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Ok, did someone here add this entry? - Page 2

post #21 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
It's saying that the stereotype of unschoolers as anti-intellectual, isolationist, luddite, etc., is wrong. It's like saying, "I'm not a stupid girl." That doesn't mean that I think all girls are stupid, or even that any girls are stupid, just that I'm a girl and I'm not stupid.

Yes, that's what I was trying (and failing) to say!
post #22 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
This seems to be an excellent example of how people can read the exact same thing and have completely different interpretations of it!
This thread has been fascinating in that way.
post #23 of 57
My honest opinion is that it sounds like a 13 year old wrote it. :

I also felt as though it was very anti-intellectual and it probably isn't going to convince anyone outside of the unschooling community that unschooling is a wonderful way to learn. I think that, at worst, it will reinforce some negative myths about unschooling, particularly with the very poor writing style. Before anyone proof-reads my post in an attempt to point out my grammatical errors, I want to say that at least I use complete sentences. :

Anyway, I, personally, would rewrite the middle section as follows:
"They learn from living in the real world, rather than spending years studying it."
post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
It's saying that the stereotype of unschoolers as anti-intellectual, isolationist, luddite, etc., is wrong.
In my very humble opinion, it's reinforcing the myth of unschoolers being anti-intellectual. It's very poorly written. Aside from the issue of the sentence fragments and the limited vocabulary (i.e. adjectives: cool, awesome), there are probably several ways of expressing that unschoolers are not necessarily limited to a life of simple trade work. I swear it sounds (to me) like a 13 year old wrote it. I think it does more harm than good. I would like to hear from someone who has changed their negative perception of unschooling from reading this definition.
post #25 of 57
Thread Starter 
Actually it could totally have been a 13 year old that wrote it. LOL That website is pretty popular with many age groups, but I think it has an especially devoted youth following.

Also something just came to me.

Sometimes things are funny or silly, and for me, that's okay. It doesn't have to be eloquent, deep, or completely grammatically correct for me to enjoy it or get something out of it.

I've known people that can't get past error or the like to see/appreciate humor or some other element. No judgement from me, we are who we are I guess, but I think that might be the case here somewhat. It's just a difference in style maybe. Or I am totally wrong and just , but I've got time to kill before dinner so why not.

Also, I seriously doubt it was intended to change much of anything. That's not really the purpose of that website as I understand it. I think it's just a fun thing and perhaps a convienent place to sound off about issues and share an opinion.
post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
This seems to be an excellent example of how people can read the exact same thing and have completely different interpretations of it!

... It's entirely possible that the author of that quote does live on a farm and is tired of hearing about how they must be sheltered if they don't go to school, and stupid if they don't use a strict curriculum.
Interesting take. Thanks for posting that.
post #27 of 57
Quote:
This thread has been fascinating in that way.
It most certainly has!

I own a farm and was raised on one as well, and I do not take offense at that quote. My neighbor, who is also a farmer, would most definitely not take offense at it either...though he drives his tractor with a bottle of bourbon at the helm, so I don't know how clear headed he is.

Quote:
In my very humble opinion, it's reinforcing the myth of unschoolers being anti-intellectual.
See, that's the great thing ~ as an unschooler I am not interested in whether or not an individual or even society at large believes my children are being raised in an intellectual environment, or even whether or not their education is worthy of fostering intellect. I guess that makes me anti-intellectual though!
post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
In other words:

a) I could waste years ostensibly learning about the world without actually being in it and without actually learning much at all.

b) As an unschooler, that isn't going to happen.

I don't understand how unschooling guarantees worldly knowledge. Maybe I'm taking the statement too literally, but it's because I don't have unlimited funds to travel the world that I, as the parent, make a point to provide this knowledge through books. Sure, DS can spend all his time outside, without anyone telling him what is worth knowing and what isn't, and he would certainly learn alot about our small city, but the world?? I don't see how that's possible. It seems like with unschooling, the quality of the education still is dependent upon the child's environment and the amount of effort put forth by the parents. The child is still being taught, though certainly in a more subtle and child-friendly way than you see in a school. It seems like unschooling parents are denying their natural role as teacher by saying their kids are 100% in responsible for their own education. I feel like some credit is owed to the parent for all the time spent reading aloud, explaining things and answering questions, transporting kids to museums--that's teaching! To me, parenting and teaching are the same things. Even talking is a taught skill. Though it seems to arise spontaneously, it is still something babies are taught (by example) to do by their elders.

Also the philosophy of "trusting your child" to learn everything they need doesn't make sense to me, especially wrt younger kids. Parenting involves making choices for kids. When I make choices about what toys to buy, what books to read at bedtime, what activities to do, etc. I have a specific intention and that is to create a learning rich environment. I want my DS to know the story of Odysseus, so I make a point to read it to him. By the definitions I've come across on this board, my intent to impart knowledge on my DS means I wouldn't be considered an unschooler. But how can you not do this with young kids?

I am perfectly fine admitting that I don't trust my 5 yr old to learn it if the need arises. Mostly because I know how rare knowledge of Greek mythology is the imperative factor in a life-or-death situation. Of course, this is coming from the belief that there is inherent value in knowing things that don't appear very "useful" on the surface. It seems unschoolers don't see any information as more important to know than others. Is this the case? Would an unschooler be automatically opposed to say, the concept of a literary canon? Forgive me, I've been in school a loooong time so I have a really hard time wrapping my brain around that concept.

(sorry this became so long and rambling!)
post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mz_libbie22 View Post
I don't understand how unschooling guarantees worldly knowledge.
That wasn't what I meant, so let me rephrase: as an unschooler I am free to devote all my learning time to living, and the world around me, and that which I choose to surround myself with specifically because it is useful or enjoyable or relevant to me. Whatever time I spend learning will therefore not be wasted time, because my learning is chosen by *me* for these most valid reasons. I do not have to waste time learning about things that I am not ready for or that are not important to me just because someone else has decided that they should be important to me.

Quote:
Maybe I'm taking the statement too literally, but it's because I don't have unlimited funds to travel the world that I, as the parent, make a point to provide this knowledge through books. Sure, DS can spend all his time outside, without anyone telling him what is worth knowing and what isn't, and he would certainly learn alot about our small city, but the world??
I'm sorry, I just don't get how you're going from "I could waste years ostensibly learning about the world without actually being in it and without actually learning much at all" to the notion that I don't think the books and other media are useful?

Quote:
It seems like with unschooling, the quality of the education still is dependent upon the child's environment and the amount of effort put forth by the parents.
Yes, because children in our society are dependent on those with the power to provide resources and opportunities.

Quote:
The child is still being taught, though certainly in a more subtle and child-friendly way than you see in a school.
There are different kinds of teaching that actually resemble each other so little that in certain situations the word "teach" becomes less appropriate than facilitate, consult, help, learn. In most schooling or homeschooling situations, the adult initiates and guides the learning process. In unschooling, the child does. They are not the same thing, at all.

Quote:
It seems like unschooling parents are denying their natural role as teacher by saying their kids are 100% in responsible for their own education.
I've never said that, although "teacher" is a loaded word so I tend not to use it to describe the information exchange that occurs between myself and others. But I do learn from many sources around me, including other people. So do my children.

Quote:
I feel like some credit is owed to the parent for all the time spent reading aloud, explaining things and answering questions, transporting kids to museums--that's teaching! To me, parenting and teaching are the same things.
This is an issue of semantics. I don't think of myself as a "teacher".

Quote:
Even talking is a taught skill. Though it seems to arise spontaneously, it is still something babies are taught (by example) to do by their elders.
If I were to go to a different culture and spend time observing the customs and learning the language by immersion and context (rather than direct instruction) I would regard that as me learning, but I wouldn't speak of the people of that culture having "taught" me. Again, semantics. In my mind, "teaching" implies something actively and consciously done to others, with expectations and methods employed.

Quote:
Also the philosophy of "trusting your child" to learn everything they need doesn't make sense to me, especially wrt younger kids. Parenting involves making choices for kids. When I make choices about what toys to buy, what books to read at bedtime, what activities to do, etc. I have a specific intention and that is to create a learning rich environment. I want my DS to know the story of Odysseus, so I make a point to read it to him. By the definitions I've come across on this board, my intent to impart knowledge on my DS means I wouldn't be considered an unschooler. But how can you not do this with young kids?
There's a difference between teaching with the expectation of improving the other person or making them into something you think they need to be made into, and sharing because you want to create a connection (bond) to yourself and your culture or sharing simply because you have reason to believe that person will appreciate it. The intent is wholly different. It is just a different mindset. I don't have to create a learning rich environment. It is already what I live. I don't have to make a point to share something special -- that which is most special is going to be so much a part of me already that the sharing of it becomes automatic. I may be thinking of a particularly beautiful passage in the Chronicles of Narnia or fascinated by the Fibonacci Sequence, or horrified by the actions of our government, and be full of it, and that fullness then overflows onto my children. The same approach can (and should) apply to anything and everything.

Quote:
I am perfectly fine admitting that I don't trust my 5 yr old to learn it if the need arises. Mostly because I know how rare knowledge of Greek mythology is the imperative factor in a life-or-death situation.
Yes, but if he's interested in it, he will. If he's not, what is the point? Why waste the time that could be spent on something that he would actually care about?

Quote:
Of course, this is coming from the belief that there is inherent value in knowing things that don't appear very "useful" on the surface. It seems unschoolers don't see any information as more important to know than others. Is this the case?
There is absolutely some information that is more important to know than other information. There is however no universally objective definition of "important", and for any given individual what is important will become known as they need it, and in some cases will only become known as they become aware of it themselves. It's important that my child learns to read if he's going to be self-sufficient in this society. But he's been aware of that for years, made aware just by living in this culture. The notion that he never would have figured it out on his own and therefore I would have to decide for him that he would have to learn it is absurd. As for those more subjectively determined things of importance, how could I possibly know what that would be for my child? I've always been capable of figuring out for myself what is important to me. Knowing that, how could I assume that my child is not?

If my parents had been in charge of my education (rather than the government) they would have felt it important that I was highly schooled in finance, conservative politics, mechanics, Hollywood's great history. My mother would have been thrilled to pieces to see me become a Hollywood agent. My father, to make my millions in business. These things matter to them. As it was, the government felt it important that I learn certain things about advanced science and math, American literature of the 20th century, and that I should be able to run a 12-minute mile and play team sports. I feel like saying to them, "how DARE you? How dare you think you know better than me what I should be doing with my life? What arrogance!" I spent all that time being bored, or straining to wake up enough to retain something of what I was "supposed" to retain, when I could have spent the time on what I was actually passionate about. I would have gone in a different direction than they wanted me to... but how much further I would have gone! (And did, once I was in control of my own education.)

Quote:
Would an unschooler be automatically opposed to say, the concept of a literary canon?
Only if it was imposed on the learner without his interest or desire.

Quote:
Forgive me, I've been in school a loooong time so I have a really hard time wrapping my brain around that concept.
No problem.
post #30 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftField View Post
My honest opinion is that it sounds like a 13 year old wrote it. : I also felt as though it was very anti-intellectual and it probably isn't going to convince anyone outside of the unschooling community that unschooling is a wonderful way to learn.
Totally. But, um, this is urbandictionary we're talking about.
post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post


There's a difference between teaching with the expectation of improving the other person or making them into something you think they need to be made into, and sharing because you want to create a connection (bond) to yourself and your culture or sharing simply because you have reason to believe that person will appreciate it. The intent is wholly different. It is just a different mindset.
OK, this makes alot of sense to me.

THANK YOU for your great response!
post #32 of 57
I'm sorry... did someone say "literary cannon"??

Be still my heart.

It is my fondest hope that one of my kids gives a dang.

Here's the deal-- people can be introduced to things...whether they are interested and go with it? Well, really... a totally different topic.

I keep reading historical lit to all my kids (schooled & unschooled)...and well, dang, on of my kids is actually going to start freshman year of uni majoring in history. Now...that's cool. But guess what? I have lost sleep over worrying about whether my interest made him interested...

A mother can't win for trying.

That said, my dc assures me the history interest comes from his own inner passion, and in particular, inspirational and gifted 8th & 11th grade history teachers, and a middle school Latin teacher.

So, you know, many are spreading the history love.
post #33 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mz_libbie22 View Post
Sure, DS can spend all his time outside, without anyone telling him what is worth knowing and what isn't, and he would certainly learn alot about our small city, but the world?? I don't see how that's possible.
Unschoolers can learn about the world in many of the same ways other people do. Television, books, people, observations, music, poetry, art, food, travel (even to the grocery store)... all of those things teach us of the world.

Quote:
It seems like with unschooling, the quality of the education still is dependent upon the child's environment and the amount of effort put forth by the parents.
Many people woudn't consider the environment my children live (and therefore learn in) to be all that high quality or least of high "educational" quality. The effort put forth is their own.

Quote:
The child is still being taught, though certainly in a more subtle and child-friendly way than you see in a school. It seems like unschooling parents are denying their natural role as teacher by saying their kids are 100% in responsible for their own education. I feel like some credit is owed to the parent for all the time spent reading aloud, explaining things and answering questions, transporting kids to museums--that's teaching!
Sure. In our family we all teach and we all learn. My kids teach me too.

Quote:
It seems unschoolers don't see any information as more important to know than others. Is this the case? Would an unschooler be automatically opposed to say, the concept of a literary canon? Forgive me, I've been in school a loooong time so I have a really hard time wrapping my brain around that concept.
I would say that some information isn't as important to some people as it is to others. It's not about the info, it's about the people. I do not need as much information about chemistry as a chemist or other scientist. Nor do I want it. If I wanted to be a chemist I would seek out the information. My friend who has zero interest in knitting does not need how to K2tog or bind off. So to her that information is not as important as, say...how to make blinkies on some new program she recently got for her PC.

Unschoolers value personal freedom. We want to read what interests us or what will help us get information we actually need. We don't want to read a book just because it's a classic or because everyone considers it the greatest thing ever even though it's as dry as old toast for us.


Quote:
(sorry this became so long and rambling!)
Nahhh, don't sweat it... you're talking to the Queen of long and rambling!
post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
In other words:

a) I could waste years ostensibly learning about the world without actually being in it and without actually learning much at all.

b) As an unschooler, that isn't going to happen.

Now, given these two statements (which represent the original quoted statement,) it does not follow that

c) I believe all educational styles outside of unschooling are a waste of time.

In fact, a) and b) are true for me, but not c). I understand very well that other methods of schooling are not a waste of time given the goals that those methods seek to achieve. Those goals are not my goals, so it would be a waste of time for me, but logically not necessarily for others.
OK, but you're saying in a) that people who ostensibly learn about the world without actually being in it don't actually learn much at all, and in your summary at the end you say that other methods of schooling (meaning anything but unschooling, I assume) have different goals, so that makes a) (which includes not learning much of anything) OK. So what I'm getting from this is that you don't think homeschoolers learn much of anything, and that their goal isn't to learn much of anything. Did I misinterpret?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
as an unschooler I am free to devote all my learning time to living, and the world around me, and that which I choose to surround myself with specifically because it is useful or enjoyable or relevant to me. Whatever time I spend learning will therefore not be wasted time, because my learning is chosen by *me* for these most valid reasons. I do not have to waste time learning about things that I am not ready for or that are not important to me just because someone else has decided that they should be important to me.
I could say the same thing, but substitute "as a homeschooler" for "as an unschooler." I don't consider myself an unschooler, but all of the above is true for my family. I do introduce things to my kids, but they never waste time learning things they aren't ready for. We drop it and move on to something else if that happens.
post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
It's like saying, "I'm not a stupid girl." That doesn't mean that I think all girls are stupid, or even that any girls are stupid, just that I'm a girl and I'm not stupid.
But, unless he is a farmer, or considers himself (or herself) a homeschooler, it isn't the same thing. He isn't saying "I'm not a stupid/sheltered unschooler," he's saying "I'm not a stupid farmer or a homeschooler -- I'm an unschooler." It's more like saying "I'm not a stupid girl -- I'm a boy."

IMO.

And, actually, I don't really have so much of a problem with the comparisons to farmers or homeschoolers in the definition (and I grew up on a farm, too), but I agree with UUMom's take on it. Explaining yourself/promoting yourself by putting others down just doesn't help. Even here, in a place where hopefully there is a greater understanding of unschooling and what it's about, and where I would wager a lot of us share quite a lot of unschoolers' philosophies, it has triggered a pretty negative reaction.
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brisen View Post
But, unless he is a farmer, or considers himself (or herself) a homeschooler, it isn't the same thing. He isn't saying "I'm not a stupid/sheltered unschooler," he's saying "I'm not a stupid farmer or a homeschooler -- I'm an unschooler." It's more like saying "I'm not a stupid girl -- I'm a boy."
I'm not being clear enough I guess and my analogy was not perfectly matched so let me try again. It doesn't make any sense to me that anyone would prop up unschooling by dissing a *totally unrelated thing* -- it's like saying, "I'm not a homicidal kangaroo, I'm an unschooler." I mean, what's the point? There is no point, it's nonsensical. *Unless* there is an assumption among some that unschoolers are basically just homicidal kangaroos. Now, to deny that one is a homicidal kangaroo is not to say that all kangaroos are homicidal. It is *only* addressing the assumption that *unschoolers* are homicidal kangaroos.

Quote:
Explaining yourself/promoting yourself by putting others down just doesn't help. Even here, in a place where hopefully there is a greater understanding of unschooling and what it's about, and where I would wager a lot of us share quite a lot of unschoolers' philosophies, it has triggered a pretty negative reaction.
I'm certainly not supporting promotion through putting others down. What I am saying is that I don't see that it has to be interpreted that way.
post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
I'm certainly not supporting promotion through putting others down. What I am saying is that I don't see that it has to be interpreted that way.
And I don't think that unschoolers are supporting promotion through putting others down. I'm pointing out that if everyone is feeling put down by that kind of promotion, maybe the promotion should be rethought. (Although I would heavily emphasize the "maybe." I also tend to think that if I'm offended by something, I should take a closer look and see if I'm feeling attacked because of my own insecurities or dissatisfaction with how I'm doing things.)

And re: homicidal kangaroos... I do get your point. I guess it's a matter of how you interpret his tone. If the author is saying "people tend to think unschoolers are stupid farmers, but I'm neither, this is what I am" then yes, he's saying that it's the people making assumptions that are connecting farmers and stupidity. But if he's saying "I'm not some stupid farmer," that sounds to me like he is agreeing with them in categorizing farmers as stupid.
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brisen View Post
OK, but you're saying in a) that people who ostensibly learn about the world without actually being in it don't actually learn much at all,
Well, yes, that's a true statement simply because "they ostensibly learn" and "they don't learn much at all" are essentially the same thing (and yes I see that my statement that you're referring to was repetitive and could have been better worded, sorry.) But it's not what I said. What I said was that a person could waste years "learning" when learning isn't really happening, and one reason that this can happen is if it is removed from the world (i.e., it is devoid of context and not relevant to me as I relate to the world.) In other words, it is possible. As an unschooler (i.e., I am not made to learn anything, therefore there is not the possibility that I will be made to learn something that is not relevant and contextual) that's not a concern for me. It is, on the other hand, a possibility when learning is being imposed from without. That doesn't however mean that it WILL happen in all homeschooling situations. Therefore, a) and b) but not necessarily c).

Quote:
and in your summary at the end you say that other methods of schooling (meaning anything but unschooling, I assume) have different goals, so that makes a) (which includes not learning much of anything) OK.
Not at all. First I said that c) does not necessarily follow from a) and b). Then I elaborated on what I think about c). (I understand though that my train of thought there isn't obvious, sorry.) In fact, I don't believe that it's okay to be "learning" without really learning. That *is* a waste of time. But I don't think all homeschooling is "learning" without really learning. My choice to unschool is certainly not about some misconception that my children wouldn't learn anything if we were to homeschool!
post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brisen View Post
I guess it's a matter of how you interpret his tone.
Yes. Part of what tipped me toward my interpretation was my own understanding of unschooling and my perception of myself as an unschooler. But also the self-aggrandizement which I thought was very funny in a mock-hubris sort of way. Again, though, that's from my vantage point as an unschooler. Given that, my interpretation makes sense; the other didn't even occur to me until I started reading through this thread.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brisen View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
as an unschooler I am free to devote all my learning time to living, and the world around me, and that which I choose to surround myself with specifically because it is useful or enjoyable or relevant to me. Whatever time I spend learning will therefore not be wasted time, because my learning is chosen by *me* for these most valid reasons. I do not have to waste time learning about things that I am not ready for or that are not important to me just because someone else has decided that they should be important to me.
I could say the same thing, but substitute "as a homeschooler" for "as an unschooler." I don't consider myself an unschooler, but all of the above is true for my family. I do introduce things to my kids, but they never waste time learning things they aren't ready for. We drop it and move on to something else if that happens.
Sure. And it doesn't invalidate the point I was trying to make.

I would argue, though, that while *you* may not be an unschooler, your daughter is if she has that freedom and uses it. Someone can try to impose on me their ideas about how and what I should learn, and I might even agree sometimes, but if I have the freedom to say "no" and make my own choices, then I am an unschooler. Unschoolers go to college and take classes of all kinds after all. There's a misperception that unschooling is inherently nonacademic and autodidactic. But the point of unschooling is not that you never take instruction from anyone, nor that you never give instruction. It's that the unschooler realizes that she is the ultimate authority on herself and has the freedom to choose what is important to her and how and when she approaches it.
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