Friday, 13 July 2007

A Challenge to My Radical Unschooling

It was a dark and stormy night when the phone call came...
(well, a sunny afternoon, but who's counting)

We were invited to visit some new friends, but little did I know they weren't the innocent family they appeared.
(okay, they were super nice people; I really clicked with the parents, A+A and Littletree really clicked with the daughter M, but I wont let that get in the way of a good story)

We arrived to their dark castle set atop a craggy mountain
(would you believe a townhouse in Byron Bay?)

Littletree quickly got over her customary shyness when she saw the massive trampoline they have in the back yard, and soon the girls were jumping around, to the delight of their baby boy of the obscenely cute Dimples.

Slowly, I got to know A+A, and though we were both trying to hide it, they are Radical Unschoolers too! As the stories of our parenting histories unfolded, I realised that our paths have been so similar they must have been stalking me for some time.

The girls got out some little bottles of food colouring and started making 'experiments', mixing the colours in different containers, and having a great time of it.

I felt great, like, yeah! this is what unschooling is all about. This is the kind of stuff all those unschooling mamas on the message boards talk about.

And then came the...
dare I say it?



Of course, we talked about how it was an issue for them to let M have Barbies, and I agreed. but thus far, Littletree has never asked for one, nor expressed a real interest in having one, so its been a non-issue.

UNTIL they sprung their trap...

Littletree found that M has Barbies that are characters from the Barbie Fairytopia DVDs she has. Of course, she decided that she wants one.

Oh, it was tough for me. and the darn thing cost $20, but I stopped at Woolies on the way home and bought Littletree a Barbie. The same one, that is 'Elina' in Barbie, Fairytopia; Magic of the Rainbow.

Well, I did it. I let go of my own judgemental, conditioned "boycott Barbie" Politically Correct response, and respected Littletree's desire to have her very own Barbie.

and to be honest, I could have easily delayed her, saying that we'd get one the next time we came to town, or 'failed' to find it in the shop, or convinced her that the $5 Barbie was better than the $20 one that she wanted. But Ithink secretly, there's a little girl inside there who wants that Barbie too!


  1. Your blog is very interesting!
    Please, send me the photo of your pc desk and the link of your blog.
    I'll publish on my blog!.
    Thanks Frank

  2. Hi,

    it was absolutely lovely meeting you guys! Hillarious how we had learnt from experience to "hide" the radical unschooling stuff on a first meeting especially so as not to freak out people... did not realise how much i missed making a connection with others of a similar approach until we all "outed" ourselves!

    Looking forward to our families and children pushing each others buttons and challenging each other – glad you managed to resolve the first one... the barbie question so fast!

    The barbie thing was perhaps our first hurdle as it was a focus for M very early. Our post on it is here

    looking forward to seeing you soon!


Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)