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Unschooling Support Thread - Page 4

post #61 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancy926 View Post
I think we're overthinking, too.

To me, anyone not "in school" is homeschooling. You unschool if you don't use a curriculum. Oversimplified maybe, but it avoids a lot of confusion.

An oxbow lake, BTW, is a C-shaped lake that's made when a meandering stream changes course so it no longer meanders around the C shape. The ends of the C get cut off from the rest of the stream and become a lake (or pond).

NOW you can get on with life! LOL. I laughed out loud when my friend said that to me. I asked how it could possibly be necessary to know that to function as an adult. He did not have an answer.


OK, more overthinking on my part. What is a curric? Is studying for your driver's permit with the materials from DMV a curric? If (forgive me for using this example again) Unschoolma's child uses this to study (and I am not saying the child is), is that a curric? If Rain (Dar's dd) used pieces of a program/ curric to study for the math portion of the SAT, is she no longer an unschooler? What about the OP's dd using a curric to learn a language important to their family?

I wanna know. I'm so sorry for wanting to know!
post #62 of 174
I'm here!! I'm still getting through the rest of the post.
post #63 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I'd like to keep this thread for people who identify as unschoolers, or who find that the unschooling philosophy resonates with them, and would like to chat with other like-minded people.

Maybe start a new thread if you want to debate "what is unschooling?"
As a veteran relaxed- to- the- point -of- comatoe hser, I honestly want to support you.

What did you wanna chat about? My 7 yr old uses absolutely no formal program, has never been to school a second of her life, and has never had to do anything that one would consider 'school-y". If my experience with that can contribute to a chat, I'd love to chat.

My 14 yr old has been homeschooled since age 9.5, uses no formal curric, decides her day as she sees fit, and has only recently wanted to do a math program in case she decides to go to high school for a couple of years. She'd like to opt out of certain classes, and would have to pass a test or two .
post #64 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerTail View Post
Now my life's education is complete.

Thanks!
And imagine...he got that without sitting in a classroom.
post #65 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
My 14 yr old has been homeschooled since age 9.5, uses no formal curric, decides her day as she sees fit, and has only recently wanted to do a math program in case she decides to go to high school for a couple of years. She'd like to opt out of certain classes, and would have to pass a test or two .
So why was it that you decided to homeschool? Was it a difficult adjustment?
post #66 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkmilk View Post
So why was it that you decided to homeschool? Was it a difficult adjustment?
It was not a difficult adjustment at all for my dd. It was a harder adjustment for my 8 yr old, who hs'd for two years, and finally was blunt and told us he wanted to go back, and so he did.

We always wanted to hs (we'd been granolas from way back, all homebirths, all intact boys, all ebf etc) , but it was very uncommon and I didn't know anyone. That might be a lame reason, but that was mine.

I also got less neurotic as I got older and needed others less. But, hsing has boomed around here. You can't turn around without meeting a hser...and sometimes I am shocked by who is hsing. It's like "Who woulda thunk?" yk? :-) It's cool.

We were involved in a very nice private school for a number of years. Really good & thoughtful people who are incredibly supportive our our mixed lifestyle. We finally decided to step out on our own. It was hard to leave our little school family, however. It was also getting $$$$$$, and I wanted to do other things with that money.

We don't have any horror stories about school...but we were involved with some very unusually kind people at our school.

I would say, jump in, the water is way better than fine. I wish I had done it sooner.
post #67 of 174
We live on the relaxed/unschooling borderline.

Lately my 6 y.o. has been working on an "art book", my 4 year old is organizing a club. They're also working on plans to turn the 4 y.o.'s bike into a "Dora bike" once the weather warms up. A couple days ago I found my 6 year old writing math problems on the chalkboard in their room for the 4 year old to solve.

But they spend most of their days playing-- lots and lots and lots of make-believe going on here. :

I read a lot of the curriculum posts because I sometimes find interesting resources. I just introduced the idea of copywork to my older dd, and she liked it-- we're picking out pretty verses for her to copy and put in her art book next to the pictures she drawn. We tend to be a very math-sciencey family, and I like ideas to work more art, music and history into our days. My kids are always free to say no (unless its a field trip most of us will enjoy, and one would rather skip-- I don't have daytime babysitting.) I try to introduce things I think they'll like, not stuff to meet any particular academic goal (mostly-- I have to admit I kind of want to keep my 6 y.o. at "grade level" for the most basic skills : ) I'm taken with the Charlotte Mason approach lately-- I may see what my kids think of her style of nature study once the weather warms up.

ZM
post #68 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
As a veteran relaxed- to- the- point -of- comatoe hser, I honestly want to support you.

What did you wanna chat about?
First of all, I'm at "relaxed to the point of comatose"

Secondly- I'd like to chat about anything and everything as long as it doesn't raise my blood pressure!

Mostly I'm feeling frustrated and overwhelmed and not sure if I'm doing the right thing for ANY of my children right now. At the present moment, I have my oldest and youngest in school and my middle child home with me. I'm dealing with an enourmous amount of outside pressure regarding "what are you teaching her?" I feel like maybe I'm failing her by letting things go at her own pace rather than enforcing some kind of curriculum on her. But then I can't bring myself to actually enforce a curriculum that she finds boring, even if it interested her last week when we took it out of the library.

Then I have my other two in school. Am I doing them a disservice by that? I cringe when DS tells me about how he wanted to read but his teacher made him write instead. His report card came last week, and he got 3s and 4s in everything, except writing, which he got a 1 in. This tells me that he's not ready for writing yet, at least not for the kinds of expectations they have for him. Maybe his fingers simply aren't mature enough to write neatly yet. Then he comes bounding in making normal 5yo boy noises and with normal 5yo boy energy and I seriously doubt my ability to be home with him all day due to my own lack of energy and lack of ability to deal with noises. Sending him off to school where he can be loud and boisterous while I get peace and quiet seems like a logical choice. But filling out the paperwork for next year, I feel like I'm sending him into the lion's den.

I'm still not sure what I'm doing with my oldest next year but she's 12 and not quite so vulnerable. She knows full well that HSing is an option but she wants to check out the available middle schools as well.
post #69 of 174
I'll just be honest I kinda wish that all this what is and isn't unschooling had been in it's own thread instead of the unschooling support thread. I'm not mad. I guess this just isn't how I thought this thread would be.
post #70 of 174

subscribing

Greetings, Greetings. . .thanks for all your posts
This is a big help! My DS will be 4 in May and is definitely leading me, asking me what letters say, and what words letters begin with, and what is this, how do i write that. She sits with her flash cards and teaches herself how to write them. I'm very impressed by her eagerness to learn somethings, and understand when some concepts are a bit beyond her. . .We have had intentions to homeschooler her, and now, by reading these posts, i'm beginning to understand the "unschool" thang. It makes sense in so many ways.

I saw a couple of references to Charlotte Mason, i'll look into her, are there any books or resources that any of you may be able to recommend? (Mostly for me, but if there any child geared resources, i'd be interested to know that as well.)

thanky!:
post #71 of 174
We are unschoolers. My definition is easy to understand.

Answer your child's questions and find answers together
Offer advice, suggestions, and opportunities
If they have an interest in something, seek out something you think they'll enjoy to learn more about it
Don't make them sit down and do "subjects" every day (of course, some kids may ask for this kind of direction - still unschooling)
Don't worry about grades or keeping up with peers
Respect your child's thoughts and ideas

Older children who want to go to college usually know to take the steps to get there. This may include taking test-prep classes, buying books to study with, or finding a tutor. With driver's ed, they may have to study the book. If it gets them to their goal of college or driving or anything, they will do it. All still unschooling.

When dd was 2, she loved preschool/K workbooks and brought them to me to do with her almost every day for 2 years. I read her the directions, she asked questions, I showed her how to do things, what things meant, and even bought her more books when she finished what she had. She loved them until she didn't anymore. And that was fine. At 5 yrs od she wanted to learn cursive writing. I found older dd's unused cursive book, showed her what they asked for on each page, handed her a pencil, and she went at it voraciously (and finished the book in a week).

When we first started homeschooling, we talked about what her favorite things to do are. We had a nice list that included academic things like readalouds, science experiments, library trips, and math/reading website quizzes. From this list she made her own schedule for the week. She wanted some structure. She even asked if I would buy the Oak Meadow curriculum for her after she saw it online and played around with the sample pages. This is still unschooling. (she ended up changing her mind about Oak Meadow after researching it with me a little further).

Dd is on a competitive dance team that meets 5-7 days a week and is very structured and disciplined. She chooses to be there and it's become her passion. She knows it's her choice and owns it, giving 100% at practice and reaping many rewards from it (literally and figuratively). Seeing the effort and energy she puts into dance eased any worried I had of what too much freedom might cause.

Radical unschooling carries over that freedom into all aspects of life (not just education), trusting that the child will find his own rhythm in this world without parental demands. Trust is the key.

The recurring theme here is that curriculum or not, schedules or not, structure or not, is all unschooling as long as it's child-directed. I feel parents should always be suggesting, offering, and advising and the child should be able to take it or leave it - just like you'd do with a best friend. Life should be lived and it should be fun, thought provoking, and full of wonder. I will read the curriculum threads if that's what dd has chosen in her learning journey. And I enjoyed the "teaching my 5 y/o cursive" threads when she was at that point 5 yrs ago. I feel there might always be a good idea in there for us somewhere.

We are unschoolers because it just fits. My 3 children are learning so much and our lives couldn't be better. And have I mentioned how much fun it all is?
post #72 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
First of all, I'm at "relaxed to the point of comatose"

Secondly- I'd like to chat about anything and everything as long as it doesn't raise my blood pressure!

Mostly I'm feeling frustrated and overwhelmed and not sure if I'm doing the right thing for ANY of my children right now. At the present moment, I have my oldest and youngest in school and my middle child home with me. I'm dealing with an enourmous amount of outside pressure regarding "what are you teaching her?" I feel like maybe I'm failing her by letting things go at her own pace rather than enforcing some kind of curriculum on her. But then I can't bring myself to actually enforce a curriculum that she finds boring, even if it interested her last week when we took it out of the library.

Then I have my other two in school. Am I doing them a disservice by that? I cringe when DS tells me about how he wanted to read but his teacher made him write instead. His report card came last week, and he got 3s and 4s in everything, except writing, which he got a 1 in. This tells me that he's not ready for writing yet, at least not for the kinds of expectations they have for him. Maybe his fingers simply aren't mature enough to write neatly yet. Then he comes bounding in making normal 5yo boy noises and with normal 5yo boy energy and I seriously doubt my ability to be home with him all day due to my own lack of energy and lack of ability to deal with noises. Sending him off to school where he can be loud and boisterous while I get peace and quiet seems like a logical choice. But filling out the paperwork for next year, I feel like I'm sending him into the lion's den.

I'm still not sure what I'm doing with my oldest next year but she's 12 and not quite so vulnerable. She knows full well that HSing is an option but she wants to check out the available middle schools as well.
I have two in school as well, and it would be lovely to have them all at home. My oldest is going off to college in the fall, so that's not going to happen. The younger ds was hs'd for a couple of years, but after a time, made a well thought-out case for school. After a period of worry about that, and talking about it over and over and over again with some hsing friends, I feel certain that the child is doing what is right for him.

(I have some very patient hsing friends, let me tell you! I am not the only one in my group doing a combination, interestingly enough. I think it happens. You do have to go with what the children are expressing the need to do). That all said, if I thought the child was sufferring somehow, I wouldn't hesitate to bring him back home. He's a happy, thriving, sweet kid, so whatever works for him is clearly working. I try not to fret, and we participate in his school events. It's kind of nice that we can go to all the sports events, all the music and art events. Since the rest of us are hsers, our schedule is our own. If we want to see all of the inschool preformaces of something, we can.

If he chooses to come back home, he knows he can. Having the door open and welcoming is important to me. I also need to respect that he has freely and knowingly choosen this path for himself. He doesn't like it when I question him. "Mom, if I wanted to homeschool, I would. I knwo I can if I want. I don't want". To keep going on would tell him that I don't trust him, kwim? All this to say, I understand your concern about this.

I don't think we're doing our boy a disservice, so I wouldn't say you are, either...you are the mom and you can see whether the children are happy and thriving or not. You can make arrangements for change, or not, based on what your children need at any particular stage. Take it one year at a time, and be kind to yourselves as you get used to things.

the what are you teaching her part will get easiewr to deal with in time. I tend not to get into specifics with most folks. If the person is not invested in my life, or I don't want to discuss it further, I might say "We are reading a lot about poetry/ancients myths/Salem witch trials, right now. Sometimes people just want to know what you're doing. I try to answer it basically. If it's aperson who would like a greater discussion and is open, I might entertain that for a bit. As time passes, you may be able to feel less anxious about people who are trying to make you anxious. That's what I found for me, anyway. If the person is caring and open, I might even say 'We're trying to figure out a schedule that works well for us. We're still getting our feet wet" or something along that idea. Maybe add, "We sure do read a lot." I found old people especially really like to hear that.


I might consider taking the youngest out. There really is plenty of time. I know it seems crazy and difficult at first, but the younger they are, the easier it is. If you can get a couple of things going with other hsers, you can get him conected with other busy little ones. Our hsing group has a free gym day that the mothers of small ones enjoy a lot. He could also still do library story time at his age (if he likes it) and maybe a little Y gymnastics or free swim thing. The other thing you might consider, if you can, is to switch off playdates here and there with another hsing parent so you can have a morning to yourself for a bit of peace. I don't think there is anything wrong to want a little peace.

i think it's perfectly natural to have worries when we undertake new adventures. It's helpful for me to remember that I'm open to what needs doing. We can be flexible... the children are loved, and we are dedicated, respectful parents. We're trying to go about our lives as best we can. Nobody expects perfection, and nobody is perfect. We just have to stay thoughtful and open.
post #73 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
I'll just be honest I kinda wish that all this what is and isn't unschooling had been in it's own thread instead of the unschooling support thread. I'm not mad. I guess this just isn't how I thought this thread would be.
Yeah that. And I'm not mad, either.

However, if we are going to do definitions, I like what Citymom said, all of it. Just : that I'm not articulate enough to have said it first!



Quote:
Answer your child's questions and find answers together
Offer advice, suggestions, and opportunities
If they have an interest in something, seek out something you think they'll enjoy to learn more about it
Don't make them sit down and do "subjects" every day (of course, some kids may ask for this kind of direction - still unschooling)
Don't worry about grades or keeping up with peers
Respect your child's thoughts and ideas

Older children who want to go to college usually know to take the steps to get there. This may include taking test-prep classes, buying books to study with, or finding a tutor. With driver's ed, they may have to study the book. If it gets them to their goal of college or driving or anything, they will do it. All still unschooling.

When dd was 2, she loved preschool/K workbooks and brought them to me to do with her almost every day for 2 years. I read her the directions, she asked questions, I showed her how to do things, what things meant, and even bought her more books when she finished what she had. She loved them until she didn't anymore. And that was fine. At 5 yrs od she wanted to learn cursive writing. I found older dd's unused cursive book, showed her what they asked for on each page, handed her a pencil, and she went at it voraciously (and finished the book in a week).

When we first started homeschooling, we talked about what her favorite things to do are. We had a nice list that included academic things like readalouds, science experiments, library trips, and math/reading website quizzes. From this list she made her own schedule for the week. She wanted some structure. She even asked if I would buy the Oak Meadow curriculum for her after she saw it online and played around with the sample pages. This is still unschooling. (she ended up changing her mind about Oak Meadow after researching it with me a little further).

Dd is on a competitive dance team that meets 5-7 days a week and is very structured and disciplined. She chooses to be there and it's become her passion. She knows it's her choice and owns it, giving 100% at practice and reaping many rewards from it (literally and figuratively). Seeing the effort and energy she puts into dance eased any worried I had of what too much freedom might cause.

Radical unschooling carries over that freedom into all aspects of life (not just education), trusting that the child will find his own rhythm in this world without parental demands. Trust is the key.

The recurring theme here is that curriculum or not, schedules or not, structure or not, is all unschooling as long as it's child-directed. I feel parents should always be suggesting, offering, and advising and the child should be able to take it or leave it - just like you'd do with a best friend. Life should be lived and it should be fun, thought provoking, and full of wonder. I will read the curriculum threads if that's what dd has chosen in her learning journey. And I enjoyed the "teaching my 5 y/o cursive" threads when she was at that point 5 yrs ago. I feel there might always be a good idea in there for us somewhere.
post #74 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
I'll just be honest I kinda wish that all this what is and isn't unschooling had been in it's own thread instead of the unschooling support thread. I'm not mad. I guess this just isn't how I thought this thread would be.
Here, here!

It makes it difficult to follow the conversation because there are several going on at once here. If there was an unschooling subforum, then there could be separate threads for "what is unschooling?" "support" "chit chat" "how do I get my older child on board?" etc. etc. all while being clear that the discussions would take an unschooling slant.
post #75 of 174
Quote:
I'll just be honest I kinda wish that all this what is and isn't unschooling had been in it's own thread instead of the unschooling support thread. I'm not mad. I guess this just isn't how I thought this thread would be.
me too.
post #76 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post

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.
Can you point me to that thread - I'm not coming up with much trying to search it out.
thanks
Karen
post #77 of 174
It's not in the tribes, it's in Questions and Suggestions should be on the first page.

here is the link http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=612379
post #78 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
It's not in the tribes, it's in Questions and Suggestions should be on the first page.
Thanks!
post #79 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan View Post
Here, here!

It makes it difficult to follow the conversation because there are several going on at once here. If there was an unschooling subforum, then there could be separate threads for "what is unschooling?" "support" "chit chat" "how do I get my older child on board?" etc. etc. all while being clear that the discussions would take an unschooling slant.
I agree. Unschoolers, and all hsers, have varrying needs and it would be nice to have a better understanding about what unschooling is. In this one thread alone some people are saying using a curric is unschooling & some are saying it isn't. The OP stated she felt frustrated with the curric threads, so right off, I was worried whether offerring support was appropraite, as my oldest dd has a math curric. I felt I wanted to say that right away, for honesty's sake.

As an experienced hser, I think I have support to offer others, but I don't want to further frustrate an unschooler with wrong support. I think a person who uses a curric sometimes, or always or never, can offer offer support to a person who uses a curric all the time, sometimes or never. But it's a tricky thing at times. SOme people want the clear distinction (and I want to know what that is) and others are ok with whatever.

Nobody is hsing quite as we are, but I don't feel upset with how others do things, but it's easy to offend when the topic is murky or sensitive. I like clarity.
post #80 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan View Post
Here, here!

It makes it difficult to follow the conversation because there are several going on at once here. If there was an unschooling subforum, then there could be separate threads for "what is unschooling?" "support" "chit chat" "how do I get my older child on board?" etc. etc. all while being clear that the discussions would take an unschooling slant.
Why yes, that's very true.

re·duc·ti·o ad ab·sur·dum (rĭ-dŭk'tē-ō ăd əb-sûr'dəm, -zûr'-, -shē-ō)
n., pl. -o·nes ad absurdum (-ō'nēz, -nās).
Disproof of a proposition by showing that it leads to absurd or untenable conclusions.

I'm no mathematician, but trying to keep things straight in this one thread sure looks like a good argument for a subforum.
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