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Location: Fairbanks, Alaska, United States

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Unforeseen benefits

When I pulled T out of school I had high hopes that it would better our lives. It has, of course, in numerous ways...T and I have really connected; our relationship is better than it has ever been (and it was incredibly rocky for years). We are both more relaxed and truly more happy. I never realized, however, how quickly his interactions would change with other kids.

In school T was in trouble about 90% of the time. It was a rare day that he didn't come home with a note that went into great detail about all of his infractions. His relationships at school were troubled. Kids knew of T's sensitive nature and took advantage of it. Some would purposefully taunt T just to get a reaction out of him and loved the fact that T would then get into trouble for "overreacting." The group dynamics were never in T's favor...the bullying, the fickle nature of kids ("yesterday I was your friend, today I'm not"), the gang mentality. T always had problems waiting in lines, bustling others and wanting always to be first.

Recently we found a sledding hill close to our home. As soon as we arrived, T offered up his tube to the other two kids that were sledding. When they would all race up the hill together, T would offer to let them go ahead of him (where in the past, he would fight to be first). This similar senario has happened during all the times we have visited this particular hill. I'm amazed at the changes in T -- and we've only been unschooling since December!


Anonymous Denise in Louisiana said...

Your T sounds so much like my Emma (age 6 11/12's, as she says ~smile). We've had similar results now that we've become radical unschoolers. It's amazing, isn't it?

8:57 AM  
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