URGENT Urging for New Unschooler: GroupThink Is Not Thinking

11 04 2008

Urging The New Unschooler to Go for the Gold, Part Two:

OK – here’s my Sandra Dodd impression, make of it what you will (Nance is helping me experiment with being The New Non-Pussyfooter!)

I agree with Nance that over time, I too have seen Colleen’s bad feelings as the real obstacle in her path and the big problem to be faced head-on — heck, Colleen even worries and works to make all her commenters happy and comfortable! –and I’ve tried to express that warmly and supportively AND unschooling-constructively.

But the point where I take the trouble to start pushing back against harmless sympathy and ignorant chat, is to counter any suggestion of relieving Colleen’s bad feelings through shifting bad-feeling blame to Jerry (or blaming Warren or the law or her own parents, much less her blog commenters!)

Not perfect every moment, no. But Colleen wasn’t really confused about that, right, thinking unschooling would make everything perfect for everyone all the time? I think she’s gotten confused about chores and outings as her personal “wants” and “needs” — which they aren’t, not if she’s really The New Unschooler.

I chose what I want and need. To get what *I* want most for myself and my whole family, their dad and I are companions and guides and champions for each other and with each child, and wind up fulfilled beyond anything we dreamed of, ourselves.I understand and agree with what Nance meant, but Colleen doesn’t really understand yet, how could she? Nor do many of her commenters. So it seems to me that zeroing in on Colleen’s current feelings instead of her chosen commitment to change the direction of her whole life with Jerry and Warren, is like sympathizing with a girlfriend for a bad test score or being grounded for wrecking dad’s car, and the whole group blaming her teacher or dad as a meanie, to help her “feel better”.

Focus on problem-solving, how to find unschooling principles in any specific mess, the better to build relationships and move forward toward audacious goals together as a family? Priceless!
Focus on my own bad or hurt feelings in competition with family members I love? — not really helping! 🙂

People who say they could never unschool, shouldn’t and probably couldn’t. It remains to be seen, I suppose, whether Colleen can and will unschool successfully, and she will discover those answers for herself. Read the rest of this entry »