Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Functioning in Society

How will our unschooled kids function in society? Well, I can't tell the future, but I can share some examples of how Josh (8y) functions now. 1. At Target- I'm looking through clothes and things, and Josh wants to look at the toys. So he goes over there. He's looking for a particular toy and couldn't find it, so he pushes the "help" button to call for assistance. A team member arrives and looks... around for whoever called for assistance. "Excuse me," Josh calls. "I need help finding a particular transformer toy, please." 2. At the grocery store- Bug likes to walk, so he and I toddle along slowly while Josh takes the cart ahead to get our list items. Josh goes to get some cheese and frozen peas while Bug and I go down the baking aisle for our items. I happen to see him wait patiently behind another customer at the cheese case before picking up the mozzarella. We catch up to him in the frozen section, and I see 2 different employees ask him if he needs help. "No thank you, just getting some peas," he replied. 3. Before going out on a family date- Me- "Let's see how much money we can spend before we go." Josh- "Oh ooh, let me do it!" So I pull up our bank account online. Josh signs in and navigates to our checking account. With my help, he uses a calculator to subtract our upcoming bills from our balance. Then we talk about how much of the balance should be put into savings and how much we think is appropriate to spend on our date. These are just a few examples from the last couple of days. I don't know what your definition of "function in society" is, but mine is being able to navigate the world and work with other people to get what you need to care for yourself. By that definition Josh is functioning, at 8 years old, as well as some adults I know. The biggest obstacle he faces now is people not taking him seriously based on his age. Too often I think when people ask "how will your kids function?" what they are really asking is "how will your kids come to be like everyone else?" Functioning is not about being like everyone else, or acting like everyone else, or thinking like everyone else. It's about finding a way to be yourself while getting along in this crazy world.See More "

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