On the threshold of high school: application processes, decisions, and a disappearing childhood

I have been debating on and off whether I should write this post.

The struggle is so real to me that I have to physically hold myself back from letting it get the best of me because if I do that, the push back may be permanent. And I can’t let that happen – kids need support in ways that wasn’t prevalent in my day. And it’s not just the internet, there are other things going on. Things that didn’t seem to be so up front and in your face in my day the way they are today.

But at the same time, I also question the sanity of this society at times. How is it we push kids onto career paths earlier and earlier with every generation?

I was talking with my chiropractor a few weeks ago whose daughter is the same age as my son; both are in grade 8 and visiting high school open houses to determine the next step. His words resonate loud and clear in my head:

“They’re only 13, they’re still children.” Continue reading

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Family dialogue about all things internet

Last night I asked my son about school. From there the topic continued and I brought up my blog post about unschooling.

I asked them if they remembered their grandmother telling us the story about her playing hooky in Kindergarten. Continue reading

Unschooling: then and now

When my mom was a Kindergarten-aged child in the late 1940s, she regularly skipped class.

No one kept attendance, it seems. Or if they did it wasn’t as rigid as it is today with automated phone calls and amber alerts all over media…

For added perspective: try to imagine a small city in Switzerland, near the metropolitan city of ZΓΌrich, during the late 1940s and early 1950s…kids in general were not really parented in the way that we do it today.

I think most of us know this. πŸ™‚

So anyway, here is my mom as a child, with long, brown braids, marching off to Kindergarten every morning while her mom tended to several younger girls at home.

Except, on some days, my mom didn’t go to Kindergarten at all. Just decided it was much more interesting to hang around anywhere else. πŸ˜‰

Continue reading

Back at school: lunch time, junk food and mom’s home-cooking

Every day they want to eat dinner. Right?

This means someone’s gotta cook. That would be me. Good thing I don’t mind cooking, most days…

The other day my mom was telling me she was out at lunchtime. She noticed long lineups at fast food joints located around some schools. She looked closer and it was all middle school and high school kids, waiting in line for a burger and fries, or some such junk.

She was astonished and so am I. I mean, I know kids buy food at these places, but every day at lunch?

My question is, at what point do kids have so much money they can afford a fast food lunch on a regular basis? Continue reading

Almost back to school: parenting kids with anxiety

It has begun again: the back to school preparation is in full force.

Both kids have their supplies, provided by Grandma’s generous supplement, plus the boy has new, men sized shoes (yikes), and the girl a new lunch bag.

For the remaining two weeks of August however, they are happily leaving all thoughts of school out of their brains and continuing with their summer laziness relaxing and fun.

Sort of. Continue reading

The ever fascinating internet: sifting through massive amounts of information

I have been thinking about the boys that were stuck in that cave in Thailand. According to the news the other morning, they are now all out. It reminded me of that Chilean mine rescue years ago, 2010, remember? They brought in a specially made capsule to rescue the trapped men one by one…I was up all night following along. Left a huge impression on me.

Same with these boys.

It’s heart wrenching to think about these things in concrete, tangible terms. A kid, any kid, and now all these adults, some of whom have kids, families, putting their own life on the line for a rescue mission. Working for a common cause, a desired result, coming together, sharing expertise. One rescuer died in the process of saving young lives…I think about him, and his family, too.

It’s enlightening to think about the combined efforts of so many people, often across international borders, that come together for the single purpose to save lives.

How easy has the internet made it for us to get real time, instant information? With a few clicks, you can be right there following along. Continue reading