Note: ***When I say 'gifted', I also mean 'highly motivated, enaged, passionate'.
Note #2: I meant to have the option of answering more than one question on the poll, obviously, as many here have more than one child. I don't think I can edit it now. Please answer with your 'average' child in the poll (the child that you tend to post most about, or have most questions about, or use as an example most), and add your answers in your posts below.
I know this sounds grumpy, but I'd really like to find out more about how regular, non-gifted unschoolers are doing as they get older. It is very clear to me that unschooling is absolutely fantastic for gifted and / or motivated children.
I've been struggling lately with my thoughts about unschooling my bright, but pretty average 9 year old. I worry. She is a perfectionist, with very rigid ideas on how things should be done. She would reject an entire subject area, even if she was initially interested in it, after not liking how a book is designed. She does not like being challenged. She doesn't like typical routes to skill or knowledge acquisition. She is a great kid. Others find her delightful. But in the context of unschooling, I do worry. A lot.
I do know that DD would be absolutely miserable in school, so this makes my decision to unschool a little easier. But she is miserable at home too, mostly because of her personality.
I don't worry about my 6 year old. He is intensely curious, thoughtful and analytical, and is never bored. He doesn't know basic arithmetics and is not interested in math, is just learning to read, but he is engaged with something all the time. He is eager. He is persistent.
My impression of this board is that most members are either parents of older and gifted unschoolers, or parents of much younger unschoolers. (What I consider to be basic parenting with child-lead leanings, rather than unschooling.)
Where is a bunch of parents like me? If there were more parents like me, wouldn't be THEY posting the most, since they would have the most doubts and challenges? Wouldn't THEY be seeking support and discussion?
Their absence leads me to uneasy conclusions. For example, that only those with gifted children "survive" the process and emerge with well adjusted and reasonably educated children worth talking about. Or that most parents of average children would eventually switch to more formal homeschooling / schools in middle school years. I don't know. I can't come up with anything more uplifting.