Monday, October 15, 2012

Too Much Mum!

There comes a time in every unschooler's life when they look around themselves and what they see is mum. And more mum. And mum again. The ‘too much mum’ scenario is inevitable-especially as the kid moves into his or her teen age years. That’s when they get antsy to stretch their wings further afield.  And they are absolutely right. They do need to and must push on. It's time to set a different pace, expand their circle of engagement and their circle of friends and acquaintances. What do you have prepared for them?

If you’ve been unschooling by the book then stepping up to higher levels of action should happen smoothly. If like most of us, you’ve been too busy with a little thing called life, then you might not have given the most important part of unschooling the attention it needs- by this I mean seeking out opportunities consistently, exploring the world immediately around you, creating your own opportunities. I can imagine panicked heads nodding in agreement, right?

Chill. Not all teens are going to make a mad dash for the likest answer (school). For those who value their freedom, the route to go is simply to step out of the house. Take the bus, or cycle down town and look around. Go into offices.Visit the radio station. Visit the newspaper room. Go sit in on a university or college class. Heck, sneak into the local highschool, why not?  Does your city have an environmental group that could use volunteers?  So many not for profits could use a hand. Or maybe you want to start a business- check out the chamber of commerce, the city hall etc etc for ideas.
Next, why not take a friend and together hop on a bus and go visit another city for the day? Or   a new trail system? The idea is to push yourself out of your comfort zone-before the idea fads away.

What if it’s the case that your unschooled teen seems unmotivated to try new things? Sometimes waiting it out produces results. One mother sat it through, but continued to offer and facilitate excursions and opportunities. However, the youth was more interested in working on his computer at home. This went on for a good year. Now, he has had enough and has started to want more social interaction. So of his own will, he has joined a local group of computer geeks and tinklers.
He has also taken an interest in visual arts and has started visiting art centers and is planning a trip across country to see some of the main art museums. Getting a job first though!
Don't forget to check out the 'not back to school camps' that are popping up, as well as the many online forums for kids to dialogue and 'meet' one another.

Please send on comments and ideas to support unschooled teens.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like what you are saying here is what everyone says about homeschooling/unschooling- the need for socialization. I guess they are right.

rfs said...

@anon-I think you mean SOCIALIZING not socialization. Different. Socializing is something that people like to do with others and yes- that is what many home educated kids want when they say they want to go to school- meet more guys and gals. Socialization is a term used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, political scientists etc to refer to the lifelong process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs and ideologies, providing an individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within his or her own society. You don't need to go to school to get socialized.

estuary said...

@rfs - love your response. i will file it away in my brain for future conversations with those who think of school as the real world.

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