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Unschooling Support Thread - Page 2

post #21 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I don't think anybody is going to say "AHA!! You're not a REAL unschooler! Off with her keyboard!!!"

It's more of a philosophy- are you worried about your DC keeping up with their public-schooled peers or do you just want to see them blossom on their own, with as little interference from well-meaning adults as possible? Anybody can join in on this thread as long as they're respectful towards the unschooling ideal. If you carefully read the responses so far, at least half of us have stated that we're not 100% unschoolers, but we lean that way, and we feel kind of out-of-place on a board filled with curriculum questions.


The last thing I want is a label. Sometimes the board is full of unschooling threads as well. I think people should just start threads on their interests, concerns, joys. Start a thread about what's going on. In 5 seconds the first page of this forum could be filled with unschooling thoughts.

And who is to say there aren't ideas in the manipulatives thread that some unschoolers might find interesting. (I mean, maybe there isn't, or for sure there isn't. But we can't really say that that for sure no unschoolers would find anything of any interst...for sure. )

I also wonder what is the difference between utilizing online resources and utilizing some brick and mortar resources? I mean, there are zillions of curriculm ideas on line. Is using the interenet better than using a book, say? It's all print.

I don't think there are that many clear distinctions. I don't find these deep polarizations all that helpful as a hser.
post #22 of 174
I am not an unschooler but I am being drawn that way. Anyone here who is formerly a curriculum user but is now an unschooler with younger children??

I would love to hear about it! Thanks.
post #23 of 174
Math manipulatives? Well, we have tangrams, money for sorting and doing whatever, made geoboards once upon a time, have katamino to mess around with, etc...I just like STUFF. We have lots of STUFF to play with. But it's just there. We all know where it is. I don't pull it out and say, "I think we need to work on shapes right now" or whatever.

As for not relating to certain threads/issues, well, there are plenty of threads on this site I don't relate to. Not a problem.
post #24 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by granolagina View Post
I am not an unschooler but I am being drawn that way. Anyone here who is formerly a curriculum user but is now an unschooler with younger children??

I would love to hear about it! Thanks.
What do you mean by a curriculm? What does that mean to you?

I ask because, we didn't use a math program/curriculm, but now we are using something more formal for my teen for reasons that I've explained. My youngest doesn't use a formal math program.

I also know that Dar's dd, unschooled from early childhood, used somewhat of a more formal program for math, I think, when she was planning on taking the SAT this year.

I wouldn't say that using something that is somewhat 'formal' is anti- unschooling.

Unschoolma said in this thread that one of her children is reading the driver's manual. Which is a formal *whatever*. lol I am guessing that child might be thinking of getting a driver's permit at some point?

What if a child wants to learn another language that the parent doesn't know? Would it not make sense to use a somewhat more formal program/curric so that one could avoid reinventing the wheel?
post #25 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post

I don't think there are that many clear distinctions. I don't find these deep polarizations all that helpful as a hser.

I think you may be creating more polarization than actually exists and that you may be processing this a bit more ridgidly than needed. I suggest things to my children all the time, they can take it or leave it. When my dd asks to work on math or learn the history of Valentine's Day, we work on it together or I supply her with enough resources to work independently. We use schooly type stuff all the time, they are a great resource.

Relax and just hang out!
post #26 of 174
Yup. When my dd decided she needed some algebra, we got her Saxon math books- she liked the way it was presented. Some people would call that 'using the Saxon Math curriculum.' I don't. I call it availing ourselves of whatever resources we find useful.
post #27 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaywyn View Post

Relax and just hang out!
I wasn't not relaxed. Telling me what to do is annoying, however.

I do like to process info. I don't like people trying to read my mind. That just doesn't feel respectful. I take it you're also not TCS or CL. These are things we don't say to our children, or other people. "Ignore your feelings, feel like me! You really shouldn't process so much!"
post #28 of 174
eh, I'm not posting in this thread because I want to define unschooling. Or have a debate over what is unschooling and what isn't. I'm here to connect with people that self define as unschoolers. Radical, loose whatever.
post #29 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
eh, I'm not posting in this thread because I want to define unschooling. Or have a debate over what is unschooling and what isn't. I'm here to connect with people that self define as unschoolers. Radical, loose whatever.
: And folks don't have to agree exactly with me for a discussion to be interesting.
post #30 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I wasn't not relaxed. Telling me what to do is annoying, however.

I do like to process info. I don't like people trying to read my mind. That just doesn't feel respectful. I take it you're also not TCS or CL. These are things we don't say to our children, or other people. "Ignore your feelings, feel like me! You really shouldn't process so much!"

Well, I saw you posting what you thought people should post and you seemed to be making this harder than it has to be. Sorry. I certainly did not mean to be disrespectful, I'm slightly offended myself that you took it that way. I am all about processing, I just felt a lot of negativity in your posts in this "support" thread. I am sorry if my perceptions were off.
post #31 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
--And then some people insist that it's child-led simply because the child didn't refuse the formal instruction offerred--

And that, in a nut shell, is why I won't ever claim an unschooling title

If my child is wanting to do something, and I offer to show her something she doesn't know exists, and she accepts it, I'll go with it. There is just no way I am pure enough in soul to be an unschooler.
Oops, I'm sorry. What I meant is something like this. If I bought word flashcards for my 1 year old and worked with him in that way, he probably wouldn't have refused. He wouldn't really be old enough to have such a strong self-identification and interests to decline. He might just enjoy me spending the one on one time with him. But that's not child-led to me. Technically, he didn't say "no" and might even start getting excited when I pull the cards out simply because he's learned that that's how I interact with him. But it was clearly parent-led, to me. That's what I meant.

I introduce stuff all the time to my kids and it seems like unschooling to me. If they are really not interested, they'll let me know. Lots of times, my oldest is interested. I showed him some books on evolution this morning in a Montessori catalog I got yesterday. I asked him, "Do you want me to buy these for you?" He said, "Oh, yes!" I introduced evolution to him but he was enthusiastic about it. And then if it turned out that he wasn't really interested, we would let it go. I actually bought a Chemistry curriculum for him because I know he loves science. Sometimes, he's not in the mood for it so we don't do it then. And I don't have expectations of him. It's just something I thought he'd enjoy. We use the curriculum for enjoyment and learning purposes; he determines if/when/how he wants to do it, if at all.

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.

ETA: Now I've gone back and read the posts in between my two posts. I hope I wasn't being too negative. I would like to subscribe to this thread, because I like the relaxed setting and I enjoy unschooling posts.
post #32 of 174
For about the past 2 years I have been slowly learning more and more about child-led learning and unschooling. It has become my passion to unlearn all the crap that leads us to believe that school is such a great thing.

I have 4 kids. 2 older...in public school. 2 younger whom I have been planning to unschool. I am unschooling them in everyway one can unschool a baby and a toddler.

often over the past year or so I try and talk my oldest 2 into staying home and home/unschooling. They don't want to. And for the most part I have been fine with that. Until now.

Ds2 isn't doing that great in school. He is 11. Grade 5. He is beginning to lose his self-esteem, is giving up on work because it's really hard for him. But he still wants to go because he's Mr. Jock popular and couldn't possibly live without pysEd!!
I am starting to rethink my stance on allowing him to make up his own mind on the type of education he recieves.

I know it will be at the expense of his self-worth if I allow him to continue to go to school.
I know he needs to be deschooled and we need to build on his sense of self.
I know this and I feel it's a delicate process that I am going to do slowly. I've just now hooked up with an unschooling community. And I am talking to my ds everyday about things that he wishes to do and learn about...preparing him that it is a possibility that he will be leaving school. I am waiting until dh does some reading on unschooling and everyone is on board with this decision. It is not something I take lightly to enforce a decision of such magnitude onto ds when he really doesn't want to...BUT...I know it's the right thing to do.

I am very interested in this thread and learning how each of you unschool your kids! And of course everyone will have different ideas of what unschooling is!! That's cool...that's what keep it interesting!!
post #33 of 174
Well, LeftField, it's possible I started one of those posts about "teaching toddlers academic skills". Although my daughter is 4, not a toddler, and I was asking about teaching her to read. Because we've read to her since birth, and lately we've been talking about reading, and who knows how to read that we know, and how anyone can learn how, and I was just getting the sense that she was going to ask me to teach her, and I had no clue how to do that or even if I should. I wasn't going to tie her to a chair and force "100 E-Z Lessons" on her or anything.

We are unschoolers, though we won't need to file any paperwork until DD1 would start first grade. My DH is a SAHD and I'm a WAHM, so we're both around to spend time w/the kids during the day.

DD2 is 18 months old and just doing what 18-month-olds do....usually wreaking havoc, LOL.

DD1 is 4 and lately has been very into writing the alphabet. I was doing a crossword puzzle over the weekend and she asked what it was and if she could help me. So I told her which letters went in which boxes and she wrote them in for me. She had a blast. She wrote me a Valentine's card yesterday (with me telling her which letters to write) and I will keep it forever.

A friend of mine got DD1 into doing simple word searches, so I've been looking for those online for her. She's also been drawing up a storm lately, mostly people with wild, funky hair. And she loves to play Memory.

Most people I talk with seem supportive of our choice to homeschool. When I explain unschooling, some of them are even more supportive and some are less. It's funny. I think many hear "homeschooling" and think of kids at home at desks all day long. When I talk about going to gymnastics and ice skating and the maple syrup festival and the museum and on and on, and how those are all opportunities for learning, some people are enthusiastic and others want to know how on earth my kids will ever learn "what they need to know" from doing that. 'course, most people can't tell me the things my kids "need to know" ... one person told me it was "things like what an oxbow lake is." I will remember that quote forever because it's just so funny.
post #34 of 174
What IS an oxbow lake? I never learned in my well-regarded top-of-the-line public & private schools.
post #35 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
eh, I'm not posting in this thread because I want to define unschooling. Or have a debate over what is unschooling and what isn't. I'm here to connect with people that self define as unschoolers. Radical, loose whatever.

I totally get that...but what is unschooling, yk? Some people say no curric, some people say curric ok, some people say follow the child, some people say follow the child but don't do anything formal. What is unschooling? What is loose?
post #36 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerTail View Post
Yup. When my dd decided she needed some algebra, we got her Saxon math books- she liked the way it was presented. Some people would call that 'using the Saxon Math curriculum.' I don't. I call it availing ourselves of whatever resources we find useful.
post #37 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancy926 View Post
Well, LeftField, it's possible I started one of those posts about "teaching toddlers academic skills". Although my daughter is 4, not a toddler, and I was asking about teaching her to read. Because we've read to her since birth, and lately we've been talking about reading, and who knows how to read that we know, and how anyone can learn how, and I was just getting the sense that she was going to ask me to teach her, and I had no clue how to do that or even if I should. I wasn't going to tie her to a chair and force "100 E-Z Lessons" on her or anything.
See, that's the thing that's tough. Are unschoolers frustrated when there is a thread with people asking questions about how to meet the needs of a child? When do certain questions become not unschooling questions.

Can there ever be direct instruction, per the child's interest, for unschoolers?

I know some people might think I am thinking too much..but I honestly wonder where we draw the line wrt what is unschooling.

I get that unschoolers want their own place...but what would consitutue an unschooling question, a relaxed hsing question, and a school at home question?

It might be that some reading this thread don'ty realize there is an ongoing thread in the tribal forum regarding unschoolers whho want a separate unschooling forum. So...if we do that, we need to define unschooling.
post #38 of 174
If I can figure out how, I will be subbing to this thread. We are unschoolers, it's the way I think will serve my kids the best.

DS is 4.5 and really into "construction" stuff. He loves anything related to construction, particularly construction trucks. He knows the names and functions of every piece of equipment there is. He knows the process of how to make a road. So do I because we discuss it 8586859 times a day. So he spends his time playing in sand with his miniature Tonka construction trucks, playing his "Big Construction" and "Tonka" computer games, watching Bob the Builder, and when we come across construction sites, we stop and watch and discuss what's going on there. We also read lots of books with themes of construction, trucks, transporation.

DD is 3 and likes whatever everyone else is doing. She really wants to learn to jump rope so she spends time talking about and attempting to do that. She also loves Dora the Explorer and drawing.

post #39 of 174
Ok, I feel the urge to apologize to anyone whose feelings I may have hurt. I've had a 4 year old asking how to read and I even tried the EZ book since he kept asking (we got bored and gave it up after 3 days). I understand children demanding and pulling to learn certain things. That's what I love about unschooling, that there is no right or wrong time for a child to learn; they just learn when they are ready. I still don't see it as "child-led" when a parent is trying to turn their toddler into a reader when that toddler isn't sincerely expressing interest and possibly isn't ready. But if I've hurt any feelings, I'm sorry. It's been in the back of my mind lately and it's one of those things that I cannot relate to in this forum. Anyway, if I hurt feelings, I'm sorry.
post #40 of 174
--What I meant is something like this. If I bought word flashcards for my 1 year old and worked with him in that way, he probably wouldn't have refused. He wouldn't really be old enough to have such a strong self-identification and interests to decline. He might just enjoy me spending the one on one time with him. But that's not child-led to me. Technically, he didn't say "no" and might even start getting excited when I pull the cards out simply because he's learned that that's how I interact with him. But it was clearly parent-led, to me. That's what I meant.--

I get this too. But I would counter that a child might really find something like this fun (lol I suppose, maybe. I don't know.) But the thing is children don't know all that is out there. Parents are always introducing new ideas and events to tiny children.

If we feed them junk, they eat. If we feed them healthier foods, they eat tha. Parents don't wait around for babies to ask them to read a book to them. They don't know what books are...a parent introduces a book and the child likes it. Is introducing a child to a book, or a flash card, or an apple not child-led?

I know...people are saying 'semantics' or something like that. But what is child led, actually? Where is the line between parents introducing the world to their children and children discovering everyhing on their own. 'hey, I know a cool game. It's with marbles, and you play like this" or "I know a cool word game, and it goes like this..."

I mean, what's the difference?

I am not mad or upset, for the record. I am vigorously participating in a discussion I think is very interesting.
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