Friday, January 28, 2011

Passion of the American Girl

Tiff and Ivy have best friends who are sisters. They live in Florida, and we live in New Hampshire. They manage to talk every single day and Skype regularly and have maintained an amazingly close relationship despite their distance.

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.


be said...

that is SO awesome!!! i had one of the american girl dolls growing up, i actually bought it with my own money that i earned! i recently got her out of a box for my 4 year old daughter who is now in love with the doll:) so special! <3

Tanya said...

One of my daughters is very much into her American girl doll. She and one of her friends, who is also unschooled, and one that is homeschooled and one that is public school share a relationship very similar to what you described. I loved reading this post. I almost cried because I too value this experience I am honored to share with my daugher and her friends. Thank you for a wonderful read.

Tanya said...

P.S. My duaghter and one of the two friends I mentioned, just read your blog together. We already have new ideas we want to try! Thanks again! P.S.S. Also just sent your link to other AG doll lovers we know!

The Costello Family said...

Super-cuties! I have my own AG doll - I have 4 boys, so I don't get a chance to do much of what you were doing - I had a nice, "vicarious" trip with you to Boston!

umuda said...

hi, dayna,
sorry but i wondered a point: when you were with girls where was Orion? I am Asking this because i want to know how you "manage" your little one while dealing with others!
Best wishes,

Dayna Martin said...

umuda, He was home with Joe and Devin.