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Thursday, November 29, 2012
Unschooling on a budget.
The children want more. As they get older, their interests get more expensive. There are ways to deal with this.
1. Become a really good bulletin board scanner. "There's always something," I check out every bulletin board I see (online as well): in cafés, at the rec centre, and my favourite, the local university has all sorts of amazing opportunities. For example, go to the music department and they'll be offering top-notch free concerts. Go to the Science department- there are all sorts of public lectures. Our university has all sorts of community engagement projects and events. They also have resources such as the planetarium and they offer programs such as 'Let's talk science' for kids. There are also lessons such as dance lessons and rock climbing that are taught by skilled students and that the public can attend. There's the local campus radio station that is always looking for spoken word content- doing a show like we did (Radio Free School) was one of the best ways we had to get access to all sorts of interesting and amazing people to interview!
2. The library. The holy library- I kiss its floors. Books, dvds, games and of course notices of upcoming events that are free, free, free.
3. Get organized. Arrange group lessons and get reduced rates for the individuals in the group. I do this with soccer where a bunch of parents get together to hire an instructor.
4. Get organized. Offer to teach a skill to a group (could be kids, could be adults) in exchange for a skill the other person has. For example, I taught French to a group of unschooled kids and one of the moms taught art.
5. Make use of free online resources. There are tonnes! Use Youtube to learn how to do stuff.
6. Use the school. Sometimes, you might be able to use school resources.
7. Make stuff. Learn basic skills that will come in handy. Cooking. Gardening. Container gardening. Sewing. Knot tying. Guitar. Cleaning products. Personal care products. It is fun and you can teach your kids about toxicity of products etc.
8. Do projects with other people. Collaborate.
9. Be a history buff, know your land, know what grows around you. Plan a ‘stay-cation.’
10. Save money. Stop buying junk foods, fast foods etc. Don’t buy drinks and bottled water. You will say a fortune if you avoid eating out and buying crappy food.
11. Are they still waiting for YOU to do it all? Encourage them to get out there and make connections. Network. Volunteer. Volunteering opens up all sorts of opportunities so get out there and serve others. You’ll also grow as a person. Opportunities are not likely to happen when you are stuck in the house most of the day.
12. It’s not too soon for them to get a job. Keep your eyes open. It might be something like shelving books or sweeping floors. They might have an entrepreneurial streak-help them start their own business. Starting at age seven, my youngest daughter used to sell her zine at small press fairs and take in some nice spending money. Then she went on to do dog walking for the neighbours. Two of my gals offer music lessons (violin and piano) because they've gotten that good.
13. Change your mind-set. Think creatively. Be inventive.Don’t think 'impoverished.'