Sunday, May 28, 2006

May 26-28 - Unschooling Conference

Went to NE Unschooling Conference in Peabody, MA with R and her family.

It was GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was so nice to see so many families successfully unschooling. The older kids were very social - spoke well with adults, hung out amongst selves and seemed generally very happy. One girl spoke about how she got into Harvard and what was involved (had to submit a non-standard application).

I should write more but too tired - the key is that the conference definitely helped convince me that we're on the right track and gave me easy answers to the socialization and college questions - answer is that we have met kids that are very social (theory is that school is not a good place for socialization b/c you're in a class with all kids of the same age and you are not allowed to talk most of the time and schools are generally designed to encourage competitive) and that have gotten into top colleges.

Yoav watching two older girls play:

Talent Show:

Yoav "reading" magazine on train ride home:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

May 25 - Great pic

This is just too cute to leave out of the blog:
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Thursday, May 11, 2006

May 11 - Emptying trash at bagel store

This morning we went to the local bagel store, David's (as we do most days for breakfast). We were eating for about half an hour - a bit slower than usual as I was killing time before the laundry was ready to switch to the dryer. I was pulling out little bits of the soft part of the bagel for Yoav to eat - he ate the whole bagel minus the outer shell, which is too hard for him to eat.

When HE was finished sitting/eating, he put all of our trash onto the tray and picked it up, indicating that he was ready to go. I was so shocked - I took off the coffee cup to be sure it didn't spill and carefully lifted him up and put him on the ground (standing up, still holding the tray upright).

He walked with the tray (still upright) over to the trash can. I lifted him up and opened the window of the trash - he angled the tray so the trash fell in and then put the empty tray on top of the trash can (there were no trays there today, but this is the correct place for empty trays). I just couldn't believe it. I wouldn't have thought he could do this. And he just did it nonchalantly as if he's been doing it every day. All of a sudden, this was just so normal for him. Everyone at the bagel place was shocked, but Yoav didn't think anything of it. I don't even think he realized that he had done something new.

Grandma Warlick came up for Benny's graduation. We met her at Penn Station and then went down to Benny's apartment.

We walked around while Yoav napped and then went to a playground. Yoav really enjoyed Benny pushing him on the swings - Benny would push and then run under the swing, which Yoav thought was quite funny!

For dinner, we went to Josie's, where there is a selection of Vegan foods. We got a roasted chicken - Yoav liked it very much.

Then we walked home in the sling and Yoav fell asleep.

Monday, May 1, 2006

May 1, 2006 - NVC

AM went to library. Partway through, Yoav started rubbing his eye and it got puffy and then his nose got stuffy. I don't know what happened. It's possible the little girl next to him poked his eye and maybe she had some food on her fingers that he's allergic to. He was sitting in my lap so I know he didn't eat anything. :(

In the evening I went to an NVC (Non-Violent Communication) 'First Mondays with Thom Bond' Intro. It was really good. I recently read two NVC books, "Raising Children Compassionately: Parenting the Nonviolent Communication Way" by Marshall B. Rosenberg and "Parenting From Your Heart: Sharing the Gifts of Compassion, Connection, and Choice" by Inbal Kashtan (Kashtan is an unschooler). NVC is a way of communicating in a very connected way with people. When there is a conflict between two people, NVC pushes you to first consider your own feelings, then empathize with the other person, then create a dialog in the form of:
1. Observation: "I see that you want to play on the steps outside the building indefinitely."
2. Feelings: "I'm feeling very tense."
3. Needs: "Because I need food - I'm very hungry and want to start making dinner."
4. Request: "Would you be willing to come inside now - we can play outside after dinner if you want to?"
One of the keys to NVC is to find the yes in the no - ie, if Yoav says he doesn't want to come inside, the yes is that he wants to play - specifically right now he might be playing on the steps outside the building, but perhaps he would be equally happy jumping on the couch inside a bit or playing with his big car inside, etc.

The important thing is for me to find the yes so Yoav either does what I want willingly or so that we compromise - I do not want to *make* him do anything or to push my wants on him - I want him to use power to meet everyone's needs ("power-with") rather than to use power to enforce ("power-over").