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When did you decide to Homeschool/Unschool? - Page 3

post #41 of 49
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

I fell in love with Waldorf after teaching some students in my children's Aikido class.  But a visit to a Waldorf kindergarten when dd1 was 4yo reminded me just how much of an unschooler I was.  It was beautiful, gentle, but it was still school.  I haven't looked back since.


We have a wonderful Waldorf school very close by - great community, beautiful classrooms filled with childhood wonder and natural objects.  I love so many things about the Waldorf approach (emphasis on folk tales, myths, music, nature, the arts, etc.) but...it's still school.  There are still desks lined up and a teacher choosing what everyone does and when and how.  I also found myself chaffing at the whole delayed reading idea - I liked the idea of delayed academics and the flexibility it gave kids who weren't interested, but I wanted to learn to read at 3 - what if DS is like me?  I didn't want him put off.  I want him to be able to learn about anything he wants, however he wants, whenever he wants.  I want him to be able to capitalize on that enthusiasm immediately - like catching lightning in a bottle.


I did very well in school, but I was constantly binging and purging knowledge - cram for test, dump it out when done.  Plus, I want DS to have more confidence in himself than I did - I was always held back by looking to authorities to tell me what to learn and when, what career to pursue and why, etc.  I also longed to be able to pursue my own interests for hours at a time - not have to drop everything at the sound of a scheduled bell.  DH remembers being quite bored, and having alot of wasted downtime in school.


Originally Posted by LuxPerpetua View Post

Originally I was looking into private alternative schools (like Waldorf) but then realized that most of those schools were attempting to simulate a home environment for $10,000 a year.  Well, I've got a home environment for free. :)  


Exactly!  At that cost, I would have to work at least part-time just to pay to send him to a school that would try to be as close to a home as possible...huh??? dizzy.gif  It didn't make sense.  At home, we will have so much more flexibility (in what we study, how, when...for activities, experiences, travel, etc.), can be as Waldorf-y (or not) as we wish, and have an excellent teacher-to-student ratio. winky.gif  


Originally Posted by azhie View Post

Fast forward 15 years later, I'm thrilled to know there are alternatives out there for living and learning! My dh agrees that school isn't the best place for 'learning', but feels it's necessary for social development. 


I think this one is a really socially-ingrained thing to try to kick out of our heads.  We are so used to the school model of socialization, but it's really odd and artificial.  When in the rest of your life are you only lumped in with people your exact same age?  Never!  It's really bizarre, limiting and (IMO) damaging for kids.  They get such a small slice of perspective from their same-age peers, along with all the worst nastiness of each developmental age (peer pressure, bullying, etc.) concentrated and multiplied all around them.  They don't learn how to socialize with anyone else who isn't their age (in fact, they learn that those in the grade below them are "babies" ripe for picking on, those above them are bullies to be feared - even if your kid is a sweetheart, it's still not socially acceptable to be friends across grade lines until at least high school...).  They lose out on opportunities to learn social graces from older kids, or better role models in how to behave toward younger ones.  They can get this at home, but when it's contradicted at school for hours every day...


Anyway, just something to think about.  There are alot of homeschool groups out there you can join - and kids make lots of friends at the park, through activities, etc. smile.gif  I'm not too worried about that part.


To answer, we started thinking about it recently, as we were looking into preschools, and that's when we decided.  I'm very much drawn to an unschooling approach, which is what we plan to do.   Reading John Holt, as well as Mary Griffith's The Unschooling Handbook (and Salvatore Vascellaro's Out of the Classroom and Into the World - though it's not technically geared to unschooling), really just solidified my gut instinct on this.  It will allow our family so much more flexibility to not have "pull kids out of school" or rush them there, or have tense parent-teacher conferences, or remember to sign papers, etc. - all the bureaucratic craziness!  And watching him grow this past year has really driven home for me the idea that kids can learn *ANYTHING* naturally, on their own (with a lil love and support from parent facilitators).  


The world is such a beautiful, vivid, interesting place - how could I limit his education to a sterile, age-segregated classroom, when he could have the whole universe, all of creation, all of humanity? earth.gif joy.gif

post #42 of 49

1. Private school was expensive and just like home, less emotional support than needed.

2. Sister home schools, made me look at the option with as much research as the private schools. 

3. Events happening that made me realize how precious this life is and how optional "systems" are to a full life that is filled with togetherness, closeness to God, the earth. 


1. I had a short experience with school for my son when my daughter was born colic. I was trying to give him a happy fun place and not have to deal with me giving her the quiet attention she needed. I turned on the TV for him and felt really depressed that I was trying that for him. Like others, I took the best that was available and found it to be so much like the home environment, but less natural and more artificial. I hated having to go at a certain time. I also hated the schedule of the place of 5 half days a week. My son was sick a lot from even going and I also began to miss him. There were days he cried to go and sometimes I would turn the car around. He wasn't the ideal kid, but he wasn't the worst. The teachers liked him but I could tell that he needed more emotional attention there. He is the type that will be brave and strong again in 30 seconds if only he has a parental hug and is able to expresses his hurt feelings. 


2. My sister home schools and I was lamenting on the choices of private schools because our area in Honolulu was so ghetto that after I volunteered at the PS, I realized I could not send them. I did gain knowledge about all types of Private schools that were very useful to me now. I loved Waldorf, found Montessori to have a lot of child-led and freedom, and found a school called Punahou (were Obama went) that had a classical approach with a one of the longest delays in grades for homework and had a extreme authentic learning style, sort of make it real and make it quality, speakers and many things that did not depend on teaching or books. No matter, the school is $22k a year and climbing and to getting in is the hardest thing ever! I read lots of books about homeschooling and it connected with some events that were happening in my life. 


3. Deep awakenings and enlightenment. I think if you venture into unschooling, child-led, and even Waldorf you begin to question this societies patterns, milestones, and material values. It happened to me when I found out I had cancer with a 2 year old and one on the way. I sat nursing in my car at park, frozen. Freddy feel asleep in my arms and during his nap my bucket list vanished. All but two things remained. I wanted to see my children become who they are, through them listening to their heart. I wanted to love my husband like our love was the most precious material object we have ever owned. 


I sometimes feel too selfish to be a mother in America. I turn to other cultures that live simply or like the Amish, close to God, or like the French Farmers do, to feel okay with my choices. When I think about America and all the distractions from our relationships with things which you buy with your time, like loving people, the land, and being healthy and happy.. I am not sure about sending my child to Harvard. I try to remain calm and pray. I actively do many things which are fun, thrifty, celebratory. Like their birthdays are more festive when they wake up then Christmas. I make toys too. I try my hardest to love them with positive happiness.


The values, virtues, relationships are always #1, play is #2, the arts, music, beauty seeking is #3, and the science, math, and grammar is last. I once read in a book "School begins at home" something like "If we fall behind in the US we will have less power and can fall prey to be taken over by a country such as China." Seriously. That was a fear statement that made me take my child off the battle field for world domination and keep them tucked away in the forest like South Americans until I could figure out some deep philosophical issues that are conflicting to me. Like I wonder a lot now about the world be better if their were fewer buildings of all types; schools, churches, offices, banks, laundry mats, stores, bars. Would we be in a climate issue after that? And if I taught my children how to be independently sustainable, would they have more freedom to live where they want to and where is most happy and healthy for them? Could I even teach them to open their homes for drinking and poetry in the winter times to keep people merry? Seems like people keep talking about change but... shrug.. I don't know. Still swirling I guess. Well, maybe too like: 

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." Henry David Thoreau




post #43 of 49

I forgot to add (and edit isn't working) that the food options when you homeschool are as great as you make it. I think the our culture and food has taken a nose dive and the school food isn't changing quickly enough. We grow, literally grow ourselves out of food. Eating angry, mental disturbed factory farmed animals/food is also not part of living close to the divine path towards being closer to God. No one really thinks about food and the land that way when they are trying to cut costs. 

post #44 of 49

For me, it has become a question of providing enough opportunities for my kids to play. I want them to have several hours of uninterrupted free play a day and the schools we have around here can not provide that. Homeschooling (in my case, part time) enables me to give them that chance. In general, I have nothing against schools.  I just think, in many cases, I can do a better job.  

post #45 of 49
Originally Posted by azhie View Post

 Anyway, I wonder whether many of parents decide on homeschooling from the get go, or change to homeschool due to problems with schools? 

I don't know if there are any figures compiled, but there are many who did both.  I would venture to say, though, that far more had their children enrolled in school at some point (including switching to schooling in middle/high school grades) than have HSed from the get go and stuck with it.  That's just the impression I get from people I meet in person and online.  (Many pull kids out of school for other reasons besides problems or re/enroll them even though there are no problems with HSing.)


You might want your husband to read some of the basic issues regarding socialization and HSing.  Just like I mentioned previously about some comments being "first thought" comments or arguments*, this one (the doozy of HSing!) is one people often fall to before really giving the matter much thought. Not that reasonable, thoughtful people cannot disagree on this matter, it's just that most folks using this argument at first haven't really heard and considered the counterarguments.  They are powerful, and could change his final resistance to HSing.


*Edited to add: I think I commented that way on another thread.  These all run together for me!  orngtongue.gif

Edited by SweetSilver - 6/3/12 at 8:17pm
post #46 of 49

I was another one who read The Teenage Liberation Handbook in high school, wanted to be homeschooled and wasn't allowed to by parents who thought that finishing high school was "just what you do." I knew then that my future children would be homeschooled rather than sitting in school all day.

post #47 of 49



I read this one about Socialization. It was a honest book. It helped a lot. 

post #48 of 49

Always open to the idea but my daughter wanted to go to school. I wanted to homeschool with my son who was unwell but husband didn't agree. My next child didn't like the idea of going to school so we didn't send him and we have since taken the older 2 out of school.

post #49 of 49

I think once I realized there was a strong non-religious community and learned about unschooling, and then learned you don't have to be a full on unschooler! LOL. 


I've never liked public schools, I went to catholic school except for my last 3 years of HS then went to a Christian college. I knew lots of Christian kids that were home schooled, but these kids often seemed worse off than the kids from public school. The idea of "School at home" is what always turned me off, I didn't realize all the options of homeschooling style till I read "Teach Your Own" 


For a while I thought I would send my son to a Waldorf school, then I liked Montessori (I still do and if we were in a situation that required he went to school that's what we would do), but I've recently really embraced being a stay at home mom and don't want that to end any time soon. And I just can't justify paying 4-800 a month for private kindergarten (in 2 years) when I'm not working! The more I get to know my son the more I realize that a classroom will only stifle his brightness and natural desire to learn. He is a very bright (not nessicalry amounts of knowledge, but his curiosity and attention span) not even 2 year old and I know he will excel if given the freedom to study what he wants when he wants (just like he does now!). He already asks for specific types of books and I'm sure that will continue into school age. :) 


So I guess I would say it was a gradual thing and that I really just decided very recently and that's why I'm trolling this forum. :) 

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