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Is unschooling really a good idea? - Page 8

post #141 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn
Why wouldn't I trust my kids to learn?
Why wouldn't you trust yourself to teach?
post #142 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
I'm not interested in what is unschooling and what isn't as a debate topic. To me this always ends the same way with people saying "well that isn't unschooling". Okay, the parents identify themselves as unschoolers, associate with unschoolers, etc.
But, if you're basing your impression of unschooling on unschoolers who behave in a very different way from other unschoolers, then maybe the impression isn't accurate, you know?

Parental involvement is a HUGE part of unschooling. So if ppl are saying they're unschoolers, but really neglect their kids, it doesn't help to say, "Yes, I know lots of unschoolers who are a mess." The mess is the neglect, not the unschooling. Likely.
post #143 of 591
I just asked my daughter half an hour ago if she wanted to do some Algebra stuff with me. There's no unschooling rule against offering to do something with your child because you think it's cool, or you think your kid will have fun with it, or because he's asked you to spend some time working on it with you. Unschoolers offer to do stuff to our kids all the time, because that's what people who life with each other and care for each other do.

Of course, as you said on a previous thread, you don't want to talk about what unschooling really is... you just want to keep knocking down the straw man you've created.

dar
post #144 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
Why wouldn't you trust yourself to teach?
Another straw man. Teaching is fine, with the consent of the learner. Being taught is certainly not the only way to learn, though....

dar
post #145 of 591
Well, I am not sure if this is getting OT or not but I am willing to keep going round")

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
Is it possible for you to acknowledge that some people enjoy teaching students who put in time because they are more fun to teach?
I guess that really depends on the person. I find that it is most fun to teach someone who is excited about the topic. Their rate of progress has little to do with excitement in most cases. I do not find that time spent practicing = fun to teach.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
So, let me understand the teacher has no right to decide what the child does in terms of practice but you get to decide what the teacher does or how she should feel about teaching or what she should want?
Well, techinically when you hire a private lesson teacher you are paying for a service. The teacher, of course, has the right to terminate the agreement. But no, they do not have the "right" to decide how a child will use their time outside of lesson time. I am not really sure what is so upsetting about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
I don't teach music, but I can say from other teaching experiences I enjoy working with students who think differently, who challenge me, who study hard, more than I enjoy working with apathetic, lazy, uncreative, students. If my purpose in teaching is personal enjoyment why shouldn't I get to decide? If someone is working independently as a teacher or tutor should they be able to choose to do what pleases them instead of what pleases you?
I am not sure why someone seeking lessons with little time or desire to practice are considered lazy or apathetic and uncreative. There are all sorts of reasons a student may not practice. My end is to teach what I can. It is up to the student to decide thier end. Maybe they seriously just want to learn a little bit about the instrument. If they are enjoying their time, learning something, and being excited about that time, why begrudge them that? Of course you can decide to ditch students that you do not find up to our standards. But I choose to teach students that want to be taught no matter what their outside commitment is. I find some of them very rewarding to work with. Others not so much. But it rarely translates into practice time.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
It seems odd to me that you find practicing a few times a week to be some kind of insanely compromising kind of commitment. I see it simply as no big deal. And, in our son's situation has been no big deal. The commitment was initially discussed and three years later and has never once presented itself as a challenge as he's figured out he feels better when he practices daily.
Further as the party paying for the lessons and the instrument I think it is quite reasonable for me to say I'd like it to be worth more than half an hour a week. Is it your idea that unschooling parents should be responsible to pay any amount of money for anything?
I do not find it insanely compromising. I do practice. At times it is several hours a day. At other times it is once a week. I have even gone months without picking up my instrument. But I do think it is expecting too much of children that DO NOT WANT to. Money is not unlimited in my house. When dd gets to the age of asking for lessons and/or instruments, we will have to discuss finances and make choices wit that in mind. But I do think money for lessons is well spent even if that is the only time she plays and long as she enjoys it, is learning something, and wants to continue in that fashion. Instruments can be rented, borrowed, resold, etc..... I bought dh a guitar several years ago because he expressed an interest. He took lessons for a short time and then decided he did not want to continue. Should I take the guitar away? Should I complain that he did not give it his "all"? Should I make him feel guilty? I do not think so. He got something out of it. If only to realize a greater appreciation for the skill needed to be a great guitar player. He enjoyed it for a time and that is more than most kids get out of lessons so I am happy.

I really have no problem with kids practicing. But I think it needs to be something they want to do. Otherwise it is just forcing an "optional" skill on a child which I never want to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
As far as the teacher I think it indicates how much you really have no idea about our situation. Our son has disabilities and we selected this teacher due to her flexibility. She's taught disabled students before and loved it. She's not about creating professional musicians, but is about everyone involved getting something from the experience.
I do not believe that "getting something from the experience" is only dictated by certain practice parameters. I think it is quite possible to get something from the experience in many ways. The rigidity of the "getting something" seems very off putting to me. Who decides what that means? IMO, only the person trying to "get something" can determine that,
post #146 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
I honestly think that if she'd never built up her...what shall I call it? Frustration muscles? Frustration calluses? Frustration tolerance? over time, that the first time she really encountered it as a hypothetically always-unschooled adult, she might not have the emotional wherewithal to deal with the consequences.
CB, I respect what you have to say, I really do, because it's quite apparent that you have put a lot of thought into this things you discuss here at MDC, but sometimes I am when I read your posts because you speak of your daughter as if she were so much older than five. She's five. Does she really NEED to be exercising her frustration muscles this young? (I'm honestly not trying to be snarky!)

: (Ramona wanted me to put this on.)

Namaste!
post #147 of 591
Quote:
'm not interested in what is unschooling and what isn't as a debate topic. To me this always ends the same way with people saying "well that isn't unschooling". Okay, the parents identify themselves as unschoolers, associate with unschoolers, etc
You haven't responded to any of my posts to you but, again, I'm saying yes this happens, I have seen it, both online and in real life.

I agree it's a problem, insofar as the unschooling phenomenon has been hijacked to include families who make no distinction between nurturing and neglect...

Doesn't this happen within every group though? It's just a part of life. Political parties are good example of this in action...
post #148 of 591
Wow, this has not been the blood bath that I expected.

It seems to me that many of the issues floating around here concern parenting in general, rather than educational philosophy in particular. Obviously there is no homeschooling style box you can check off and be guaranteed a child who grows up perfectly well adjusted and satisfied with her childhood. It is possible to unschool and still nudge your kid toward asparagus. It is possible to unschool and still perceive that your kid is having issues with quitting at the slightest difficulty, and respond to that as a parent. It is curious to suppose that the only way to address life issues with your child is to instate a curriculum plan.
post #149 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
I'm not interested in what is unschooling and what isn't as a debate topic. To me this always ends the same way with people saying "well that isn't unschooling". Okay, the parents identify themselves as unschoolers, associate with unschoolers, etc.
But aren't we discussing whether unschooling is a good idea? Can we agree that the variety of unschooling to which you refer is NOT a good idea, and then move on to considering whether there might be ANY variety of unschooling that WOULD be a good idea?
post #150 of 591
I do trust myself to teach, when someone comes to me wanting to learn. I can't do a damn thing with someone who isn't ready or willing or, gasp!, eager - been there, tried that, it sucked, not doing it again. I can't teach unless the other person is eager to learn, and has chosen to be there. And I can't teach in a particular order - I can only help someone try to understand the concept they are wrestling with at that time. That's self-directed learning, and that's the basis of unschooling, in my understanding.

And I think classes can be great, although they have their downsides. School, however, in my experience, is not the same as taking classes one is interested in. It was not particularly enjoyable being in that algebra class because it was soooooooo slooooooooooooooow, and the teacher was such a stickler for having to do the busywork, whether or not one had already gotten the concept(s) and whether or not the busywork actually was helping the students learn the concept(s).

I've found in my college experience that the classes I enjoy and have done well in are classes where everyone, including the teacher, is wanting to be there and has chosen to be there to learn and discuss and explore a particular topic or area. That doesn't describe most American pre-college (or most college!) schools or classes that I've encountered or heard of.

Even in high school, where basically no one wanted to be there, the classes I took that everyone had to take were basically useless, and I remember almost nothing from them. The classes that were "optional", the language and advanced math and science classes, were bearable (barely), and I learned a little, though not nearly as much as I would have if I had just been put in a room with a bunch of other people interested in the subject(s), and we had gone about exploring and learning and teaching with each other.
post #151 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
But I strongly doubt that I would have sat there and figured it out unless I had to. I'm very sure of this.

Well then if and when you had to figure it out...you would! Right now as I sit here and type I know squat about the life cycle of various insects in Africa, how the stock market works, and string theory...well it gives me a wee headache.

If I ever found myself needing (or wanting) to know I would just go look for info. Same thing for my kids.
post #152 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
I'd have to scroll back to see the whole list.
Kids who primarily play video games and are academically really lacking - about half of the unschooling families I know.
This only matters if you care about being academically ahead or behind. And I don't. If you believe, as we do, that learning is in all of life then it all we have to do is live and follow our interests in order to be learning. Academics, and certainly this idea of being "behind" or lacking is just not a part of our world.


Quote:
Kids who aren't prepared for college - we are a bit early to say, but unless kids somehow totally turn around from video games on to anything else it will be several.
Again this implies that anyone who plays video games (or for any time over what you feel is excessive?) will be uneducated. My son plays a lot and yet has a better than basic handle on grammar and general writing, addition/subtraction/mult, his research skills are pretty great, he's read at a so called "adult" level since he was around 11 or 12, and he does well on the computer. I have every confidence that college will be a challenging and rewarding experience for him.

Quote:
Parents are checked out and not involved in nurturing interests - four or five families. It is sad.
Parents that are not emotionally, mentally or physically present in their childrens lives is a sad thing. I don't think unschooling has much to do with that though, and as I have stated before I don't think the kind of people who are drawn to unschooling are the kind that usually "check out".
post #153 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
...I don't think we have to cram our kids full of knowledge in case they might need it one day. I think we need to show our kids how to love life and find what they need when they need it.



Namaste!
Hi,
I just started to read this thread and I had to repeat this great quote.
Thank you Dharmamama for your words of wisdom!
Now to finish reading the whole thread!

Take Care,
Erika:
post #154 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
Why wouldn't you trust yourself to teach?
Who says unschooling parents don't teach? I have taught my kids many things over the years. They have taught me too. Now if you mean teaching as in making a kid study things they aren't into against their will... well that isn't a matter of not trusting myself to teach, that's just a matter of respecting my child as I would wish to be respected. It's less about education and more about the way I want to live and raise my kids.
post #155 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
It's less about education and more about the way I want to live and raise my kids.
And that's how we approached unschooling as well.

Now that my middle child is in Montessori, I tell people it's great. For a school. But his time there is also not about the education.
Lucky for me his teacher is on the same page as I am and understands that I'm not looking for written verification of his knowledge. I'll actually have an intelligent conversation with him and thats verification enough.
post #156 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn
I do trust myself to teach, when someone comes to me wanting to learn.
This is the part I don't get about unschooling. Why wait until someone comes to you? Why not go to them? Why not start with a plan for how your kids might learn and approach them with it and see if it's working? You're the parent, you know your kids, you understand their interests, and you can see in an instant if your approach is making them tune out - so you can change the approach, teach them something else, get them interested. That doesn't mean you can't even try to develop an educational plan for them.

I can't imagine forcing learning on an unwilling kid, and yet I see a lot of unschoolers here who seem to think that that's the only way to teach that isn't unschooling.
post #157 of 591
Quote:
This is the part I don't get about unschooling. Why wait until someone comes to you? Why not go to them?
We are unschoolers and I do this. I can't imagine living with people that I couldn't approach with my idea's for their (or our) potential self interest.
post #158 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
I'd have to scroll back to see the whole list.

Kids who primarily play video games and are academically really lacking - about half of the unschooling families I know.

Kids who aren't prepared for college - we are a bit early to say, but unless kids somehow totally turn around from video games on to anything else it will be several.

Parents are checked out and not involved in nurturing interests - four or five families. It is sad.
There, you have answered your own questions. Like I have mentioned twice now, this problem has absolutely nothing to do with unschooling, and everything to do with bad parenting. So, you think following a curriculum would have made these parents all of a sudden tuned in and nurturing towards their children and what they are interested in? If you decided to unschool, is this the kind of parent you would become? I would think not.
post #159 of 591
Quote:
Kids who primarily play video games and are academically really lacking - about half of the unschooling families I know.
We limit media, but it's not about promoting academics instead, or being ahead or behind. Unlimited media has a negative impact on us as individuals, reducing our happiness, freedom, and sense of well being.
post #160 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
There are people who were born, raised, and (ostensibly) educated in this country who are unable to communicate effectively because they were left to their own devices. There are people attempting to communicate over the internet, on these very boards, who are so impaired that they cannot effectively communicate through text, despite an apparent desire to do so. I think that's absolutely tragic, and I think that radical unschooling is, of all home education methodologies, the most likely to lead to such an outcome. :
I am willing to bet the farm that the vast majority of ineffective communicators on these and other boards on the internet were educated in schools that had a structured curriculum. Thus proving that academic exposure doesn't always lead to competencies in academics as adults.
And speaking as another person here who knows adult unschoolers in real life(many that never went to school), my experiences with them has convinced me that we really need to rethink many of the misconceptions we have about how people acquire many academic skills.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
It probably depends less on the educational "method" by which a child learns and more on the support a child receives from family and friends as to how well a child learns.
Boy Dharmamama, you really are on a roll with the great quotes!

Take Care,
Erika:
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