A passion that keeps them all close are their mutual love for American Girl Dolls. It is the topic of most of their discussions and they connect deeply through this love for their dolls.
The girls best friends, who are also Unschooled, came for a visit. I decided to take them all for a day trip to the American Girl Doll store in Boston, Massachusetts. It was a three hour drive each way, but it was so worth it! We had a special best friends lunch together in honor of the girls friendship and they all brought their dolls along. It was a very sweet, touching experience as a grown woman to witness the love that they all shared. I surprised them with a special best friends cake and the dolls even had a piece!
Sometimes our children's passions are costly. American Girl Dolls cost $100 each and the accessories are hundreds of dollars. Over the last two years of my daughters passion, we have found ways to bring as much of these treasured dolls into their lives as possible. Craig's List has been a great source for gently used items, as well as eBay. More recently, I helped Tiff sell some old toys on eBay and at our local pawn shop to purchase the "Doll of the Year", Kanani. (We are anxiously awaiting her arrival in the mail.)
Connecting with our children and their interests is something very important to us as Radical Unschooling parents. Celebrating what they love is a pleasure and so important for our relationship. Whatever they are interested in at the time is the nucleus of their learning, and they have grown and learned so much through their interest in American Girl Dolls.
Although we do not break life down into subjects, if we were to, we would see that they have learned about history (many of the dolls are historical figures), reading,(AG Magazine) spelling/writing (communicating with other AG fans and learning all about them online), math (calculating costs of dolls and accessories) Woodworking, )The girls have each made many pieces of furniture by hand and used measurements/math, to do so) Art, (they have made play foods out of polymer clay and used every craft material known to man to make fun accessories). Music, (each of them have made stop-animation videos, which uses so many skills). The list of all they that have learned, spanning all of the "subjects", is immense. All stemming from the nucleus - their passion, American Girl Dolls. The more I support and nurture their interest, the more they learn.
I will never forget nurturing not only my daughters passion, but their best friends passion also. It was a time that they will never forget and I know that I will someday look back on this time in our lives fondly and sweetly. I am so grateful to be walking this path with my children and to be fortunate enough to be surrounded by loving families who are doing the same so we can co-facilitate our children's passions and learning together as a growing community.