joylyn

Hi

I wanna send the below to our Educational person for our charter
school. I've just noticed that she keeps harping Janene on "what she
learned this last month" or pointing out when Janene has done something
like add, or read a double digit number or whatever. I don't want her
to do that anymore. Starlene, our old EA, didn't ask questions like
that. She basically just asked Lexie (at this age) what Lexie had been
doing, what she was reading, what projects she'd done, what she was
doing in gymanstics or soccer or whatever. But JoAnne, our new EA, is
asking a lot about "learning" or pointing out that Janene is doing
"Adding" or "Math", etc. Anyway, I need some help being more clear....
can you help?

Here is my rough draft....

JoAnne, I was thinking today after you left that I think I'd like for
you not to ask Janene about what she's learning. Lexie is old enough
and smart enough to understand why we are asking those questions, and
she's very involved in the idea of and immerced in the joy of
unschooling. She knows that we are just writing reports for the school
and that it has nothing to do with what she needs to do as a life long
learned. She probably understands better than I do that this is what we
do so gymnastics is paid.

Janene is not at that point yet (and probably won't be for a few years)
and I think the questions are interfering with the ideas of what I want
Janene to embrace--that learning is something that happens all of the
time, just by living life. I don't want her to start thinking "what
learning did I do today?" or "am I learning something right now." I'm
not really explaining it correctly, or the way I want to explain it,
I'll think more on it and see if I can say it better. I guess that
right now Janene is really wanting to learn to read and is wanting to do
"lessons" to learn to read. She has even said she wants to go to 1st
grade so she can learn to read and then homeschool after that. This
tells me that she has the idea that one can only learn to read if one is
in school. I think that to help her grasp that learning and life are
not seperate and that everything she does helps move her toward reading
and that reading will come for her when it comes and that when that does
that will be the perfect time for her. I just don't want to point out
"learning" to her. If we point out learning then it becomes seperate
from daily life. Let's see if I can explain it. A few months ago
Janene was counting kids in Lexie's line. She said there wer 3 kid in
front of Lexie, and four behind. You asked her how many in all and she
said "3 and 4 and 1 is 8." You then asked if she knew she was adding.
She said she didn't know what adding was, but you told her what she was
doing was learning to add. There will be years enough for Janene to
learn that she was adding numbers. She doesn't need to label that
"learning to add" right now. Right now she needs to enjoy that process.

any ideas?

Joylyn

[email protected]

In a message dated 12/12/03 11:21:35 PM, [email protected] writes:

<< it has nothing to do with what she needs to do as a life long

learned. >>

learner?

<< I just don't want to point out

"learning" to her. If we point out learning then it becomes seperate

from daily life. Let's see if I can explain it. >>

I would break paragraphs before "Let's see..."

<<any ideas?>>

I think it will be helpful to the person you're writing to, but I don't know
if you'll be able to change her thinking sufficiently to save your kids from
the downside of being involved in that program.

What you're concerned about it one of the casualties of school-involvement at
any level.

Sandra

bdel99

Hey Joylyn,

We're new to the whole charter school thing, but I finally seem to be
getting into a good rhythm with our ES. I email her a list of things
that we've done during the month. I try to make it as detailed as
possible so she has very few questions for us when she is actually
here for her visit. This has cut her visits down to 15 minutes,
versus the hour that she used to spend here. I've found that when
I've taken the time to do this, she is less inclined to put Gavin on
the spot and ask him questions. I also try to have something for
Gavin to do (like a favorite movie that I know will suck him right
in...lol) while she's here, so he's not usually sitting next to me
when she visits. She also knows that he doesn't enjoy being quizzed,
and I am quick to tell him that he doesn't have to answer her
questions if he doesn't feel like it. Our ES is brand new, but very
receptive to learning about unschooling and accomodating us even
though we differ greatly from the rest of her families, who all
school-at-home. Oh, and our best visit happened when Gavin and I
stayed up late the night before and he slept in, missing her visit
entirely...lol ;)

Oh, I forgot to ask...is Starlene her advisor? Maybe she could give
your new ES a better idea of unschooling philosophy that could help
her be more effective with her families. Starlene joined a parenting
group that I belong to and as soon as I identified myself as a parent
of the charter school, she emailed me privately saying that any and
all feedback on our ES (be it good or bad) would be greatly
appreciated.

Good Luck!
Brandy

--- In [email protected], joylyn <[email protected]> wrote:
> Hi
>
> I wanna send the below to our Educational person for our charter
> school. I've just noticed that she keeps harping Janene on "what
she
> learned this last month" or pointing out when Janene has done
something
> like add, or read a double digit number or whatever. I don't want
her
> to do that anymore. Starlene, our old EA, didn't ask questions
like
> that. She basically just asked Lexie (at this age) what Lexie had
been
> doing, what she was reading, what projects she'd done, what she was
> doing in gymanstics or soccer or whatever. But JoAnne, our new EA,
is
> asking a lot about "learning" or pointing out that Janene is doing
> "Adding" or "Math", etc. Anyway, I need some help being more
clear....
> can you help?
>

mozafamily

I just really hate to sound "out of sync" but could someone please
explain the rational behind allowing all the computer and TV time
that the kid wants? I think I know but I need a booster shot at this
time - if you can understand. Also what are some of the offerings as
consecquences I could make during the family meeting for hitting or
when they get out 20 different toys and leave them in the "family
area" where we are all suppossed to be able to live (he can get out
and put up whatever he likes in his own room, etc.) Any advise is
appreciated, and yes we are among the many with inches of ice
covered with snow and more snow and more snow coming down with no
hope of leaving the house any time soon.

[email protected]

In a message dated 2/5/04 7:02:18 PM, [email protected] writes:

<< I just really hate to sound "out of sync" but could someone please

explain the rational behind allowing all the computer and TV time

that the kid wants? I think I know but I need a booster shot at this

time - if you can understand. >>

http://sandradodd.com/tv

If you limit things, kids just want them more.
If you wouldn't limit books or Lego-playing time, why would you limit the
other things?
Unless they really have choices they aren't really making choices.

-=-Also what are some of the offerings as

consecquences I could make during the family meeting for hitting or

when they get out 20 different toys and leave them in the "family

area" where we are all suppossed to be able to live (he can get out

and put up whatever he likes in his own room, etc.) -=-

"Offerings of consequences" is gentle-babble for "punishments" and I don't
think punishments are a good way to go.

"Hitting" would need more information to get better advice.
Maybe others need to change their ways so he doesn't feel like hitting.
Maybe he's little and needs help expressing himself.

-=-the "family

area" where we are all suppossed to be able to live -=-

Don't say "we are all..." if you mean "where the adults are..."

If his things can't be in there, then he's just visiting.

But you should help him pick up his toys, and the more cheerfully you do
that, the more cheerfully he will help you.

Sandra

mozafamily

Thank you so much for your reply Sandra! That was what I thought
about the puter & TV but after a solid week of Rescue Heroes & Tonka
I felt a bit weak, as far as a kid who about this time last year I
had someone tell me he was ADD he is doing what he usualy does -
playing the puter games until he can complete every last detail,
along the way memorizing every last line of each character is
saying, he will play until he absolutely has to go to the bathroom
or hunger overtakes him (okey sometimes I sneak him a sandwich at
the desk which I do get a big thanks mom for). I think it is just me
becoming irritated at listening to the same things over and over
again, I need to move on and let him move on when he's ready.
Since I wrote the post I also started my period so I thankfully can
also blame my PMS for some of my feelings and know I think that I
can deal with things again...
As for me walking around the room cheerfully picking up things, I'll
try, perhaps that is the reason he doesn't like to pick things up -
I don't either, LOL! At the store the other day he saw a box on the
floor and immediately picked it up and put it perfectly in it's
proper spot. ?? In the family room he has lots of toys in there all
the time, but I just don't like having them on the floor all the
time because it's hard for people to walk over them, or hurt or
break when people walk on them or the dog could chew on them also,
he has lots many toys to the dog and I'm not sure if he
understands?? He is almost 6 btw. I have made it a point to have
several tables of different heights in the family room to encourage
him to keep things off of the floor, I don't leave my things on the
floor, etc. But I will try your suggestion for the next few weeks
and cheerfully pick up what is left on the floor - should I make it
a point to do this in front of him? Should I say anything or just
let the actions speak for themselves?
Now as far as "offering of consequences" let me ask you what you do
as this is an example of what we do in a family meeting. DS is
brought up for hitting mom because she asked for a turn at the
computer to check her email for a few minutes then he could return
to his game, DS did you hit mom? DS says yes, so we ask him what he
thinks he should do? He says "Say I'm Sorry", okey does Mom accept
the appology? Mom say's Yes, then we ask DS why it's not okey to hit
and he says because it hurts and isn't nice, then we ask if he could
find a better way to express himself next time? He says yes he could
tell Mom she could have a turn after he finishes this level. Okey,
what do you think should happen if you hit mom again? DS says that
he should have to have a time out (which we used to use for
discipline but haven't for more than a year but he still refers to
it) or perhaps he could not play any computer time for an hour. So
we agree that hitting hurt and it's better to use words than hitting
and if it happens again then ds will have to go for an hour without
computer. So in my opinion "going for an hour without computer" is a
consequence that he offered and which we will use if it happens
again. But sometimes he gets somewhere he says he doesn't know what
should happen, like if he leaves his toys on the floor in the living
room, I bring up that the dog might chew on them, but he still
leaves them there, what am I missing???






--- In [email protected], [email protected] wrote:
>
> In a message dated 2/5/04 7:02:18 PM, [email protected] writes:
>
> << I just really hate to sound "out of sync" but could someone
please
>
> explain the rational behind allowing all the computer and TV time
>
> that the kid wants? I think I know but I need a booster shot at
this
>
> time - if you can understand. >>
>
> http://sandradodd.com/tv
>
> If you limit things, kids just want them more.
> If you wouldn't limit books or Lego-playing time, why would you
limit the
> other things?
> Unless they really have choices they aren't really making choices.
>
> -=-Also what are some of the offerings as
>
> consecquences I could make during the family meeting for hitting
or
>
> when they get out 20 different toys and leave them in the "family
>
> area" where we are all suppossed to be able to live (he can get
out
>
> and put up whatever he likes in his own room, etc.) -=-
>
> "Offerings of consequences" is gentle-babble for "punishments" and
I don't
> think punishments are a good way to go.
>
> "Hitting" would need more information to get better advice.
> Maybe others need to change their ways so he doesn't feel like
hitting.
> Maybe he's little and needs help expressing himself.
>
> -=-the "family
>
> area" where we are all suppossed to be able to live -=-
>
> Don't say "we are all..." if you mean "where the adults are..."
>
> If his things can't be in there, then he's just visiting.
>
> But you should help him pick up his toys, and the more cheerfully
you do
> that, the more cheerfully he will help you.
>
> Sandra

Barbara Chase

>I have made it a point to have
>several tables of different heights in the family room to encourage
>him to keep things off of the floor

I have large baskets (sometimes just grocery bags) that I use to quickly
pick up things on the floor when either I can't stand it anymore or someone
is coming over and we need the room. When I have a little more time I can
then go through the baskets and put things away. Some things now belong in
their own baskets, so we can easily just scoop the stuff into it's storage
place quickly when we need to. This makes it really easy to allow the
place to be a mess, but also have it get picked up quickly when needed.

>Now as far as "offering of consequences" let me ask you what you do
>as this is an example of what we do in a family meeting. DS is
>brought up for hitting mom because she asked for a turn

Why isn't this resolved between Mom and DS at the time it occurs? That's
what we do in our family (of 3 - dh, dd, and I.) Sometimes if dd (who is
5) has a problem with her Dad she will tell me and I will help facilitate,
and visa-versa. But, we do it at the time it comes up. Sometimes if I
don't handle it well because of whatever reason (like PMS), I will bring it
up again afterward to say that I'm sorry and to try to come to a mutual
resolution.


>then we ask DS why it's not okey to hit
>and he says because it hurts and isn't nice, then we ask if he could
>find a better way to express himself next time?

Are you asking him these questions because you want to test him to make
sure he knows the right answer?

Sometimes when my dd is having a problem getting along with one of her
friends she will discuss it with me. I usually ask her if she needs some
ideas for new ways of resolving it, and if she says yes then we will
brainstorm together. I will suggest something, she might not like it, but
then she will come up with and idea, then I might expand on it, etc...
Sometimes she just wants to dump her feelings with me and not try to fix
the problem. That's OK too, because I often feel that way as well. But I
don't expect her to answer me in any certain way.


>we agree that hitting hurt and it's better to use words than hitting
>and if it happens again then ds will have to go for an hour without
>computer.

That sounds like a rule... what if it happens and it doesn't hurt you?
Back to my first question - can you resolve it next time it happens in the
moment, without some sort of penalty that he must pay?


ciao
--bc--



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

Fetteroll

on 2/5/04 11:51 PM, mozafamily at [email protected] wrote:

> As for me walking around the room cheerfully picking up things, I'll
> try, perhaps that is the reason he doesn't like to pick things up -
> I don't either, LOL!

I think if you cheerfully pick things up as a way of making him pick up
cheerfully you'll get grumpy pretty quickly.

> should I make it
> a point to do this in front of him? Should I say anything or just
> let the actions speak for themselves?

It has to be honest with no ulterior motives.

I'd clean up when it was convenient for me. If you clean up when he's around
you can ask him for help and he'll get to absorb the process even if he isnt
participating. But I wouldn't do it around him as a way of changing him into
someone who will clean up after himself.

Here's something Dawn Adams wrote on the UnschoolingDiscussion list:

>> Ok, I think I'll share my newly thought of philosophy of housework here. It
>> started when my sister was over and chasing the kids around. I was
>> straightening up the livingroom and had just finished piling up blocks (Big
>> cardboard ones. We have, in all, 10 or eleven different kinds of wood,
>> plastic and cardboard blocks. I feel so wealthy. :) ) when my son (2) ran
>> into the room, saw the blocks and immediatly tore down the pile. I smiled and
>> shook my head. My sister, who'd arrived in time to see this, sternly said,
>> "Harry! Your mother just finished putting those away!" When she said that I
>> felt offended. Didn't she know I only pile those blocks so that Harry can
>> knock them down? And there was the Aha! I looked around the room at the clean
>> living room and realized that was why I did any cleaning.
>>
>> We don't clean up messes to have a clean house. We clean up messes so there
>> is room for more mess!
>>
>> Now I think of cleaning up after my kids as replacing a canvas. I do it with
>> the thought that by giving them room again and a bare floor and organized
>> toys to pick from I'm handing them the tools to write another mess onto our
>> house. It's meant that at the end of a day, or sometimes a few days in a row,
>> I just let the mess stay, because really, it's a work of art or a story.
>> Maybe it isn't finished. Maybe it's too interesting to be gotten rid of so
>> soon. It also clears up my feelings of resentment about doing the bulk of it.
>> I like being the one to reset the house so that we all can live another,
>> different mess the next day.

> At the store the other day he saw a box on the
> floor and immediately picked it up and put it perfectly in it's
> proper spot. ??

Because that's where they belong in the store :-) Organizing and cleaning
can be very satisfying.

But at home toys weren't bought to be stored neatly on the shelves. That's
what nick nacks are for ;-) Their purpose is to be out being played with.

> In the family room he has lots of toys in there all
> the time, but I just don't like having them on the floor all the
> time because it's hard for people to walk over them

You have two people with wants that conflict. So the way you're modeling
that conflicting needs are to be resolved is that the person who is bigger
and stronger gets to make the little person do what the bigger person wants.

> he has lots many toys to the dog and I'm not sure if he
> understands?? He is almost 6 btw.

Maybe. But perhaps between cleaning up and losing toys, losing toys is the
lesser evil.

Up until my daughter was 11/12 cleaning up even a little mess was
overwhelming to her. It would look like she'd be cleaning forever. She
didn't know where to start. She didn't know where to put things, even the
obvious things. She didn't want me to keep telling her what to do next and
didn't want to decide on her own what to do next.

You can fight with him for the next 6 years (or 12 years if he's a late
bloomer ;-). Or you can cheerfully accept that you'll have to be the one
cleaning -- as you accept that you're the one who needs to take
responsibility for meals.

Ask for his help. And be very appreciative that he's interrupted something
that to him is a lot more important to do something for you. Even and
especially if you feel he's doing something trivial or he could have helped
a lot.

Who would you rather help: someone who hovered over you, nagging you for not
doing the job the way they thought it should be done, or someone who asked
you to help and thanked you for what you could do?

> I have made it a point to have
> several tables of different heights in the family room to encourage
> him to keep things off of the floor, I don't leave my things on the
> floor, etc.

Some people eat at the kitchen table. Some people eat in front of the TV.
It's personal preference.

We can model what works for us. But modeling isn't a sneaky way of making
someone do something your way. It's an idea that they can check out to see
if it might work for them. They can take it or leave it if something else
would work better.

For most of my daughter's life she has drawn and eaten sprawled out on the
floor. She even ate lunch sprawled on the kitchen table a few times. I
always used the couch drawing, reading and watching TV and sat "properly" in
a chair to eat. She's now more likely to sit on the couch for drawing and
sits in a chair for eating. Not because she's finally picked up on my model
and is doing it right, but because her body needs different things than it
did before and that's what works better for her now.

Joyce

Fetteroll

on 2/5/04 11:51 PM, mozafamily at [email protected] wrote:

> DS is
> brought up for hitting mom because she asked for a turn at the
> computer to check her email for a few minutes then he could return
> to his game, DS did you hit mom? DS says yes, so we ask him what he
> thinks he should do?

I think this was turned into a way bigger deal than it needed to be.

It was treated as though his reaction were coldly calculated, as though he
sat there poised between "Okay" and hitting mom and chose hitting mom. I
don't think that's the case.

He might know what to do, but doing it isn't as easy. I think of it as like
taking a second piece of cheesecake. I might know that one is enough but do
I as an adult with a lifetime experience of putting knowledge into practice
always stop with one?

He has the knowledge but he also has emotions swirling around in him that he
doesn't know what to do with. (Lots of adults never master that!) He will
eventually be able to become aware of his emotions and stop before he reacts
to them. But it takes time. Patience. And help and understanding from you.

Assume that it's like riding a bike. He may know to keep pedaling and keep
the wheel straight but it takes time for him to master it.

In the above example when he hit you, you could have calmly said "Use words
please."

> So in my opinion "going for an hour without computer" is a
> consequence that he offered and which we will use if it happens
> again.

Even self chosen punishment is punishment. The consequence of consequences
is that he'll avoid hitting someone because he doesn't want to lose computer
time, not because it hurts someone.

Is that what you want him to learn? It's silly to project that into the
future and imagine that once he's on his own with no one to take away
computer privileges that he'll hit people! But it isn't so far fetched that
kids will do that with other actions that are limited by fear of
consequences rather than because they aren't a good idea.

> But sometimes he gets somewhere he says he doesn't know what
> should happen, like if he leaves his toys on the floor in the living
> room, I bring up that the dog might chew on them, but he still
> leaves them there, what am I missing???

That he's 6 and has hardly any experience in the world and is
developmentally not an adult.

We see them acting fairly competently as though they were thinking and
feeling as adults but their brains don't work the way adult brains do. They
don't have the same understanding, don't have the same capacities for
figuring things out, don't have the same mastery over their emotions that
adults do. They have different needs than we do.

If we treat them as doing the best they can -- even if we think they can do
better -- they will do the best they can. If we treat them as incompetent,
they'll feel incompetent and respond incompetently.

Joyce

[email protected]

>>>>>>In a message dated 2/6/2004 12:54:25 AM Eastern Standard Time,
[email protected] writes:
as far as a kid who about this time last year I
had someone tell me he was ADD he is doing what he usualy does -
playing the puter games until he can complete every last detail,
along the way memorizing every last line of each character is
saying, he will play until he absolutely has to go to the bathroom
or hunger overtakes him (okey sometimes I sneak him a sandwich at
the desk which I do get a big thanks mom for). I think it is just me
becoming irritated at listening to the same things over and over
again, I need to move on and let him move on when he's ready. <<<<<<



I play Spider Solitaire. It's a rather repetitive/non-strategy game compared
to the video games Duncan plays, and I can do it almost mindlessly. I *see*
plays while doing something else. I'm engaged, but not "all there". Hard to
explain. Anyway...

I used to just try to win. By the rules. You can't really cheat with computer
solitaitre because you can't steal cards from underneath or "mis-shuffle,"
but you can back up a bit and "re-do" a play or two. I'm pretty good. I have an
82% win rate. I *used* to have a 94% win rate! But that was before I started
to "mess" with the game.

Now sometimes I'll deal three rows at first or deal two rows at a time after
the first move. I'll try to leave more cards on the board so I can make fewer
moves. By changing *my* rules, it makes the play harder, so I lose more. But
that's OK.

Before I found Spider Solitaire, I played regular old computer solitaire. My
goal was SPEEEED! I wanted to finish a game in less and less time. I got
pretty good at that too.

My point: <g> When you get really good at a game, you'll start changing the
real rules to satisfy another part of you. These kids on the video/computer
games will start changing strategies----maybe they'll purposefully try to be
killed in a lower level so that they can see *exactly* how far they can go before
losing a life. Or how far can I take this guy *really* before he becomes so
weak as to be ineffective----what's the DEPTH of the game, *really*? They'll
start pushing themselves further and further and dying sooner and sooner so that
they can see the LEAST amount they can do to win. When they can do *THAT*,
they've "mastered" it.

It's a neat plan. And it's an awesome progression. I LOVE watching *that*
happen , in particular. The "regular, normal" games rules aren't interesting to
me anymore, but I LOVE to watch Duncan when he's moving on to the next phase
and can show me how much further he can take the character (or how *little* he
can do with him). That shows me that he's thinking BEYOND the "game"----he's
strategizing further and further! That's SO neat!

You kind of have to tie me up for the beginning phases of the games, as he's
trying to figure out the real rules, but when he's in the "zone" of mastery,
I'm glued! <g>

~Kelly


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

J. Stauffer

<<<<<So
> we agree that hitting hurt and it's better to use words than hitting
> and if it happens again then ds will have to go for an hour without
> computer. >>>>>

Perhaps Mom could not attempt to interrupt a 5yo doing something he likes
just so she can do something she likes. Why can't we agree that Mom will
just wait until he is finished? <grin>

We have hitters in my family (2 to be exact and 3 screamers). It has more
to do with their natures and the difficulties they have expressing
themselves in words, dealing with frustration in the heat of the moment,
etc. than it does with not knowing that hitting and screaming are wrong.

5yo is still very young. I would suggest working on not overloading him
with frustration so that he is able to handle what is on his plate rather
than to punish him (or have him punish himself which seems slightly twisted
<grin> to me).

<<<<<<like if he leaves his toys on the floor in the living
> room, I bring up that the dog might chew on them, but he still
> leaves them there, what am I missing??? >>>>>>

That loss of toys is more important to you than to him? That he is 5yo and
stopping doing something he likes to do now and do something he doesn't like
just so that perhaps some bad thing in the future won't happen is not a
likely scenario?

I have 5 kids and none of them are neat freaks and floors covered with toys,
paper, crayolas, cars, clothes, etc. is the norm around here. Last year the
then 4yo tripped over a toy, fell and hit the bridge of his nose on the
bedframe and broke it. So the kids are well aware that bad stuff really,
truly can happen if the floor is covered in stuff.

It doesn't make them clean it up for the same reason that knowing eating
cake makes my butt bigger doesn't make me not eat that last piece.

So we work together, I gather all their stuff from downstairs and put it on
the stair well, they take it up. They take turns picking up the floors in
their rooms so at night at least nobody is tripping in the dark. Find a way
to work WITH your son, not against him.

Julie S.

Susan Van Cleave

"If we treat them as doing the best they can -- even if we think they can do
better -- they will do the best they can. If we treat them as incompetent,
they'll feel incompetent and respond incompetently."


I love the way this sounds and would love to embrace it. But when I think of being at a store with 5 little kids all acting their age it makes me want to stay home forever. How do you handle times when the actions of your family directly impact other people, such as at a store, at church, or at someone else's home?


Susan (mother of 7,6,4,3,3 yr old bundles of energy and joy)

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

[email protected]

In a message dated 2/5/04 10:54:19 PM, [email protected] writes:

<< he will play until he absolutely has to go to the bathroom

or hunger overtakes him (okey sometimes I sneak him a sandwich at

the desk which I do get a big thanks mom for) >>

I think it's noble for a mother to deliver food to a child's worksite.

I'm going to a ballad-singing party tonight and am really excited about it.
I was thinking of doing a ballad called "The FFV," a trainwreck song. One
line is "Georgie's mother came to him with a bucket on her arm; saying, 'my
darling son, be careful how you run'..." but I thought people nowadays won't
know what that bucket was. It was a lunch-bucket. Maybe a lard can with a bale.
Maybe a manufactured lunch-box.

So I've been thinking about mothers delivering lunches already today <g>.

-=-DS is

brought up for hitting mom because she asked for a turn at the

computer to check her email for a few minutes then he could return

to his game, DS did you hit mom? DS says yes, so we ask him what he

thinks he should do? He says "Say I'm Sorry". . .-=-

Maybe you should stop having family meetings and start living in the moment.
Maybe if you ask if you could check your mail when he gets to a good stopping
place, to please call you when it's your turn, he won't feel like hitting.

-=-Okey,

what do you think should happen if you hit mom again? DS says that

he should have to have a time out (which we used to use for

discipline but haven't for more than a year but he still refers to

it) or perhaps he could not play any computer time for an hour. -=-

This sounds so contrived to me, and so too late. Why wait for a meeting?
It's so... bureaucratic or legalistic or something.

-=-So

we agree that hitting hurt and it's better to use words than hitting

and if it happens again then ds will have to go for an hour without

computer. So in my opinion "going for an hour without computer" is a

consequence that he offered and which we will use if it happens

again. -=-

It seems that it doesn't take a meeting to remind someone that using words is
better than hitting, but maybe there should be a meeting for parents to
discuss that if a child wants to hit the parents might need to change their
approach. Is he going to lose an hour of computer time because parents would rather
blame a child than change their own awareness and respect-leve for him?

It's not likely that the mother's e-mail can't wait. If she's expecting a
note about something that's happening in the next half hour, that's a good thing
to push, but if waiting for the child's good pausing place is a possibility,
then the respect shown to that child will be returned up the line. Treating
him like his needs and rights are small will make him feel and be smaller than
he needs to be.

-=-like if he leaves his toys on the floor in the living

room, I bring up that the dog might chew on them, but he still

leaves them there, what am I missing??? -=-

That he's little and you're expecting him to understand more than he does.
That he's little and if the toys are important to him, you should love him
enough to take care of his toys for him, rather than secretly hope the dog will
teach him a lesson.

If you treat his things that way, how will he treat your things when you're
old and need his help?

When I was on the couch for two months with a broken leg, I really needed my
kids to cover me up, bring me food, keep the fire burning, change the tape,
bring me water. I was pretty glad in those days that I have willingly done
things like that for them over the years instead of saying "Get it yourself," or
"You don't need to watch another video, you just watched one." When friends of
mine are that way to their children I cringe, especially if I'm close enough
to see the veil go down over the light in the kids' eyes.

http://sandradodd.com/respect

I've consciously, since Kirby's birth made me a mother worked on being
respectful. I've screwed up. I've lost my temper and turned into my mom and been
ashamed. I've been needy and immature. But I never threw up my hands and
said "I guess I can't be respectful of my kids." I kept working on it, and it
kept being easier and easier.

Two things helped lots: Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings which I
started going to before I was pregnant with Kirby and attended four years
altogether, and La Leche League meetings.

Sandra

Kelli Traaseth

----- Original Message -----
From: <[email protected]>

**My point: <g> When you get really good at a game, you'll start changing
the
real rules to satisfy another part of you. These kids on the video/computer
games will start changing strategies--**

Its happening in our house too. Its very cool to watch.

Alec, ds(10), is on this Final Fantasy kick right now. We had Final
Fantasy X and had beaten the game, but with cheats and some FAQ helps.
Now he got Final Fantasy X2 and was playing that for a while. After he got
to a place where he was stuck he went back and did Final Fantasy X again,
but this time without the cheats. It was a whole set of new problems to
solve, yet he had that knowledge from the previous playing.

He is now working on trying to beat X2, he found a FAQ last night and was
soooo excited.

Kelli~

Stephanie Elms

> should happen, like if he leaves his toys on the floor in the
> living room, I bring up that the dog might chew on them, but he still
> leaves them there, what am I missing???

That he is only 6? :o) My just turned 7 yo does the same things. As far
as the hitting...I would handle it when it happens and not look for a
punishment (even if he comes up with it). I have noticed that Jason hits
me (not as often lately though) if he gets totally overwhelmed and does
not feel that I am listening to him. I rarely interrupt him when he is
on the computer, most of the time checking my email can wait until he is
done. He does wait for me to check my email in the morning, we have
talked about it and pretty much agreed that it is ok for me to check in
the morning then I won't have to bug him about it later and he can
actually play longer. Sometimes he will come up to me while I am on the
computer and want to use it...in this case I ask him to wait until I am
done reading the email or checking the website that I am on. When he has
gotten impatient, I usually remind him that I do wait for him to get to
a good stopping point on his games and that helps. I also try not to
take too long getting off...realizing that he has less patience then I
do, I can check my email later, and that I want to positively reinforce
him asking nicely and waiting.

I have found lately that Jason responds very well to logical
explanations. If he is hitting his brother (or me), I do stop it
immediately. We have been having conversations lately about whether
hitting is effective at getting what he wants...if he wants something
from Kyle, it definitely isn't...Kyle only holds on tighter. So I will
help him ask Kyle for things or find an alternative. Often he will hit
Kyle when he is frustrated at his video game...in talking about this, I
found out that he does not like it when Kyle is watching if he is trying
to solve a new part of the game...he likes to be alone so if he makes
mistakes there is no one around. I have made more of a point to keep
Kyle (who is 4) occupied during these times and to keep an ear out for
signs that Jason might be getting frustrated so I can lure Kyle away (or
just go sit with them which helps protect Kyle and helps calm Jason).
The point is to look at what is causing the hitting and realizing that
there are different solutions to the different reasons. Yes, hitting is
unacceptable, but my focus has been on identifying why he hits and
helping him come up with better ways to handle those situations (more
then just "use your words").

As far as the toys...I honestly think that there is a "clean gene". My
dh and youngest have it, my oldest and I do not LOL! Honestly...dh can
clean the kitchen or make a few piles in the living room and the room
*looks* clean. I can spend half an hour and just manage to move things
around a bit. My youngest always helps me clean up without asking (he
actually got really mad when he was 2 and I wouldn't let him help me
clean up the cat throw up!) My oldest does not really do much. Basically
I have lots of baskets in the family room and it really does not take
much to get the toys off the ground. The boys chip in and help if they
want to. Often I will suggest a quick clean up (less then 5 mins) before
we play a board game or build legos (usually because we need the room to
play!) In these instances, Jason is very willing to help.

Stephanie E.

Stephanie Elms

> These kids on the video/computer games will start changing
> strategies----maybe they'll purposefully try to be killed in
> a lower level so that they can see *exactly* how far they can
> go before losing a life. Or how far can I take this guy
> *really* before he becomes so weak as to be
> ineffective----what's the DEPTH of the game, *really*?

Yes! Jason does this all the time with his games. He will play the same
level with a different character or by taking a different path or trying
a new strategy and see how this affects the outcome. I think schools
call it the scientific method?? ;o)

I have been amazed at the depth of these computer games...there are SO
many layers and I am amazed at how quickly Jason figures out where to go
or what to do with only the bare minimum directions. These are big,
interactive, fun puzzles that really build their critical thinking and
problem solving skills as well as totally engage their minds on all
levels.

I really feel sorry for our neighbor's little boy...he has 30 min chips
for computer and tv time..he is allowed 2/day. That is no where near
enough time to really get any kind of enjoyment. And I am sure that his
mom does not get involved in the computer games...I just think about all
that great learning he is missing out on because video games/tv have
been demonized.

Stephanie E.

Barbara Chase

>>> We don't clean up messes to have a clean house. We clean up messes so there
>>> is room for more mess!
>>>
>>> Now I think of cleaning up after my kids as replacing a canvas.
>
>>> I just let the mess stay, because really, it's a work of art or a story.

Oh yeah!!! I never really thought of it this way, but this is what's going
on for me too. In my dd's case I have often taken pictures of her works of
art before we 'replace the canvas', we call them shrines. This is such a
great way of explaining it, I'm going to have to share this with my dh
right away.

Thanks for sharing Dawn's post here!
--bc--


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Barbara Chase

Friday: I sent this last night, but the message bounced. Many of these
points have been made, but I decided to send it again for more feedback.



>I have made it a point to have
>several tables of different heights in the family room to encourage
>him to keep things off of the floor

I have large baskets (sometimes just grocery bags) that I use to quickly
pick up things on the floor when either I can't stand it anymore or someone
is coming over and we need the room. When I have a little more time I can
then go through the baskets and put things away. Some things now belong in
their own baskets, so we can easily just scoop the stuff into it's storage
place quickly when we need to. This makes it really easy to allow the
place to be a mess, but also have it get picked up quickly when needed.

>Now as far as "offering of consequences" let me ask you what you do
>as this is an example of what we do in a family meeting. DS is
>brought up for hitting mom because she asked for a turn

Why isn't this resolved between Mom and DS at the time it occurs? That's
what we do in our family (of 3 - dh, dd, and I.) Sometimes if dd (who is
5) has a problem with her Dad she will tell me and I will help facilitate,
and visa-versa. But, we do it at the time it comes up. Sometimes if I
don't handle it well because of whatever reason, I will bring it up again
afterward to say that I'm sorry and to try to come to a mutual resolution.


>then we ask DS why it's not okey to hit
>and he says because it hurts and isn't nice, then we ask if he could
>find a better way to express himself next time?

Are you asking him these questions because you want to test him to make
sure he knows the right answer?

Sometimes when my dd is having a problem getting along with one of her
friends she will discuss it with me. I usually ask her if she needs some
ideas for new ways of resolving it, and if she says yes then we will
brainstorm together. I will suggest something, she might not like it, but
then she will come up with and idea, then I might expand on it, etc...
Sometimes she just wants to dump her feelings with me and not try to fix
the problem. That's OK too, because I often feel that way as well. But I
don't expect her to answer me in any certain way.


>we agree that hitting hurt and it's better to use words than hitting
>and if it happens again then ds will have to go for an hour without
>computer.

That sounds like a rule... what if it happens and it doesn't hurt you?
Back to my first question - can you resolve it next time it happens in the
moment, without some sort of penalty that he must pay?

You could ask him to let you know when it would be a good time for you to
have your turn and then trust that he will (at first, he might really test
you to see if you are serious about this new approach... does he *really*
get to use it until he's ready to let you have your turn?) You could, in
the moment, say calmly "please use words instead of hitting." Try to see
that something deeper is going on within himself that he is struggling with
and can not articulate, and maybe you could say "I can see that you're
struggling to find the right words, perhaps it's not a good time for you to
stop what you are doing. Please let me know when it is so I can check my
email."


ciao
--bc--


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mozafamily

Thank you everyone for your attempts at helping me to
understand this more thourally (spelling). Actually I do already do
most of the picking up without complaint, I was just searching for
clarification, I have to admit that Sandra's use of "Cheerfully"
made me a bit sarcastic in reply :). It's just that of the children
I know (I should know better than compare children) that they almost
always seem to be able to pick up after themselves starting at about
3 years of age - NO KIDDING! But you also need to understand that I
am considered pretty much a "Revolutionist" in my neighborhood that
I don't spank my child! Very sad but true!!! I am trying so hard to
overcome the social roadblocks for freedom for my family.
Also when I said my ds hit me when I ask for a turn at the
puter - I was asking for a turn, not saying "give me a turn right
now!" we are getting a 3rd computer for a 3 person household so at
least soon we wont have that argument! Can someone point me to some
good beginner books on game programming? I was thinking about
getting a clue about some of the basics and I think ds would enjoy
some as well (if not then that is fine also.) We do have family
meetings here and the reason it was brought up at the meeting was
because it had happened several times before and that was what we
had agreed to do so we could wait until dad got home to talk more
about it, It's suppossed to be democratic and is highly suggested in
a lot of the books I've read about unschooling. So that's where I
get it from and we're still new at family meetings but working on
them, like I said I'm just learning, like the name of the board -
Always Learning! So when kids in your families continually do
something inappropriate what do you do to stop them?
Anyhow we have been having a blast around here lately - No
public school 4 out of 5 days this week. Which means that most of
the neighbor kids are visiting my house, since we always
never "seem" to have school, I think it's crazy that they've been
learning so much over here - most of them are ADHD (our PS's
favorite label for extra goverment money) and their parents are very
happy not to deal with them, it's crazy that they come to my house
and WANT to work on math, research reports, solar system and
astrology, paint, etc. etc. Because they know they are free here to
do just about anything they want and I'll help them answer what
questions they have, plus we have a huge library they can use. It
has been great having so much energy in the house!

[email protected]

In a message dated 2/6/04 12:47:08 PM, [email protected] writes:

<< I have to admit that Sandra's use of "Cheerfully"

made me a bit sarcastic in reply >>

Why?

Happiness is worth MUCH more than any clean floor.

If you're cynical about the idea of cheerfulness, you'll have problems here.

<< Also when I said my ds hit me when I ask for a turn at the

puter - I was asking for a turn, not saying "give me a turn right

now!">>

Well if he doesn't have the skills to reason with you yet, don't stand so
close when you ask so nicely. Did you interrupt him in the middle of
something? Is he thinking better than he's speaking? It's VERY common for kids'
intellect and their vocabulary and speaking ability to leapfrog one another through
the years.

<<We do have family

meetings here and the reason it was brought up at the meeting was

because it had happened several times before and that was what we

had agreed to do so we could wait until dad got home to talk more

about it, It's suppossed to be democratic and is highly suggested in

a lot of the books I've read about unschooling.>>

About unschooling?
Books about unschooling talk about democratic family meetings?

<<So when kids in your families continually do

something inappropriate what do you do to stop them? >>

Talk to them. But it's rare. My husband and I try to model "appropriate"
and we try to be so generous with our kids that the kids are so far from
neediness that there's no advantage to "inappropriate" behavior, and by seeing our
children as whole beings who are already living their lives (as opposed to
preparing to live their lives sometime in the future when we release them),
"inappropriate" is not a term that comes up very often at all.

Maybe if you give us examples of inappropriate behavior people can give you
more specific examples of how they've dealt with their own real children.

Sandra

mozafamily

Sandra I'm not cynical about cheerfullness and I definately agree
that happiness is much better than a clean floor - I live it every
day! When I saw your post I just see me hopping around and singing
something like the Barney "clean up" song and for me it's more like
sweeping everything under the carpet as the in laws pull into the
drive. When I first started doing daycare more than 5 years ago I
used to tell everyone I loved my job because I got to play all day -
and everyone used to comment how untrue that must be because I had
to spend all the time picking up, changing diapers, feeding, etc. I
didn't see it that way at all! Perhaps some of everyone else's
cynacism has seeped into me over the years, I'm not sure - I
certainly hope not. And I certainly hope that I don't have problems
here - this is the first busy board on this subject that I have
found and I am so interested in learning more about it! Although,
sometimes you probably will find that I will play "devil's
advocate" because I like to hear what people think about all side
of the situation, please just me know if my horns are showing too
much!
I'll try to make a list of the books I have read about
unschooling so I can reference them better. I'll start with having
read several by Holt(How Children Fail, How Children Learn, Learning
All the Time), Neill's Summerhill, Several about Sudbury Schools,
Albany Free school, Unschooling our children (deschooling
ourselves), the Happy Child, No Homework and Recess all Day, any
many more.
Actually it is rare that we have disagreements with ds, but
unfortunately it is rare also that we have a long conversation
either, which is something I would like to encourage but am unsure
where to start other than just "being there" for him if he needs me,
I am apparently going to have to rethink the "natural consequences"
way of childrearing which is what we prettymuch what we used instead
of kinds of punishements our parents and community use, please
excuse me that I don't understand all of this yet as I am still
learning! Do you recommend a particular book that I haven't read
yet?

-- In [email protected], [email protected] wrote:
>
> In a message dated 2/6/04 12:47:08 PM, [email protected] writes:
>
> << I have to admit that Sandra's use of "Cheerfully"
>
> made me a bit sarcastic in reply >>
>
> Why?
>
> Happiness is worth MUCH more than any clean floor.
>
> If you're cynical about the idea of cheerfulness, you'll have
problems here.
>

Pam Hartley

> certainly hope not. And I certainly hope that I don't have problems
> here - this is the first busy board on this subject that I have
> found and I am so interested in learning more about it! Although,
> sometimes you probably will find that I will play "devil's
> advocate" because I like to hear what people think about all side
> of the situation, please just me know if my horns are showing too
> much!

Honesty is the best policy, so in my opinion it's better just to give real
life examples and ask questions directly rather than playing anything at
all. If I don't know when you're asking a sincere question and when you're
"playing devil's advocate" it makes it hard to muster the desire to discuss
anything.

It brings to mind the "what if they all become teenage prostitutes who
molested little old ladies, would you have a rule against THAT?!" discussion
we were made to suffer through recently. ;)

Pam

[email protected]

In a message dated 2/6/04 4:51:18 PM, [email protected] writes:

<< Do you recommend a particular book that I haven't read

yet?

>>

Not at all, I was just questioning which unschooling book had recommended
family meetings.

I know the family meeting theory, and the time-out theories, and the
consequences (natural and otherwise) but those things aren't needed, really, and can
be blocks to unschooling, I think.

Sandra

mozafamily

I certainly don't mean it in a mean or harmful way, I just wish
to occasionally bring out as much information as possible on a
subject, because frankly "unschooling speak" is not everyone's
language and I like to make things accessable to as many people as
possible.
I am sorry that you have had bad experiences in the past with
poor life examples that have made you unwilling to participate in a
discussion, although frankly statements like "going to have problems
here" or "hard to muster the desire to discuss anything" don't make
a new member want to share much of anything.






--- In [email protected], "Pam Hartley"
<[email protected]> wrote:
> > certainly hope not. And I certainly hope that I don't have
problems
> > here - this is the first busy board on this subject that I have
> > found and I am so interested in learning more about it! Although,
> > sometimes you probably will find that I will play "devil's
> > advocate" because I like to hear what people think about all
side
> > of the situation, please just me know if my horns are showing too
> > much!
>
> Honesty is the best policy, so in my opinion it's better just to
give real
> life examples and ask questions directly rather than playing
anything at
> all. If I don't know when you're asking a sincere question and
when you're
> "playing devil's advocate" it makes it hard to muster the desire
to discuss
> anything.
>
> It brings to mind the "what if they all become teenage prostitutes
who
> molested little old ladies, would you have a rule against THAT?!"
discussion
> we were made to suffer through recently. ;)
>
> Pam

Pam Hartley

----------
>From: "mozafamily" <[email protected]>
>To: [email protected]
>Subject: [AlwaysLearning] Re: Question....
>Date: Fri, Feb 6, 2004, 4:08 PM
>

> I certainly don't mean it in a mean or harmful way, I just wish
> to occasionally bring out as much information as possible on a
> subject, because frankly "unschooling speak" is not everyone's
> language and I like to make things accessable to as many people as
> possible.


I'm not sure who these people are that you want to make things accessible
for: the AlwaysLearning list is for list members, and list members here are
already unschooling*, thus "unschooling speak" is indeed everyone's (who is
here) language.

When posting here, I've always found it a good idea to post real and honest
examples from my real and honest life or to ask real and honest questions
about others real and honest lives. "Playing devil's advocate" (i.e, making
up hypotheticals for the sake of argument) is less useful than reality.

Pam Hartley
Co-Moderator at Large

*and those who aren't are interested in unschooling and/or trying to
understand it, in which case learning the language is a fine idea for them,
too.

Barbara Chase

><<So when kids in your families continually do
>something inappropriate what do you do to stop them? >>
>
>Talk to them. But it's rare. My husband and I try to model "appropriate"
>and we try to be so generous with our kids that the kids are so far from
>neediness that there's no advantage to "inappropriate" behavior, and by
>seeing our children as whole beings who are already living their lives (as
>opposed to
>preparing to live their lives sometime in the future when we release them),
>"inappropriate" is not a term that comes up very often at all.

Thanks for this Sandra... You may have said it many times before, in
different ways, but today it sunk in to a deeper level. At times I catch
myself thinking about something my dd does as being "inappropriate", but
then I usually try to ask "what need isn't being met" in order to help sort
it out, or I'll question my own expectations. But it's still a struggle, I
find myself using the thinking that I grew up with often.

Next time I catch myself I think I'll post it here for feedback.


ciao
--bc--

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

Barbara Chase

>How do you handle times when the actions of your family directly impact
>other people, such as at a store, at church, or at someone else's home?


Can you give some examples?


--bc--

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

Susan Van Cleave

>>How do you handle times when the actions of your family directly impact
>>other people, such as at a store, at church, or at someone else's home?

>Can you give some examples?

My kids tend to be loud and rambunctious. At home it means that I have to change rooms when I talk on the phone. But when we aren't home it can be disturbing to others. I also struggle with frustration that I can't control them better when they begin to feed off on another's energy. They tend to make happy noise but it can be a lot of noise.

Susan (kids 7,6,4,3,3)

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

Fetteroll

on 2/6/04 6:24 PM, mozafamily at [email protected] wrote:

> And I certainly hope that I don't have problems
> here - this is the first busy board on this subject that I have
> found and I am so interested in learning more about it!

The UnschoolingDiscussion group might work for you. This group tends to be
full of unschoolers who already get it so we don't hash out the details as
often as we do on UnschoolingDiscussion.

> Although,
> sometimes you probably will find that I will play "devil's
> advocate" because I like to hear what people think about all side
> of the situation, please just me know if my horns are showing too
> much!

I understand what you're saying. But it's also respectful to be aware that
people on the list are willing taking family time to answer questions.
People feel good about answering sincere questions. Questions meant just to
sound things out can feel like someone's just toying with our time and feel
the answer to a pretend question is more important than the time people will
give up from their lives to answer it.

> but
> unfortunately it is rare also that we have a long conversation
> either

Could be part of his personality or age.

I've noticed that since my daughter turned 12 that she's much better at
self-reflection than she used to be. I used to ask her how she felt about
something or what she thought was wrong and all she could say was "I don't
know." More questioning didn't help her see any clearer. It just irritated
her.

> please
> excuse me that I don't understand all of this yet

We kind of expect that people don't understand! If people understood then we
wouldn't need to offer advice and suggestions on ways that might work
better.

I think it helps to see that you make the best choice you can with the
knowledge you have at the time. Like a family meeting is better than a swat.
But *expect* that you won't be making the best choice that anyone could have
made. Maybe the best choice hasn't been thought up yet! We're pointing to a
place that's better than where you are because we have different knowledge
than you do. It shouldn't be seen as criticizing where you are.

Joyce

Fetteroll

on 2/6/04 2:38 PM, mozafamily at [email protected] wrote:

> It's just that of the children
> I know (I should know better than compare children) that they almost
> always seem to be able to pick up after themselves starting at about
> 3 years of age - NO KIDDING!

What has been done to them that they do that though?

And my daughter has always been more conscious of cleaning up behind heself
and other matters of politeness when at other peoples' houses.

> But you also need to understand that I
> am considered pretty much a "Revolutionist" in my neighborhood that
> I don't spank my child!

I think it will be even more helpful for you to understand that being
revolutionary *is* a relative term. Slapping a child's hand instead of a
thrashing may be revolutionary and a better choice, but there are *even
better* choices than that.

Saying "Look how far I've come!" is comforting and supportive of yourself
for doing something better. But it will hinder you from growing even
*further*.

In a way it's like feeling that by turning a cold shoulder to a Jew you're
doing much better than the Nazis around who you are doing even worse. It's a
way to stay stuck.

> Can someone point me to some
> good beginner books on game programming? I was thinking about
> getting a clue about some of the basics and I think ds would enjoy
> some as well (if not then that is fine also.)

Dark Basic I've heard is good. I don't know if it will work for a 6 yo.

> So when kids in your families continually do
> something inappropriate what do you do to stop them?

Like what?

With the hitting situation I'd assume that despite knowing better that he
just wasn't able to put it into practice. I'd continue giving him the
information he needed. I'd give him the chance to do it again, like saying
"Hitting hurts. Could you use words please."

If it were something more serious like hitting a sibling, that would call
for different reaction. But real examples are easier to offer suggestions to
because it's *why* something is happening that's important, not *what*
happened.

Joyce