Re: How to Discuss Unschooling
I want to go through those points individually and expand, and invite others to tell stories of their usefulness, too.
New List Members - please do not post anything to the list before you
This used to be understood better, I think—that if someone joined a group, it was polite and useful to hang back a while at first.
When someone joins and immediately posts, it rarely helps her, and often disrupts the flow of what was already going on. But the idea in 2006 when this was written was that people who wanted to know more about unschooling would join, rest a bit, look around, and begin to gradually gather enough ideas to feel confident enough to ask further questions.
Increasingly, over the years, people have tended to join a group, but only show up if they had a pressing emergency, and then would get angry if they weren't "serviced" immediately as though they were a race car at a pit stop, or attended to as though they were in an emergency room with a gunshot wound. Learning doesn't work that way!
Learning is what it's about, and it's likely that a parent who somehow believes that strangers have to help them, or that ANYone could tell them all they need to know all at once, in fifteen minutes or an hour (or even a full week)... that parent is not prepared to start considering that the way an unschooled child learns is very gradually, given a peaceful environment with people who also are gradually learning. :-)
So the first message was "read and think; hang out, don't jump in."
Maybe that's the way it should have been worded. Maybe that should go up on the non-existent fridge in the imaginary break room of this discussion, alongside Read a little, try a little; wait a while; watch. Read and think; hang out, don't jump in." :-) The first is done at home in normal life and the other is done in a discussion group, but they're both about living a while with the input, and not trying to run faster than one can look or think.
Either it wasn't as common, or I wasn't as irritated with it before, or the whole world is irritated and irritating these days, but somehow people seem to be expecting that I, and others, "have to" help them. That we were born and created to serve their sudden emergency needs. I finally started a page about that. :-)
People who will read about unschooling very regularly, and think about it every day, and DO IT, increasingly better, all the time, are not likely to HAVE sudden emergency needs. The whole idea is to move ever nearer to understanding how to live like an unschooler in every aspect of one's life—not to "act" like an unschooler, but to think like one.
Well there's tomorrow's Just Add Light. Good for me.