When my first child was a baby, I read all the parenting books I could get my hands on, including one with a title something like: Your Child Can Be a Genius.
I read the book and thought about its contents very carefully. And quickly. If I wanted to have an exceedingly clever child, I had no time to lose. Wait too long and my chance would be gone. Everything happens in the first few years of a child’s life. Or so the author said.
I wasn’t sure I wanted my child to be a genius. Wouldn’t that make her different from everyone else? And then wouldn’t her pathway through life be more difficult? Perhaps happiness results from being part of the crowd. Fitting in. No, I wanted my children to be ‘normal’. But they haven’t ended up normal at all.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped worrying about what I wanted my children to be and I started encouraging them to be who they are. I realised every child is unique and special. And she doesn’t have to be like anyone else.
So I have different children. I think all unschoolers are probably different. Is different okay? My 14-year-old daughter Sophie joins me for this week’s podcast to discuss this question. It’s a very lively interview. Sophie has a contagious laugh! I asked my teenager the following questions:
- In what ways are you different?
- Do you like being different?
- Is there an advantage to being different?
- Even though you aren’t like the crowd, do you still have a need to belong?
- What if someone thinks one of my resources is totally unsuitable for children?
- Are we affected by adult peer pressure when deciding whether something is child suitable or not?
- Do parents have a need to feel accepted and approved of?
I haven’t viewed all resources. I offer them as;a starting;point, something which may be useful.
I’m aware that not all the resources I recommend are perfect. For example, an adults-only segment might slip into an otherwise perfectly good video. Our family either skips over the adult content or we talk about it.
For a more detailed disclaimer, please see my post The Tricky Business of Recommending Resources.
I hope you find something helpful and enjoyable amongst today’s resources!
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux ebook (free)
BBC art documentaries on Youtube (contain nude paintings and references to such things as Picasso’s love life)
Wilkie Collins’ books
St John Ambulance
St John Cadets (Australia)
Thank you for listening!
Image: Sophie says school kids can tell she’s different just by looking at her. What do you think?