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Too "school" for unschooling? - Page 2

post #21 of 43

I believe the following, Annakiss-

 

-I believe that anyone who staunchly presents one philosophy as the ONLY correct approach to education is either a fool or a liar.

-I believe that no educational philosophy itself is worth prolonged commitment if the learner him/herself is unhappy with it.

-I believe that unschooling is an excellent philosophy that should be followed precisely, and should not override an older child's autonomy.

-I believe that I have the damn right to express my opinion.

 

Am I an unschooler? If it worked for my kid I would be, if it didn't I wouldn't be. I believe in being committed to whatever works for the individual kid. That goes for mainstream schools, charter and magnet schools, Montessori and Waldorf schools, and the entire spectrum of homeschooling.

 

The OP would not be pulling a "cut and run" if her kid went back to school. If that is what this 13 year old child truly wants, that is what she wants. Really, there's not much else to add when a child has made his or her wishes known, ESPECIALLY if you a firm believer in unschooling. I feel terrible for parents who can't honor their children's requests when the situation is reversed. Economic status affects one's ability to homeschool or find private alternatives. But in this case, honoring the child's wishes is totally doable.

post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauriem33 View Post

DD-13 was in public school for 6 years plus a year of preschool before we took her out to homeschool. De-schooling totally made sense to me and over time she seemed to be recovering her "self". Unschooling as a philosophy really resonates with me, I'm just wondering if there's such a thing as a kid being "ruined" for unschooling by being in school too long?

 

It's been a year and a half she's been out and she lately has begun mostly hiding out in her room listening to music and reading fashion magazines. Recently she said she feels like she isn't learning anything. I think some of this is her best friend who is in school and a very mainstream, toe-the-line kind of kid talking about all the stuff they're doing in school. Some of it is also her own lack of motivation for things she feels she should be doing that look like school (i.e. grade level math) but that I refuse to fight with her over doing or not doing. She can't motivate herself to do it on her own for more than a very short while, doesn't want me to "force" her to do it, but feels guilt that she isn't doing it. Her idea is that if she were back in school where there were punishment for not doing it, that would be what she needs. confused.gif

 

<sigh> I need to be able to discuss this through with other unschoolers too because IRL I'm surrounded by school-at-homers, or even worse, public schoolers, who just can't get my point of view.


In response to the first bolded statement: does your daughter really believe she needs *punishment* to get her to do her math? Even if she actually used those words, I don't think that can be what she really meant. Otherwise, you meting out punishment would work just as well, but she's not open to that. However, I can believe that she might have meant that she needs the structure and motivation that being in a group provides. After all, she's had that dynamic in her learning environment almost all of her life, and the fact is that most adults have (and feel they need) that social motivation to do their jobs as well. Humans are social. It can be very difficult to get motivated to do something that feels like a pointless exercise (and math, disconnected from any real applications can feel this way, just an academic exercise). I don't know the reason you chose to take your daughter out of school, nor do I know what unschooling looks like in your house. These would be useful bits of information to intelligently respond to your post. 

 

Second bolded statement: Give people some credit. If they don't understand your point of view, explain it to them. Yes, some people are close-minded and OK, not much you can do there. But IME, most people are willing to listen, and if presented with a clear, rational viewpoint will at the very least respect your views. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that many people are quite capable of putting themselves in someone else's shoes and appreciate the opportunity to do so. To judge all home-schoolers and public schoolers as incapable of getting your point of view is divisive and exclusive and doesn't help anyone. After all, you yourself were in that "even worse" category, the public schoolers. But clearly you were open to listening to other points of views, because here you are now! You don't have to live something to be sympathetic/empathetic to it.

 

It seems to me that unschooling has the advantage of being able to really respond to a child's particular learning style. Your daughter is telling you pretty clearly that what she's doing now isn't working for her. I believe that answer lies with your daughter, and because you aren't in the school system, you have the flexibility to respond in exactly the way she needs. Which is pretty cool :)  It may take some ferreting and listening, and open mind and some experimentation to get to the correct learning dynamic for your kiddo, but I'm sure you can do this.

post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmeyrick View Post


 

 

 Really, I feel like everyone is dimissing this poor kid with their suggestions. She has asked to go to school, and everyone is coming up with a suggestion for everything but what she actually wants to do.
 



A little of my own history.

 

I currently have a 12 year old in school.  She was HSed for 4 years, and it went mostly well, although it was not all sunshine and roses. She wanted to try school, so she is.  It is not sunshine and roses, either, so we will see where it goes.  There are things she likes and dislikes.   To be honest some of the things she struggled with at home she struggles with at school - boredom is one.  Sometimes addressing the issues that plague us is done by addressing the issues - not simply by changing venue (home to school, for example)

 

It is not clear to me from the OP whether or not the OP has tried to address the issues that are not working.  The timeline as far as I can figure it out is:

child went to school

child deschooled and it seemed to be working

child ( youth really) has started spending lots of time in room and asked to go to school.

 

It is not evident to me that they have tried to fix the issue.   

 

USing has some great things going for (more than most schools, IMNSHO) it is worth trying to fix things before moving on.

 

It is also quite likely that the 13 yr old in question is unhappy because she is 13.  Whenever a HSed child is unhappy we tend to think school will fix things (school is the default in out society) - but 13 is a tough age.  I hid out in my room at age 13, cried boredom all the time...and I was schooled.

post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmeyrick View Post


 

 

For some reason the board ate my reply, so I'll try again. This is not the first sign of an issue. This child has been unschooling for a year and a half, and she has decided it's not for her. She is the one who most certainly should not be dismissed. She has not only said "Mom, I'm kinda bored" she followed it up with a request to go back to school. If she had just complained that she was bored, I would have nothing to say about other poster's suggestion. However, she did request it and there's no reason to deny her. Really, I feel like everyone is dimissing this poor kid with their suggestions. She has asked to go to school, and everyone is coming up with a suggestion for everything but what she actually wants to do.
 


I think that we're all familiar with children. Children in general can have a difficult time articulating or understanding why they feel a certain way. I take that back. People can have a difficult time articulating and understanding their feelings. It really sounds from the OP that her daughter is feeling unnecessary guilt that does not come from her family of origin and that her transitional time is difficult. I get this sense because I live in the world and have had lots of experiences which inform my thoughts on the matter. I know from experience that what we often say on the surface has a deeper implication and a deeper cause, and that it is often unknown even to ourselves and takes some digging and thinking to get to the heart of. I get the feeling that there's more to this girl's feelings than a simple, autonomous, well-thought-out desire to go back to school. There's a lot of middle ground that could help her feel satisfied. And if nothing else has been tried or discussed with her, then there's no way of knowing whether it would help or not.

post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmeyrick View Post




 

 

A year and a half sounds like plenty of time to decide whether she likes unschooling. What, should the op insist her daughter stick it out for no less than ten years? Come on. This girl is deciding for herself that she would prefer school. It defeats the purpose of unschooling if her wishes are not respected. The core of the philosophy of unschooling is to be learner-led. Maybe- just maybe- this kid can find her own interests and passions within school. Plenty do, whether you like that notion or not. I think putting her in a state of frustration because she can't go to school isn't going to make her find her passions and interests either.
 

It doesn't always motivate, though, and two years is a long wait. You lucked out, and that's great, but really, I think if a kid is *asking* to go to school and the parent is saying no, that's totally steam-rolling the core values of unschooling.
 


Sometimes that's right, but there's a lot unsaid in this post.  i don't spend a lot of time here, so maybe other people know the backstory.  I'd really want a lot of questions answered before calling this unschooling adventure a failure.  Why was she pulled out?  What things have been done to help her adjust to this new way of life.  When you pull something out of your life, something else will fill that space, so what's filling that empty space?  Being alone with a fashion magazine isn't really filling that space.  I'd even argue that fashion magazines and 13yo girls don't go together well at all when what you want is for your daughter to be her own self.

 

Some people have a hard time finding the new.  You know you don't like the 'old" way of doing things, but you don't quite know how to make the new way work for you.  The OP says that she wants her daughter to think about things differently.  Maybe her daughter was acting a certain way that led the OP to want something else for her.   She wants her daughter to have more intrinsic motivation and her daughter is still wanting the extrinsic motivation.  She wants the reward or punishment for doing her math.  Her mother wants her do enjoy math for math's sake.  I agree that if all the girl feels she can do all day is read fashion magazines alone in her room, she may be better off doing something else in school.  But if she can find something new and exciting that helps her find new interests and talents, then that would be better than sending her to school to find her interests and passions.  To me, that is the core of unschooling (helping your kids look at the world with interest)  But I'm not an unschooler, I"m a relaxed homeschooler. 

 

Actually, my son did recently want to go to school and i sent him.  At the end of the first day, he said that he didn't like it, so he decided to continue homeschooling.  My son's desire to go to school did make me wake-up and realize that we needed something different and we've been doing much more with friends.   I think that if she does go back to school, she'll go knowing that she's there by choice, which could make all of the difference.

 

post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmeyrick View Post


 

 

For some reason the board ate my reply, so I'll try again. This is not the first sign of an issue. This child has been unschooling for a year and a half, and she has decided it's not for her. She is the one who most certainly should not be dismissed. She has not only said "Mom, I'm kinda bored" she followed it up with a request to go back to school. If she had just complained that she was bored, I would have nothing to say about other poster's suggestion. However, she did request it and there's no reason to deny her. Really, I feel like everyone is dimissing this poor kid with their suggestions. She has asked to go to school, and everyone is coming up with a suggestion for everything but what she actually wants to do.
 


You're right and doing great at advocating for her.  I think you're seeing things very clearly.  However, what if she's asking to go to school because she doesn't know what else is out there? 

Reading that back, it could be read wrong...what i mean to say is that for the most part, I agree with you, however what if it's just that she doesn't know what else is out there.

post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmeyrick View Post

I believe the following, Annakiss-

 

-I believe that anyone who staunchly presents one philosophy as the ONLY correct approach to education is either a fool or a liar.

-I believe that no educational philosophy itself is worth prolonged commitment if the learner him/herself is unhappy with it.

-I believe that unschooling is an excellent philosophy that should be followed precisely, and should not override an older child's autonomy.

-I believe that I have the damn right to express my opinion.

 

Am I an unschooler? If it worked for my kid I would be, if it didn't I wouldn't be. I believe in being committed to whatever works for the individual kid. That goes for mainstream schools, charter and magnet schools, Montessori and Waldorf schools, and the entire spectrum of homeschooling.

 

The OP would not be pulling a "cut and run" if her kid went back to school. If that is what this 13 year old child truly wants, that is what she wants. Really, there's not much else to add when a child has made his or her wishes known, ESPECIALLY if you a firm believer in unschooling. I feel terrible for parents who can't honor their children's requests when the situation is reversed. Economic status affects one's ability to homeschool or find private alternatives. But in this case, honoring the child's wishes is totally doable.


You seem to be reading A LOT into the OP. She posted saying her daughter seems bored and unmotivated and that she mentioned that IF she were in school, she might be more motivated because of the punishments. She didn't say her daughter actually asked to go to school. You act as if she is begging and being refused. I read that simply as an observation her daughter made, not a request. Helping her find other ways of finding her own inner authority as motivation as opposed to sending her back into a the damaging school environment seems more helpful to her.

post #28 of 43
Thread Starter 

I am the OP and wow, there's a lot to address here, I don't have enough time right now to speak to everything. All the replies have certainly given me much to think about. First I will say that when I dismissed the school-at-home & public school parents, it was specifically the ones I know IRL. I agree many people are willing to be open and put themselves in another person's shoes, but we live in a very small town and the few homeschoolers here, while very nice and caring people, just do not get the unschooling philosophy.

 

If I felt that her wanting to go to school was a well thought out idea, and one she truly wanted I would totally support it. However, she came up with it two days before the beginning of the second semester, and not because she was openly bringing it up to us as something she was considering. It was a reaction to something I said the night before. She decided this year she wanted to do high school level work and keep track of "credits" so she could graduate early, the only issue was catching up on formal math to where she could do it at a high school level. We had a discussion about her math that she was doing. By choice she had been working through the Life of Fred fractions book, and like most everything else she starts, she had blown through half the book and then just stalled. I asked her what she needed to be able to keep working through it, because the one piece of academia she will need for college and doesn't seem to get from real life is math. Well apparently I said it in a way that freaked her out and made her think she'd never get into college because the next day she was sullen and emotional and said she should go back to school. All because of this math issue, which I would be happy to drop if I knew she'd be fine with it and not feel the "guilt" of not keeping up in the traditional way because I think that is making her feel bad about herself in the same way that being in school did - just though a different method.

 

I truly believe she's going to learn what she needs to learn for her own life, I think it's just that she's still so caught in that school mode that she can't believe in it herself. She loves to write and blogs and writes a ton. She does photography. She does use her interest in fashion, makeup, music, etc.... as blogging material, she's read an unending number of fashion and design books. I'm supportive of her interest because I know that if it's something that one loves, there is no external motivation necessary.

 

13 is a hard age and I feel like there are kids who will be restless, floundering, and more unhappy than not at that time no matter where they are in terms of schooling (I was one and I was a 4.0 student who played the game well).

 

I do have more to say, but will have to come back to it. Thank you all so much for this discussion. :)

post #29 of 43

fast reply...I have to work soon.....

 

My Ds has a fear of not knowing what he needs to know to get into college.  He is specifically worried about math - so he took (and will take again next year) a course through a cyber school.  It has worked quite well.   If she has issues with one specific class she may be able to adress it in other ways that full enrolment.

 

Kathy


Edited by purslaine - 2/22/11 at 4:00pm
post #30 of 43

Rain never managed to stick to math for long. A handful of times she decided that she wanted to study it, so we got Key to books or signed up on ALEKS or whatever, and she would work diligently for a few days and less diligently for a few weeks and then stop... she did got through SAT prep books twice and learn some formulas an stuff, but really, between finishing kindergarten and until this semester (which would be the second semester of her senior year in high school) I would be really surprised if her time studying math in any formal way exceeded 100 hours. I'd bet it's closer to 50.

 

She decided to take intermediate algebra at the community college this semester - a college-level math class, not a remedial course - and she's doing fine. Actually, she's one of the better students. A lot of the material is new to her, whereas I imagine most of the other students saw it in high school, but she's learning it. She has a really good teacher, which helps, and she's a pretty conscientious student, which also helps. 

 

So, /bragging on my kid... but that's her story. Maybe it will help your daughter to hear it. Really, Rain isn't unique - a lot of unschooled kids seem to "catch up" like this. I think LillianJ's son had a similar story, too, but I'm not sure she's reading this thread...

post #31 of 43

My eldest was in school until he was 8 we school at homed him for a couple of years after that (worst years of all!) then we discovered deschooling which took way longer than most people said it would he's 14 now it took a good two and a half years to deschool (him and us).  He's now beginning to relax and trust that he won't have to go back to school and jump through all those hoops.  It takes time trust and lots of initiative and strewing to get there but if YOU are prepared to put in the work SHE will get there eventually.

post #32 of 43

Lauriem, I wanted to encourage you and your daughter: the way she's feeling seems a lot more about being a creative person who's stuck, than a person in need of external motivation, like writer's block. I just recommended this book in another thread, and it does contain some non-p.c./generally judged to be "bad" language and content in places, but the author addresses what your dd is experiencing and calls it "weakened-mind anxiety." It's called Fearless Creating.

 

I am an adult, and while I am certainly not externally motivated in my creative pursuits, I do experience this very thing- the guilt that comes from not creating, alongside the inability to start creating, actually do the work. If this is what she's experiencing, it's not going to go away, and having the tools to move into, through, and out of this phase in the creative process is more than invaluable. I have consciously experienced this since I was almost four years old, and I'm only now beginning to consistently succeed at beginning the work, in spite of the stage of weakened-mind anxiety. Previously, during my schooling, the looming deadline, grades-related punishment and potential shaming motivated me adequately, but nearly always the day and night before things were due. I hated that then and didn't understand why I could suddenly find it within me to pound out what should have taken me weeks to accomplish in just one day, at the last possible moment. Now I can and do create without a deadline, or any possibility of punishment. I also work to deadlines (for commissions), but I don't need them; I can work steadily with or without.

 

Anyway, it might be something to look at together. It's an easy read in one sense, and a very hard one in its paradigm-shifting, if it does that for your dd. It's very inspiring. The interests you listed (I am sure it was not a comprehensive list), are all perfectly productive things with which to occupy ones time. Something is stopping her from doing her thing. And she needs to do her thing, just like everybody else.

 

Amazon lets you read quite a bit of this book before buying, but the book goes through each step of the process individually, so if you are unsure, you might try the library. I recommended it after borrowing it, to several people, and after months and months of it being out, I've borrowed it again, and while it was in new condition when I returned it, it now is a very, very well-loved book. I am unaffiliated. It's just a fantastic book. :)


Edited by PreggieUBA2C - 3/19/11 at 12:33pm
post #33 of 43

<<<< Her idea is that if she were back in school where there were punishment for not doing it, that would be what she needs>>>>

 

To me it seems like the OP's dd thinks school is a good idea because it would force her to learn-otherwise she would get punished. She has not gotten to the point where she is able to self motivate,and yet resists suggestions/help from her parents. She might also be concerned about her lack of progress as she sees her friends continue to learn. Hopefully these concerns will motivate her to learn on her own.The freedom she has is something many child wish for,but once they have it they are a bit overwhelmed.

 

I do hope the OP's dd will find her way.Perhaps she will return to school.That is OK too. I give my children the choice about where they want to learn,and if they were to try school then ask to come home I would allow it.

post #34 of 43

to the OP: 

 

i am wondering if there is a way you can help her find her passion? maybe arrange a bunch of "field trips" for her? take her around on little day trips? do some searching, exploring and delving? 

 

teens can be restless and moody as a matter of course, having a focus can steady their boat, so to speak. it gives them something to focus on when everything else in their world is changing. remember that socializing is of upmost importance too a teen, so make sure she is getting lots of opportunities to socialize. 

 

has she read the teenage liberation guide? oh, has she seen the khan institute? http://www.khanacademy.org/ maybe this might help her with her feelings about math. 

post #35 of 43

New to this board. shy.gif

 

I just want to imagine that a child is forced into a relatively large cage every day, from 8am-3pm. With her in this cage come other people her age and authority figures that threaten her and coerce them all into submission. This child is taught incessantly and perpetually that this cage is good for her. She befriends many of her peers, most of whom are made to believe the propaganda. She has to do Cage-Work, even when she goes home at night to her family. It is tireless. She is promised a life of success if she obeys the Cage Masters. She is told that parroting droning information is the only way for her to feel good about herself. The cage is wrought with adultism, classism, racism, sexism, homophobia, and abuse of privilege. She is told that every "right" she has, from urinating to engaging in conversation, is a privilege granted to her based on her ability to submit. She and her peers are manipulated into truly believing that this is all for their own good !!! Under this stress, her peers in the cage begin practicing unhealthy social behaviors, making clique-y alliances and competing with each other for Cage Master approval. They even compete for the approval of each other, singling out the "weakest" of the bunch and making them scapegoats for their pain. This habit carries over into family life and, then, life itself. Cage alumni never quite get over the things they learned in the cage, and, in a pro-cage environment, they never learn to read these behaviors as unhealthy. Their caged ways follow them everywhere forever, unless they are by chance exposed to a new way.

 

Now, the child's parents are somehow exposed to a new way. They begin to think harder about the effects that the cage is having upon their child. They begin educating themselves, against the odds, and become aware that she and her peers are being coerced, threatened and unwillingly forced to do things because of pro-cage culture (and, ultimately, money). They begin to understand this as unhealthy and traumatic. They find the strength, even in the face of their own pro-cage peers (many of them proud cage-alumni themselves), to tell their dear child that she can leave the cage forever.

 

So, what to do when life outside the cage is not all roses? What to do when freedom is a big responsibility and the child feels guilt that she is not doing the work that was forced upon her in the cage? What to do when your parents, unlike other kids' parents, are suspiciously trusting of you, when you're not entirely sure that you can trust yourself. What to do when conditioned peers speak comfortably of the warped sense of conditional self-value and accomplishment... What happens when cage culture is so ingrained in her that she feels insignificant and unable to learn outside of the cage? What if she attributes her very worth to the conditions of the cage???

 

Surely, you wouldn't send her back to the cage ?!? 

 

Perhaps some will feel this example is on the extreme side.  I certainly don't want to insult mindful parents who allow their children to go back to school. I'm not proposing that unschooled kids who eventually choose to try school are being subjected to torture by their parents, but I do want to suggest that child-led education is not, in my eyes, a well-conceived reason to send a detoxing child back to an oppressive institution, because of which they have already suffered. 

 

At 13, even though school could have eventually killed me (literally), I may have attended even if given the choice. I may have wanted to avoid being stigmatized. I may still have been craving the approval of my teachers. I may have been afraid to leave "the cage". But the stress of school still gave me suicidal thoughts. It led me to get prescriptions to medicate for these thoughts, which were influenced by a series of core beliefs that are perpetuated even beyond school walls. I am not the only one. Prison inmates who were abused within the prison industrial complex for a huge chunk of time, feel uncomfortable out from behind bars for *years* - often forever. What does this say about the power of an oppressive environment? I have PTSD from my school days, truly. It will affect me for the rest of my life. I think it must be understood that whether you personally adapted well to an oppressive environment, it is a war zone.

 

 

 

BUT, of course, this whole point is moot, because the OP doesn't even state that the child wishes to go back to school or has asked to do so. It only states that she says she feels she "isn't learning anything", which isn't the same thing. Feeling like you're not learning anything is easy. Being self-conscious is a breeze. Feeling inadequate is only natural, when after seven years of having your "learning" measured out for you and used as a carrot, you are finally behooved to be self-motivated. She's lost out on 7 years of self-motivation experience. Give the girl a break! 

 

In short, no. She's not too old or conditioned to transition healthfully into life learning, especially with understanding support. My thoughts are to just work on your relationship with her, and her mental health. She's 13 and her body is going through crazy changes, which may make it harder for her to focus, as well as amp up her self-consciousness. This particular time in our lives is always going to be hard. But, if she feels like she's vegging out too much, it also might be helpful if she is doing some kind of super-cool enjoyable project based on her interests. You could gently suggest "cool" things that might connect with where she's at.

 

Some suggestions, based only on what you said about her being into fashion magazines.!: Perhaps she'd like a pattern-making/fashion/fashion drawing/fashion photography/sewing class? She also might be interested in looking up fiber arts or textile design. There are magazines about those, too! Or just get a sewing machine and have her do some looking online to try it out herself? There are books on beginner pattern-making. Learning to screen print images onto tee shirts, etc. Intern with a local dressmaker? If she's into magazines, could you look for a graphic design/layout program for her and see if she wants to make her own? There are free, open-source programs that you can download for that. I have one. Start or join a local fashion club or meetup? Or publish a DIY fashion zine and distro it online? Or a fashion blog? Does she frequent fashion blogs? I have a lot of neat suggestions for blogs if she'd like some. She might be interested in jewelry making? She could find a fashion correspondent or mentor. There's actually a lot of academic work in fashion - Fashion theory, historical fashion, world fashions, etc.

 

If you'd like more resources for any of these things, just PM me. 

 

 

post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post





Indeed.

 

Sore back? Send your kids to school!

Introvert? Send your kids to school!

Kid likes to sleep late, or early, or all the time? Send your kids to school!

Don't like your job? Tired? Ambitious? House a mess? Don't have a house? Allergic to latex? SEND YOUR KIDS TO SCHOOL!

 

There. That fixes everything.


Kids aren't learning at home?  Send them to school!

 

post #37 of 43


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lasciate View Post


Kids aren't learning at home?  Send them to school!

 


She is learning! She can't be living and not be learning. But she's being inundated with messages from every which way, telling her that there's one way to measure learning: curricula and grades. This is an unhealthy, toxic way to learn, IMHO, and being a responsible parent would mean having more than 2 days to discuss this with her.

post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauriem33 View Post

By choice she had been working through the Life of Fred fractions book, and like most everything else she starts, she had blown through half the book and then just stalled. 

 


I had to stop and respond to this statement, because I have recently been confronted with my own learning habits and thought how closely it mirrors the patterns of natural learning I see in my children. In short, it seems that kids learn by becoming deeply interested in (almost obsessed) with a certain subject (in our house that has been ladybugs, dinosaurs, marine mammals, lego miniatures, clay miniatures, drawing, etc). They focus on that intensively for several weeks or months and then, one day, it appears to have been dropped and they are on to something else. Sometimes after a pause of months they then take a renewed interest in the subject. What I find particularly interesting is whether it's math or skating I've noticed that when they pick it up again they are ahead of where they left off. It's as if during the "off time" their brains have been processing the knowledge amassed, sorting it perhaps. I myself have recently come off a 3 month kick to learn about permaculture where I got my hands on every book, blog, movie, video I could find on the subject. Just recently I found myself feeling "done" with the subject. But I know that taking a break means I'll pick it up again in a while (because there's still much more to learn) and probably gain a new perspective and understanding from taking time off and letting the information percolate in my brain. 

 

So when I read the above quote I immediately thought that her delving into it, blowing through a large part of it, then stalling it is exactly what natural learning looks like. Perhaps if you explained to her that taking a break is normal (thought not in the school world) and that she might actually benefit from working on something else and then picking up the math again when she feels ready for it, this might alleviate her fears that if she doesn't do it all now she might never learn what she needs to know for college.

post #39 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post


 


She is learning! She can't be living and not be learning. But she's being inundated with messages from every which way, telling her that there's one way to measure learning: curricula and grades. This is an unhealthy, toxic way to learn, IMHO, and being a responsible parent would mean having more than 2 days to discuss this with her.


I agree with this. I can see daily that just by living, she is learning. The problem is her own perception of it because it does not look like compartmentalized 50 minute segments broken down into "subjects" of history, math, science, etc... I know that now at 13 she spent more than half her life in public school (age 5-11) and that is going to have an extremely strong effect on her ideas about life and learning. But for how long? Forever? I do think the freedom is still very overwhelming for her, yet she resists doing anything with more structure.

 

I feel like I've done my own de-schooling, and at a super quick rate given that I was also in school for 18 years, but I have the advantage of perspective. I'm years past any type of institutional schooling, but became a very self-directed learner as an adult. I suppose ultimately that is what I want for her. To see the validity of her own choices and take the initiative to follow them as long as she wants to, switch gears if she wants to, drop something and find something new if she wants to.

 

 

post #40 of 43

I think that, at least to some teenagers, the parental message, "You are in control.  You in charge of your own choices."  sounds a lot like, "Do whatever you want, I don't care." 

 

OP, if your dd is now saying she wants to return to school, she might be saying that she is not ready for the really, honestly, huge responsibility of making all of her own educational decisions, and she feels she needs more adult support.  School might be the only solution she knows for that problem.  What about trying some structured learning at home? 

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