Originally Posted by zjande
But then, when should we expect our children to "catch up" to their peers?
For my kid it happened during the teen years, for many things... and for some things she was already ahead. And of course, there are things schooled kids learn that she has no interest in learning and hasn't had a need to learn yet, so she hasn't yet, and likewise there are things she knows that most schooled kids don't, because they're not generally taught in schools.
I guess for us, my kid started to look at where she wanted to be in 2 or 3 or 4 years and think about what she needed to do to get there, and although there were fits and starts and some frustrations, she's done pretty well at getting herself there. Maybe that's because of things I did, without intentionally doing them? I don't know.
I've read about how parents from certain classes just intuitively talk to kids about certain things and in certain ways, and I suppose I did this. Maps have always been around, NPR has always been on the radio, friends came to our house and discussed the political situation in other countries... that's our family culture, and it ties in nicely with the knowledge set usually considered indicative of being an educated person in the U.S. OTOH, my kid learned very little from me about, say, sports, or fashion, and I'm not sure how well-educated she'd be considered in those areas today. On the third hand, our family culture was pretty low on stuff like cinema and literature, and she knows a lot about those...
I'm just sort of thinking aloud here. I think it's a topic that doesn't get explored very often, because people do wind up feeling attacked or offended. Why (or in what situations) does unschooling not work? Is the issue that of unreasonable expectations for unschooling, or are there things some unschooling parents are doing that aren't discussed, but that lead to unschooling working for them? Or is unschooling just not suited for certain kids?
Originally Posted by Arduinna
The only problem here is that there is no way to anticipate lifes journey. You unfortunately have had a change of personal circumstance that has forced your children to have to fit into a system they weren't a part of. I totally understand that it's frustrating for all involved. I just view this as an unforeseen circumstance not a failure of unschooling or parenting. No one can predict that in advance. I'm sorry your family is going through this difficult time. Sure, if you knew this would happen you might have made a different choice, but no one could know that in advance.
I think this is so true, and I don't think you should feel that you'd failed your kids. Your daughter hit a rough spot and you're both understandably upset over it, and if you had known a couple of years ago that she would be going to school at age 8, maybe you would have made different choices... but life doesn't work that way. We all do the best we can with what we know.