Something or nothing

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This was written in 2001. I told the story of the 18s more lightly in an article called "King's X from the Math Monster."  I didn't know "King's X" was a regional kids'-game term, but that's another thing.


I thought some people would be amused or reassured.  If you can gain both, that's even better.


By SandraDodd on Monday, July 16, 2001 - 08:37 pm:

I figured I would use this folder to post
something that's about everything in general.

It's how "nothing" turns into something cool:

Kirby, Marty and Brett (all unschooled kids 14,
12, 15) are in the other room playing a game.
They just returned from hours of gaming at the
shop where Kirby works. Brett only played an hour
and a half; before that he was at driver's ed.

Anyway, Kirby was telling the other boys a story
about a schooled-kid they all know whose name is
not Bob--I'm borrowing that name for him.

"Bob has learning disabilities so he spells and
writes worse than we do, but today we were
figuring out the scores from [some game phase I
didn't catch] and I was telling him how to figure
it out by 8, and 9, and multiplying by 18 I told
him just treat it like 20, and the subtract two
for each one, so he had four, and that was 80 and
he took out the eight and had 72. He said, 'Oh,
okay! I get that.'

"And [adult who works there] said, 'KIRBY, where
did you learn that?' and I said"...
::dweebish geek voice::..."'I'm homeschooled.'
And he said no, really, did you make that up? And
I said 'Yeah! I'm homeschooled!'"

The story and the reactions to it from the other
two illustrated that Kirby wasn't aware not
everyone had figured out how to multiply by 18 in
their heads and he didn't know an adult would
be so impressed, or that a kid who claims on his
own to have learning disabilities wouldn't just get
it, and having just gotten it would actually
appreciate it.

But our kids' lives are just kind of like that.

Brett was critiquing my driving on the way home,
using the acronyms they'd learned in class so far.
He was very complimentary. I didn't know I was
doing all those fancy processes. I thought I was
just driving! He was very analytical, which
proved he understood what he's been hearing this
week and last, and which gave my boys a chance to
learn some stuff AND to appreciate my driving!
Good afternoon!

I was about to hit send and heard:

Brett to Kirby: If you weren't a gamer, what
would you be?

Kirby: A computer geek. What about you?

Brett: I don't know.

Kirby and Marty in combination told him he would
be a jock.

Marty, they decided, would be a skater.

Brett has played baseball as much as possible,
Marty has skated (roller blades at the skate park
and ice hockey) a fair amount, and Kirby spends a
lot of time on the computer. So they do have
secondary skills to fall back on if the gaming
thing doesn't work out.



The original is here, but I should probably save it on my site, too.

Help!! Our unschooling seems like 'doing nothing'.


Sandra, in 2022, with those boys all grown and parents

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