Sunday, May 10

Little things...

Storm has been asking to do things this week-where has he gotten the idea? I'm not sure. He asked to get me flowers for Mother's Day when we were at Mustard Seed. He asked to buy me a card when we were at Target-but not with me. Which makes it tough when Dave's out of town.

I got a fistful of dandelions a few days ago. :~) Bright, sunny, yellow, fuzzy circles of happiness, plus a couple other "yard flowers"-different shades of purple. Wyl looked SO pleased when I found a simple, clear juice glass to put them in (all of my vases are too big)... they've been sitting in various spots in the kitchen-did you know that yellow dandelions will turn to the seed-puffballs indoors in a glass of water?! I didn't...

Somehow, at this point, I just can't see a bouquet of long stemmed roses or a diamond necklace of a box of gourmet chocolates meaning as much to me as that meaningful fistful of dandelions or the expression that came with the acceptance of them. I've always liked the sunny fuzziness of dandelions, but when they're picked *for* you, because someone wanted to brighten your life or because they were thinking of you... well, how can it get better than that?!

Hope your Mother's Day is full of sweet surprises, sticky hugs and lots of love!

Friday, May 8

Soapbox mini-rant

As if the title weren't enough... I have been feeling the need to blow off some steam, don't have much venue where I can do that with this and this is *my* space, so I'm going to get up on my li'l ol' soapbox and have my say.

The events of this week have really clarified *why* Unschoolers feel (justly or unjustly) treated with intolerance in eclectic/diverse homeschooling groups. Well, not the entire groups, but certain factions within. (As I brag up my local inclusive group every chance I *get*, I know that the lion's share are super great, wonderful, open folks... but you know what they say about a couple rotten apples...) I guess I'm just not one of those enlightened folks who can just let it go (yet), because each time it comes up, it gets under my skin and irritates a little more.

Hypothetical scenario: "Betty" writes on her local homeschool group that she's stressed about her 3rd grader's math and does anyone have any suggestions to help them get through 3rd grade math? "Suzy" says that she hasn't used it herself, but she's heard really good things about "Acme" curriculum. "Joan" adds her opinion that Acme curriculum didn't work for them, but that they really liked the ease and diversity of "Beta" curriculum. "Freda" says that no, both of those curriculums are junk, that there is a site online that does wonders for 3rd grade math. "Jane" begs forgiveness for contradicting Suzy, Joan and Freda but that better than all of those is a video she has and will bring along for Betty to consider at their next library gathering. "Helga" says all the previous suggestions stink and that she has a computer program that will put all those to shame and that Betty has *got* to use it, and that she'll be bringing it by right after lunch today.

All those posts are accepted as perfectly normal, fine ways of "helping" Betty. Then along comes "Cindy", who doesn't suggest anyone use anything or say that any way is "right" or "wrong", but just talks about how their family doesn't use any sort of curriculum or learning program and how it has worked in their family and how they've learned without canned "educational" stuff *in their own family*. Why does this last post garner accusations of "finger pointing" and claims of "telling other people they are homeschooling 'wrong' "? Why does a little hint that it *is* sometimes possible for some folks to learn without "structured educational -something-" taken as a huge insult?? All rhetorical, but I am baffled.

In the current, real-life situation, the thing that really stamps the "Unschooler hate" sticker on the whole shebang is that FIVE days prior (9:45 pm), a similar issue was brought up on the very same group by the very same original poster (poster "A"), but more in the spelling/writing arena. A tried and true curriculum-user answered "A" with a reply that would have been *very* similar to an Unschooler's reply, basically, "no biggie, time will see an end to the 'problem' ". What did "A" say to the curriculum-user? Not, "Don't answer any of my posts in the future.". Not, "I know your philosophy". Not, "I don't want to hear *your* answer." Not, "That's not what I asked." No. "A" said "That's an acceptable answer" and "I'm glad to know it will change on it's own".

Maybe I'm just too used to open, honest discussions, where people can take or leave what they want from what's posted. I don't know. I just can't understand why a suggestion can be completely acceptable as long as it has a title or a name, but if the answer is "you don't *have* to use something "educational" ', all hell breaks loose as if someone said to tie the child up and force feed them dog poop until they barf all over themselves. Okay, maybe I exaggerate... but it certainly feels that way sometimes.

:: Big, heavy sigh... :: It's just really tough to let it all "roll off your back" or assume the best when you try to offer a kind, gentle, helping hand and you get kicked in the head for your efforts. Anyhow, the whole "scenario" part has been rolling around in my head since about noon 2 days ago (2 1/2?), and I thought that maybe if I purged it out into black and white, it might help me "let it go". I guess maybe it's just too intertwined with... other events... Gee, I just thought of a new definition for "brainwash"! 'Cause I'd sure love to be able to wash some of this right outta my brain! :~)

Tomorrow's another day, I have loads of friends who are so, so good to me and who I love *dearly*, life is good, me and mine have our health, so time for me to smack that inner optimist awake. :~D I think I'll dig up a quote to put at the *bottom* this time...

And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones and good in everything.
-William Shakespeare (1564-1616)