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Thinking of returning to unschooling

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Title says it all really. DS will be ten soon, DD is almost three. DS was in public school for a couple years, then we did unschooling for a couple, and he's been at Waldorf for about a year now. We were really not successful with unschooling our last go-round, mainly because I had a high-needs newborn and some other stressors in my life. 

 

This time we came up with a plan - it's not fully unschool, but it leans that way. DS and I came up with a two page(!!) list of things he'd like to do or learn about today, it was wonderful. I learned things about him that I didn't know, and was reminded of why I first fell in love with the idea of unschooling in the first place.

 

My DH loves the ideas we came up with. Here were his words: 'we have to figure out how to teach him while we're learning'. I know that doesn't sound unschool-y. Basically I think we fall somewhere between homeschooling/unschooling, but I would never be the type to sit my kids at a table and teach them strictly from a curriculum or something like that. 

 

My question is, for those of you who have experience with unschooling/Waldorf/really social kids, do you think it's possible to have a fulfilling unschooling experience, or do some kids just 'need' to be at school for social reasons?

 

And how do I go about being his 'teacher' while not setting us up for the power struggles that could entail? We are really trying to get across the point of being personally responsible and doing things that need done simply for the satisfaction of a job well done, but I feel as if DS could potentially become bored or regretful that he's not around his friends every day anymore and that could cause issues.

 

Anyway. I'm just rambling now.

 

Any ideas on easing back in to unschooling, or cautions not to, or whatever else you have to say are welcome!

 

post #2 of 3

I really think it depends on several factors: where you live (how many other unschoolers or like-minded folks there are), how large your community is, how extraverted you are (and how large a circle of friends with kids you have), how many extended family members are near by (who are supportive or at least accepting of homeschooling), and how willing and able you are to build what you need for your child. If you feel that you can create a support network, so that your child can have his social needs met, and you are able to enjoy your time with your child, then why not stay home? Sure, some kids really love peer interaction, but how much of that do they really get at school? I guess it's probably different at a Waldorf school than a public school, but aren't they still spending a lot of time observing the teachers?

post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyMae09 View Post

 

My DH loves the ideas we came up with. Here were his words: 'we have to figure out how to teach him while we're learning'. I know that doesn't sound unschool-y. Basically I think we fall somewhere between homeschooling/unschooling, but I would never be the type to sit my kids at a table and teach them strictly from a curriculum or something like that. 

 

Any ideas on easing back in to unschooling, or cautions not to, or whatever else you have to say are welcome!

 

I have no authority to speak about teenagers, my girls being quite young, but I wanted to comment on this.  You don't have to learn so you can teach him, you can learn together, side by side.  My girls and I have learned about sharks and stargazing and other things.  I think that by just being a student yourself, you can model that curiosity and interest, and what to do with it.  I feel more like a senior student than a teacher.

 

Now, I don't have teenagers, but I've been one, and a very contrary one at that.  It is conceivable that if you "get it" before he does, he might get grumbly and resistant and pessimistic, but I would cross that bridge *if* you ever get to it.

 

Edited to add:  I need to think more before answering, because this one isn't very complete, really.  For example (little kid example, of course) my 7yo has been interested in horses, and while I do learn some along side her, her knowledge of all the bits and bridles and saddle parts far outstrips my own.  I do want to share her interest, but she has no need of me to know more than she does.  We just started riding lessons, so now she'll know even more.  I imagine one day she'll teach *me*!

 


 

 


Edited by SweetSilver - 1/22/12 at 9:16am
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