Friday, February 22, 2008

Not An Ordinary Teen

Today I'd like to introduce you to my friend Stella, who now has her own blog. Stella is an unschooling teenager I've been privileged to get to know over the last few years. For just a tiny fraction of a second, I hesitated in calling her my friend, because in the normal way of things parents and other adults aren't supposed to be "friendly" with kids. Since Stella is on the robotics team that I coach, I am nominally in some sort of position of "authority" and we all know from the "experts" that you're not supposed to get chummy with kids, just in case you need to pull out the authoritative role at some point. When we hear of adults who try to be friendly with kids, we think of those icky people who dress and wear their hair slightly too young, and listen to Britney Spears just to be thought of as "cool" (except that kids these days probably don't say "cool" anymore anyways, and Britney, well she stopped being cool a while ago). But, although Stella also happens to be the daughter of a friend of mine, she really can't be described as anything but a friend as well. She's funny and thoughtful and smiles a lot. I enjoy her company and her wit and her fresh observations on life.

It is one of the biggest blessings of unschooling that I get to spend a lot of time with young people and hear their interesting take on life. Especially since many of these people have grown up so differently from the common culture - they have really unique and interesting perspectives on everything. I think being around kids like this is like a daily infusion of hope.

So, just as I write about unschooling from the perspective of taking this journey with my kids, Stella writes about unschooling from the perspective of a kid who has taken this unusual journey herself. I think you will see from her blog the passion that comes when a person is allowed to follow their heart - to dream big, to follow their dreams, to not be constricted by the mandates that take up the bulk of many kids' time (get up, get dressed, go to school, afterschool activities, dinner, homework, to bed). So here she is: Not A Ordinary Teen.

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