or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Unschooling › The difference between unschooling & homeschooling?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The difference between unschooling & homeschooling? - Page 2

post #21 of 39
Unschooling tends to be more of a parenting philosophy in raising children than an educational decision.

Homeschooling is more of an educational decision than a parenting philosophy.
post #22 of 39
Hi 2boys4me, I am glad my reply made some sense. I am always half sure that I come off as a total nutjob..but that would be alright too I guess While it is accurate to say that I educate my children, it would be equally accurate to say that they educate me. We are all students, and we are all teachers in my family. My son taught me stuff about space a few years ago. Stuff I am not sure I ever knew, or I knew it and then promptly forgot it (wasn't important or useful to me so why retain it?) We are just a bunch of humans that seek out and drink in the knowledge we need and thirst for. We share that info with each other too.

As far as what has worked best for us... well that would be unschooling! We chose unschooling for much of the same reasons Dar listed in her earlier post. It was a natural extension of what was already going on (to some extent anyway). Our children have always been able to make their own decisions so why should it be any different when it came to learning? I do not feel that they need to have thier lives, or education dictated to them by either the school system or my system. We are a non-coersive type family. I hope that answers your questions a bit. Please feel free to ask more and more if you have them... Smiles
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2boys4me
Thanks for the great reply, unschoolnma. I woul be interested to hear more about how you go about educating your children and what has worked the best for you thus far.

Why did you choose to unschool to begin with? Why did you choose it over homeschooling?
post #23 of 39
we homeschool & do not 'do school at home'

unschooling is not the only child led way to homeschool
good luck OP sorting this out

why not just go with what fits your family best and not try to label yourself, I think that is limiting - not helpful in the longrun

mom to ds14 1/2, ds10, ds7, and dd 4 1/2
all happily homeschooled in dif ways that -they- choose
post #24 of 39
Vannasmom wrote:
why not just go with what fits your family best ====================================

I think this is a great idea Do what you and your kids are comfortable with. If it turns out that unschooling is your thing, that's great. If you find that it isn't your thing, that is cool too. To each their own and all that jazz.... Kristi
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan
I wasn't so much questioning you as trying to get a discussion going. I just found it curious that you said you felt that "unschooling seems like a good amount of work" because it just feels like parenting to me.
I guess the reason why I said it was because there's a common misperception (not here I'm sure) that unschooling is totally hands-off. People seem to respond negatively to that, like the parent is not doing anything at all for the child, just letting them take care of themselves completely. From what I've read, it's the opposite. That while the parent is not leading the child, they play a very active role in modeling, answering questions, and making resources and opportunities available. I think that I was speaking to answer that common misperception more than anything else.
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftField
I guess the reason why I said it was because there's a common misperception (not here I'm sure) that unschooling is totally hands-off.
OIC. Yeah, there was a time, a long time ago, that I believed that unschooling = doing nothing. Obviously, I've since changed my thinking on that!


So, you're right, it's not "hands off." But, you know, it doesn't seem like work because we're all doing what we want to be doing.

And the thing about answering their questions changes as they get older too--little kids ask those "Why is the sky blue?" types of questions on a seemingly constant basis, but as they get older, they're just as likely to go look up their own info than to just ask Mom. (Plus, the discussions/debates get more interesting.) And there doesn't need to be an immediacy to things either. DS1 recently stated that he wanted to start up archery again. I didn't drop everything to go research it, but within a day or two we were at the library and within a week we'd found a coach/range for him. We DO have our busy days, but it's of our own choosing and we can also choose to have our down days, of course.

I got the impression (maybe wrongly) that you feel it's pretty intense. I was just pointing our that it really isn't.
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan
I got the impression (maybe wrongly) that you feel it's pretty intense. I was just pointing our that it really isn't.
I guess I was nervous that it would be that way, because my current life with my 3 yo is sooo intense. I worry too much, I think, I want to do it perfectly and not stifle his natural curiosity. He's very self-directed and enjoys his own company. That's how I was drawn to unschooling, because it seemed to be the best match for his personality. He's not the kind of kid that I can teach, even if I wanted to. He is resistant to being taught, unless he has initiated it. He doesn't like to be put on the spot. He's very stubborn and strong-minded. I genuinely feel that formal schooling would be a bad fit for him, which is how I wandered over to homeschooling. And now I also think that any attempts for me to lead him would end up with a fight and with him turning off. He has his own quiet agenda and will not be led. That's how I ended up considering unschooling. At the same time, he asks constant questions *all day long*. I'm trying really hard to answer them patiently, but sometimes I feel mentally exhausted.

I think that's why I implied unschooling as intense, because life right now with my ds is intense. He can't read. He follows me around and questions every thing I do, and then hits me with millions of follow-up questions. I keep telling myself that it's temporary. I do love that about him, though, I really do.

I was relieved reading this thread, hearing about older unschoolers, the increase in a child's patience in getting the answers, the self-directed activities. I mean, ds1 is a pretty self-directed kid, but at this young time in his life, he counts on me for many of the answers. It will be fun to watch this evolve.
post #28 of 39
We're homeschoolers too. We rarely do "school at home". According to my state laws we need to have the child's work on hand. Even when we do workbooks it's more of a family event full of mischief. We've got posters all over the wall that I bought and the kids like 'em. It does give the appearence that we have a mini classroom here but I'm not that organized.lol

*The alphabet train ( which we use for funny words games),

*the map of the US ( another card game the kids like...who can find which states the fastest) ,

*the world map (that shows the usa in real proportion... who can find Sri Lanka the fastest ? < its' the pear shaped island in the indian ocean.>) ,

*multiplication tables (which we use to tally game scores or figure out how much we need to save to get a new barbie or legos) ,

and a host of other 'school' like posters and items. We do some child-led learning. It's a happy combination that works for us. It took a few years to find the balance. I'm sure in the next couple of years we'll have to balance it again to fit the needs of the family.
post #29 of 39
Thread Starter 
WOW! I am so thrilled that I got so much feedback on this thread. I wanted to say 'thanks' to all of you who posted in response to my question. I am very intrigued by thus 'unschooling' method and it has turned into a major discussion topic between me and DH. I will have to do some research and find out more.

I am still open to and ready for any more reading suggesstions and/or insight from all of you.

Thank you!
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftField
At the same time, he asks constant questions *all day long*. I'm trying really hard to answer them patiently, but sometimes I feel mentally exhausted...

...I think that's why I implied unschooling as intense, because life right now with my ds is intense. He can't read. He follows me around and questions every thing I do, and then hits me with millions of follow-up questions. I keep telling myself that it's temporary. I do love that about him, though, I really do.
I can relate! (As I'm sure we all can.) Life with little kids DOES take a lot of energy--plus, I see you've got a baby too--so you're probably adding lack of sleep to the mix.


It DOES get better as they get older--honestly.
post #31 of 39
"So, you're right, it's not "hands off." But, you know, it doesn't seem like work because we're all doing what we want to be doing. "
=====================================
Yes, exactly. I hear that old line of "Wow, I applaud you. That must be sooo much work". Well, yes and no I guess. To me it doesn't feel like anything other than being my kids' mom, and living my life though. Unschooling is like a natural learning dialogue that is always open, if not constantly flowing.

I agree also that the debates and conversations get more interesting! My son and I love to do this. We had a debate the other night about how much help to extend someone (with more than a few problems) before you just say "I want to help you, but you also have to want to help yourself." It involved a lot of different things, and I love that he can hone his debating skills with me. He is starting to feel pretty passionately about some issues, and that overtakes his logic sometimes lol.. but it's terrific to know he is thinking about.. well, tons of things. Kristi
post #32 of 39
Hey guys - from my understanding and my reading All unschooling is homeschooling, but not all homeschooling is unschooling. I think we are mixing terms here. Homeschooling is the overall term that describes people who are outside the public / private school programs - learning at home (and other places as we all do - museums, beaches, cars, etc). Unschooling is a specific theory of homeschooling which has been very well described above. But homeschoolers can also be eclectic, follow the Well Trained Mind, be very school at home, or about anywhere else on the homeschooling spectrum. Although I agree with Dar that one can not kind of unschool or parttime unschool, there are ways to incorporate some of the philosophy into your homeschooling style. Just because you may feel it is necessary to include some kind of "lessons" does not mean that it has to all be adult let - certainly you can plan lessons around a child's interests or in other "fun" ways. But I have learned that if you ask, force, encourage (whatever term you want to use) your child to accomplish certain schooling tasks then techinically you are not unschooling in its purest sense. However, as others point out that is OK. We don't have to subscribe to any one style. We are free to pick and choose, to use what works and throw away what doesn't for us and our children. Isn't that one of the reasons why we all chose to hs - to avoid labels? So when you are inquiring about unschooling you are also asking about homeschooling, because it is a style of hsing. Homeschooling is an all encompasing word of those who learn at home no matter how they do it.
post #33 of 39
what I truly think way down deep, who really cares???? Why is this important to define???

and who is the PITB who is making up the what is unschooling and what is homeschooling and what is funschooling etc.. technical rules????

I refuse now to conform or definemy family & say this is what homeschooling is & this is what unschooling is & this is what we are- that is very restrictive mindset to me. The longer we have homeschooled, the more I don't give a rats about what method use to get there.

It is the enjoyment of the journey on the way that is what I recall thinking of the years so far and I think that should be VIP in any 'how to' book.
post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenoi
Isn't that one of the reasons why we all chose to hs - to avoid labels?
Nope. Well, I don't like labeling children, but I have no problem with labeling actiions and activities. Today Rain acted and swam, and it would seem silly to avoid labeling her hour onstage as "acting" or avoid labeling her laps up and down the pool as "swimming".

I'm not sure where you think people were mixing terms. We were contrasting unschooling and school-at-home styles of homeschooling, because these styles tend to be opposite extremes and thus are easiest to contrast. I didn't see anyone saying both weren't homeschooling, or that there weren't other styles.

Saying someone who is enquiring about unschooling us also enquiring about homeschooling, because unschooling is a form on homeschooling, is akin to saying that someone enquiring about Waldorf schools is enquiring about schools in general, because Waldorf schools are a type of school. I've found that when people ask about a specific piece of a topic, they generally want info just about that piece.

Dar
post #35 of 39
I agree dar, when an OP says tell me about unschooling, you don't see me posting much cause I am no expert

but if someone posts tell me about unschooling vs/or just homeschooling and the def of each, then I am here sucked in by curiosity sake like a moth to flame LOL

for me when we started homeschooling we did Natural structure and I took comfort in that what we did was 'something' I could tell people easily
post #36 of 39
I don't unschool to avoid labels. I unschool to avoid school!

I agree that labeling a child with some terms like oh say .. "hyper" or "genius" or "problematic" is something I wouldn't generally do, but saying that my family unschools is an accurate description of how we go about doing something. I do not see how that is restrictive. It is a word that means something. It means we approach this in this certain way, as opposed to this other way (or number of ways lol). I don't force other people to be unschoolers, I do not dislike them if they are school-at-homers or unit study or eclectic. I just use the term to tell people what *my* family is about Kristi
post #37 of 39
Guys, I wasn't trying to say anything negative about unschooling - I was just trying to put my 2 cents about the original question "Wanted to know if anyone could clarify for me the difference between unschooling and homeschooling and the philosophy behind each?" and point out that many homeschoolers who would not call themselves unschoolers also follow a child-led philisophy. And that I agree as long as it is working for you then it is working. . . It doesn't matter what it is called or whether you meet others criteria for a specific style of homeschooling.

But I do agree with what you said and take to heart the comment that you can't kind of unschool. Since the idea is to put the control of their lives to the children, you can't give it to them between 10-2 and then revert to parental control from 2-5. I think that Dar made a very important point that should be recognized by new hs.

As for anyone anywhere else on the spectrum, it doesn't really matter how you interweave your style.

Maybe the reason it seemed as if I was stepping in the middle, was because I read all the entries that day having just come back from vacation whereas you guys were on the next section of the conversation. I appologize if my entry came across wrong.
post #38 of 39
I do know a couple people who have a very routined day of school at home. Most homeschoolers I know are a mix of all sorts of things-like me!
I use unit studies (there are all kinds of homeschooling techniques-unit study, textbook, classical, etc).
The unit study covers everything. They do recommend you add a math program, though.
I ask my kids what unit they want to do-we just finished ships and floating, which was a ton of fun. The kids picked most of the activities listed in the book, but I picked a couple, too. We are learning together.
I can't really say when learning begins and when it ends. It really is a lifestyle and it goes on all day.
For example, they went outside to build a ship out of boxes, the broom, made maps, made flags, an anchor, etc. ( I stayed in the house to catch up on laundry) While they were out there, they found a cocoon under a rock to my garden wall. (It was the gangplank of the ship). That led to a totally different topic since they wanted to know what caterpillar made it. We found out that it was the cocoon of a wooly bear caterpillar which would turn into a tiger moth.
Most of their day is unscheduled-playing is learning, building with blocks is learning, catching tadpoles is learning, brushing the horses, climbing on haybales, watching the calf drink from her mother, etc. Basically everything is learning.
I don't know how to "label" our kind of schooling. We do a mix of all sorts of things and most homeschoolers I know do the same. I guess I could call it relaxed or eclectic. We have curriculum, but are not slaves to it. We use them as references. We use our unit study the most because the kids LOVE it so much.
I know that we are not unschoolers, but the major chunk of each of our days are like that of unschoolers. Even when we are doing our unit studies, it is child-led. They pick what they want to do and all our rabbit trails that we go on every day are due to the kids' questions. Our unit study book said floating and ships would take about 2-3 weeks. We finished it in 8, because we got on a huge tangent about pirates and a few other things that weren't even related to ships or floating.
I agree that many people "sieze" their children's playtime and try to make them learn something instead of just letting them play and learn on their own or just play for the pure fun of it.
Some of what we do I might call real-life learning. Such as the things that must be done everyday or situations that come up in real life-birth, death, divorce of a friend's parents, any questions the kids have.
Cleaning the house, making meals, baking bread, taking care of the animals. My in-laws have cancer. One of them almost died last fall after surgery. We went to 3 different non-family funerals. One was a cremation, one was a burial, one was a very close friend and it was like a party rather than mourning. Did I continue on with our kings and Queens unit? No-there was more important real-life learning going on. Lots of discussion, hugging and crying and laughing even. Learning to comfort others and ourselves, too.
My dd got the opportunity to be a model in a child's book about grief. She was the main character and my dh and I were in it and so were my in-laws. My MIL was the grandma that got cancer and died in the book. (She is alive and doing well and is in remission right now)
A lot of our friends thought we were crazy for letting dd do this, but she wanted to and it was really helpful for her (and my in-laws). The book came out 2 months ago. It is amazing to see us in it. We are friends with the illustrator.
Also, kids are ready for certain things at different times-aknowledging that and going with it is child-led. My dd was reading when she was 4, almost 5.
My ds was not ready for anything like that and now is just ready at 6 and is already sounding out 3 letter words-but the key was I waited until he was ready and wanted to. We would still be waiting, but he decided he's ready.
Well, sorry so long and kind of all over the place. I think everyone has their own style and for me, I don't label it. Everytime I do, I jump out of that particular box. LOL
post #39 of 39
Sounds a lot like us and a lot of fun with the ships and such.

Quite an experience on death and dying. We unfortunately went through a loss ourselves from cancer. It takes a lot out of everyone. I give you a lot of credit for facing it straight on.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Unschooling
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Unschooling › The difference between unschooling & homeschooling?