Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hard Lessons to Learn

Recently, I introduced my sons to Houstonopoly, the Houston version of the classic board game. My children are 4, 6, 7 and 8 which has them at different stages of viewing world situations. They are great at asking questions and think very sincerely as they consider life around them. BUT it has been amazing to watch the different characteristics of each child as they learned and played the game.

I did modify the rules a bit to simplify things by taking out the house/hotel factor, but I left everything else in order to give them a realistic experience. W8 was very precise with how he put his money and properties out in front of him and D7 sorted his money, but stacked his properties. E6 decided he wanted to watch and J4 stacked his money, sorted his properties and enjoyed holding the stack of money in his hand when it was his turn. W8 and D7 quickly picked up the idea of buying properties to receive rent payments when people land on them. J4 was not interested in giving his money away and was very unhappy to find out that he was expected to pay his brothers anything when landing on their properties. He was very intent on buying a property called “The Strawberry Patch” which was a Houston landmark restaurant for many years and I thought it was cute because he wanted it because it had a strawberry on the picture. J4 is a highly determined boy and he did end up with that property. In the end D7 became frustrated with “landing in jail” and left the game and his opportunistic brother E6 jumped into his place.

D7 insisted that if E6 won that it was a shared victory since “he played for most of the game”. There was a time limit placed on this first game, because as the banker, I had no intention of an 8 hour game the first time round. So at the end of our time limit, we added up all their properties and money and the winners turned out to be D7/E6, J4 and W8. W8 was perplexed as to how after spending a great deal of his money on properties, how he could possibly have lost. We talked about how you never know where the dice may have you land and that buying a lot of properties doesn’t necessarily mean that people will land on them.

They came up with a collective idea of creating a board game that was more peaceful. We’ll see what that looks like and I look forward to watching them work together to create it!

Peace & Blessings!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Unschooling is the new REAL SCHOOLING...

The more that my family gives in to the love of life learning, the more we learn about ourselves.

The "economic downturn" is just another excuse for those who have, to discriminate against those who are trying to emulate their lifestyle. As a one income family, we have found that "affordable housing" is not really affordable and those places that are in our range are usually purposefully crap.

It is times like this when we start to hear suggestions of putting the boys into public school so hubby and I can spend our days working in the grind while our sons are ground up in the system. Sounds great? Not!

As artists and activists, we are painfully aware that fighting the good fight doesn't come with luxury housing and 6 figure incomes, but it builds the kind of people that change their communities and potentially, the world.

That's what I want for my boys. Real world schooling. Socializing with elders and youth to make a difference!