Tuesday, March 07, 2006


We woke up to finish a mystery book. We went for a long walk in some nearby woods. My knee is still bothering me and I am grumpy at not being able to exercise in my usual manner. As we were going up a giant hill Evie said, gently, "Mama, take my hand and that way if you fall you can just lean on my shoulder!"

We went to a new house for knitting today. Evie did very well in a new place. I could see her discomfort at the way the kids talked to their mom and the fighting that went on between the siblings. More kiddos came later and I could see she was relieved not to have to be the only other kid to talk to. The game turned to a fighting game with weapons and "sides." If it is truly pretend Evie can get into it. But this game contained some real struggle between siblings and I asked Evie if she was having fun. She smiled at me gratefully and said "I will tell X we are going home in 10 minutes!" And we did.

Thankfully I had a dear friend over tonight to discuss our current "issues." We are both struggling and feeling like lone voices in the wilderness when it comes to truly respecting our children. "Unschooling" is starting to mean "homeschooling without a set curriculum." That is fine. We are leading a free life full of inquiry and challenge. Too often I get my hopes up when someone says they "unschool." They may not force their kids to memorize the times tables or tell them they can't write in cursive until 3rd grade (actually happened to Evie's friend) but they still bribe and threaten their kids. Even subtle examples of true power inequity get through to children.

My friend and I decided to start a movement we thought should be called "Women You Should Listen To." We would have buttons and pins and t-shirts that proclaim the slogans of free living. We would develop a neuralizer (a la Men In Black) that would immediately impart the contents of Alfie Kohn's Punished by Rewards into the brains of anyone we zapped. They would actually do and believe and live in a non-coercive way with their families and friends.

I know I am dreaming AND it was a day well lived!

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