learning
to my own ego. I think when my ego or fear gets wrapped up in it
all, that's when assisting turns into controlling or coercion. An
aunt loves her children-relatives, but is less likely to tie her ego
to them. She can freely bask in their presence and accept and
appreciate them for who they are in the moment. She doesn't worry
about their futures, how they will get be 'successful' adults or
what kind of reflection that will be on her 'aunt-ing' skills. When
I separate myself, then I am freed up to think of all kinds of
things to `help them know what THEY need'. I think more creatively
with the many possibilities that might interest my children – no
strings attached (or ego, in this case). :)

-Dana

maya9

Sandra said:
> -Follow Your Heart: and encourage them to follow theirs.

>Could it be improved with "help them to follow theirs"? Sometimes help
is >just encouragement or acknowledgment, but sometimes
>it might need to be transportation or procurement or something
physical.

Oh, I like this. Very true that it is a hands on help, not just "you
go, girl!"
maya

Krisula Moyer

>>I thought of a point someone should have made (and I should have

made, when I looked through these earlier today). It's not good for

a family that's had rules to drop them suddenly. It confuses the

kids, and robs the mom of a hundred chances to go "Hmmm.... Sure!

Why not?" and keeps the kids from those hundred joyous moments.

Better to move toward it somewhat gradually, humorously and merrily than to
just say one day "Eat anything and everything, and never go to sleep."
That's not comfortable.

Sandra<<

=====================

Yeah, somehow I missed this when I was new to unschooling.

When I finally got to the point of trusting the learning (and my children) I
changed our lifestyle too suddenly to try and resemble the successful
unschoolers I know IRL and online.

I do feel we missed a lot of nice, happy moments that could have been part
of that process. I also think my very wonderful and patient husband would
have been more comfortable with a more gradual transition.

OTOH I still keep finding things about myself and my relationships w/ my
kids that need more tweaking. I thought I'd just jump in with both feet.
And I found we could swim, but it still took a long time for us to be
graceful in the water.

Krisula



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]