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Monkey Bars (What Unschoolers Do Instead of School)

This week I’d like to talk about what the gang does while they’re not in a classroom setting, (because they’re almost never in a classroom setting).  I’ll describe one thing they’ve been up to each day, and share what makes me so ridiculously proud about the their daily activities that I just giggle.  So, without further ado: Monkey Bars!


Five year-old No. Two hit a monkey bar milestone today!  He rocketed past one bar at a time grabs straight up to traversing the two bars at a time!  As if that wasn’t enough he then mastered turning around to go the other direction when he got to the end—another thing he’s never done before.  Watching him in his striped shirt, pink tights, and hiking boots with his shock of almost white hair bobbing back and forth as he swung like a pendulum preparing to hit not the next bar, but two bars over, made me grin from ear to ear!  My grin mirrored his as he pulled off his new acrobatic feat.

I love that unschooling allows the gang the time and freedom to pursue physical endeavors as well as mental ones.  As I watched Two I couldn’t help but think, “Wow!  This kid’s going to have upper-body strength and balance in a way that I’ve never known.”  What he’s doing now, with any luck he’ll keep doing, even build upon.  I’m proud of his confidence.  I’m proud of his willingness to surrender his body to chase after a new accomplishment that he decided on—a quality the entire gang shares.

I love that the gang goes up, and hangs out in  trees like panthers and ocelots.  I love that one of their favorite comic book characters is Poison Ivy—generally portrayed as a villain, sometimes as a hero—whose physical prowess is equaled by her passion to interact with as well as save all the green things.  The gang gets to hangout in the woods, climb trees, trek to playgrounds, and make the whole world their gym!  They’re secure in nature!  They hike, they explore, they go wherever they please and believe they are able.  Last night when one of them was headed to the playground with me, she stopped short at the gang’s favorite set of climbing trees.  “Dad, we don’t need to go any further to the playground.  This is the playground!”  What a gig!


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