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Question--not snarky, really am curious... - Page 2

post #21 of 63
neglect

- laziness
- it is abuse
- not caring
- child is not learning to full potential
- questions go unanswered
- no resources
- parent uninterested in child's development

Unschooling

The exact opposite of above answers


With unschooling the parent makes an educated decision on what they feel is best for their child.
Neglect would be the absence of an informed decision.
post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niamh View Post
This deserves to be pulled out and emphasized. I see much more educational neglect in public schooling parents than I do in homeschooling parents. I also think that there are 'fundamental' religious homeschoolers only focusing on religious education who could be more correctly termed 'educationally neglectful'.
As discussed on this thread, educational neglect is a whole different ballgame from homeschooling or unschooling or even fundamentalist Christian homeschooling. Educational neglect is no schooling, no attention. no interests encouraged by the parents, no encouragement or enabling of learning, no interaction. Perhaps you can claim to be homeschooling and in fact actually locking your kids into their rooms all day, but clearly that's not homeschooling, that's lying.

Same with fundamentalist Christain homeschooling. Perhaps they do not teach chemistry, but they are attending to schooling via the Bible. In their opinion, this is what is important to teach the child, and the other items unimportant or false. It's schooling. You don't agree with them and I don't either, but I would argue that it's not educational neglect but rather an entirely different kind of education than you or I would give. I'm not even saying you can't/shouldn't judge this kind of education, but just that it's separate from educational neglect.
post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I know that's the Sandra Dodd version of unschooling, but I have issues with "stacking the deck". It sort of reminds me of people who suddenly start buying carrot and celery sticks to share with someone they've decided is overweight - to me that's rather insulting . My kid would have caught on to it, too. I mean, we did bake, and play games, but we did it because one of both of us thought it sounded fun, not because I thought Rain needed more exposure to math concepts.

YMMV...
yeah, stacking the deck seems disrespectful. trusting your child's process is SO important. if you can't then you have to examine yourself more closely. IMO.
post #24 of 63
I just thought of a lengthy and spirited thread that would be helpful: Misconceptions about unschooling

Lillian
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I know that's the Sandra Dodd version of unschooling, but I have issues with "stacking the deck". It sort of reminds me of people who suddenly start buying carrot and celery sticks to share with someone they've decided is overweight - to me that's rather insulting . My kid would have caught on to it, too. I mean, we did bake, and play games, but we did it because one of both of us thought it sounded fun, not because I thought Rain needed more exposure to math concepts.

YMMV...
See, and I think if doing some baking and being more open about the math you're using every day helps you stop stressing about your kid, it'll help you pull back and trust the process.

I see the analogy more as you've been meaning to start walking daily and have procrastinated and procrastinated and then you realize you could have your friend come with you and it'd be fun and they'd also benefit. Sure you could do it as "I feel my heartrate elevating and my muscles getting sore do YOU feel that you are 'getting t3h workoutz'??" in the horribly patronizing tone that people use when something is Educational (tm) and Good For You (r), but ewww.

As for the getting math books for the mathy kid, I did say read the books to them as much as they want. My guess is a math interested kid who hasn't asked for a book (or website) about math just doesn't realize yet that they exist.
post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niamh View Post
This deserves to be pulled out and emphasized. I see much more educational neglect in public schooling parents than I do in homeschooling parents. I also think that there are 'fundamental' religious homeschoolers only focusing on religious education who could be more correctly termed 'educationally neglectful'.

Unschooling is an intense experience, at least in the younger years when you as the parent are doing the legwork for your kids (finding books, sources, tutors, experiences, etc that meet their needs/interests). It's hardly neglectful.
I have to agree with this poster. Educational neglect is rampant in public, even private, school settings. As a former educator, I would spend many hours sitting on the phone trying to reach parents, to the point of leaving numerous messages at home, work and on their mobile phone. These parents would never come to talk about their child's education, even after I went out of my way to move the schedule to meet their time constraints. ARGH! Don't they care? Are they afraid? Their student/child hears the messages....don't they know their child "gets it"?? The parents will actively avoid my calls. Pathetic. Heartbreaking. NEGLECTFUL!!

From a current unschooling perspective, I am actively engaged in the interests of my 4 and 6 year old on a daily basis. I chose to unschool knowing all too well how much of my time it would consume, but also fully aware that it would be the best method of learning for these kids. They have soooo many questions and ideas, I cannot fathom putting them in a ps setting where speaking and socializing is limited (possibly stifled...).

My .02...

Great topic!
post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SagMom View Post
Unschooling requires being attentive, it requires that we listen to our kids, engage in conversations with them, help them to seek out information that they're interested in, provide resources and supplies--I'm not sure how one could do all of this and be neglectful at the same time.
Definitely! I do not teach my children - I facilitate their learning. They are the ones in charge of what and how they learn. I just help them find resources, drive them places, have cool conversations with them (my ILs would have been clueless with the chemistry conversation we had with the kids (ages 7, 5, and 2 1/2) at dinner last night - all because the kids were asking questions), plan cool field trips that they want to do, listen to their ideas and plans, provide feedback if asked, etc.
post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post
I think I see myself panicking if my daughter were to decide she'd rather spend the day playing Pixie Hollow or some Spongebob game on the computer in lieu of doing something "worthwhile", such as learning about something.
There are things to be learned from most any activity, but I do believe that a lot of our modern world has dumbed-down activities and created ones to do the thinking for us. So while TV can offer information, I personally believe it should be well-regulated by the parent.

IMNSHO not everything in the home is educationally healthy. I think of it like this: We have chocolate in our house that we eat now and then, but I don't want my DD to make the choice to sit down and eat a whole bunch of it in place of a healthy lunch. Some might say: get the chocolate out of the house and I really understand that, but that's not our house.

While children are naturally curious to learn, they don't have self-control. And some kids may be able to sit at a video game and get bored with it after 30 minutes...some kids may not be able to let go of it after 2 hrs.

If there was no need to guide them in some fashion (or create a healthy learning environment), then I would be unnecessary. So unschooling is not abdicating your parenting role.
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by dillonandmarasmom View Post
I have to agree with this poster. Educational neglect is rampant in public, even private, school settings. As a former educator, I would spend many hours sitting on the phone trying to reach parents, to the point of leaving numerous messages at home, work and on their mobile phone. These parents would never come to talk about their child's education, even after I went out of my way to move the schedule to meet their time constraints. ARGH! Don't they care? Are they afraid? Their student/child hears the messages....don't they know their child "gets it"?? The parents will actively avoid my calls. Pathetic. Heartbreaking. NEGLECTFUL!!
Too darn busy...that's what they have you for!
I believe that if a HSing parent had their child in Public or private school, they would be so tuned in and on top of what is going on in their child's education. Isn't it all kind of ironic?

Those who don't have a clue about what's going on in their child's education are that way b/c they wanted to hand them over to a system that would relieve them of the responsibility/worry/work of it all.

And this is a bit of a rabbit trail, but I think this is why people vote in favor of more taxes/levies to fund the schools...b/c the parents panic at the thought of the alternative (bringing them home) so they gladly pay more money for others to take care of them.
post #30 of 63
post #31 of 63
Oh, what fun - this is exactly the discussion I feel like being in today!!!

Sorry, will try to tone down the exuberance...

I haven't been in this neighborhood much lately, so here is a brief intro - I am a long-time radical unschooler - long before I ever even heard the term. I was pretty much unschooled in the 60s and 70s (long story for another time!), then mostly unschooled ElderSon (28 YO, daddy of 2, in the army now) in the 80s and 90s, then mainly unschooling now with the Dumplings (14 YO BigGirl, 13 YO YoungSon, with autism and dyslexia), and soon to be adoptive Mama to the Minions (7 YO LittleGuy, and 9 YO LittleGirl, and maybe their 6 YO twin sisters someday). Foster kids are required to be in Public School, so I am learning another perspective. There is some chance I will end up raising my grandchildren (1 and 3 YO now), so I am still very much involved in the educational world. To put all (or most of) my cards on the table, I am a nerd with various Aspergerish tendencies.

Educating my children has never been separate from raising my children. Similarly, living my life has never been separate from learning. A critical person looking at our lives might see my interactions with the Dumplings (the teens) as educational neglect, and my foster kids as getting the "better education". But a few minutes talking with my kids would show the difference in their educations. The Little Ones may be able to spout off dates, but the Big Ones understand concepts and principles. YoungSon (the one with autism and supposedly a 72 IQ) may not know what year the Civil War ended, but he can talk about the Reconstruction and Buffalo Soldiers. That is because we heard Bob Marley singing "Buffalo Soldiers" on the car radio, and he asked. So we researched it on the internet when we got home. That is unschooling to me.

My Public School kids would probably never ask, or forget they were interested when we got home, or space out when I found the answer (the eyes glass over...). Anyway, they would not know or care about the answer 3 days later. If I took the same hands-off approach with these kids, and they weren't in PS, maybe there would be educational neglect. Yes, I understand about deschooling. Maybe someday I will choose to unschool these Little Guys (hard call for psychiatric reasons). But I see so clearly every day the difference between learning for the love of learning, and learning for the test, or the grades, or the teacher's approval, or whatever motivates them.

So, to answer the original question, I am much more guilty of educational neglect with my public school kids. It is totally possible and acceptable for me to hardly participate in their education, while looking like a traditional, caring mother. And I can see how my approach with the teens could look neglectful. YoungSon spends many hours playing video and computer games. And yet somehow, because it was important to him, he has learned to read, despite some pretty huge obstacles. BigGirl is currently planning to be a neurologist - she recognizes she will need math and science beyond her intrinsic interests. She is willing to do this for her goal. I have never regulated her computer or TV time in any way. She prefers reading, usually non-fiction about women's rights. She has never been interested in math, but is studying from a GED prep book, with the idea that that will get her to high school level. Seems like an OK start to me. She is planning to start community college next September.

I have spent many years (at least 40!!!) defending unschooling. I think the only true proof is in the pudding. I see where unschooled kids are in comparison to PS'd kids. Nuff said.
post #32 of 63
I believe that an appropriate foundation for education begins with a stable, good home life with parents who are loving and interested in their children. Not providing that foundation is educational neglect in my book.

From that foundation everything else flows. The trick for us parents is to see when our kids need more access to resources and providing that access.

I say this as not an unschooler (though I am), but a parent and observer of society.
post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by NaturalMamma View Post

If there was no need to guide them in some fashion (or create a healthy learning environment), then I would be unnecessary. So unschooling is not abdicating your parenting role.
Well... to me, part of unschooling is not guiding my kid. I advise her, if she seems interested in my advice, and she sees what I do, but I don't guide her. If I had, she probably would know more math but have read less Tolstoy. C'est la vie...

I also haven't knowingly taken any steps to create a "healthy learning environment", but I'm not sure I know what that really would mean... I do try to ensure that she's physically healthy and happy, though.

I don't feel unnecessary, though. I talk, listen, share, celebrate, drive, cuddle, advise, reflect, wonder, hug, kiss, google, shop, read, write, commiserate, smile, accompany, cook, clean, soothe, love, question, answer, and a million other things. To me, those are my parenting roles.
post #34 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Well... to me, part of unschooling is not guiding my kid. I advise her, if she seems interested in my advice, and she sees what I do, but I don't guide her. If I had, she probably would know more math but have read less Tolstoy. C'est la vie...

I also haven't knowingly taken any steps to create a "healthy learning environment", but I'm not sure I know what that really would mean... I do try to ensure that she's physically healthy and happy, though.

I don't feel unnecessary, though. I talk, listen, share, celebrate, drive, cuddle, advise, reflect, wonder, hug, kiss, google, shop, read, write, commiserate, smile, accompany, cook, clean, soothe, love, question, answer, and a million other things. To me, those are my parenting roles.
Just a little confusion of semantics. We're on the same page.
I didn't at all mean that I would be unnecessary as a parent if I didn't guide/facilitate/advise, etc.

This is why some of these topics are best left to in person discussion. There is too much room for misinterpretation and misunderstanding.
post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by NaturalMamma View Post
Those who don't have a clue about what's going on in their child's education are that way b/c they wanted to hand them over to a system that would relieve them of the responsibility/worry/work of it all.
That's it exactly, imao, that is educational neglect... I just can't fathom how involving your children in your life and world can possibly ever be considered educational neglect... you need to send them away, abdicate your responsibility to them, place it in someone else's hands, without researching exactly what they will be learning and doing all day, without knowing all about the people that will be guiding them and telling them what to do, without knowledge of the curriculum and goals and then saying, done, education handled, I don't have to bother... that is educational neglect.
post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoulaVallere View Post
What if there is something that is important for a child to learn (like a certain level of math) but they just never get motivated to learn it?
I agree with the other posters. If a child actually NEEDS to learn something to do what they want in life they will learn it. For example, I went to China 5 years ago and learned enough Mandarin to get by because I wanted to be able to travel, shop, and talk to people. I worked really hard at it with books, classes, and a tutor. However, if someone had tried to sit me down and force me to learn the language at age 11 with with no trip on the horizon, I wouldn't have learned very much (or would have forgotten it rather quickly). It was the immediacy of the trip and the motivation to communicate that forced me to push MYSELF to learn it.

Sounds like your sister doesn't need higher math. If she does I'm sure she's fully capable of getting a book or a tutor to learn it.

As far as educational neglect - the only thing I can think of is not providing resources or assistance to a child in exploring their interests. At a minimum this would probably include access to books and the internet, however every family's situation is different so I would never judge. A child living in the middle of Chicago is going to have different opportunities available to them (museums, theater) than a child living on a farm in Kentucky (gardening, zoology) or the child living on a boat in Mexico (boat maintenance, native Spanish speakers). If we start putting together arbitrary lists of what should be available or what kids should be learning... well that's not really unschooling.
post #37 of 63
Parents can neglect their children and send them to school. Similarly, there have been unfortunate cases where neglectful parents didn't send their children to school.

Unschooling, natural learning, providing an education for your children without the school system can require a lot of work! I'm always so inspired when I read blogs about families who unschool and their children are learning so much throughout the day and the parents are not caught up with "proving the results."

Unschooling, to me, is similar to mentorship-style learning, facilitating, guiding, leading by example and trust. It's a beautiful way of life and is in no way easy. I think the key is that unschooling parents are often very thoughtful abouth their child's education. They are doing it to give their child a meaningful life and a real education as opposed to one that is results-oriented and, in my opinion, artificial.

HTH!
post #38 of 63
Love this thread!
post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoulaVallere View Post
I would think of my sister for an example. She's SO literature based, she would read all day every day, but she despises math.
How much "math fear" and "math hatred" is caused by forcing children to do the mechanical processes of arithmetic when they are not ready or interested in them?

I'm most definitely not a radical unschooler... we go through workbooks, and I suggest all kinds of learning activities. But I'm forced, in some ways, to take more of an unschooling approach because if my son doesn't want to, he just won't.

I know what educational neglect looks like, and even on my worst days, it doesn't look like what we're doing. There's a little boy in the social housing complex a block away who is definitely neglected all around. He used to go to the same school as my neighbours, and she said that he often didn't go to school in grades k to 2 because "his mom didn't feel like taking him because she had to look after the baby". The school is all of a block away, there are no streets to cross, and he has an older brother he could go with. He roams the neighbourhood all by himself, and has since he was 5 or younger. This is a big city, and I'm sure his mom only wants him out of her sight, rather than that she thinks it's good for him. He gets into trouble because he has no one to tell him what's right and what's wrong. Luckily, he's actually a fairly sweet kid, and gets along with DS quite well, so I welcome him in whenever I can. At the end of Gr. 2, he had no concept of words, reading, spelling, or even basic addition. No clue. While I might not worry about this in a kid who's homeschooled, this is a kid who has spent 3 years in a standard school. Imagine what kind of trouble he's always getting into at school and what that does to his concept of himself. His bike is usually broken, he nevers wears a helmet, his clothes are always wrecked, he is dirty and smelly, and y'know, you just *know* when a kid is neglected. Fortunately, he hasn't yet fallen through the cracks in the system: he told me a few weeks ago that he's going to a different school where they have a school bus (unusual here) and he is getting "lots of help", and seems very happy there.

That's what parental educational neglect looks like. And maybe, just maybe, this new school will provide what his home environment will not, and he will turn out ok. But speaking of stacking the decks, they're definitely stacked against him.
post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by homeschoolingmama View Post
neglect

- not caring
- child is not learning to full potential
- questions go unanswered

Sadly, our schools in this country are so guilty of this! Have you seen our drop-out rates and international rankings? It is so terrible.
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