18 July 2011
unschool monday :: hanging at the mall
Last weekend we went on a social exploration excursion. Big owlet has been very keen on teenagers and has been watching and reading all about them. It's become clear to me that to her, they represent conformity and finding identity within a group. I find it utterly fascinating watching her analyse social groups and she spends lots of time doing it. Much of the material she's been researching on teenagers involves visits to "the mall". She wanted to go to one. She had no idea what one was. It was one of those moments where you beam with pride and wonder if you've been sheltering her too much with the whole homeschool thing... So we headed off for the nearest "mall" to hang. Sunnies on head, bag slung over shoulder and gumboots on. "Oh, is that it", she uttered after our first lap. Perhaps not the exciting teen hangout she'd envisaged...
But she knows what one is now. She's fascinated with social groups and interactions between children. School children are seen as a group she doesn't belong to, but might like to. One day. Some days she tells me she'd like to be like everyone else. Usually when she sees a pack of kids walk home from the local school. The last time was on our way home from a friend's place where she'd played ALL DAY. I reminded her how much those kids would probably love to have spent the day leaping around their friend's basement and exploring convict built tunnels. It's complex, finding that balance and helping her understand that how we spend our days is normal for many and that the road less travelled can be lots of fun. It is for her and she plays with so many friends each week. She is not lacking in friendships, that's for sure. Nor quality time to explore them. And when we spend time with friends, it helps us remember just how normal our weeks are. Just like everyone else. Although I'm fairly sure that when they're teenagers, the mall may not be the fave hangout.
Labels: unschool monday