or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Unschooling › Unschooling Support Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Unschooling Support Thread - Page 6

post #101 of 174
Mom4Tot, why change if it's comfortable? We relaxed folk hang out pretty well with unschoolers already, for comatose folk.

(Joan, OT; is it the unexpurgated Anne Frank? I was just reading some stuff last night that was NEVER in the part her dad released we all read in school. She was awfully aware, I'll say that much! Knew more about anatomy from study & observation than most of our contemporaries today.)
post #102 of 174
Thread Starter 
Brr. I hear you on the ice! It took us 45 minutes to defrost the car enough for it to be safe to drive! All 3 kids were home today because of a miscomunication (school said 2 hour delay, bus company decided it was a 90 minute delay, nobody told me, so they missed the bus and I wasn't driving them!) So we went to the chiropractor and the supermarket and the kids wanted some "junk food" and I told them "fine, but I'm not paying for it" so they had a lesson on economics. The girls bought ice cream, two bottles of iced tea, and potato chips. I bought a shopping cartful of "real food."
post #103 of 174
Mmmm. Real food (I think my teeth are going to fall out, from throwing myself on the Valentine candy grenade).
post #104 of 174
TigerTail, it's unabridged, read by Susan Adams, and put out by "Recorded Books, LLC" Do you mean there's another version? Do you have more info?

(And I can't talk about Valentine candy--the dog ate 1/2 pound of dark chocolate this morning. It's not been good.)
post #105 of 174
Thread Starter 
Ah, at times like this I'm glad we don't do Valentine's Day in our family.

But don't talk to me the day after Purim!! We'll probably get bombarded with gifts of food that aren't Feingold-friendly that my kids can't eat!
post #106 of 174
Checkin in!!
post #107 of 174
Did not have a chance to read all the posts but we are unschoolers here too!
post #108 of 174
I'll join.

I'm hoping to do radical unschooling. DH is not on board since his entire reason for wanting to homeschool was to have kids who were "ahead".

DD1 is still just 3, so I've got a few years to research and work on him.
post #109 of 174
Joan, 'The Diary of Anne Frank: the Definitive Edition', Bantam, 1997, 235-236 (March 24, 1944). I don't have it on tape, but if it is unabridged, one hopes. Very erudite description.

More threads! Subforum!
post #110 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niamh View Post
I'll join.

I'm hoping to do radical unschooling. DH is not on board since his entire reason for wanting to homeschool was to have kids who were "ahead". :eyeroll:

DD1 is still just 3, so I've got a few years to research and work on him.
Well, who's to say that unschooled kids aren't "ahead" of their peers socially and with self-esteem? Many of them are "ahead" academically as well, at least for a time, if that's where their interests take them.
post #111 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftField View Post
I was mainly referring to the training of toddlers with my comment. I think that most toddlers are going to be excited about any 1:1 time they get with their Mom. I don't think that qualifies the training as "child-led". I hope this makes sense.

I don't claim to be unschooling or to know what it's all about. It's just something I noticed in this forum. People seem pretty invested in getting their toddlers to acquire early academic skills.

Hmmmm. I've noticed a lot of threads lately about natural early readers. I wouldn't call that "training of toddlers."

As the parent of a natural, extremely enthusiastic early reader -- dd1 had 1:1 time with me ALL THE TIME. If she didn't want to do something, she'd walk away. It's always been obvious to me what her interests and passions are.

Instead of assuming that the posters with early readers are just trying to get their young ones to learn early academics, why not take them at their word?

I am realizing that I am an unschooler. Yes, my firstborn and I went through 100 EZ lessons. We even -- gasp! - did flashcards between the ages of 2 and 3. She had a passion for reading and letters and I followed up on it with her. She reads for hours every day now, with and without me. I think that's great!

Dd1 and I also do MiQuon and Singapore. She likes to line things up and add, etc. I showed her the books and asked if she'd like to do them. She LOVES Singapore and will happily do 10 pages at a time.

my youngest (23 months) is coming up to me with books, pointing to letters, and voicing the phonics. I do it with her now, each day -- at her request.

There really are kids who have an interest in "schooly" things. To ignore that interest, or to claim that those who follow those interests MUST be pushing the kids simply because the kid is young...this accusation annoys me. Why not take the posters at their word? Some of us have early readers/little kids who LIKE to do workbooks, etc....along with all the other hands-on stuff they do every single day.

Use of a curriculum...even with little kids...does not an un-unschooler make.
post #112 of 174
Maybe. But Rain was "behind" for many years, too, if you want to compare her to schooled kids. The first years we unschooled were actually easier because she was "ahead", but it didn't last...her interests changed and she got "behind", at least in math and spelling. She spent years doing almost no writing at all. I think it would be difficult if not impossible to effectively homeschool but still worry about keeping up with the Joneses... or their kids.

I'm not so much amazed at her scores as at how quickly she covered the material she needed to know. I was schooled and took the SATs at 12, and I know my score beat Rain's in the math section, at least... but I spent 7 years going to math classes every day. She's actually gung-ho now on doing some more work on this at some point and trying for some top scores... we'll see what happens, because it was frankly very stressful for me.

She wants to take French, and maybe a lit course. I think college just looks like a big Christmas stocking to her right now, full of neat possibilities.

I didn't know there was a newer edition to Anne Frank's diary... Ran and I have both read that, and we'd be interested... Rain was very affected by it.

dar
post #113 of 174
Sorry... the above was in response to Ruthla's comment... but as far as young children, I think it's important to ask ourselves why we're sharing certain materials with them. If a child expresses interest in reading, and a parent responds with flashcards and curricula, the parent choosing specific, school-type ways to help the child. Young children especially don't know all of their options, and since most of us have been so fully trained in schoolthink, I think it's especially important to think outside that box first, and to not assume that the traditional tools are the best, or are what the child is really wanting.

Just in my personal experience, most of the parents who believed that their unschooled young children truly loved workbooks and direct instruction wound up as non-unschoolers by the time their kids were 8 or so... because the kids were making other choices and the parents found that they were not comfortable without the formal academic piece.

I'm not saying you should ban young children from workbooks and flashcards... but I do think unschoolers need to think more deeply about their motivations and thought processes when using these types of materials with young children.

dar
post #114 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I think it's especially important to think outside that box first, and to not assume that the traditional tools are the best, or are what the child is really wanting.

Just in my personal experience, most of the parents who believed that their unschooled young children truly loved workbooks and direct instruction wound up as non-unschoolers by the time their kids were 8 or so... because the kids were making other choices and the parents found that they were not comfortable without the formal academic piece.

I'm not saying you should ban young children from workbooks and flashcards... but I do think unschoolers need to think more deeply about their motivations and thought processes when using these types of materials with young children.

dar

Well I guess we're exceptions to that. My dd is almost 11 and still voluntarily breaks out the workbooks a few times a week. I understand your meaning about parental motivation, but I don't think avoiding certain materials because they're "traditional" matters in the least. Isn't it better to have a home full of all kinds of things and let the child choose what he or she finds enjoyable? To this day I love math and logic puzzle books and word game books. My kids enjoy workbooks in the same way I do. They also love word searches, whodunit mystery quiz books, and crosswords. Nothing formal about it. We just enjoy a lot of different things.

Or am I missing your meaning?
post #115 of 174
But if I remember correctly, your daughter has been unschooling for maybe a year? And prior to that was in school, right? I don't think you can necessarily know what she would have thought of workbooks and formal academic work had they not been such a big part of her life during those early years... by the time you brought her home, how much schoolthink had she absorbed? How did those experiences shape her choices?

Again, I wouldn't forbid anything... but if a young child says, "I wish I knew how to read that book," I don't think a parent's first (or second or third) thought should be formal curricula. If a 14 year old says they want to learn Algebra, that's a different thing... developmentally, a 14 year old is in a different place and has different needs.

dar
post #116 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama in the forest View Post
My son used the electric snowblower today for three hours. Because he wanted to. And then he built a fire for us in the wood-burning stove. I watched him patiently working up the fire, tending it, waiting, observing...he looked at me and simply said, "more oxygen, more fire...less oxygen, less fire". I smiled. And he did it simply for the JOY of it...the joy in the process and in life. That's what I love about unschooling.
FWIW, I found your summary of part of your sons day inspiring! My son is asking now to use our tractor and plow and I just love the idea of him taking these things on! Okay,, a bit scary sure but hey--- that's life
post #117 of 174
We're unschoolers. I have an 8 year old DS and a 5 year old DD. DS went to kindergarten in public school before I had my light bulb revelation. I didn't sleep for a couple of months, just read, read, read, thought, scrutinized and read some more and decided that I never wanted to put a child back in institutionalized schools again. I loved the ideas presented in many different homeschooling books but by far, unschooling just seemed so...(how to put it) superior of an idea that I didn't think anything less would do for my wonderful children. I value a fantastic, varied, comprehensive, eclectic, all encompassing, literate, intellectual and creative education and unschooling is, in my opinion, the very best way to achieve this. 1 1/2 years later, I have not changed my mind and have decided that I am so lucky to have decided such when my children were still young and before their love of learning was stomped out of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Anyway... she got her scores today: 600 in Critical Reading (79th percentile); 490 in Math (40th percentile), and 540 in Writing (64th percentiles). These percentiles, mind you, are comparing her to kids who are 12th graders, so 4 years older than Rain - and overall, she's in the 64th percentile when compared to college-bound high school seniors.
That is totally awesome, Dar. I think it just shows that learning is so natural. I'd have been curious to see what her scores would have been without all that prep. I am constantly amazed at how incredibly brilliant my children are all the time. Oh the things they learn from playing with knights and dragons, cherry tree blocks, lego pieces, lincoln logs, littlest pet shop pets, stuffed animals, snap circuit sets, toys, toys and more toys, twigs, leaves, other children for hours on end, my oh my.... it is endless. Sometimes I fear their sweet little brains will explode with the never-ending amount of education they are soaking in from every day life. Nevertheless, all I see is their twinkling eyes and their laughing mouths at all the clubs and groups we go to, the field trips we go on, the children's programming on Noggin and PBS and shows on Discovery and Animal planet, all those groovy children's websites with free games to play, etc.

Every once in a while, I just turn to DH and tell him that I feel so incredibly grateful and happy and joyous and LUCKY that we both decided to homeschool out of the blue and thankful that I happened to read a number of unschooling-friendly books in the piles of other homeschool books that I read. How much would they have missed out on if I had kept DS in school for a few more years and forced DD to go to public school as well?!? How traumatic, tragic and sad!! What if I had sat them down and drilled info into them at the dining room table for hours on end each day (as some I know do)...how much of their personalities would I have squashed? I'm grateful, oh so grateful...that is all...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan View Post
Ds has no interest in college--he plans to be an inventor.
It's not exactly the same but my 8 year old DS says he is going to be an inventor when he grows up and he tells me constantly about the things he is going to invent, like numerous times a day. He always has never ideas, some things that already exist, some that are rather fantastical and some that sound pretty useful. Of course, there are a number of useful and fun robots added into the mix on occasion. I usually tell him that university/college (engineering) is a good way for him to learn more about that once he is old enough, to help him learn more about how to invent the things he wanted to invent. His ideas tends to be in the chemical and/or electrical/mechanical engineering veins, though. He did ask me a couple of months ago if he could homeschool college and I said, "sure you can, if you want to."

I haven't really succeeded in explaining the differences between homeschool and unschool to the children that often, a few times, yes, but they use the word "homeschool" in every day life. How many of the rest of us go by the generic term homeschool? How many have taught the children to say "unschool" all the time, including in grocery stores and the like, and amongst new acquaintances?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerTail View Post
More threads! Subforum!
Big time!! There really is a strong need for an unschooling forum. There could still be a main open forum for everyone "learning at home", but there could be the spin-off area which would hopefully be more specific to our every day lives. All I ever seem to do in the main threads (when I bother to respond) is try to sell unschooling to others, , which might be useful and might be annoying. (actually, I know I've seen some posts with people decrying the unschoolers always trying to get others to unschool, but perhaps that's another thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWine View Post
Hmmmm. I've noticed a lot of threads lately about natural early readers. I wouldn't call that "training of toddlers."
My DD just up and started reading one day when she was four. Sometime when she was 3, she sat down with a crayon and paper and wrote the alphabet. We were shocked. I grabbed DH and said, "Did you teach her that?" He shook his head. I had never shown her or encouraged her to write any letters, ever, though we had sung the alphabet song with regularity since before her birth and Sesame Street was often on in our house. We have always had a huge selection of books, have frequented story times and such, etc., but we never suggested she write or taught her to read, at all. We did have a couple of LeapFrog DVDs in our vast collection (over 100 items) of children's videos, which the children were free to watch whenever. With all these factors, DD decided that she wanted to be able to return the favor and read us some stories, too.

Unschoolers can teach themselves to read, even without curriculum-like items!! (certainly it's way easier than trying to teach them phonics or drilling them with sight words...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Citymomx3 View Post
Isn't it better to have a home full of all kinds of things and let the child choose what he or she finds enjoyable? To this day I love math and logic puzzle books and word game books. My kids enjoy workbooks in the same way I do. They also love word searches, whodunit mystery quiz books, and crosswords. Nothing formal about it. We just enjoy a lot of different things.
We have a home full of resources, too. DH and I love to play scrabble and boggle and chess and do sudoku puzzles, crossword puzzles and play trivia games, etc. I have a certain penchant for certain Webkinz games, too, I will admit. (Sshhh!!! it's a secret...) There is nothing more fun to us than going as a family to a very large bookstore for a few hours and wandering around filling our baskets with stuff to buy, spending time looking at books from all different areas, etc. I think modelling a love of learning simply rubs off. Then again, even when we don't model a love of a certain sort of learning, the children, when allowed, will find and follow their own interests. DS asked for SCIENCE STUFF for Xmas, of all things. I'm totally NOT a science geek and DH is a computer geek only, so it's tricky for us to sit and help him when he wants the help to do experiments all day long. He does require (and wants) assistance in these matters most of the time, since he doesn't feel comfortable reading all of the manuals and books by himself (also due to his relatively poor eyesight, though he does read and enjoy reading, just not as much as I did when I was 8). So I have to trudge through and try to find every morsel of enjoyment in the messy and gross science experiments that he wants to engage in. Plus, I enroll the children in local homeschool classes that they want to be involved in, such as science or natural history, which is always something they (both) want to do and majorly enjoy.

Anyway, I do feel guilty sometimes that I, due to some personal issues lately, have been enjoying laying in bed reading most of the day away, lately, while the children play freely in pajamas. Prior to these past couple of months, we were out and about most every day, involved in different groups, classes, sports, field trips, events, etc., and lately, I've been doing a bare minimum of those things. The children never complain, they are very happy doing what we do and get excited when we do leave the house to do various things. I just feel inner guilt on occasion. Perhaps that is more of a parenting issue than an unschooling issue though.

Okay, thanx to those who managed to make it through my long tedious post. It's late now and I'm off to bed. Happy unschooling!
post #118 of 174
We had a nice unschooling day on the coast! In the POURING wind driven rain, even. I got some pics that I will try to post eventually. So very tired!

We saw so many crabs and jellies at the aquarium. We played (through the glass) with the sea lions, and we really enjoyed each other's company.
post #119 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverSky View Post
I usually tell him that university/college (engineering) is a good way for him to learn more about that once he is old enough, to help him learn more about how to invent the things he wanted to invent.
Yeah, we know a few people who went to engineering school and they've recommended it to him. Right now, he has no interest in college though. Maybe in the future, we'll see. Ds has made a few toys and designed a few games. He likes the creative/problem solving/brainstorming aspect of it, as well as the physical construction. But his personality is very laid back and easy going. He takes one day at a time and isn't the "type A" kid or what we used to call a "go-getter." I can definately see him unschooling college. Although he is aware that some jobs require a degree, that's just not in his plans right now.

Quote:
I haven't really succeeded in explaining the differences between homeschool and unschool to the children that often, a few times, yes, but they use the word "homeschool" in every day life. How many of the rest of us go by the generic term homeschool? How many have taught the children to say "unschool" all the time, including in grocery stores and the like, and amongst new acquaintances?
Mostly, I just say "homeschool" because the general public isn't asking about my educational philosophy--they just want to know why my kid is out and about on a "school day." But with other homeschoolers, once we get talking, I'll use "unschooler" to describe us. My oldest just uses hser, Dd keeps trying to enlighten people by telling them "We unschool" but mostly she gets confused looks so we backtrack and say, "Homeschool." Ds2 doesn't say much of anything about it when we're out.
post #120 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Again, I wouldn't forbid anything... but if a young child says, "I wish I knew how to read that book," I don't think a parent's first (or second or third) thought should be formal curricula. If a 14 year old says they want to learn Algebra, that's a different thing... developmentally, a 14 year old is in a different place and has different needs.

dar

Why are there "shoulds" or "shouldn'ts"..?!?!

Okay, so to be a true unschooler -- a deep thinker and all that...

Flashcards, etc. are "bad"...just because they remind one of traditional school...? IF I introduce them to my kid, and she loves to do them, I'm somehow being manipultive or harming her learning process in some way??

:

Learning happens in a myriad of different ways. Flashcards, workbooks, etc. are just one option (and just one of the many, many things we all do around here, by choice).

This is what turns me off of unschooling "support" boards and threads. If the child is doing anything workbook-ish, then she MUST have been pushed, or she simply is too young to know any better.

Way too much judgement and assumptions about kids and parents that you don't even know.

Okay, since it's obvious there will be no support for unschoolers who introduce workbooks....adios.
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 › Unschooling Support Thread