Adventures in Unschooling


Posted on: March 4, 2009

The last time I went to the library I picked up a couple of old movies. I picked up A Streetcar Named Desire with the famous Marlon Brando as well as James Dean’s Rebel Without a Cause.

I was struck by the difference between today’s movies and the ones from the fifties.

For starters, the plots moved much more slowly than they do now. It seems that without fast car chases and sex scenes today’s movies can’t keep the attention of the viewers long enough to relay their story. This is one of my downfalls. As some of my regular readers may have already discovered I get annoyed with books that seem to restate the same ideas over and over again. I am a point-form kind of gal. This is exactly why I wanted to be a journalist (and used to be) before I had children. I love learning but I grasp concepts pretty quickly and find it boring to have to sift through old rhetoric.

The second thing I noticed about these old movies was the difference between the male star then and now. The male stars of that day would be regarded as highly chauvinistic today. They were violent, rude and displayed ownership of their women.

The third thing is the difference between the female star then and now. The women all dressed and fixed their hair in feminine manners. They also spoke sweetly and softly and made annoying motions with their hands when they spoke.

Now this was all pretty true for the time so it’s no surprise that these details were woven right into the story lines. But before I stopped to think of the cultural element I was shocked that girls would swoon over Marlon Brando or James Dean.

I am not into girly-boys but I don’t appreciate aggression (undue) in males (or females). I find it a rather revolting personality trait exhibited by people with insecurities.

Anyways, what does this have to do with unschooling? Well, for me, not much. But for someone with older children, watching old movies could give them a chance to explore the differences in the decades. Details like the way that males and females relate to one another. How they dress (the progression to more sexualized women for example). The way they speak or address another or the way they walk or use their bodies to convey emotion.

On to another topic…

I feel quite lonely where I am. I really need support especially in child rearing. But the only people I can really talk to (that have kids) are always bent on giving advice instead of just trying to be understanding. My mother especially. She is always telling me how to “fix” my kids’ behavioural problems. But there are a lot of things I wouldn’t want to do with my kids that my parents did and I bet that parenting wasn’t as easy for her as she remembers it. It’s always easier to stand on the outside and think that everyone is doing it wrong than it is to just allow the other person to vent on the other side.

I feel frustrated that Trey is still wetting his pants. Some days are good but some are not so great. He is turning four soon and I am getting sick of doing laundry all of the time. I am not one for paying attention to developmental milestones but I really feel he should have mastered this skill already. He had it mastered before…why not now???

I am also frustrated that all of the positive parenting in the world still gets me lip and still won’t stop them from pinching and jumping on each other. I feel like their behaviour towards each other likely won’t change much. I keep being told that brothers fight and that that is the reality of having boys. Maybe they’re right but I still don’t think that aggression should go unchecked.

As for the lip, it is making be angry and wearing me out. It is so frustrating to argue with someone to get them to do something as simple as letting you change a diaper or covering up their nice clothes before they paint. Some of the things I’ll ask them to do or that I’ll say will go by uncontested but sometimes they’ll drive me bananas with silly arguing. The books say that they don’t think it’s silly but I can’t find any glimmer of logic in some of their behaviour. Like when I ask them not to throw wood blocks (since one of the blocks always seems to land on another person or animal) and they sit there,  smile at me and toss one more! Grr! 

A funny little thing now. Joel has decided that he will only wear pants. And by pants I mean jeans. He has a fit if I can’t get his pants back on fast enough after a diaper change or a bath. He won’t wear shorts or pjs or anything else…even to bed. Just jeans. That’s all. I would find that so restrictive but hey, if that’s what he wants to wear then all the power to him.

My goodness kids do silly things.

Anyways, it’s not all bad. My kids and I are enjoying being together more than before. They are also being much better to me than they were. My frustration is really due to my lack of a support network in this parenting journey. Plus my hubby is taking some classes these days and that is leaving me to tend to the children by myself more than I used to. So not only do I have less time apart from them I also get less time with my hubby who has always had a calming and rejuvenating effect on me.

Here’s hoping for warm weather to melt all that flippin’ snow so that we all get out more. I am sure we would all benefit from more sunshine, fresh air and time away from home.


2 Responses to "Musings."

These are some really great thoughts and observations M. I would like to comment more deeply but it’s dinner time now.

It’s a little off topic, but as you know I’m not a big movie watcher. I got word that “Chinatown” is a remarkably accurate portrayal of California’s water history. With how disgusted I am with the attitudes about water there I think it’s worth a watch. It’s from the 70’s. Perhaps we can get together for a girl’s night and take it in.

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  • None
  • withoutloveweallperish: 50 books for $10!! As a book lover, that sounds like Christmas come early! Lovely library set up, need to set up one of those for myself!
  • theworldismysoyster: Sure. Just none of my kids. :)
  • goobrobinson: Hi! I'd like to seek your permission if I can reuse one of your pictures for my next post? Specifically the second picture.


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