Thursday, March 29, 2018

What Would Tatum Do? (Don't Fret just; Fix It!)

And We Went the Other Way
My life has been punctuated of late with various utterances of “No,” and “That’s not allowed,” regarding our day to day unschooling activities.  These admonishments have touched on topics including sitting on bar-stools, participating in museum classes, and  even helping out at volunteer soup kitchens.  It’s been kind of exasperating to say the least.  For the longest time I found myself sinking into a pit of embitterment.  I almost wrote about my negative feelings a time or two, but then narrowly talked myself out of it after jotting down a few notes.  Each time I’d giggle, and admonish myself with one of our local idioms, “What would Tatum do?”  If you’ve never heard of JB Tatum, he’s a physicist from Vancouver, Canada who may have never impolitely uttered a negative word, as especially illustrated by this, his most vehement of scientific diatribes.

I wondered and wondered how Tatum would handle these situations.  Then finally, (sometimes I’m slow), a few weeks ago, it occurred to me!.  He wouldn’t sit around focusing on what was denied, he’d work towards an alternative solution.  Relentlessly.  And so, my mantra, every time I started to complain became, “Yes, but what’s the solution, how can what’s missing be replaced?”

The writing group we were missing out on because “adults need a safe space to write,” transformed into a freestyle writing hangout.  Sure, we couldn’t schedule library study rooms as we had in the past, but we could hangout in the library lounge, because well, everyone is free to hang out in the lounge.  We can take turns free-writing,reading, and commenting, to build our writing skills, and you know what?  We know so many patrons at the library!  We’ll have another writing group built in not time, and this one without rules.  Write what you please!

The museum class that no longer exists for toddlers?  Simplicity itself.  As it turns out, our museum membership allows for up to three more adults per visit, and an unlimited number of kids.  If we chip in to hire one of the docents we loved in the class that no longer exists, we’ll be off and running!

And as for the bar stools?  Well, it’s always a bummer when a place doesn’t turn out to be your favorite new hangout.  Good thing we have a number of existing hangouts where we’re treated like one of the family, I think we’ll focus on the sheer delight of hanging out at those places!

What are your favorite homeschooling workarounds to “No”?

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