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I am no longer a supporter of unschooling :( (BIG vent, dont read if ur going to be offended) - Page 9

post #161 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by marilynmama View Post
I feel I have done my children a disservice by unschooling them.

I have been unschooling my children for 8 years now. I have a 12 yo and an 8yo. This year, for various reasons, we decided the 8yo would start school (3rd grade). She was so VASTLY behind the other kids in every subject it was embaressing, overwhelming for her, a NIGHTMARE for both her and us. It was so bad we had to pull her out. The only part she had no trouble with was socializing lol.

Never will I unschool again! I dont want any flames for this because I have a right to my exerience and opinion.

I am very upset with myself. I feel I have been duped and lied to by the unschooling community honestly.

I still firmly support and believe in homeschooling, but no longer can I support unschooling for my family.
I am sorry that your daughter had to experience a nightmare entering the school system.

I suppose I do not see how others' duped and lied to you. You are an adult who thought through your educational decision for your children.

In my community, I am told how great the public schools are. When we did some research and observations of our own, we did not find it to be what we wanted for our children. If we had listened to the community without doing our own research and observations, we would probably have felt duped and lied to down the road. If we ever put our children into the public schools here (rather, if they ever choose to attend) we know what they are going into and we will approach it with eyes wide open.

Unschooling is a completely different line of thinking and approach to education than the current school system.... especially for the elementary years. I suppose I am surprised at how horrified and surprised you are that your daughter and you were treated poorly. Your pulling her out of school tells me that the school experience was not good.

Still, I am really sorry. I hope the rest of the year goes well and is fruitful for your family and you!
post #162 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeminijad View Post
This honestly blows my mind.

At 9, I had just been turned on to A Wrinkle In Time, and was starting my way through the Lucy Maud Montgomery books. So much of my childhood, from 2nd grade on, was spent immersed in a book that I really struggle to imagine who and what I would have been if I had been illiterate at that age.

But I am in this forum because I am trying to understand all of my options, and value experiences like yours.
Well, just my own experiences...I taught myself to read before I started kindergarten. I had my nose buried in a book a lot throughout my youth - to the point that it interfered with my homework and things like that. I also played outside with friends...just running around, climbing trees, swinging on a neighbour's tire swing, etc. But, most of my time was spent in a book (still is, when I can manage it). Aside from a vague interest in science - loved checking out the slides with the microscope I got for my 7th birthday - I just read.

DD1 is 7. She's just barely starting to read a single sentence now and then. She won't read any more than that, and still needs help with a lot of words (fewer every day). Who is she? A naturalist. Several of our neighbours have told me that they think she's going to be the next David Suzuki. She knows a lot about bugs and spiders (spiders are her particular interest), and is fascinated by the change of seasons, the water cycles, spawning salmon, anatomy, etc. etc. She can spend hours studying bugs and snails, and watching what they do and what they eat and things like that. (I was similarily fascinated by ants and spiders...but didn't spend as much time on them.) She's an artist. She also spends hours drawing pictures, sculpting PlayDoh, creating wild and wonderful sculptures out of pipe cleaners, etc. She loves all things art-related. She also loves to run, jump, climb, play, dance, ride her bike, swim, etc. She has a wide range of interests and talents - reading just isn't one of them.

Reading is definitely an important basic skill in our society, but it's hardly the be all and end all of learning or enjoying life, yk? I honestly wish I'd been interested in something else, and learned to read a little later. Books are too important in my life, and I hope none of my kids are the same kind of bookworm that I am. (DS2 is looking as though he might be, but we'll see.)
post #163 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
so many children at 9 absolutely hate reading. it is a chore for them & something they never enjoy.
But there's a difference between a 9 year old who's capable of reading and just doesn't enjoy it, and a 9 year old who is completely, or mostly, illiterate. A child who can't read can't love reading, obviously. And I'd say that a child who seriously struggles with reading is going to have a hard time loving it, too.

Quote:
So it's okay if parents sing songs about counting and the alphabet, but not schools? Or all songs parents sing should only be non-educational? Because most kids songs have some sort of educational theme. If I sing "Five Little Fishies," I'm now formally schooling my 3yo? Where, exactly, is the line drawn?
My 2.5 year old is obsessed with the ABC song I don't think that's a bad thing. She also was totally over the moon to be in the preK class at our homeschooling co-op, and she loves to have "homework" to do while her big sister is doing her school work (just simple preK worksheets I provide for her if she wants them). I don't consider it formal schooling, just going with the flow!
post #164 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
so many children at 9 absolutely hate reading. it is a chore for them & something they never enjoy.
This is true, too. DS1 read at above grade level right from the start of kindergarten. However, he also informed me, quite emphatically, at about age 8 that "reading sucks". I was shocked, but he definitely meant it. I've never concerned myself about who he is or anything, either. He's a gymnast, a musician (choir and guitar...and the ocarina), and an artist (no idea where he got that from, but he's amazingly good with pens, pencils, charcoal, etc.). He's worked as a peer counselor, and an Outdoor School counselor (in cabin with younger students). He's involved in the Interact Club (service work), and plans to be on the Grad Council. He's taking acting classes.

He doesn't think reading sucks, anymore, and he usually has a book on the go. But, it lasts him a long time, because he just has too many other things to do.
post #165 of 455
not to mention, parents can simply read to their kids if they lack the ability to read a certain book to themselves. it's not like children that can't read well yet have to miss out on all of these great books. the parent can read to them, ykwim?

my own daughter can read anything (and loves reading now), but i still read to her every single day as well. it's a wonderful bonding time for the two of us & has been part of our night time routine since i can remember.... and i don't see it stopping anytime soon, regardless of her ability to no loner need me in this area.
post #166 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
I agree! I'm a children's literature nut, and it always makes me sad when kids aren't big readers. There is such a wealth of wonderful children's literature out there, and it's so sad to miss out on it.
It's not sad if they're just not interested. My ds1 could just as easily say it makes him sad when people aren't well versed in the Spider-Man universe, or can't play an ocarina, or aren't interested in free running, or have never done acting, because those are wonderful experiences for him, and it's "sad" that others "miss out on it".

This is a big, wide world, filled to bursting with activities and wonder and things to be interested in. I, personally, love to read...but I'm not sad about people who don't enjoy it that much. Books are wonderful, but there's so much more to living and learning than just reading.
post #167 of 455
Well, my public-schooled son didn't read fluently until he was eight, at the very end of second grade. And I wasn't worried, even though I was a very early reader myself, like many pps. And it was hard to believe my own book-loving son wouldn't be just like me.

However, the reason I didn't worry was because:

a) He'd been surrounded by books and been read to since day 1 of his life.
b) He had been surrounded by a learning-to-read environment at school for the past three years and been given plenty of instruction.
c) his teacher, who was trained in child development and has years of experience under her belt, told me he was coming along just fine.

Now, I'm not saying that someone unschooling their child might not have the developmental smarts to know when there's a learning issue and when there isn't (although a pp has been very eloquent about the fact that she didn't recognize such an issue). And I'm not saying that unschooled children who don't read by 8 or 9 have been permitted to do nothing but play video games all day long (although you certainly read about that situation on this forum). Or that some of them won't naturally learn to read on their own, without any parental direction, simply because of their intense motivation.

What I am saying is that I don't believe reading is something children naturally learn to do solo, in a vacuum - anecdotes notwithstanding. I think it takes an environment rich in written language, it takes instruction, encouragement, practice, materials, all that sort of thing. Unschooling done right obviously provides all that. What I'm still waiting to hear is what kind of unschooling environment the OP provided for her kids.
post #168 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
not to mention, parents can simply read to their kids if they lack the ability to read a certain book to themselves. it's not like children that can't read well yet have to miss out on all of these great books. the parent can read to them, ykwim?

my own daughter can read anything (and loves reading now), but i still read to her every single day as well. it's a wonderful bonding time for the two of us & has been part of our night time routine since i can remember.... and i don't see it stopping anytime soon, regardless of her ability to no loner need me in this area.
On this forum there are always parents questioning whether or not their child is displaying age appropriate skills acquisition.

There was recently a thread about an 8yo who is having problems reading more than 3 letter words. Being concerned about this is age appropriate. By 8 years old, a typical child is able to read and decode 2 syllable words, use and read contractions, and use and read common suffixes. If a child is having trouble doing these things, I don't feel it is good advice to tell a parent to just wait it out because children learn to read at their own pace. I think some investigation into why this child is behind their same age peers is in order. There could be a physical problem, a learning disability, a sensory issue, an emotional roadblock or an issue with a lack of interest in the materials being offered. In the end it could just be that it isn't clicking yet, and hopefully soon it will. BUT the investigation should still be undertaken.
post #169 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post
But there's a difference between a 9 year old who's capable of reading and just doesn't enjoy it, and a 9 year old who is completely, or mostly, illiterate. A child who can't read can't love reading, obviously. And I'd say that a child who seriously struggles with reading is going to have a hard time loving it, too.
i dunno. i don't unschool and i don't aspire to become an unschooler, so it's not like my opinion is much of anything in this thread. with my own children, we begin learning to read in kindergarten. having said that though, i just don't find it strange that an unschooled child would learn to read later. is this true with all unschoolers? no, of course some will read early. but because learning to read is a skill, it doesn't seem weird from my POV that many unschooled kids learn a little later, as their education is child-led. i just don't see it as neglect or a big deal at all. when i think of the unschoolers i know in real life, i see how it works beautifully for their family, and i see that their kids still have lovely lives, ykwim? ...even if they can't read a chapter book.
post #170 of 455
What I really think happened to the OP (since she does not seem to be coming back to clarify) is that the school is using her child to make an example to other parents to try to scare them out of homeschooling. It commonly happens here. No matter how far ahead your child is, the public schools will tell parents that the homeschooled child is years behind and must go back grade levels. I have seen kids who did Well Trained Mind and knew Latin and were put back 2-3 grade levels. This is in the Dallas Texas area. That is just what a lot of public schools do.

I really really think that this is all that happened. I bet if the OP looked at what the 3rd graders really can do, she would find her child is not behind at all and the public school is full of bigoted staff who are using her daughter to try to lash out at homeschoolers to scare others from homeschooling.
post #171 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
What I am saying is that I don't believe reading is something children naturally learn to do solo, in a vacuum - anecdotes notwithstanding. I think it takes an environment rich in written language, it takes instruction, encouragement, practice, materials, all that sort of thing.
It depends on the child. We had an environment rich in written language (my mom is also a bookworm). I definitely practiced, as I was absolutely determined to figure out what those mysterious squiggles meant. However, there was no instruction or encouragement. My mom didn't even know I could already read until the kindergarten teacher (the same one who had been harassing my mom all year with her concerns, because I "wasn't paying attention during alphabet") told her so. She wasn't surprised...but she didn't know. She certainly didn't teach me. She didn't even read to us all that much. Mom, like me, much preferred singing at bedtime to reading, so reading was always a once in a while thing. DD1 has had way more formal instruction in reading than I had.
post #172 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post
What I really think happened to the OP (since she does not seem to be coming back to clarify) is that the school is using her child to make an example to other parents to try to scare them out of homeschooling. It commonly happens here. No matter how far ahead your child is, the public schools will tell parents that the homeschooled child is years behind and must go back grade levels. I have seen kids who did Well Trained Mind and knew Latin and were put back 2-3 grade levels. This is in the Dallas Texas area. That is just what a lot of public schools do.

I really really think that this is all that happened. I bet if the OP looked at what the 3rd graders really can do, she would find her child is not behind at all and the public school is full of bigoted staff who are using her daughter to try to lash out at homeschoolers to scare others from homeschooling.

I want to put this in the gentlest possible way, knowing Latin is not a skill that is transferable to the 2nd grade. Knowing Latin does not put you at grade level in reading English or math, which are the biggest areas where a student needs to be at or at the minimum slightly below grade level to be able to adequately participate in a classroom setting. It doesn't matter how great your child is at identifying plants, insects, describing life cycles, identifying foreign countries on a map, or speaking a foreign language, if they are far below grade level in language arts and math, it will be very hard for them to integrate into a standard classroom.

This doesn't say anything about the importance or 'real life' application of any of the other things a child may have learned. If integrating back into a standard classroom is part of a families "backup" plan then it really behooves them to monitor where their children are compared to the grade level standards in language arts and math and if necessary work on those areas to keep their children at a minimum on track with their peers.
post #173 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I've unschooled my kid for many years and I, um, don't especially want to be with her 24/7. I mean, now she's 17 and that would be really weird... but even when she was 5 or 7 or 9 the idea of spending every waking moment with her would have made me run out of the room screaming. We spend a lot of time together, and I love her dearly, but we're not conjoined twins, we have different interests and friends and lifestyles, and it really has long worked best if we spend good chunks of time apart.

YMMV, of course... but I don't think unschooling or homeschooling necessarily mean fulltime familial togetherness....
Thank you for saying that. I don't know any homeschoolers who are joined to their kids at the hip. I'm not sure they exist except in debate-land.

We've homeschooled since my boys were 8 and 4.5, and have always spent time with other people, both together and apart. However, I do love that they are 18 and 15 now and still like hanging out with me.
post #174 of 455
i would like to chime in and say my son is not illiterate, he is learning to read. just because he wasn't doing it at 4 doesn't mean he can never do it. i am finding it sort of offensive.
i have a dd who was reading at 4. i have a son who was reading at 7. i have one who will probably be reading at 6, and one who is learning at 9. they all have been read too, all have been introduced to reading early. have a mom who LOVES to read. as far as i can tell we have no visual issues or special needs. they just all are different people. and all learn at a different pace. he is actually really proud of himself and is truly enjoying reading. so there you go.

as for kids and reading in general... back years ago when dd was in PS she had a friend whose mother was getting her Masters in special education and we would talk about all sorts of things. one thing she said to me that sort of stood out to me all these years later is that most children pick up reading on their own in a way. being read too, having books in the house, having people around them reading, they pick it up. there is a small % of children who struggle and really need someone to actually TEACH them to read. like how you imagine it maybe like sitting there and going over things again and again. some of these kids have special needs, others it is just harder for them. she never gave a time table on when most kids pick it up, so i can't say it is by 4 or 7 or 9 or what have you. if i recall america tends to push reading early more then other countries. i think as parents we sometimes wear it as a badge of how great WE ARE that little sally or tommy is reading and they are 4 or 3 or something like that, and if not we should hang our heads in shame if they are not reading Tolstoy at 6. lol
i have to say my soon to be 9 year old has many, many skills that his sister at almost 9 didn't have. so i don't see his inability to read "a wrinkle in time" at this moment in time something to worry about. because he is learning, at his own pace. the coolest thing is that because we homeschool and unschool he actually gets this option. he gets to take what time he needs. and if for some reason our life style changed and i HAD to go to work 5 days a week 8 hours a day and he would have to go to school full time, we would be getting him the assistance he needed to be up with whatever the school felt he needed improvement on. of course none of the schooled kids would have to be up to par with what he knows, lol, but that is a different rant all together.

as for my comments about feeling bad for someone and their child for not wanting to be together... well sorry i do. no, homeschooling does not mean you spend 24/7 with them, but you do spend alot of time with them... maybe not just YOU alone with them all staring at each other, but just the general togetherness. heck even on days we hang with other homeschoolers, we are all still together. so maybe i am totally lame or something and have no life of my own, but i actually do enjoy spending alot, if not most of my time with my kids, that is one of the many reason we do homeschool, because we like to be together. and i have a dd who is 16 and is going to school but if she wasn't i would enjoy spending alot more time with her, and i don't think that is weird. but maybe it is. and you know what? i am totally OK with being weird about being with my kids. because one day, they will be grown, move out and have their own lives and we won't be together everyday... why not relish it? that is what i am doing. rolling in the togetherness.

h
post #175 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiandmoi View Post
On this forum there are always parents questioning whether or not their child is displaying age appropriate skills acquisition.

There was recently a thread about an 8yo who is having problems reading more than 3 letter words. Being concerned about this is age appropriate. By 8 years old, a typical child is able to read and decode 2 syllable words, use and read contractions, and use and read common suffixes. If a child is having trouble doing these things, I don't feel it is good advice to tell a parent to just wait it out because children learn to read at their own pace. I think some investigation into why this child is behind their same age peers is in order. There could be a physical problem, a learning disability, a sensory issue, an emotional roadblock or an issue with a lack of interest in the materials being offered. In the end it could just be that it isn't clicking yet, and hopefully soon it will. BUT the investigation should still be undertaken.
yes, i realize that. but my point wasn't in reference to anything you've mentioned. my point was in reference to children that read later and the thought of them "missing" out on good literature....obviously, those children can be read too and not miss out on it at all (regardless of why they aren't reading yet).
post #176 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post
What I really think happened to the OP (since she does not seem to be coming back to clarify) is that the school is using her child to make an example to other parents to try to scare them out of homeschooling. It commonly happens here. No matter how far ahead your child is, the public schools will tell parents that the homeschooled child is years behind and must go back grade levels. I have seen kids who did Well Trained Mind and knew Latin and were put back 2-3 grade levels. This is in the Dallas Texas area. That is just what a lot of public schools do.

I really really think that this is all that happened. I bet if the OP looked at what the 3rd graders really can do, she would find her child is not behind at all and the public school is full of bigoted staff who are using her daughter to try to lash out at homeschoolers to scare others from homeschooling.
I don't know, maybe coming from the other side of the spectrum where 1 of my kids is behind and the other is ahead I didn't get that from the public school. During DD's evaluation meeting; DS's grades were brought up and all the of the staff agreed that I did a successful job with him and there absolutely was a problem. The school has never treated me badly or has ever been negative about previously homeschooling. They have been a source of support for us and gone out of their way to help us in dealing with DD..IMO they have gone well above the call of duty.
post #177 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post
But there's a difference between a 9 year old who's capable of reading and just doesn't enjoy it, and a 9 year old who is completely, or mostly, illiterate. A child who can't read can't love reading, obviously. And I'd say that a child who seriously struggles with reading is going to have a hard time loving it, too.
I have a friend who read voraciously to her children from the time they were tiny, often for hours at a time, and that was their favorite activity. The daughter went on to school and was not able to learn to read until she was 9 - she got lots of extra help, using various methods, from a friend of theirs who was also the girl's classroom teacher for a year. Suddenly, it all clicked and she was able to read. She never lost her love of the written word - it's just that she wasn't the one doing the reading till she was 9. And she was class valedictorian in 8th grade. There's a book called Homeschooling for Excellence, about the Colfax family, well known for homeschooling while building a homestead and goat farm. The older one - the one who made the news when he got into Harvard - didn't read till he was 9 either. He suddenly had a driving reason to push himself to learn it, and he basically taught himself from some old workbooks they had. Meanwhile, there had been lots of learning and good conversation with their parents, and books were referred to constantly in solving problems that came up while planning and building the homestead. My own son could read by the time he was 7, but he didn't enjoy it, whereas listening to me read was one of his very favorite activities. Once he started reading for pleasure at age 12, rather than just for information as he'd done all along, he became a voracious reader. There are lots of encouraging stories about later readers - the key seems to be focusing on the enjoyment of what can come from books, regardless of who's doing the reading. - Lillian
post #178 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
So it's okay if parents sing songs about counting and the alphabet, but not schools? Or all songs parents sing should only be non-educational? Because most kids songs have some sort of educational theme. If I sing "Five Little Fishies," I'm now formally schooling my 3yo? Where, exactly, is the line drawn?

Ah, so color games ARE bad. Good to know. Seriously, if this is what counts as pushing academics at an early age, I guess I pretty much don't have an answer for that.

(My DS has speech delays. Is it okay if I at least try to get him to repeat words after me?)
OK now I'm really scratching my head. I was talking about unschooling and how someone can unschool a 3 yo which is considered by some to be too young to be in school therefore to young to use the label unschooler. You can do whatever you want with your child who goes to preschool. You can do whatever you feel is best for your child with speech delays. Are you aspiring to unschool while you send your child to school? Do you think unschooling means not giving your child therapy when it's indicated? Are you trying to fit the label of unschooler that you keep asking me if what you do is ok? I wasn't discussing pushing academics or delaying academics. I know exactly what preschool is like since my ds experienced one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
You're right. God help any child whose only interaction with adults is through flash card type instruction. However, the claim that this is the norm in ANY preschool is probably one of the oddest claims I've ever heard. Is that really what you think preschool, or even grade school is like? Honestly? When a preschool has "yellow day," you think they spend the whole 3 hours making the child point to yellow and repeat after them? First of all, most 3 year olds have the language facility to say yellow without much prompting.
Who said anything about flashcards or having a teacher talk about a single subject for 3 hours straight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
How can kids explore if they're not exposed to things? But this post has definitely been an interesting read... I'm beginning to understand how some of the more extreme situations sometimes discussed in this community have come into being.
What kids aren't exposed to things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
That's what puzzled me, too. But I'm also deeply puzzled by a 9 year old who doesn't know how to spell his name, barring severe learning disabilities. Different strokes, I guess.
And why is that such a necessary skill for a 9 yo who doesn't need to write his name at the top of all his worksheets and tests so the teacher can grade them? He isn't in a group situation where he needs to label his possessions. He hasn't once in his life come across a situation where he needed to write his name. It is not yet a priority. And it's a pretty narrow minded view that the only conceivable scenario for a child not writing his name is a severe learning disability.
post #179 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by aslyn View Post
I don't know, maybe coming from the other side of the spectrum where 1 of my kids is behind and the other is ahead I didn't get that from the public school. During DD's evaluation meeting; DS's grades were brought up and all the of the staff agreed that I did a successful job with him and there absolutely was a problem. The school has never treated me badly or has ever been negative about previously homeschooling. They have been a source of support for us and gone out of their way to help us in dealing with DD..IMO they have gone well above the call of duty.
This was our experience too. My kids homeschooled when they were young and started school at 10 and 12. One of my kids has special needs.

Never once has anyone at school treated me or my children badly because of homeschooling, or blamed my DD's difficulties related to her special needs on homeschooling.

I'm not a fan of unschooling, and at one time in my life I was.

Some children can quickly catch up, and some just can't. Aslyn and I each have a child who requires far more implicit instruction, time, and repetition than average.

I feel that unschoolers lie all the time when they encourage someone to not worry and say that their child will be just fine. The reality is that you just can't know if someone else's child will be just fine. Just because yours was doesn't mean that other specific child will be.

The truth is -- Some kids need direct instruction, and you can't tell on a message board which are which.

Kids work really hard in K, 1st, and 2nd grade, and I can easily see how a child with who had been unschooled could be so far behind they couldn't function in a classroom.
post #180 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
sure. i agree with you. there are obvious advantages to homeschooling (thus...why we've always done it). my point in agreeing with that poster's comment was that i believe families that choose public school can still have rich lives that involve the same values & attributes of homeschooled families. do they experience it differently? probably. but that wasn't my point. i feel like the tone can sometimes be, "poor poor schooled children ...what uninvolved parents they have"... and honestly, that is not my experience with my 3 sisters and many friends that choose to utilize public school. they equally love their kids and seek to enrich their lives vastly, just like me. they also have playtime, baking, messy experiments, bug collecting, camping trips, museum visits, etc. perhaps my experience is reflected in the kind of people i have in my life & they're the minority, but i am optimistic in saying i don't believe that. we may parent differently, but the underlying motive is the same, which is to love our kids and give them the best experience we can.
well said!!
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