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May Unschoolers Support - Page 4

post #61 of 292
Hooray on the bike riding!! I can remember the joy of that accomplishment many, many, (many, many) years later.

about the 'we play poker a lot!' That is definitely math and advanced critical thinking.

Pat
post #62 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by minxin View Post

He's been working on learning letter sounds lately, and a few days ago he told my mother "Nana! B sounds like buh. B is for boobies!" He just weaned a month ago (my mother thinks BF is "weird and gross") and she was mortified. I told him he was correct, and he said that B is also for big butts!
Sounds like he is "studying" science biology and anatomy and physiology. A genius from breast feeding, of course.


Pat
post #63 of 292
My 3 yo dd (4 in July) took a box of unsharpened pencils out of the cupboard yesterday and dumped them on the floor. I figured I'd just let her play with them and pick them up later.

On my way back in the room about 10 minutes later she called me over, "Mama look! That spells Ivy!" (her name) And sure enough she had a clear "I" a kinda confused looking "V" and a very clear capitol "Y" all made out of pencils!

Then during our afternoon walk she found 7 branches on the ground shaped like "Y's" (the storms knocked a lot of trees over around here)
post #64 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by lillbeetle View Post
Hey everyone!!

My DS turned 3 in March, and we have always known we would "homeschool". But what it sounds like from this thread is that we lean way more towards "unschooling". I'm not sure, so maybe you all could clear this up for me.
I've always thought home schooling was where you just don't send your child to school and allow them to learn in a natural, non-conformist, interest-based fashion. I want my son to experience and learn from life, not school. Is this unschooling instead?
Does home school always involve an accredited program? Does unschooling always involve not following an accredited program? If you are unschooling but maybe want to prepare your DC for college (should they choose to go because they want to be an astronomer, film maker, chef, etc.....) How do you make sure they are prepared to enter and be accepted into the higher education system?
I'm asking because it definitely sounds like we are unschoolers, but we also want to prepare DS to be able to take things like chemistry classes and such at the local college when he is in his teen years (if he wants to).
Is this possible with unschooling?
Thanks for your input, and for reading this ramble.
Homeschooling just means not sending your child to school. You can sit them down for 6 hours a day and simulate a school experience and call it homeschooling or you can let your child lead the way and do nothing structured and it is still homeschooling. You can purchase a curriculum, make up your own, or do neither. Cyber schools or virtual charter schools are just regular school but a telecommuting version. Since they have a little more flexibility, those people are often active in the homeschooling community, especially for the social aspects. Unschooling is a type of homeschooling as you described (natural, interest-led, etc). Unschooled people may decide to study certain things because they are interested in preparing themselves for an occupation or college. If your ds wants to go to college, he will want to do the things neccessary to achieve that goal.
post #65 of 292
Yay for bike riding! I still remember learning to do that.

My kiddos are off at the theatre seeing Spiderman 3. Spiderman is Ds's fave superhero so he was totally excited. There were so many other teens there. Too cute.

We're waiting on them to call for a ride and then we are having homemade pizzas. Yummy!
post #66 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Whoohoo! We have a bike rider!! We spent about an hour at the park and she's still very wobbly, and can't ride very far, and doesn't have much control over the bike, but she can get it started and pedal about a dozen yards or so before having to stop. And she can stop without hurting herself!
Yeah! Ds loves riding -- he'd literally ride all day!
post #67 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
My 3 yo dd (4 in July) took a box of unsharpened pencils out of the cupboard yesterday and dumped them on the floor. I figured I'd just let her play with them and pick them up later.

On my way back in the room about 10 minutes later she called me over, "Mama look! That spells Ivy!" (her name) And sure enough she had a clear "I" a kinda confused looking "V" and a very clear capitol "Y" all made out of pencils!

Then during our afternoon walk she found 7 branches on the ground shaped like "Y's" (the storms knocked a lot of trees over around here)

That's awesome! I just love that kind of stuff! It's such an affirmation of children's innate drive to explore and discover!
post #68 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by lillbeetle View Post
I've always thought home schooling was where you just don't send your child to school and allow them to learn in a natural, non-conformist, interest-based fashion. I want my son to experience and learn from life, not school. Is this unschooling instead?
It can get confusing because people use the terms interchangably. I'm guilty of that myself although technically I don't consider us homeschoolers at all -- the words "home school" imply some kind of schooling is involved, just at home. We don't do school, period. Unschooling is learning without the things that make school school. So for instance, we don't decide for our kids when or what or how they will learn. We believe that they will learn what they truly need to learn to be happy in life is what they will want to learn. We see this in small children -- so eager and full of drive and curiosity! It's assumed that we lose that naturally at some point (at around age 6-8, "coincidentally" the early years of schooling.) Unschoolers don't believe that it's lost naturally, they believe that schooling obscures it. They believe that the desire to learn what we need and to be self-motivated is inherent in each individual, and that all that is needed from the outside is support and access to opportunities and resources.
Quote:
Does home school always involve an accredited program? Does unschooling always involve not following an accredited program?
No to the first question. In some states you have to show evidence that the children are learning according to the state standards, but that doesn't necessarily mean using an accredited program; it can mean using a commercial curriculum, a curriculum that you make up yourself, or keeping a portfolio of your child's work and notes about what "subjects" they've covered, or, in some states, they only need to be tested. Where I live, the only requirements are that the child take a standardized test once every three years. That said, a lot of parents don't agree with the requirements and go "underground", not registering with the school district at all so that they're not monitored.

To the second question, unschooling can be anything the learner wants it to be. Some unschoolers do workbooks, take classes, that sort of thing, but the key is that they're doing it by their choice because they want to and find value in it. Although I would have to wonder why anyone *would* choose to use such a program -- personally, I've been extremely unimpressed by every one I've seen. And from an individual learner's perspective -- *my* perspective as a learner -- it makes zero sense to follow someone else's ideas of what constitutes a proper "education". I have plenty enough interests of my own to take up my time, without taking on someone else's interests as well!

Quote:
If you are unschooling but maybe want to prepare your DC for college (should they choose to go because they want to be an astronomer, film maker, chef, etc.....) How do you make sure they are prepared to enter and be accepted into the higher education system?
You don't. They do. Kids are interested in this from an early age, what it will be like when they are adults, how they can make money, what sorts of things they might like to be doing. My oldest son (age 10) talks about getting his driver's license (we let him drive on country backroads, shhh) and knows he'll have to study and past a multiple choice test to do so, and that it is up to *him* to make that happen. He likes to cook and create new recipes, and he talks often about the restaurant he's going to own some day, his plans for it, and what he's going to do to get the experience and money needed to be able to do that. That's just an example. I expect that if he was inclined towards academia or some type of science career, he would already be showing interest in these things. He might be mathematically inclined, and showing interest in star patterns and asking for a telescope. If an astronomy career was truly right for him, he'd *naturally* want to be pursuing the sorts of things that would set him up for it long before it was time to enter college (whether that "time" be age 15, 20, 30, or 50.) My job is only to be aware of his inclinations and give him access to resources (including myself.)
post #69 of 292
This week has been laid back. We've got a sick baby so we've just been hanging at home. Dd has been going out to play everyday. Until this year I've had her stay up on our gated deck. This year as long as I'm in the dining room or kitchen she can play in the back yard (it isn't fenced, yet, dh & I are debating that). Anyway, she is having so much fun just exploring, picking tons of dandelions for me, looking under logs at bugs (the back 20ft or so of our yard is trees that we leave natural to hide the neighbors). She is having a blast.
post #70 of 292
I finally got 3 whole uninterupted days off work, so me and ds have actually been doing some stuff together. (I'm the manager of a restaurant in a large arena. Our hockey team made the playoffs, so my hoped for spring break hasn't materialized yet, sigh.)

Ds spent the early part of the week fishing, and reading Outdoor Canada, decided to keep a fishing journal after reading about pattern fishing in the mag. Other than fishing, most of ds's time has been spent reading, playing some form of card game, practising Go, and trying to keep our new cat and old cat apart (they haven't exactly warmed up to each other yet.)

We spent Wednesday sleeping, reading and relaxing, then went out for gellati with my sister and nieces, and a long bike ride. Last night we rode down to sign up ds for football, then went to my favourite book store for dinner and lots of bargain section books. Ds picked out Rats, about, well, rats in NY city, and Acquainted with the Night, one of my favorite books, by Christopher Dewdney. I found a book called Pagan Holiday, about ancient Roman travellers, and Humboldts Cosmos, about how Humboldt's journey changed science and how the universe was perceived, which ds wants to read when I'm done. He also got a biiiiig animal guide (aparently the dozen or so we already have are not enough), so he spent last night telling me all about the odd or interesting animals he's found (vampire squid, seriously!)

I picked up ds's insect field guide to flip through the other day, and now I'm hooked, and have been reading it in bed every night, interspersed with a really cool book called Medieval Children. It's been fascinating, childhood, and parenting, really haven't changed at all in 1000 years, there are references from priests and writers talking about parents letting their kids run wild, not teaching them properly, not sending them to school to learn better than their parents, and letting their kids swear and talk about bodily functions. I strongly recommend this book, if only to show to inlaws (the more things change...)
We went to the bookstore looking specifically for field guides, ds reads them cover to cover in bed. His favorite, from the local library and I've never been able to find it in a bookstore, is on French Cheeses,

I had to laugh hearing about another Godzilla fan. Ds had a serious Godzilla (or I should say, Gojira, since he corrected me so many times ) phase when he was 8 or so, and he saw a bunch of Godzilla movies at the book store last night, and started reminiscing about all the Godzilla movies he'd made up.

It rained all day today, so we spent the day reading, cleaning, cooking, and ds played video games with his buddy from downstairs, and we both spent at least 5 hours today on Stellarium, after seeing it on another thread here in the homeschooling forum. It's a really cool planetarium simulation program, and we spent lots of time watching the path of the moon for the next 7000 years, how the sun moves through the year at the north and south poles, and matching up sun movement to the soltices and equinoxes, and looking through the Egyptian and Polynesian constellations. Totally cool.
post #71 of 292

Hey everyone...

...great to see everyone come out of lurkdom...I didn't realize that so many of us were here! I was too late for the April thread, so I decided to jump into this one.

Yesterday, I took my ds to a screening from public health, looking for a way to get him some speech therapy faster. We have been doing "all the things" that the books say you should do to encourage talking, but he will be 4 in June, and still the majority of his speech is not understandable other than to family, and he still uses only 2-3 word sentences. We have also known for some time that he has gross motor issues, like not being able to climb stairs, tending to lay down all the time to play, and even panicking at something simple like being set on the edge of a tire track in the snow. It was VERY HARD emotionally for me to bring him there...I have been thinking so long that he would outgrow this and being an "anti-establishment/don't try to mold us with the same cookie cutter" kind of person I was dreading the appointment, not wanting people to see him as a "deficiency" or a pathology or viewing me as failing as a parent, yet knowing that these issues are affecting his daily life more and more. He has a referral to PT and OT as well, and they were all very great and playful with him. The PT said to me that he was such a little sweetheart, and I almost cried...that yes, he in spite of all this he is still my sweet sweet boy. I am trying to get some help for dd as well (from an OT point of view, the more I have read, the more I am convinced she has some major sensory integration issues related to her problems in large group situations, tactile sensitivities, etc...and I see in her brother a carbon copy of her at the same age but with her speech not as bad) but being a homeschooler there is basically NOTHING for her outside the school system here other than private stuff from the sound of it. So the only thing I can do now is get a referral to the child development clinic in the big city and see what they say. As you can guess I am going through major mommy guilt right now, thinking that I should have done this, or this, or fearing that my unschooling decision will be questioned, etc.

As far as living as life learners though, we are having fun. We are moving to a nearby community about 5 km away by the end of the month, the kids are looking forward to their own rooms, and a yard. We have been planning a garden together. Today, we went to the library for our haul of books, and the librarian pointed out to me that we had hit over 1000 items signed out in the last year We get about 4-5 bags of books every 10 days or so. I met a lady who had older kids there, I came up to her and asked if she was a homeschooler, and she was and we exchanged phone numbers (yay!) We came home and had snacks, dd played with her "office" ( a box full of envelopes, 1c stamps, papers, etc that she writes me letters with...great noncoerced writing and spelling practice! ) and ds did playdough, we had a quick game of Monopoly JR. before I went to work finishing a coworkers shift, from 4-8pm ( I am a part time RN) Tommorrow we go garage sale-ing, looking for swingsets and such advertised at some of them for our new yard, and of course, pack!

Great thread, btw! I love peeking into all your lives!

Tina, dp James, dd Stephanie (almost 7) and ds Jonathan (almost 4) here in Manitoba Canada
post #72 of 292
Quote:
originally posted by fourlittlebirds
You don't. They do. Kids are interested in this from an early age, what it will be like when they are adults, how they can make money, what sorts of things they might like to be doing. My oldest son (age 10) talks about getting his driver's license (we let him drive on country backroads, shhh) and knows he'll have to study and past a multiple choice test to do so, and that it is up to *him* to make that happen. He likes to cook and create new recipes, and he talks often about the restaurant he's going to own some day, his plans for it, and what he's going to do to get the experience and money needed to be able to do that. That's just an example. I expect that if he was inclined towards academia or some type of science career, he would already be showing interest in these things. He might be mathematically inclined, and showing interest in star patterns and asking for a telescope. If an astronomy career was truly right for him, he'd *naturally* want to be pursuing the sorts of things that would set him up for it long before it was time to enter college (whether that "time" be age 15, 20, 30, or 50.) My job is only to be aware of his inclinations and give him access to resources (including myself.)
This is what I've thought for a long time. I've always known that I want my kids to grow up loving learning, knowing what they love to do, and following that love. Unschooling sounds like a good plan (or unplan?) to me.
Thanks for the input, i guess it's all just vernacular when it comes to what we call the education of our children when it's in the hands of parents, not strangers.
post #73 of 292
On Wednesday I was washing the dishes in the morning and thought, 'Why not just pack up and go camping!!'. We were on the road by 3am that night! My dh has been pining to show us the place where he grew up. I knew that we would never go camping anywhere else until we finally went and visited the place he grew up. It was absolutely awsome. We had no money, but we didnt care. We'll be skint this week but it will be ok. It was wonderful to see the places he remembered, his childhood memories came to life for me. It was absolutely wonderful. Here are some pictures...



On the Road...

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y10...lymouth001.jpg

Upon Arriving in Plymouth... getting out to stretch our feet, feeling the sea air blowing...

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y10...lymouth002.jpg

Plymouth's Beautiful Sea Front

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y10...lymouth011.jpg


At the Mayflower Steps

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y10...lymouth005.jpg



http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y10...lymouth007.jpg

Me and Denis

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y10...lymouth014.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y10...lymouth012.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y10...lymouth023.jpg


Sophie and Josh at the Sea side


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y10...lymouth015.jpg



Julie



http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y10...lymouth029.jpg


The KIDS...


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y10...lymouth027.jpg

Waking up... IT WAS FREEZING...


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y10...lymouth038.jpg



We were well prepared... I only forgot the pillows and the duvets and it was FREEZING at night and in the morning. We loved it so much that we are thinking about moving there.

gen
post #74 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by alima View Post

I had to laugh hearing about another Godzilla fan. Ds had a serious Godzilla (or I should say, Gojira, since he corrected me so many times )
Yep. LOL DD reminds me too.

And yah for Spiderman3! DH and I saw that and really liked it, especially the humor and the graphics. DD likes to wait til movies like that are on DVD before she sees them. Then she can control the volume and decide where to fast forward, if necessary.

Those pics are great, genifer. I love spontaneous trips...well, I used to. LOL I've gotten kinda neurotic as I've grown older.

Yesterday, my dd, 8, asked me what a "d*ck" was. And that led the conversation to anatomy and she wanted to know how sperm was made. We talked about how our eggs are in our bodies already and she thought that was trippy.

Her reading has really taken off! She still comes to me to ask about certain words but she is very independent in her reading. My older dd, nearly 18, and I were talking on the phone last night and she asked what reading level little dd is...I have no idea! LOL I just get her books from all levels and she reads them no matter what level they are.

Speaking of my older dd, she is graduating high school next month (she lives with her dad in CA) and will come to Prague for the summer! As a present, I'm taking her to Paris for a few days. We're both really excited!!!
post #75 of 292
Busy week--I'm trying to keep up with this thread, love to hear what everyone is up to.

The weather here is finally spring-like and we've been outside a lot, gardening, hiking, etc. This week we saw snakes and toads and turtles, butterflys and of course all kinds of birds. We've got the ever-present home improvement projects going on, we're building a robot (a starter bot--it's just the 7 y/o and me) dd is chatting up a storm with kids from the L&L conference, took a tour of a local city and waterfall, we've been watching Oscar Wilde plays on dvd, and this weekend we have a dog walk-a-thon, a birthday party and an asian festival to go to. whew.
post #76 of 292
Thread Starter 
I am so happy to see more mothers posting in here! I just KNEW there were more unschoolers around! I'd like to see us have our own sub-forum, truth be told. I personally know even more unschoolers on MDC that don't read or post in the homeschooling forum. I think they would if we had our own place!

Even so, it's wonderful to read what everyone's doing, and I enjoy knowing there are so many children benefitting from the freedoms of unschooling.
post #77 of 292
Hi all! Genifer, great pics! I am so not spontaneous about trips, but I think that's because I haven't been able to as much in the past years.

we had girl scouts yesterday and the girls chose to work on math themed badges so Addie was thrilled. This girl asks me to write out sheets full of math problems and get upset if I made them too easy. *so* not me as a child. They did a game where you assigned numbers to letters (a-1 b-2 c-3 etc) and figure out your names value. They were trying to find words that would equal 100 exactly, which is hard! One of the moms and her family came up with WIZARDS over dinner later that day, and now I want to figure more out.
post #78 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by genifer View Post
On Wednesday I was washing the dishes in the morning and thought, 'Why not just pack up and go camping!!'. We were on the road by 3am that night!
Oh, that looks like so much fun! How neat to be able to just spontaneously do something like that.

I've been trying to get through the last couple of weeks of classes, and Rain has been getting ready for the annual dance gala at the arts center. They actually have 4 separate hour-long performances, rather than one massive 4 hour show, which I think is wonderful... however, because Rain dances so much she'll be in all of them, dancing in a total of ten numbers. So she's busy... plus she fills in as a teacher assistant there when people are sick, which she's doing right now... plus she's been babysitting an 8 week old baby ten hours a week - his dad is one of my classmates, and his mom had to go back to work two weeks before the ends of the semester. It is so amazing to arrive at their house and see my daughter with a teeny baby tucked up against her chest.

Dar
post #79 of 292
I'm loving reading how everyone is doing too. It seems like unschooling has become much more common since I was a kid (I was schooled-at-home but had a good friend who was unschooled.)

Anyway . . . yesterday ds2 was teething hard, so that kind of dominated the day.

We did go to the thrift store though, and picked up a copy of Emma. When we got home, ds1, who is 2 y and 9 months old, decided to try to read it. When I noticed him with it he was just losing his patience. He threw up his arms in exasperation and yelled "read book . . . HARD!!" He was so frustrated. It made me want to just melt in gooeyness at his cuteness, but I tried not to be patronizing. I offered to read him the book. Okay. That held his attention for, oh, about two minutes. I offered to read with him anotehr children's boo kthat he knows all the words to. No Mom, YOU read that book-- I'm gonna read Emma.

Okay . . . . he is getting very frustrated again. He points to the word "Emma" on the title page and asks if it is some word. No. That word is "Em-ma." Okay. He turns the page. He sees the heading with the word "Chapter". He points to it. "Emma!" He says. "No, that's the word "Chapter."" I say. I try to work with him with it, telling him what words are, but I want to head him off before he gets too frustrated. He is such a perfectionist and very sensitive and easily embarrassed if he can't do things "just like Mom". So I started reading the book he is familiar with. eventually, he joined in, and we ended on a happy note.

But I still heard him muttering to himself later . . . "read books HARD . . . read books HARD."

That evening, in the bath, I taught ds1 to blow bubbles under the water with his nose and mouth. He thought that was just the best. I have been nervous about my son being around water in the past, but now I am trying to teach the boys good water skills instead of passing on my nervousness to them. Then I sat ds2, 6mo, in the bath too (the water wasn't too high) and let him get his face wet a good deal. I let him explore his own water-boundaries and get a sense of crawling and sitting in the water. Instead of telling the boys not to splash, I let them splash each other as much as they wanted to. To my surprise, I learned that if the baby got a lot of water splashed in his face-- he was fine. He just rubbed his face some and he was back to playing. The biggest lesson of the day may have been learned by me . . .
post #80 of 292
Loved your photos, gen. Looks like fun. I love camping . . .
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