Hi all, my name is Linda Maggioncalda and I have been reading the
list for a couple of weeks and have enjoyed it thoroughly and have
learned so much. Before that I was reading on Unschooling.com. My
husband Eugene and I have 2 daughters, Sarah (6) and Olivia (3.5).
I've been reading everything I can find about unschooling for the
past year (SandraDodd.com!!!!)and this wonderful way of living and
learning works well for our family.

This story is about our recent visit with our niece and is long and
involved and I will write it in installments.

Ten days ago our 14 year old schooled niece, Noelle, walked in
to this peaceful scene to stay with us for two weeks as a "mother's
helper." This was arranged by Noelle's mother who told me that it
was Noelle's idea and that Noelle was really looking forward to it. (
BTW, both of Noelle's parents work full time and Noelle has always
gone to school. She will be in the 9th grade in the fall.) We live
in Alexandria, Virginia and Noelle flew in from Detroit to be with
us. My girls were very excited about their older cousin's visit.

Noelle seemed to have trouble right away with our lifestyle and kept
trying to coerce and even force the girls to do things such as get
ready for bed, get dressed, eat. I explained our parenting
philosophy--which she seemed unable to understand.

The second day Noelle was here, as we were driving along in the car
she told me that my children needed to go school and that they
needed to be with other children. I explained that we were with
other children plenty. And she said, "Yes, but they need to be with
other children without you." I disagreed and said I thought they
needed to be with me and she said, "Children don't need their
parents." She then told me that I shouldn't homeschool them past
the third grade. I challenged her to open her mind to different ways
of doing things and offered the "Teen Liberation Handbook" (by Grace
Llewellyn) for her to read. She refused. I then told her that I
planned to homeschool them as long as they wanted to.

Noelle also said some rude and disrespectful things to me throughout
the day. By the time my husband got home I was seething. He talked
with her (she is his older brother's daughter). He told her gently
but firmly that we don't talk to each other that way in our house.
Noelle apologized and we seemed to have forgiveness and good
feelings all around.

Noelle came to me later and said, "I know I have an attitude problem
and I'm trying to change." She then said that junior high was a
really mean place and she understood a little of why I
homeschooled. She said, "You don't want Sarah and Olivia to be a
mean girl like me." I asked her, "Are you a mean girl?" "No, I'm
not but junior high is so mean." I said that was one reason I don't
want them to go there.

End of first installment. Next, we go to Bible School and Noelle is
further challenged by our unschooling lifestyle.

[email protected]

I'll be glad to read more on this. Very cool.

Unschooling.com is gone, but there's an active forum at unschooling.info


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