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I am no longer a supporter of unschooling :( (BIG vent, dont read if ur going to be offended) - Page 23

post #441 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by darien View Post
OP, third grade is a horrible time for switching from unschooling to school (not blaming you, just saying). Third is a very transitional year. Children do a lot more writing, a lot more independent reading. It's a year where many kids who have been in school all the way through struggle, too.

If you happen to have a choice, sending an older child to school often works better. In theory, they've gotten past all the "learning to learn" years, and are ready to handle the work, the regimentation, and the social scene.
That was my personal suspicion, that 3rd grade could be a harder time to transition than 5th or 6th or so... I feel like unschooled 8 yos are more asynchronous with regards to basic academic skills. And those are the things that are hard to be in school without. The older kids have the reading and writing skills more mastered so it's just a content issue. They just need to cover whatever content is a prerequisite for their current classes which might not even be all the content covered by all the grades up until then.

Of course, YMMV, yada yada, all kids are different, etc, etc
post #442 of 455
Remember, hindsight is always 20/20. Today is a new day! Big hugs to you!
post #443 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Most of the comments I'm referring to are of the "those unschoolers led me astray" type. I failed to check my dd1's vision when I should have. My mistake - period. Nobody led me astray. If I end up unschooling and it doesn't work for my family, I'm not going to turn around and say, "well, all those other people told me it would work". It's my responsibility to look at it and evaluate it, not theirs.
post #444 of 455
What a long, interesting thread! OP, thanks so much for sharing. Hugs to you and your dd.

I am a long time home/unschooler and after many years immersed in the philosophy and I do believe in so many aspects of it....especially freedom. All my children can be considered late readers, and 3 of 4 have learned so far without being taught. I have 1 child who taught himself quite a bit of math through play. They have learned a ton of history, among other things, through gaming. And they are delightful human beings.

I don't, however, believe in unschooling as it has been presented to me at conferences and online (not so much in my local IRL community), as my family's experience with it led to more chaos and disharmony than when we injected a healthy dose of discipline and direction into our lives. I know that many die-hard unschoolers would say that I never truly understood the concept or was not properly focused on the joy of never-ending Disney Channel, but my kids themselves have expressed some of the disdain I have read in previous posts, about not feeling prepared for things, feeling stupid, etc.

My kids need direction from me, at least my 2 oldest boys seem to. I expressed to them (during our more fervent unschooling years) that they could pursue any interest they wanted and I would help them with any skill they wanted to develop. It was a rarity they would ask for such a thing. They would rather take the easy road and avoid or adapt before applying the effort needed for an end result (not in all cases, but there are definitely areas where they have expressed they wish I would have pushed them more). They wanted the end result but they did not want it to come from them. They wanted me to initiate or require it so that, I believe, the responsibility was on me. Even though unschooling espouses the joy that comes from pure freedom, but neglects to mention the comfort that comes from parental guidance and direction providing a safety net for kids who are a little less motivated.

Our style has morphed into a nice relaxed place, more disciplined but still a very healthy dose of freedom. Less chaos, more harmony, more focus, some goals in mind. Recognizing that Disney Channel is not a "need". Recognizing that my instincts are worth listening to an that my kid's needs are not always what they express outwardly.
post #445 of 455
Quote:
Why is it when the "occassional homeschooler/unschooler for whom it did not work" comes out and tells their story a 22 page long debate ensues and those who are in agreement with the op are treated as terrorists that are trying shake the very foundation of parental choice?

Most of us that posted in this thread still believe homeschooling/unschooling can work.
yep.

Why is it that a parent saying "different things work for different kids" such a threat?
post #446 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
yep.

Why is it that a parent saying "different things work for different kids" such a threat?
I think the reason there has been so much seeming disagreement on this thread is that those who post here on MDC's unschooling subforum invariably add that caveat. Someone always seems to suggest ruling out vision problems and learning disabilities, as well There's always someone posting that they aren't Radical Unschoolers and here's what works for them.

I don't personally recall the OP ever even posting on the unschooling subforum, not that I have combed through all her past posts. When people post on MDC to complain about the advice unschoolers give, it's easy to assume they mean advice from the MDC subforum and it's natural for MDC unschoolers to want to point out that they don't tend to make such blanket statements as unschooling always works for everyone. Possibly, the OP never even asked for advice from MDC unschoolers and yet has come here to vent. I certainly would never suggest someone unschool if they thought it likely that their child might need to transition to school. So to have someone who hasn't even asked for advice from us (recently, at any rate) come and post that we are full of B.S. and are actually lying (meaning with intent to deceive) is just a little offensive.
post #447 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Heyokha~ View Post
I think that unschooling can work. . .

But for me? I regret it. I was unschooled from 7th grade on. Seriously, a nightmare. I liked it at the time but when I enrolled in college, I really noticed how much common knowledge I was lacking. Most of my public schooled peers knew SO much more than me. I'm talking basic knowledge, like geography, history, etc. I ended up graduating with a high GPA but I struggled the whole time and felt inferior. I had to over compensate and study all the time. I studied all the time because I had to look up things I never learned; I didn't understand what the text was referencing to. For example, when taking Art appreciation, I had NO concept of the "historical periods" the text was talking about. So while most of my peers focused on studying the actual art, I had to try to figure out what I was suppose to already know.
ps in your area introduced art history eras well enough for people to use the info in art history classes in college? Wow. Heck of a curriculum. My school sure didn't teach that unless you took a specific class. The little I know about romantic vs impressionist vs modern has come entirely from non-textbook sources e.g.fictional characters talking in books, going to the art museum
post #448 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
The general Homeschool forum is inclusive of Unschooling. Unschooling is homeschooling. The Unschooling subforum is specifically the forum for unschooling support for those who are not seeking debate about it's merits. THIS forum is the one for debate about homeschooling styles. No one has cause for complaint because it is appropriate for unschoolers to post here.
Right. And no one has cause for complaint about a thread discussing the downsides or negative personal experiences with USing here because it is appropriate for non-unschoolers and former USers to post here as well.
post #449 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
Oh, the funny thing I always ran into on standardized tests was that there weren't enough little squares to write my name anyway. And my childhood name only had 16 letters, first and last.
The teachers always came over and helped the kids with longer names on that part when we did standardized testing as kids.
post #450 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post
What I'm referring to are the posts discussing posts from the unschooling forum, and either comments about how they aren't sufficiently supportive of other choices, or the comments that say something along the lines of "when I read the unschooling forum, I shudder at the thought of 9 year olds who can't read, etc..." If you were posting there, you might dislike seeing your posts looking for support being drug into this debate.
That makes perfect sense. I gotcha.
post #451 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadingMama View Post
Right. And no one has cause for complaint about a thread discussing the downsides or negative personal experiences with USing here because it is appropriate for non-unschoolers and former USers to post here as well.
Agreed. If they stick to personal experiences.
post #452 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post
With all due respect, I was a high school teacher in a relatively affluent school district in NJ in 2007. One of my sophomore boys could not read. He had been in-district his whole life with educated parents who were engaged with their kids lives (more than the norm in this district) and an older sister who was successful in school. I was a business and computers teacher--not a core subject. The student was pretty quiet--by no means a trouble maker who might have been blown off to just being capable but disengaged or disinterested.

Why was I the first person to find this??
I had a teacher in, I think 6th grade, who told us at the start of the year that she was going to make sure we all read out loud to her at some point during the first month or so of classes because of people who needed help slipping through the cracks. And we should talk to her ASAP if we couldn't read and needed help. I have no idea if any classmate did go to her in those first weeks, but by the time they were reading out loud everyone could even if it was slow and stilted.

It's really too bad the kid you helped didn't have a teacher who made sure everyone could read in 6th grade. He would've been old enough to have developed enough to learn to read if he hadn't been previously, and would've had that much more time to develop proficiency.
post #453 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
Unschoolers often give the same advice over and over, and part of that advice is to not evaluate, but just wait and trust. For many people (maybe even most people) that advice works out just fine.

But for some people, it doesn't. For some kids unschooling really isn't going to work out for a variety of reasons, including learning disabilities or changes in family circumstances that force them into formal schooling.

My point, and I'm saying this as nicely as I know how, is that unschoolers could really learn from the experiences of former unschoolers and temper their comments to those seeking support. Some times what you are saying isn't going to be true for the person you are talking to.

I'm not angry. I don't want my money back, but I feel strongly that by shooting down the voices of those of us for whom unschooling didn't work out, you are being less that totally honest with others.

I don't hang out on unschooling boards, and very seldom visit the homeschool board. I spend most of my time on the special needs board. But if you value learning from a variety of sources, why not let former unschoolers be one of those sources?

Please tell moms that their child *might* have an undiagnosed LD and giving it more time could just make it harder for the child.

If you are giving advice and support, don't you want to be accurate? And if we never come back and say how things turned out for our kids, how can you be?
I love everything about this post.

I believe in unschooling too. But only when it's presented as a spectrum, and as an option rather than the only choice for parents who trust and respect their kids.

I talked to my 10yo son about the topic of this thread yesterday. He said he loves unschooling, but that he's glad I got him the help he needed to learn to read because reading is now his favorite thing to do.

He didn't want to learn how to read because it was too hard. Testing showed visual processing issues and eye muscle problems. We did vision therapy and worked with sight words. Two years after learning to read, he tests 5 grade levels ahead in reading and he is proud of that. It makes up for his continuing difficulties with writing, spelling, and math. Most importantly, reading has opened up his world and brought him joy.

Although he resisted reading initially, he says he's glad that I insisted. And this outcome helps him to trust me more about other skills that I encourage him to work on.
post #454 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadingMama View Post
He didn't want to learn how to read because it was too hard. Testing showed visual processing issues and eye muscle problems. We did vision therapy and worked with sight words. Two years after learning to read, he tests 5 grade levels ahead in reading and he is proud of that. It makes up for his continuing difficulties with writing, spelling, and math. Most importantly, reading has opened up his world and brought him joy.

Although he resisted reading initially, he says he's glad that I insisted. And this outcome helps him to trust me more about other skills that I encourage him to work on.
Thank you for this post. It is very encouraging. This is almost exactly DS1's situation. He's in vision therapy now. I feel it is necessary to insist that he do these things now that are hard for him and that he would rather not do, so that he will even have the option to do them by choice later; instead of not being able to do them at all because of problems that were not addressed. The work he is doing is really hard, but I am trusting my parental instincts that it is worthwhile and necessary even if he doesn't really want to do it. I do feel it is my responsibility to provide the external motivation that he needs to get it done.

When people feel that unschooling works well for their child, I would never argue with that, because they know their kid best. I know without a doubt that for basic 3Rs skills, our DS1 would not have acquired them without parental insistence and professional help.

I was intrigued by unschooling early on but after a brief exploration decided it wasn't a fit for me. That was before we knew about his vision and processing problems. When I first began more structured and parent-led work with him, I admit I felt a little guilty and wondered if I was making a mistake and if I was going to "ruin the fun of learning" for him. But now I am glad we were on a more traditional path because my internal pressure to "get him reading" is part of what led to his diagnosis. Someday he will have the option of reading for fun, or some other motivation of his own, because he will be able to do it. Right now it is still too hard to be fun for him, but I have faith that this will eventually change.

I came back to add - I'm not saying that he would not have been diagnosed if we were unschooling - but I know it would have been quite a bit later. When I first started noticing reading problems, I was told more than once (not necessarily by people at MDC) "Maybe he is just not ready. Wait a while." I think that if I had been in an unschooling frame of mind, I might have just backed off reading and writing until he showed more desire to do it. I am not sure how long I might have waited before I decided that in his case, readiness wasn't what was missing.

IMO the greatest thing about homeschooling is that we can always adapt our approach to what works for our children, even for each individual child. The OP of this thread can switch to a more structured approach. Someone who has been very structured and wants to loosen up a little can choose to do it in a more relaxed way for a while or permanently. What homeschooling looks like for a family can change as often as it needs to change. And that's wonderful.
post #455 of 455
I'm closing this thread, because it has run its course.
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