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Apple Pies: Unschooling and Independent Kids

 Daize and Tawnse made apple pie! It was delicious! But wait! When they started, they didn’t have flour or sugar. Did they come to me to ask if they had the requisite materials, and could I get them? Nope. 

The first I caught any wind of this pie business at all was this morning when Tawnse appeared in the doorway to ask where one might find shortening. I replied that rather than looking for shortening one should simply use butter. As she walked away, I heard Tawnse holler to Daise—across the house—”Daize! Can you use butter?”

Later, as my partner and I were planning what to do about various things in jobs, with kids, and for dinner, Daize, Tawnse, and Mota appeared again stating that they’d planned their day. I commented that kids-plan-adventure-day was actually scheduled for Thursday mornings. 

They stared at me blankly—I haven’t told them about that part of our new schedule yet, but the blank stare gave me the moment I needed to collect my thoughts, realize that my partner and I had, bare minimum, another half hour of conversation to meander through, and that the kids were proposing—I didn’t actually know what specifically they were proposing yet since I’d callously interrupted—to leave the house. I listened quietly.

“Anyway,” Daize began again. “Tawnse and I are headed out to get sugar and flour. Mota is headed out to get ice cream.”

“Ice cream for the house or for yourself?” I asked Mota.

His reply came back, “Myself.”

My partner and I shared a brief look. She piped up with “You’re all going all the places have fun.”

“Do you have your phones?” I asked as they milled about.

“Yes, yes we do.”

And that was that. A few minutes later, they were gone.

I think they turned up again about an hour later? Somewhere in there for sure, and sure enough, they came back with a four pound bag of sugar and a five pound bag of flour.

The next time I wandered through the kitchen, Daize was slicing apples. I asked what she was doing.

“Making an apple pie.”

“Ummmm, OK.”

And that was that. I made myself lunch, ran an errand, and a few hours later, was being offered apple pie, and it was delicious! (A tiny bit undercooked, but delicious!)

And this is what happens when kids make their own plans. We’re seeing more and more of this lately, and I, for one, am here for the new apple pie agenda.


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