My family doesn't agree with unschooling either. Oh well. But, it's just plain mean for anyone to tell kids they're stupid. I'm sorry you're having to deal with that.
Mostly, I just say, "We homeschool." I think the idea of unschooling is too much to get into in a casual conversation and most people aren't interested in discussing things that deeply. Now, if someone is truely interested, I can go on and on...
But, I haven't discussed unschooling with my family--they weren't happy with the hsing decision, so I figure, why ask for trouble by opening up the unschooling conversation, yk?
I had a bad experience a few months ago with a group of hsing parents I didn't know. Someone commented that unschoolers didn't really DO anything and scoffed at the idea that kids will learn without being forced. I spoke up and the conversation ended, but my points were ignored. Just the other day, I ran into one of the moms from that group (she hadn't bashed unschoolers, but also hadn't said anything positive) and she asked me, "So, you're an 'all the way' unschooler?" Not knowing if she was opening the conversation for more information, or if trouble was looming, I just said, "Yes, we unschool." and changed the subject. I later heard her planning curriculum with another mom. So, I still don't know if she was just curious or if she wants to explore the idea for her own kids.
I'm sometimes torn about these things, because if someone is truely interested in how unschooling works or why we've chosen this, then I'd like to answer their questions. But at the same time, I'm so tired, tired, tired of the smirks and raised eyebrows and snide, "But don't you care about college/socialization/math/chemistry/his future?" etc. etc. yk?
Wow. I didn't come here to rant. Hadn't planned that.
Ds1 is playing Guild Wars and ds2 is alternately bouncing a ball and drumming while we listen to "Peter and the Wolf" (narrated by Patrick Stewart.) Dd is still writing but I think she's taken a break from that as she just got back from the library with a bunch of books. She recently signed up for the Girl Scouts, which totally blew me away. She's all about individual rights and no one telling her what to do, when to do it, how to dress, what to think, etc. So, when she made her announcement, all I could think of to say was, "You DO realize there are uniforms involved, right?"
But, she wants to meet more local kids and she thinks this is a good way, which it probably is, so we'll see. She's read up on the laws and oath and all that and says she can live with it. This should be interesting.
Ds2 recently got into "Club Penquin" and has been obssesed with it--he's even been "chatting" a little bit. He also has two penpals that he dictates letter to. He used to love copying words down but dropped entirely for several months, so it's interesting to see how his interest in writing has picked up because of this game.
Ds1 wants to try algebra, of which I remember NOTHING, so we're getting some books for him--I have such bad memories of math in school, so seeing these things through my kids' eyes is both refreshing and a little nerve wracking. He has archery tonight and ds2 and I will probably go hiking while he does that, although...it's really hot here today so I hope it cools off by then.