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Child's personality determines how "unschooly" you unschool?

Poll Results: How is your kid and how is your unschooling

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 15% (12)
    My kid hates being taught and we're about as pure unschoolers as possible.
  • 14% (11)
    My kid hates being taught and we are unschool-lite
  • 20% (16)
    My kid doesn't mind being taught and we're about as pure unschoolers as possible.
  • 32% (25)
    My kid doesn't mind being taught and we are unschool-lite
  • 17% (14)
    I can't pick another choice, but like seeing poll results.
78 Total Votes  
post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
A bit of a fluff thread and poll because I'm curious about a trend of people saying their kid resists active teaching.

Interpret the choices as you will, but try not to over think it.

I personally voted how I suspect things will go in future.

Oh! And please also write about if and how your kid's views on learning shaped your educational choices.

If you're having trouble with your personal view of the choices, then "unschool-lite" means sometimes (more often than "very rarely") you're the one directing things, and a kid who doesn't mind being taught is one who goes along with you directing things fairly readily. (In most situations, at most ages, with plenty of exceptions.)
post #2 of 23
I have two that fit in your first category, one that fits in the second and one that fits in the fourth. Though that's not a hard and fast categorization: just an average, in most situations, at most ages, with plenty of exceptions.

Miranda
post #3 of 23
My kids love being taught and based on IRL exposure to other homeschoolers, I don't see us as unschool-lite.
post #4 of 23
Hmmm, my child hates being taught but loves workbooks etc. We're on the radical end of the spectrum.
post #5 of 23
I could not answer your poll. I know you said dont think too much, but you know, all the usual questions about what is "being taught" etc come to mind. My dd enjoys being taught in certain ways / times / circumstances and not in others, etc etc. Being unschooly means responding to that, and so even if we "teach" it is still unschooling - for example we play school several times a week, complete with roll call (imaginary classmates) and recess. We do worksheets, grades, the whole thing. But it is a game. So is it unschooly or not?
post #6 of 23
hee hee--I'm surprised that anyone voted--unschoolers are notorious for not being able to be pinned down.

I have one kid who hates formal classes of any kind, but loves talking with people who have information to share with him (experts in their fields, people who have lived through certain historical or important events, etc.) so isn't adverse to being taught in that way.

I have one who resists being taught unless it's something she's sought out, then she's fine with everything from a casual "let me show you" to a formal class structure.

I have one who likes to figure things out on his own even to the point of reinventing the wheel.
post #7 of 23
My child is the most challenging child I have met IRL.

He seems pretty normal now since he's in such a nonauthoritarian environment. But he was very susceptible to getting into power struggles because he is such an awesome self advocate . He could have been diagnosed as ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder). We tried school. It made him worse and added a new level of anxiety to the mix. All of these issues have faded with unschooling.

Ds loves to ask dh questions. But if dh goes off on a tangent and starts getting teachy about something ds did not ask about, ds tells him to stop. He's highly sensitive and resistant to anything he perceives as someone else's agenda. I let him know what opportunities are out there and suggest things I think he'd find interesting. I can sometimes give him a little nudge to do something he is really ready to do. And I'll drop a bit of relevant info here and there. But I could never do lessons with him.

He might be willing to take a class on a particular subject but he tends to not like them, either. They are never quite what he is looking for in a class. Either the pace is too slow or too repetitive, or the teacher isn't responsive (has his/her own agenda and not flexible). But he'd love to talk to them out of a class setting when he can have a conversation and pick their brains.

I had no intention of homeschooling, let alone unschooling. I'm just doing what's best for ds based on his temperament.
post #8 of 23
I chose option 2.

DD is very resistant to sit-down-now-we're-gonna-teach-you-something type of teaching. At this point, we're pretty much pure unschooling but I chose the "lite" version because we are going to start working with her on handwriting and math. We're still figuring out how we want to approach this so it's mutually acceptable. And frankly, I don't like teaching except when it comes in as a natural part of our daily lives/interests.

The reason we want to work with her on letters and math is because she feels inadequate in these areas and is a perfectionist, so she avoids them due to fear and anxiety. When asked, she says she wants us to help her, but we've always had to be very careful with how much to encourage/push any particular issue. She tends to give up easily if something is a little hard - even if it's something she really wants to do. Sometimes a little "push" helps her over the hump of her frustration, but it's a subtle distinction. If we push too hard, she shuts down completely. This is part of why we like unschooling. We have the freedom to back off and revisit things on our own time frame.
post #9 of 23
I guess of your choices i would pick number 4, trying not to overthink it. But really, the phrase "doesn't mind being taught" is inaccurate. My kids LOVE being taught. They LOVE gong to classes, they LOVE when i sit down and teach a topic to them. i use real life and their interests to guide them a bit....but I don't like..plan a curiculum and then teach it. i guess I do a ton of strewing, and anything they latch onto particulalrly, we dive into...they like everything...flash cards, workbooks, games, books, movies, discussions, activities, crafts.....
So...ya...I do quite a bit of teaching..not because i decided i would teach them, but because they want me to....for example...
I bought ds a bugs set, and he made me repeat over and over the names until he learned them. He's 2. And now says the most adorable baby-lispy bug names.. "s'cada" "dwagonfwy" "s'keeto" "'tink bug" "yadybug" ROFL.
Dd begs me to do more stuff with her...she begs for workbook "assignments".
My kids are weird lol.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
I guess of your choices i would pick number 4, trying not to overthink it. But really, the phrase "doesn't mind being taught" is inaccurate. My kids LOVE being taught.
DD's the same way, especially if the learning involves singing. But I figured there'd be more kids who were neutral to positive than kids who were totally positive.
post #11 of 23
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post #12 of 23
I voted that we are unschooly and mine don't mind being 'taught'. Of course, if it's not interesting to my child, he or she lets me know and I either try it another way or another time or let it go for awhile. For instance, my oldest doesn't want to 'practice reading'...so we don't for formal lessons where he sounds things out. BUT he and I played a spelling game with letter dice this week and he loved it! He and I worked on memorizing one verse of a song each morning this week...with my interjections to show him which word went with each note or beat of rhythm. He didn't resist it and now he has it memorized. He will go along with many of the things I ask him to try but his favorite things to do are the things he thinks of himself! (Yay!!)

That's what I aim for with my kids; an openness to listen to another person's way of doing something, try something out or give it a thought but to know they can opt out if they really aren't into it. At the same time, I want my child to still be able to follow their inner rhythm and drive and not rely entirely on someone or something else to fill their days for them. It seems to be working for us and the kids we have!
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post #13 of 23
Well, my kid generally hated being taught by me but was fine with being taught by other people, assuming she'd signed on for it. We had a bad experience with this guy I was dating deciding to help her learn to play pool better, for example... but otoh, she was always great with soccer coaches and theatre directors and science center classes.

During her teens she got better with me teaching her stuff... we both have to be in a good head-space to try it and sometimes we end up growling at each other, but it generally goes... at least okay.
post #14 of 23
My children like to be taught but what they want to learn. I find that if I choose what they learn and when their eyes gloss over and they become distracted easily. Sometimes I introduce things and they aren't interested so I stop. Sometimes I introduce something and they love it. Most times they come up with the idea and I help facilitate it.
For ex. my oldest is very interested in sewing. I give her ideas of what she can sew and buy her fabric. I will show her different methods and get her in touch with a seamstress. (Her aunt)
Or my 4yo son doesn't write (well print) his name ever so he just painted a picture and I asked him nonchalantly to stick his name at the top so I can remember who painted it later. No problem. Now if I made him sit down and write his name over and over he wouldn't want to do it.
I teach in roundabout ways without them realizing it.
According to them they learned it all on their own. Just the way I like it.
post #15 of 23
Definitely lite unschoolers here. Right now, we don't use curriculum, of course, but I do limit screen time, enforce bedtimes, introduce new concepts and direct learning. My kids are 6, 2 and 1, so I start an activity or a conversation and then let them take it where they will. Once they lose interest, I leave it alone, but sure enough, I'll hear more about it in a couple of days. It's working for us so far!
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by zebrachick83 View Post
Definitely lite unschoolers here. Right now, we don't use curriculum, of course, but I do limit screen time, enforce bedtimes, introduce new concepts and direct learning. My kids are 6, 2 and 1, so I start an activity or a conversation and then let them take it where they will. Once they lose interest, I leave it alone, but sure enough, I'll hear more about it in a couple of days. It's working for us so far!
From my understanding, enforcing bedtimes/introducing topics/limiting screen time do not fall within Radical Unschooling parameters but are completely within Unschooling parameters. I am talking about "pure" unschooling, as described by John Holt, the "father" of the movement. That is the way I see it.
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post #17 of 23
I answered the first option, but honestly it depends on which child. Sometimes they might ask to be taught something briefly or indepth and sometimes not. As well as my oldest DS who wasn't always being unschooled is much more about not being taught most of the time.
post #18 of 23
My kids hate being taught but love being engaged. I chose option 1. We're somewhere in the radical-ish spectrum. Probably couldn't define it even if I wanted. I've tried lots over the years, but I don't get very far because there are exceptions everywhere. Can't quantify every second of the day into a definition and can't hardly track trends without admitting phases.
post #19 of 23
My son is VERY curious by nature and a big independent learner. He likes to discover, read, watch videos, do experiments, etc. He likes learning and exploring together - but the sit down and "teach" thing is so not his thing. He hates being told something. He hates workbooks. He has got a plan in his head and I am along for the ride

That said, I have found myself purchasing curricula and books and such. I follow his lead as to what to learn and how much to learn - but I do provide him with as much stimulating activities, books, trips, etc to feed the current learning passion. His desire to learn more is so overwhelming that I have started to purchase stuff to help us on that learning journey.

He taught himself to read at 3 and just devours books. He is obsessed with ancient history - so we have gotten Story of the World and History Odyssey so that I don't have to come up with any creative activities, just look them up and pick what we want to do We skip narrations, tests, and all that boring schooly stuff. He is getting so much out of it though - today he builted "the walled city of jericho" out of duplo blocks at teh chiros office
He is a science geek, so we do lots of science experiments, just got a new book of ancient science inventions/experiments that looks like fun to add to our history explorations.
Lately he has been requesting to learn about nouns, verbs, etc. And flying thru the little bit I am doing with him. So I did just get Easy Grammar to see if that fulfills his desire, Not so much a rigid program. But a few daily sentence exercises - what I am already doing with him but a little less work for me and probably better organized too. He is asking for more than what I remember and I needed some help! The cosmeo.com pendemonium vids and games totally fueled this new passion. LOVE that site!! Probably getting the story book Sentence Family too.
He is also requesting to learn Latin and Manadrin - My head is spinning! If only Rosetta Stone wasn't so expensive....He is really on a Latin kick too - he heard DH and I discussing how knowing latin roots helps alot in the medical field and in science in general - that was all he needed to know. So now I have to look for something unschooly to help us all learn Latin.

I have gone from unschooling him completely until Kindy to being thrown into a very classically inspired unschooly education. They are at such different ends of the spectrum. He craves the materials and subject material that goes with a classical education, but we are trying to do it as unschooly as possible. We don't do much sit down and learn time. We read and explore together alot. We do lots of projects and experiments. And he takes the lead in it. I just provide the wood for the bonfire. Just unexpected to have it be such classically inspired wood....
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by naturegirl7 View Post
...he takes the lead in it. I just provide the wood for the bonfire.
Love this quote!
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