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.



  1. Oh i love your take on home schooling. My eldest is now a teen & it's a whole new world, so far, very good & she's not that into conforming, so i love that. I do teen-watch & consider it so very sad when they are all dressed exactly the same way, no matter what shape or size, why can't they dress to their body shape, a tad more flattering, & cover up a bit?? Not being a prude but really, short short shorts & tiny tops, they only suit a few & should be best kept for the beach. Love Posie

  2. Great post. I loved to learn about how others do things/life. I took " society and culture" for tge HSC and I ended up studying social anthropology at uni. Perhaps you could (if you haven't thought of it already) "strew" some kid appropriate social anthropology stuff around. Studies on peer groups, how they work, there function etc?? Might be fun.

  3. My oldest is 6.5yrs old. She loves to be around other children, always wanting to go somewhere. We are in a homeschool co-op that is out for the summer, even when it starts again it's only one day a week.

    I love this unschooling life we have created. It's challenging and wonderful all at the same time.

  4. Oh you came over my side of the river :)


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