Unschooling and Happiness
Colleen Prieto (the mother of Robbie, at right) wrote this to me in private one day, and has consented to have it shared in perpetuity.
Some people are raised by people who are not very nice, and they turn into not very nice people too. But others choose not to go that route, and instead try our best to be nice and to raise the “undamaged children” that you’ve said you and your husband talked about (I love that – undamaged children!).
I do my best to make sure my son is undamaged. I was told when I was a child “you haven’t earned happy yet – talk to me when you’re my age – when you’re my age we’ll talk.”
I don’t think kids should have to earn happy when there’s the opportunity to let them live every day, out in the world (not in a classroom), making their own choices without guilt and shame, enjoying today instead of spending every today preparing for tomorrow as if today’s not good enough and tomorrow’s the only thing that counts.
I wish more people could see that (to me anyway) that’s what unschooling does. It lets kids live. And play. And explore. And enjoy. It lets them live like they don’t need to earn happy.
Well, in my house anyway that’s what unschooling does :-)
Keith said he wanted them to grow up undamaged, and this might be part of what " undamaged" looks like. They're realistic and not needy. ...
Part of the integrity of some of the young adult and teen unschoolers I know comes from their having grown up relatively undamaged. They have a wholeness ...
"We wanted our children to become thoughtful, intelligent, undamaged adults." — Keith Dodd
***My son is Bi-Polar. He cannot handle stress. In fifth grade, my bright child...***
Jenny Cyphers responded:
Lots of kids can't handle stress. This is about school and fitting into school.
I'm sorry you carried that over into unschooling. Labels very often do more
harm than good. Bi-polar is another form of "I'm depressed sometimes and happy
other times". There are some people for whom those feelings are extreme. One
of the very important aspects of unschooling that is solely on the parents, is
to create a happy learning environment. Kids don't learn nearly as well when
they aren't happy. It doesn't mean that every person needs to be happy at every
moment of every day, it means that things that create happy momentum should be
paramount from day to day.
Joy / Rejecting a Pre-Packaged Life
Ideas for Unschooling Parents
Peace for Unschoolers
If going to concerts with friends is something that creates happiness, do more
of that. If staying at home without friends creates unhappiness, do less of
that. If you want to unschool well, make your lives as happy as possible, make
home a happy place, make food and grocery shopping and everything in between
something that is happy.