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I'm feeling like an unschooling traitor - upset vent

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am a completely single, broke, unschooling mom to a 6 year old girl. I do everything and anything I can to make this happen and pay for things like her ice skating classes, field trips, and voice lessons.

I'm in southern CA, so there are a lot of great ISP's through local crunchy charter schools. Even though the money they give out has always tempted me, I avoided them because of the way it would interfere with my unschooling and because the waitlists are always insanely long anyways.

But a brand new ISP is opening up this year at a new charter, and there is no waitlist. So I enrolled my daughter yesterday. I figure we can try it and if we hate it, we'll stop. It's going to be a huge switch trying to sit down and do some "school work" every day. It really goes against everything that I had planned for her education.

They don't offer money for classes like the other schools but they do offer a ton of great free classes at two different locations. So hopefully I could enroll Zayla in those classes instead and start saving my money instead of spending it all on her lessons and field trips. Which is probably the smartest thing to do anyways right? I don't know why this is bugging me so much, but it just is. Can another unschooler here tell me that maybe this isn't the most terrible thing/idea ever? Of if it does sound like a bad plan, feel free to tell me that too...
post #2 of 15
I don't even know what an ISP is (other than "Internet Service Provider, heh heh), but I am here to lend you my support. The pressure on you as a single-mom unschooler must feel enormous. We are a 2-parent family with 1 "real" income and the other one (me) scrambling to sell art to make money, and I feel massively pressured all of the time due to the finances. So when I hear that you are an unschooling single mom, I am already predisposed to cut you LOADS of slack on everything! :-)

In my opinion, you're right. You CAN stop schooling if you hate it. But maybe she will like it & it will fit with her personality. Who knows. It's easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be purist, but you need to listen to your heart and your body (because I don't know about you, but I feel pressure in my body, and when I make a decision that gives me relief on a problem that has vexed me for a long time, I feel THAT in my body too)....so I wish you the best of luck!
post #3 of 15
CrazyCatLady, you might be pleasantly surprised with your charter. We aren't unschoolers, although we're leaning more and more in that direction, and the charter we go through is very easy to work with. I know plenty of unschooling families that use charters. They just have to keep good records of what their kids are doing. I know when we've met with our educational consultant, a lot of times he just talks to the kids about what has been going on with them, and they volunteer information about tons of stuff that I wouldn't have even thought to mention and the EC writes it down and figures out how it works into the state standards. Looking at your dd's age, I would guess that practically anything she does would apply to state standards - if she's running around pretending to be a fairy, that would probably fit into language arts as "storytelling" or something. And like the PP said, if it becomes too opressive, you can quit.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Aw thanks. ISP here = independent study program. After typing my last post I figure out why this is irking me so much. Because all the people who have hated the idea of homeschooling/unschooling and have been waiting for me to fail...are going to be all darn smug about this decision. They're going to see it as me admitting defeat and that really bugs me. Maybe not very mature, but there it is.

I guess that's more reason to hope we succeed in this program. So I can save up lots of money and someday move the heck away from my ex-MIL.
post #5 of 15
My personal beliefs on unschooling are ALL about doing what is the most positive and enriching for yourself and your child, and if she likes the ISP program, who gives if it makes someone else feel smug? The important thing is that your daughter is happy. I totally get not wanting to feel like you've gotten 'lazy' or 'copped out' on what you believe, I put my three year old in a montessori preschool and had the same issues and hangups, but two and a half months later I see how brilliant and happy and growing she is and I know that keeping her from that environment would have been the real shame. Right now she needs play and social time more than time bored at home with Mommy who is a single mom, student, and struggling with a business start up. I think that as long as the charter is in line with her needs and your values, why should it be less admirable than a stay-at-home program?

Take the free classes, and I am glad you have that program available to you! I hope she loves it, and that it works out for you. And stick your tongue out at anyone who tries to gloat.
post #6 of 15
Independent Study Program sounds alot like unschooling to me... who knows... give it a shot and if it doesnt work you can always withdraw and try something else later...
post #7 of 15
I don't know if an ISP is the same as a DL program, but we have successfully used on for three years now while still maintaining our unschooling approach. Of course it depends immensely on the program and how willing they are to accomodate your value systems and way of doing things. I wrote a post recently about unschooling with a DL program (which I think is our province's version of an ISP). You can read about it here.
post #8 of 15
Dear OP: unschooling is not about the label. Don't get hung up on comparing how much unschooling you are doing. This leads the "unschoolier than thou" syndrome which one encounters at times (present company excepted).

I am not sure why enrolling in ice skating classes, field trips and voice lessons is different, with respect to your question as to whether you are being loyal to your vision, than enrolling in the ISP.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yay! I just met with our "teacher" for our ISP. She is a very sweet, crunchy lady who seems to be just fine with unschooling. She also understood about my not pushing reading because of my dd's visual processing issues. She was all about me doing what I think is best for my dd, and she just wants to be there as a resource if/when I want/need her help.

So as long as I find a creative way to log down the stuff we do in a way that will humor the school district, then we're good. And we only need like 6 work samples or something a month that we have to submit. So this is very do-able (even as unschoolers) and may very well be worth it for all the free stuff.

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post
Yay! I just met with our "teacher" for our ISP. She is a very sweet, crunchy lady who seems to be just fine with unschooling. She also understood about my not pushing reading because of my dd's visual processing issues. She was all about me doing what I think is best for my dd, and she just wants to be there as a resource if/when I want/need her help.

So as long as I find a creative way to log down the stuff we do in a way that will humor the school district, then we're good. And we only need like 6 work samples or something a month that we have to submit. So this is very do-able (even as unschoolers) and may very well be worth it for all the free stuff.

Im glad it's going to work out ....
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post
Yay! I just met with our "teacher" for our ISP. She is a very sweet, crunchy lady who seems to be just fine with unschooling. She also understood about my not pushing reading because of my dd's visual processing issues. She was all about me doing what I think is best for my dd, and she just wants to be there as a resource if/when I want/need her help.

I have to tell you: if all school districts did this, they'd be able to embrace the community that will eventually put public schools out of business instead of fighting them (unsuccessfully). Sorry... soapbox issue as a former teacher (forced to pay union dues whether I joined or not) and devoted homeschooler. Although this forum is unschoolers, there is a whole 'nother world of people hsing that would be less weary of embracing this.

OP: I am SO GLAD this worked out for you. It sounds like the ideal situation. I'd love to hear how it went with an "end of year" review!!
post #12 of 15
we used one for a while- like 5 yrs- they paid for tons of dance lessons. I have a big family, though and the reporting requirements were just a pain in the butt- we had to call every week, plus I had monthly reports to fill out for every subject- for 4 kids and I had to tell my kids what the 'school" equivalent of their life experiences were "remember when you were figuring out the mileage for our trip to CA, schools call that math..." and it just go to be too difficult for me to keep up with- plus I didn't like the conversations dividing real life into subjects.

BUT- the kids loved having so many extracurricular classes. I'm hoping this year that the time I SAVE by not playing their games will be enough time for me to earn the income I need to pay for their classes (dance, drama, singing, scouts, etc...)
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Wow that would be a lot, especially for multiple kids! All I have to do is write one educational thing we did down on each school day. The space for it it seriously one little line. Then the six work samples a month when I go to the one monthly sit down/review meeting thing. No phone calls and she will even come to my house the once a month if I prefer it.

Who knows though, even this may start feeling like too big of a commitment to me in a few months. We could still be in a honeymoon period.
post #14 of 15
wow, that program sounds great. Hope it goes as well as it sounds!
post #15 of 15
This sounds amazing! I look at it this way. . .it might be a hassle to fill out paperwork or whatever you need to do for the classes, but it also takes time to earn money for classes.

Options are ALWAYS good, and this sounds like a great one.
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