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Question--not snarky, really am curious... - Page 3

post #41 of 63
the graduation rate is 39% in the district i live in! so pathetic. meanwhile the mayor and the school board are fighting about who's going to control the schools next year.

and they have the nerve to *tell* me what i need to do to school my children! insanity. just like the OBs telling the MWs *they* aren't safe at home. how about how *unsafe* they are in the hospitals??? crazy making reversals of our insane culture.
post #42 of 63
i think i am currently borderline neglectful of my childrens public school educations... At least some of the reason is that we will begin unschooling this summer, and perhaps I'm already on 'deschooling' mode. But another part is that my heart isn't in what they do at school and i just can't fake it! I'm so thankful that we have decided to unschool because I love the learning we do together @ home, and it is so much better for us as a family... I feel like, for us, when each kid has their seperate obligations for class that I'm needed to help with, Our few hours together in the evenings get stolen away by assignments that sometimes frustrate all of us... And I'm having to 'shush' one child to help with the other's work (rushing to get it all done) it feels like it pits us against eachother because of the deadlines and what little time we spend together while they are at school.

I see unschooling as a bigger commitment on my part, because I will have to be available & involved (at least while they are so young) and essentially thier main source for finding other sources of learning. I will have to limit the time i spend online, on the phone, or in my head in order to facilitate thier projects. It will be alot more wholistic than helping with homework, but somehow its easier & less overwhelming because it follows the natural flow of our lives and we can work Together rather than all fighting to get our needs met in a small window of time...

post #43 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by umami_mommy View Post

and they have the nerve to *tell* me what i need to do to school my children! insanity. just like the OBs telling the MWs *they* aren't safe at home. how about how *unsafe* they are in the hospitals??? crazy making reversals of our insane culture.
This is what we are sliding towards here and HE families are fighting it tooth and nail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lia_joy View Post
i think i am currently borderline neglectful of my childrens public school educations.......... But another part is that my heart isn't in what they do at school and i just can't fake it!
I know exactly what you mean! My ds2 is at school and I despise what he does there day after day. I cannot understand why the system is so controlling of his every thought and action leaving him very little choice over how he lives his life between 8am and 3pm. He got a detention last week because he didn't have me sign his planner and I forgot to ask him to show it to me. What idiocy.

Our eldest has left school at 16 and he is so much more at ease with himself and it feels as if he has re-joined the family. I would love for ds2 to come out of school but although he knows he can make this choice he chooses not to. I do my best to encourage him to be free at the weekends and during holidays and hope that his 'real' self doesn't get trodden on too much over the next few years.
post #44 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by umami_mommy View Post
don't you think it's pretty self explanatory?

unschooling (aka natural or organic home based learning) is a process by which parents are children's active allies in learning and exploring the world.

educational neglect is when a parent is so uninvolved in a child's life that they can't be bothered to even send a child to school.

they would be on opposite ends of the "involvement" spectrum if you ask me. it seems pretty obvious.

(not being snarky, just saying)
Yes, but I have seen people (actually only 2 families ever) who say they are "homeschooling" (I didn't know enough at the time to ask about methodology--so I don't know if they claimed to be unschooling or not) and I really think that it was the "parent can't be bothered enough to send child to a school--much less present them with opportunities to learn.

These two families were both seen at the library however, so I keep telling myself that that means I am mistaken. But, wow. . . these 2 families (who were from two different states) didn't really bother with anything. The family that I saw the most, the children weren't clean (I am not snotty about well kept children--but these kids smelled bad regularly). The mother never tried to help them use the library--I think she came there to crash/get away. However, the oldest child did figure out how to read--but she also figured out how to take a shower.

Sometimes I think I should have called someone about it, but they were stinky, not bruised, they seemed odd, but not fearful or whatever. I guess I just thought that the mom was having a hard time keeping it all together. But, compared to all the other homeschoolers that came in to the library, this family was neglectful in their education. Maybe other areas too.

Amy
post #45 of 63

defending educational neglect!

OP: to me unschooling doesn't mean no rules about how we spend our time. i consider myself an unschooler and we have rules about screen time, video games, TV. no screens during the day when the sun is up. we're outside, PERIOD. no screens when we are with other people. much more screen time during the dead of winter. so just because you are uschooling doesn't mean anything goes.
also, i want to defend the notion of education neglect. i don't think kids need us "following their sparks" all the time. kudos to all you attentive mamas doing that, and i think it's wonderful, but i also want to say that i don't think it a bad thing to let one's kid be alone with his own thoughts and activities. i love that john holt said that just keeping your kid away from school, even if you left him all alone in the yard all day while you peeled carrots and made snacks, was better than what happens at school. i agree with that, and i find it a tremendous comfort when i'm feeling judgment toward myself that i'm not doing enough, to remind myself that i am, just by being present and protecting my kids' ability to think her own thoughts and avoid the coercion of a school environment 30 hours a week.
again for OP: i find that keeping a log of all my child learns is tremendously comforting. i keep mine for the county but i'm glad for the excuse to do it. i keep mine with the county's subject headings, school-speak, i call it. under science i have things like how she and a friend experimented to see why she always went faster while sledding, switching sleds, switching spots on the hill, sitting in the front of the sled, the back, sitting and belly positions, etc. translation: scientific method, testing a hypothesis, control and experimental variable, momentum, friction, center of gravity. i find that once i am attentive, i can see a million ways in which she is learning ALL THE TIME.
it is simply AMAZING what she pulls out of thin air. suddenly she's reading, 10 new books a week from the library, so much that i have to make clear guidelines about how we don't sit inside all day reading. (can you imagine?) suddenly math equations start appearing. 1+1=2, 2+2=4, all the way up to 11+11=22. then minus appears. then she uses the word facetious in a sentence. then she tells me that the mona lisa she's reading about was in a magic treehouse book too, in the paris story. on and on. it is simply mind-boggling. what i feel now is that you can't STOP a kid from being curious, interested, and learning, except by coercing and shaming them (like at school).
being around other unschooling families is also tremendous for making that leap of faith. now that my eyes are open, i can't conceive of a time when my eyes weren't open. it's that amazing.
good luck!
post #46 of 63
My two year old can recite his ABC's and count to about 15. I, nor any one for that matter, ever taught him either of those things. How did he learn it then? I guess from his older siblings, not from them actively teaching him either, he just absorb it up from his environment! Ditto for my five year old. When he was three, he would chime in and answer questions I asked of his older sister, correctly. My dd draws pictures of people complete with blood cells in them and then explains to you how those work. She could tell you all about internal body parts and digestion and respiration before she could say her ABC's or add and subtract. Why? Because that's what floats her boat. She has a college level anatomy book that was bought for her older brother that she would rather read than bedtime stories some nights.

I frequently feel like I do not do enough to facilitate their learning and yet they know amazing things! THAT'S how I know it works!!! :-) And why I now can relax on days spent watching tv or playing video games. I know that isn't what they are going to do everyday. And one of the huge perks of any type of homeschooling is the flexibility to take off or down days when needed. Many jobs have built in "personal health" days you can take just because you need it. Kids need those too!
post #47 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post
To you, what is the line between unschooling and educational neglect?

(*disclaimer: we are considering homeschooling, but aren't completely sure as to the "methodology", I'm not a "concerned" neighbor, relative, or friend of someone who is claiming to be unschooling their child but feel that it is just an excuse to be lazy and not bother 'educating' their kid)
If you really knew what unschooling is and how learning happens you would not ask this question.
If you are really interested in unschooling I suggest you learn more about it.
Sure there are parents that can call themselves unschoolers and are really neglecting their children.
There are also kids in Public and Private school that can be negelcted as much or more.

I recomend this sites:

http://joyfullyrejoycing.com/

http://SandraDodd.com/unschooling
post #48 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by umami_mommy View Post
don't you think it's pretty self explanatory?

unschooling (aka natural or organic home based learning) is a process by which parents are children's active allies in learning and exploring the world.

educational neglect is when a parent is so uninvolved in a child's life that they can't be bothered to even send a child to school.

they would be on opposite ends of the "involvement" spectrum if you ask me. it seems pretty obvious.

(not being snarky, just saying)
This is a very good explanation!
post #49 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by polykow View Post
You might also take a look through this MDC thread of 220 posts where it's discussed pretty intensely: Misconceptions about unschooling.


Lillian

post #50 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...
I think you are mistaken. I have had many discussion with Sandra and have read her site and participated in discussion lists with her and I can say that does not advocate "stacking the deck"
What she advocates is support and partnership with of a child's interest.
post #51 of 63
That question runs along the same lines as when people mistake Gentle Discipline for "let your bratty kids run rampant" or homebirth for "you want your child to die."

It's a complete misunderstanding of the inherent philosophy of the method. Not to mention a total miss of the parent's deep, intense, passionate desire to protect, birth and raise her child.

I would argue that someone who is sincerely unschooling (not just lying about it to cover up their real behavior) must by the very definition and requirement of unschooling be more engaged then parents who use other methods.

I'm very new to unschooling, I admit, b/c my daughter is 15 months old. But I was traditionally homeschooled (aka w/ a curriculum and schedules) until highschool. That is where I unschooled and the difference is night and day IMO. It is also where I began to excel, to become passionate about learning and to take responsibility for MY education. No one instilled that in me or forced me to it.

To answer the math question floating around on here....math was my sore spot and in an unschooling environment I did not complete more than Algebra I and Geometry in highschool. I wouldn't even say "complete" per se, as much as I ran over the concepts. I loved Geometry a bit more b/c it involved logic and writing.

Anyways.....so I graduated from highschool w/o any rigid completion of math. Guess what? When I decided I wanted to a degree in neuroscience, math came to me. I worked hard and I excelled in math, too. B/c of my unschooling, I knew how to take responsibility for it and how to reach outside of the 'classic' circle of resources and find better resources to learn. And I did it. I've now taken 12 credits of chemistry, all the other biological sciences, math up to physics, all my psych statistics courses, etc.

Unless you suspect something abnormal such as a disability or emotional issue, the learning will happen when it needs to happen. And unschooling is going to give them the tools to learn what they want to learn and what they think they need to learn.
post #52 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post


You might also take a look through this MDC thread of 220 posts where it's discussed pretty intensely: Misconceptions about unschooling.


Lillian

Oh I have!
post #53 of 63
I gotta say, "stacking the deck" is about as far from Sandra Dodd as you can get. I don't agree with everything she says, but providing a rich environment for your child, along with the concept of "strewing," is not "stacking the deck."

You bake because baking is fun. Math is just part of baking, an unavoidable part of baking. It's a natural application of math, which is not the same thing as what you're describing.
post #54 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyNY View Post
I gotta say, "stacking the deck" is about as far from Sandra Dodd as you can get. I don't agree with everything she says, but providing a rich environment for your child, along with the concept of "strewing," is not "stacking the deck."

You bake because baking is fun. Math is just part of baking, an unavoidable part of baking. It's a natural application of math, which is not the same thing as what you're describing.


Exactly !
post #55 of 63
I don't unschool, I currently homeschool with Calvert. DD hasn't been doing well with this method so we've been looking for a change. This thread has really helped me and I can't wait to read the other longer thread on unschooling. I have read books on unschooling, and I've always said my kids would start unschooling more once they can read. . .well, now I have an 8 year old DD who's still not really reading (she can read at a beginning 1st grade level--DH's a teacher and evaluated her). I wonder if I quit all the forced learning if DD will show more of an interest in reading? She does love it when I read to her, she just doesn't want to do it herself. Okay, off to read that other thread
post #56 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by treemom2 View Post
. . .well, now I have an 8 year old DD who's still not really reading (she can read at a beginning 1st grade level--DH's a teacher and evaluated her). I wonder if I quit all the forced learning if DD will show more of an interest in reading? She does love it when I read to her, she just doesn't want to do it herself. Okay, off to read that other thread
You'll find some real encouragement in this thread on later readers. My son was like your daughter, but the way, except that he'd read nonfiction for information he was interested in - here's an article I wrote about my son's experiences with vision skill problems that got corrected, resulting in his becoming a voracious reader from age 12 on. You might take a look at the Parents Active for Vision Education site linked to from that article and see if any of the symptoms sound familiar. - Lillian
post #57 of 63
WRT to video games....

My DS and I were discussing latitude and longitude the other day. It's not something we've ever really discussed before, even though I'm sort of a map/globe freak and have maps everywhere.

He mentioned something about the degrees/minutes/seconds involved in determining latitude, and knew that there were 69 miles between latitudinal degrees. I asked him where he learned that.

Runescape.
post #58 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
WRT to video games....

My DS and I were discussing latitude and longitude the other day. It's not something we've ever really discussed before, even though I'm sort of a map/globe freak and have maps everywhere.

He mentioned something about the degrees/minutes/seconds involved in determining latitude, and knew that there were 69 miles between latitudinal degrees. I asked him where he learned that.

Runescape.
That reminds me a little of the time I was reading to my son from one of Joy Hakim's books in the The History of US series. The passage had to do with explorers stopping in the Canary Islands. He jumped to his feet and started calling out the names of seaports as if he had just discovered something amazing. I had no idea what was going on or how he knew those places! He practically shouted, "They're real places! I've been learning about real places in High Seas Trader!" He had been learning geography and all sorts of things in High Seas Trader, and hadn't realized it was based on reality. Too bad they don't make that game anymore - but there's a free download of it online if anyone can use it in their current computers. Too bad they don't make LOTS of great games like those they made in those days. Monkey Island was another incredible one (and there's a free download of it online too) - it involved reading and thinking and figuring out real strategies, but they apparently didn't sell as well as some of the more action-packed games, so they fell to the wayside.

And I'm procrastinating BIG TIME from getting on to some important errands - nothing like a pleasant trip down memory lane to get me distracted...

Lillian
post #59 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.

Proper parenting itself requires all these things, so if a parent of a publicly schooled child were not doing any of these things then they too would be more or less neglectful.
post #60 of 63
Just a little tangent:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post


You might also take a look through this MDC thread of 220 posts where it's discussed pretty intensely: Misconceptions about unschooling.


Lillian

That was thought provoking. My kids are in public school.

I was one of those parents who was fascinated by the concept of un-schooling but said I would never unschool (or home school, for that matter) because my kids need the structure that regular school provides, that unschooling is too unstructured. But it's not the kids, it's me. I'm the one who needed the structure, I'm the one who feared the seeming open ended-ness.

But 13 years later (my oldest is 15 y.o.) I can see now how unschooling would have provided its own structure. I just think that I couldn't see that till now: after years of therapy and medication. I came to adulthood absolutely beat up and wrung out after a painful public school experience. I wonder if I'd been allowed and encouraged to learn at home, naturally, would my self esteem be in better shape today?

It's interesting to contemplate.
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