Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Unschooling: tales of near death and betrayl

I am learning about Unschooling. As I think about the philosophy I found while reading about Unschooling, I thought about all the unschooling that happened to me before I was six. I know the before six part, because my family moved to the suburbs when I was in first grade. The unschooling lessons I learned involved near death experiences and betrayal, as seen through curiously intuitive eyes.

I remember watching the Hallmark Hall of Fame show about a lady who was a pirate or leader of some group. What impressed me was that she jumped from a high tower into a sheet the guys held. This looked really fun and exciting. So, the next day, I talked my girlfriends, Kathy and Peggy, into playing this game.
We went to the back of Peggy's apartment building. We found a screen door. They held it and I went up to the third floor landing and climbed over the rail, prepared for adventure. It was cut short by a neighbor who rushed, screaming, and grabbed me. I was not happy. But later I learned I could have been killed.

Living in the city, hills and trees were fun places to go. My sister had to take me with her and her friends, and we were going to Mud Hill. Mud Hill was two blocks, one busy street and a good hill climb. Then we had to walk across a train trestle to reach Mud Hill. The slats were pretty far apart, and I had short legs. I stepped into the middle of the slat, and my shoe got caught. I didn't know anything about spatial relationship, so I was worried I would be stuck forever. Then I saw the train coming. I screamed "Barbie, Barbie" and other yells. The group turned back. My sister said, "Oh, she always yells like that" and kept walking. I think it was my cousin who finally had pity and saved my life. I wasn't sure I could trust my sister after that.

Now, the big betrayal. One hot afternoon, I took $5.00 from my dad's dresser and bought everyone in the neighborhood an ice cream from the ice cream man. My sister had two fudge bars. Later that day, I was coming up the front steps, and heard my sister telling my mom about how "… and she took money from your dresser and bought everyone ice cream, hump." However, she left out the part about how she ate two, and, even though she was five years older than me, did not try to stop me at all.
I slid against the wall, trying to get to my bedroom unnoticed. It did not work. I got spanked and she got ice cream.

Unschooling happens all the time. Even when kids are traditionally educated.