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Discussing the Coppers (What Unschoolers Do Instead of School)

7 year-old No. One and I were eating dinner after I picked her up from art camp.  I’d been out of town on travel for the week, so we were catching up.  One filled me in on all of her art projects, then took a moment to quaff a little food—if you’ve ever eaten with a 7 year-old experiencing growth spurts, you know that quaff is in fact the correct word there.

As One chewed I said, “So, I got caught jaywalking by the police this week.”  One and I frequently jaywalk, and I’ve mentioned before that it’s actually against the law. 

Her eyes lit up.  “Really!?”

“Yup.”

“What Happened?”

“Well, I was standing on the island in the middle of the road watching for cars like one does when they jaywalk when I heard a voice saying, ‘Why are you crossing the street like that?’ I looked behind me, and three cars back there was a cop on a motorcycle.”

“What’d you do?”

“I shrugged ‘I don’t know’ at him.”

“Then what happened?”

“He said ‘Come here!’” so I went back to talk to him, and he was all like, ‘Raarr Rar Raaoarrr.’”

“Hehehehe, then I be he went, ‘Raardy Raar RAAR raar.’

“Yup,” I replied.  “Then, it occurred to me that he was yelling at me for being in the middle of the street, but he was keeping me in the middle of the street to yell at me.  I’d have already been gone by the time he was done yelling at me.”

“Wait!  You mean he wanted you to get out of the middle of the street but he kept you in the middle of the street to yell at you?  Is that a good idea?  Of course not!”

(One has become a big fan of reflective yet rhetorical questions lately.)

“Did you know that GrandDaddy got caught for jaywalking once by a policeman on a bicycle?”

“A policeman on a bicycle!?”

“Yup.”

“Why would a policeman have a bicycle?

“I don’t know, but he told GrandDaddy he was going to give him a ticket.”

“What happened then?”

“GrandDaddy said, ‘No you’re not, because you’ll have to catch me first,’ and then he ran off!”

“Ohhh, that’s a good plan!”

And so we discussed how one might escape how one might escape a bicycle cop, but that’s a story for another time.

The gang and I have the best conversations with each other.  We have time to talk, to reflect on our day, to tell stories, to listen to stories from the past.  We have time because we don’t have a set schedule—at least not one set up by other people.  Unschooling affords us the time to collect our thoughts, to retell old family legends, and to tell the new ones that happened this week.

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