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Do you think most people unschool b/c of the philosophy or b/c of the child? - Page 3

post #41 of 50
Originally Posted by EllenSandoval

Anyway, another whole reason unschooling resonates with me that hasn't come up a lot is that I and my older daughter are HSPs (Highly Sensitive People). I've explored being an HSP a lot and find that among HSPs, I am still alone in a crowd. Nearly 20% of the population is HS but most HSPs are introverted. I'm an extrovert. So while I fit in well with a lot of non-HS people because of my extroversion, the HS part of me has great difficulty with subleties that are lost on everyone else or with (over) reacting. This is something my daughter and I have in common. It made the whole school experience so painful for me and something I wanted to spare her. I am clear now that I have a non-HS daughter that she'd do just fine in school. I am not saying I intend to put her there but I do wonder exactly what the original poster wondered except related to AP; do most parents come to AP because either one or both parents are HS or they have a HS (or sometimes called "high need" but not exactly the same thing) baby?
My ds is a HSC - extrovert. I'm an HSP myself.

I started a thread below on home educating the HSC. We unschool from birth as well, and love it.

Here's the thread:


There's also a 'Mothering your HSC' thread in the Finding Your Tribe forum.
post #42 of 50
Thanks for the links to the TCS threads. I won't go beat the dead horse.

post #43 of 50

Unchsooling questions? Check out John Holt

I dont unschool (yet), but have been particularly influenced by John Holt's "How Children Learn" and to a lesser degree some of his other titles too. Holt maintains that human nature is to learn. Period. You just couldnt stop learning if you tried! So the idea that kids (or people) would just sit idle and 'do nothing' is unfounded. Remember that kids learn by just living and even playing. Even when we appear to be 'doing nothing' are we not many times mentally doing something? Even daydreaming can be productive. Of course, watching un-educational tv can probably be considered 'doing nothing'!

post #44 of 50
Originally Posted by art yuen
Of course, watching un-educational tv can probably be considered 'doing nothing'!
Not to be contrary, but what might be abjectly "un-educational tv"? I believe we learn from all experiences. However, we might prefer not to have some experiences. I find our son just turns off shows that he doesn't find interesting. If a tv show *were* interesting to him, it apparently has something "educational" about it, ie. some information gain to *him*.

post #45 of 50
Originally Posted by scubamama
Do check out the Shine group! It is extemely child centered. And not just AP for babies, iykwim. : It has about 500 members+. It is extremely positive and highly sensitive. NO MAINSTREAMERS. Only Radical Unschoolers. It is the salve for my childhood wounds. Anne is a fountain of love. (unless you intentionally disregard your child, then uh oh.)
Removing my original post to avoid getting flamed.
post #46 of 50
My ds is almost 2 and I plan on homeschooling him. I thought I had my husband convinced, now I'm not sure if he was convinced or just tired of arguing with me about it. I will have to say that I will unschool probably partly because I hated school. I went to school through 7 grade and then started homeschooling with my stepmom. I loved learning but would totally clam up when it came to anyone trying to teach me anything, even in roundabout ways. My mom would take us to museums and such and try to sneak in lessons and it was like my ears stopped up or something. I hated learning and I'm sure it was because of school. I have always liked to learn things just not because someone wanted me to During the high school years that I homeschooled I did absolutely nothing. My mom even told the college I was dual enrolling at that I had dropped out of high school to try to get back at me for not doing any school work. It didn't work, I just moved out, and kept going to college for a short time anyway. It was just a distraction because I had to go ahead and get my GED so I could stay enrolled and I had to start paying for my classes. Anyway, to make a long story short, I love learning now, I think I always have, I just can't take anyone telling me what to do. I can see the same trait in my ds. He will do just about anything if you can convince him that it was his idea to start with. If he thinks you're trying to push him into to anything (including things like changing his diaper) he's not going to have any part of it. Unschooling is definately right for him.

Believe me, there are many times that I dream of getting rid of him for a whole school day. Ahh the peace, ahhh the quiet! However, I feel certain that he would hate it, and I know I would not be able to even talk to the teachers civilly if we had a problem. I still can't get along well with authority people. I can tell them without even knowing who they are because of how they talk. (Especially teachers, police, and preachers) They just make my hackles stand up.

I hope all this makes sense, it's pretty late for me I have to sneak in computer time after ds falls asleep If he catches me on the PC there is hell to pay :-\
post #47 of 50
Originally Posted by scubamama
Thanks for the welcome. I am trying to just find my way around MDC still. And find what is most interesting. I am active on the yahoogroup AlwaysUnschooled the Unschooling list for children always unschooled. Basically, younger than age 8 ish. It has some 600 members now and is quite active.

Welcome to MDC Pat! I'm actually on the AlwaysUnschooled list and have found your insight quite helpful and enlightening!

Mama to Taran (4 in just 28 days) and Lucy (9 months in just 5 days)
post #48 of 50
Originally Posted by LeftField
This is like a chicken and egg question. Do you think that most unschoolers go this route primarily b/c of the philosophy itself, and that the philosophy confers those traits to the kids? Or do you think that most choose unschooling, whether overtly or sub-consciously, because their kids already possess those traits to some degree?
Good question. Well, I sort of think of my kids as leading me by the hand toward new philosphies. If I didn't have the kids I do, I might not have been reading in the "right" places, KWIM? OTOH, I am the kind of person who seeks out unconventional ideas to "try on," so it is hard to say.

I have always been a stubbornly independent learner, even within the institutional framework of school that was imposed on me. So I assumed from the start, even before I thought about schooling options, that my kids would want and need lots of independence in learning.

My DH has always been a proponent of non-coerciveness in adult-child relationships, even before we had any notion that there were parents who consciously strove for this (TCS), so that was firmly a part of his philosophy to start with. It was only in seeing how my children developed and responded to this and other more power-laden types of relating that I was swayed toward non-coerciveness.

But I think that my kids are at an advantage, having grown up unschooled from birth. I think kids who have never been to school are free to fully develop traits that would have been stifled by institutional school. Unschooled kids have the time and support and freedom to (for example) do higher math or read chapter books or work on game strategy all day long even if their peers are not "learning it in school yet." So I think unschooling is a very rich medium for kids to develop their innate strengths.

So I wouldn't say it changes kids in a certain way, but I would say that SCHOOL (and coercive learning) changes kids in a certain way, and unschooling allows them to develop normally (normal being different for each individual). As far as whether the philosophy came first, I think DH and I were well-suited to unschooling from the start, but didn't consciously choose it for our family until we surveyed all our educational options to find the best fit for our kids.

BTW, I think that unschooling for us is really a larger life philosophy. Like some others here, my family fits a profile: we strive for non-coerciveness, our last birth was UC, child-led weaning (while recognizing that nursing is a two-person relationship), unschool in the more pure sense (i.e., no imposed educational expectations at all - I don't consider this radical though, LOL), and in other ways have removed ourselves from the mainstream. These things all kind of grew from each other, though...unschooling grew from some earlier choices and later choices grew from our unschooling.

Hope I haven't rambled too much. I would LOVE to see a non-coercive parenting support thread or forum here at MDC.
post #49 of 50
Originally Posted by LeftField
Ok, now I'm really going on a tangent...Dh, who only recently accepted unschooling and who was never a huge hs advocate, actually said that he felt K-12 was filler time. After we both concluded that we used nothing from K-12 in our career, save some basic skills that would have developed anyway, I asked, "So why do you think we spent all those years in school? What were we doing?" He thought about it and said, "Well, it was just a way to pass childhood. It was something for people to do with us while we waited to grow up."
Here's my tangent

The last sentence quoted above really reflects how I feel about institutionalized schooling. We're leaning toward unschooling for our DD who is only 2-1/2 right now, but I feel like we're already kind of doing it. There's so many fascinating things in the world that kids miss out on when forced to sit at a desk with their hands folded nicely in compliance.

I personally don't think I would've liked being homeschooled by my parents because my dad was an alcoholic so there were all those issues, but when I look back at my K-12 experience, I really see how completely stifled I was.

For example, in public school, I was rewarded for not rocking the boat -- or even "talking out" while in 2nd grade. (My teacher kept track of infractions on each student's desk and on the board.) Each week the kids got a new check-off list for her to mark on. I never had a new one because I was so "good." I didn't talk. I was always polite. I was always a "good girl." :Puke

The last week of school, I finally got P.O'd at another kid who kept bugging me with a question about our assignment and I finally just told him to leave me alone. The teacher came over scowling at me and snarled about how she was so disappointed in me because she'd had students go through a whole year without any talk-outs. It felt very humiliating. I mean, really, we're talking about 8-yr. olds here!

I can think of several examples of how I was molded to be more compliant, non-thinking, etc. while in shcool (intellectually and socially). I never learned how to learn, but I got good grades. I was always good at test-taking. I don't remember much of anything from the subjects though.

And I did go to college and I have a BA. Even though I had much more freedom there, I still didn't learn a whole lot. I just went because that was what I was supposed to do. I a'm glad I went to college, but I think if I'd been unschooled, I wouldn've learned a lot more.

I have learned soooooo much more since I've been out of school!

So this is kind of a rant now, but I feel like the proverbial system failed me and the "Leave No Child Behind" stuff is just scary. More standardized testing? How does that help anyone?

Anyway, sorry if I got so long-winded about my childhood experiences here.

I noticed some mention of HSP - yup - that's me. I think DD is more extroverted than I am, but she still seems to really hold back in larger groups and activities. She really opens up and shines in groups of 2-3 other kids. We go to a toddler group and she loves the free time explorations. She interacts just fine with the other kids (as expected for her dev. age). She HATES circle time for the most part. Today she actually did participate in a parachute play where they were shaking it to bounce leaves on it. But she doesn't like to participate in the little songs and other group activities. She's rather read a book or go off and do her own thing.

So in conclusion (yes, finally!) I think she'd do OK in public school, but I don't think she'd really get to grow. And if she's interested in a subject then we go with it and she's open to me "teaching" - and learning - with her. (That's what I really look forward to with unschooling!)

So I am reading and exploring more and more about homeschool - esp. unschooling.

Thanks for the great thread.
post #50 of 50
Originally Posted by amyamanda
So I wouldn't say it changes kids in a certain way, but I would say that SCHOOL (and coercive learning) changes kids in a certain way, and unschooling allows them to develop normally (normal being different for each individual).
What a great way of looking at it! This reminds me of people who say that breastmilk is "best", when really it's just the default, and artificial baby milks are inferior substitutes. Unschooling is the null, the natural choice. Schooling is changing what's occuring naturally, and interfering with that natural process.

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