Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Unschooling Social Studies

In an unschooling life, one doesn't in general, put schooly categories on learning but as this blog is more about posting some of the learning my youngest is doing while also helping others see the value of unschooling, this post is being put into the Social Studies column. That being said, I will also need to warn that the links may have strong language. My son filters himself, we are not raising him in a bubble away from the real world, and the real people in it. He understands that under the stress of war, men tend to use explicative language they in general would refrain from if they were addressing a middle school classroom. They are not, so the language is real to their situation.

In recent news, our current President has found the need to remove one of his top commanders from his post. I'm sure most of you have read about the situation with Gen. Stanley McChrystal. I kept seeing all the news blips, but I had to dig a little to find the Rolling Stones article. Strange as it may be, I'd rather read the actual article then the slanted news takes offered by much of the press. For those who haven't read the actual article, click here.

As I read this article, I kept thinking that my son would really enjoy reading about Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his team. See, my son has been of a military mind since he was three. Actually, much earlier, as he preferred being read to from a Military Airplane and Helicopter Encyclopedia over baby books. He, also, preferred pictures of the Blue Angels and aircraft carriers, over Blue's Clue's or Teletubbies which were all the rage when he was small. We never really figured out exactly why he had such a strong love for everything military, but he did, so I catered to it. Yes, I was an enabler. I admit to spending much time looking for the closest fit to military issue boots in toddler sizes. You wouldn't believe just how hard it is to locate appropriate BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) in his small size so I learned to sew them for him, per his correct camouflage requirements. =) Happy memories. Anyway, my little military man grew and continued wanting to be a top ranking Special Force Officer until 9/11. That was the day the reality of war came home to my young soldier. That was the day, he decided he would just play soldier, but as a career, he would become a game maker so all those kids who lost their dads would have something to help them smile again. He wasn't even four years old, yet.

So the other day when this news broke about Gen. McChrystal, I found I really wanted to know the back story and after reading it, I knew it would be insight my son would enjoy. He sat down to read the article and was soon engaged in it. He came away with quite a bit of respect for McChrystal. We talked of the 'political' ramifications and such and just what caused the problem. Simply put, McChrystal made his mistake when he spoke candidly in front of a man who makes his living with words. This lead us into discussing the 'expertise' of different people and how one goes about putting together a great team. Different people have different skills and sometimes, the least likely source is the exact one you may need.

As we talked, Dateline came on. They were showing their story on 'A Father's Mission' It's the story of a career military man who lead a group of parents to find out what happened to their sons in Afghanistan when they were sent to a remote and isolated area. They showed the video the young men took as they dug in. The pictures say more then anything else could. We backed it up a few times to really look at the terrain. My son, who has now been engrossed in all things strategic for over ten years now, couldn't believe where they had been ordered to build their outpost! Here, a twelve year old, could clearly see the error of the ones making the orders. The soldiers knew it. The videos clearly show they knew it, but they were good soldiers, so they did as they were told.

Well, as blogger is a "public" forum, I'll refrain from stating just what we believe happened. Our prayers go out to the families and friends of these brave men. Our prayers go out to our leaders that they use good judgment in their deployment of our soldiers in the future. Watch the video for yourself, then pray for our Military.

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