Adventures in Unschooling

Strategies for reading and a plea for help!

Posted on: January 26, 2009

This morning I moved the computer from my hobby room into the kitchen. I was reading some unschooling resources and was inspired to get the kids started on the computer. The oldest is three and a half but I am hoping that as they learn to use it better they will desire to learn how to read so that they can better navigate.

Having another item, especially such a large one, in my kitchen is cluttering my house up even more but no one said that unschooling would be convenient.

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I am also turning the closed captioning on on all of their movies.

I have been trying to read to them more often but Trey, my eldest, has started saying that he doesn’t want me to read the books but rather, that he wants to read them himself. This seems like a break through except that he won’t even look at them. “Reading” to him is simply toting the book around. If I can get his brother to sit for a reading then Trey gets curious and joins us. So that is working for now. Hopefully I can get them more interested in books soon. The hubby and I both read for pleasure so we are doing the best we can to help them see this as a fun and fulfilling activity.

We do want to be very hands off as far as what and when they’ll learn but I am determined that they will learn to read and write properly. I know they will do it in their own time and I am not going to start teaching lessons but I am trying to offer as many opportunities for learning to read as I can.

The big struggle I am having right now is getting them to respect me. I have tried the gentle discipline and non-violent communication with them but that doesn’t stop the repeat behaviour. I get frustrated by the lack of respect and start raising my voice and putting them on time-outs or sending them to their rooms. Grrr! I hate it when I have to resort to this but I don’t what to do. I feel that I am super flexible about where and what they play with but I don’t tolerate them hitting each other with drum sticks or yelling at me!

The other thing is that my oldest has totally regressed as far as potty training. He was fully trained and picked it up very quickly (albeit it took forever to convince him to even try) and had about two accidents in six months. Then he decided that he didn’t want to anymore and has been wetting himself two to eight times a day! This has been going on for three months and I am tired of doing laundry every two days. It just burns me up. Has anyone ever had success dealing with this.

I have tried every strategy and I still can’t get him to be consistent. I know it’s not a medical problem because when we go to the mall or something he can go for hours without wetting himself. And the other day he went a full 24 hours.

Anyways, if anyone has any words of wisdom to offer (and I don’t want to hear the lame answers like, “maybe there was a transition” or “maybe he was learning a new skill” or something because we have already considered all these issues. I think it’s something I will just have to wait out but I don’t know how to deal with it until then. I don’t want to act like it’s acceptable to wet ourselves. And I find it embarrasing to go to people’s homes when I know he is likely to wet himself. I refuse to put him back in diapers.

Sometimes I feel like he uses wetting his pants as an excuse to change his clothes because he tends to pee way more often on the days that he has fresh laundry…who knows. 

Parenting…it’s not all giggles and tickles.

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1 Response to "Strategies for reading and a plea for help!"

Since I can’t speak from experience I wonder if you might be able to look to mothering.com or pregnancy.org for discussions of similar topics. Just a thought!

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