hostility aimed at unschooling by other homeschoolers, what's up with that? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 03:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is 5 so I have started to get in gear and start exploring our homeschooling community. I'm talking to other homeschooling mothers and looking for groups to participate in.

I am in total shock at the judgment out there against unschoolers.

The most recent judgment came from some other moms that had recently attended a monthly meeting of a popular local parents of home schoolers group. There evidently was a speaker there talking about unschooling. I have no idea what she said but man did she get a few of my acquaintances fired up!

Evidently we have no idea what we are doing because learning must take place in set incremental steps. There can be no deviation from the "correct" order. Kids need to read and write and do math (and I'm guessing other subjects too) everyday weather they want to or not or there just is no learning going on.

I'm pretty shocked and dismayed at this attitude coming from other home schoolers.

Anyone want to talk about this?

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#2 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 04:00 AM
 
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I see you're in Florida. I have to say that things seem to be divided pretty sharply here. The homeschoolers I know are either secular and open to unschooling as a choice (even if they are more eclectic or even classical in their own home schooling) or religious and very set in their school-at-home ideals.

I found myself in a conversation at one park day recently about how best to force your child to do their school work, and when I suggested that perhaps just not making them do it would work best for some kids they all looked at me like I had three heads.

If you are in South Florida, PM me and I'll hook you up with some unschool-friendly groups...

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#3 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 04:13 AM
 
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Oh, and I meant to tell you that there's a new statewide homeschool organization called SHEAF, which was formed in reaction to the FPEA going religious. SHEAF is apparently much more open to unschoolers than FPEA ever was. Here's their Web site: http://oursheaf.org/

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#4 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 04:20 AM
 
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One more thing, since you didn't really ask for help so much as a discussion...

I think the thing about unschooling is that people don't really know about it. I had a conversation with a mom who was telling me that she's really leaning towards doing away with her child's curriculum and just following her child's lead. She said it just felt more natural to her. When I asked her if she had read about unschooling she frowned and said, "those people don't teach their kids anything!" Um, OK.

It was a real weird kind of disconnect. I think that the term unschooling is pretty loaded in some circles. Like unschoolers just have wild children who never learn to read or something like that. I'm not even sure most people have even thought things through much.

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#5 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 04:36 AM
 
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I'm not sure if it's the case with anyone else, but for myself what draws me to USing and CL is the same thing that causes me to have no desire to join a HSing group. I don't get it at all. I totally don't understand the point of HSing groups. I did try one out when dd was about 4 more for the meeting new people aspect because we were new to the area but I went once and never went back. I can totally see why the groups are popular with school at homers or anyone using a curriculum as there is all the stuff to talk about choosing resources ect. But as a CLer and USer we move so much at out own pace and whim that I don't see the point of a group. Heck that is partly why I don't post here that much. I love that it's here, but I just don't have much to say about it.
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#6 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 07:33 AM
 
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I'm not sure if it's the case with anyone else, but for myself what draws me to USing and CL is the same thing that causes me to have no desire to join a HSing group. I don't get it at all. I totally don't understand the point of HSing groups. I did try one out when dd was about 4 more for the meeting new people aspect because we were new to the area but I went once and never went back. I can totally see why the groups are popular with school at homers or anyone using a curriculum as there is all the stuff to talk about choosing resources ect. But as a CLer and USer we move so much at out own pace and whim that I don't see the point of a group. Heck that is partly why I don't post here that much. I love that it's here, but I just don't have much to say about it.
I think homeschool groups are useful at times. When I was a kid the group we were a part of has a mix of homeschoolers and a few unschoolers. Everyone seemed to get along fine. The HS group provided a lot of outings, social interaction, and field trips. Lots of places only offer field trip opportunities to groups (I assume because they're set up to deal with public schools) so a lot of the places we went were only possible if we went with the group. There were lots of fun activity days too like camp day or writing club. Of course, you could also do those same things with a couple of other like-minded families without having to join a HS group. Of course, that's how most get started. My mother and a few of her friends started the first one in this area. It grew like mad, but I don't know that that was their intent.

Anyway, I wasn't aware that anyone had a bad opinion of the unschoolers...but I was a kid so I might have missed it. We did pretty loose school-at-home and I'm more unschooly-minded in my future plans with DD. I think most people just don't get it. I think it's hard to see that learning can come naturally on its own when you've been in a school mindset your entire life. I think it was easier for me to be open to unschooling because I've never been to school and don't have that mindset to make me second-guess myself and my children.
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#7 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 07:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AbbieB View Post
DD is 5 so I have started to get in gear and start exploring our homeschooling community. I'm talking to other homeschooling mothers and looking for groups to participate in.

I am in total shock at the judgment out there against unschoolers.

The most recent judgment came from some other moms that had recently attended a monthly meeting of a popular local parents of home schoolers group. There evidently was a speaker there talking about unschooling. I have no idea what she said but man did she get a few of my acquaintances fired up!

Evidently we have no idea what we are doing because learning must take place in set incremental steps. There can be no deviation from the "correct" order. Kids need to read and write and do math (and I'm guessing other subjects too) everyday weather they want to or not or there just is no learning going on.

I'm pretty shocked and dismayed at this attitude coming from other home schoolers.

Anyone want to talk about this?
I think as I consider us eclectic classical with a lifestyle that leans toward CL (hows that for a mouthful) that the pendulum swings both ways , from both sides. I have found that for us anyway we just don't fit with any one group.We don't fit in an unschooling group because we do use curricula and have been judged on that angle ...unfairly I think because no one has a view on how we run our homeschool . On the other hand an hard core school at homer would balk at the fact that our schedule is quite loose. We try to work with each other to accomplish goals.

Here is what I see that happens with people , any people who get very into one philosophy they start to live for the philosophy as opposed to making the philosophy work for them. This can happen to any type of schooler. For instance trying to get a curriculum to work as is, without tweaking or scrapping it entirely for something more reasonable.

I think what people need before they alienate others is to sort of alienate themselves in a way. Say"How would we go about this if there was no philosophy, what's my philosophy, how can we reach the maximum benefit and joy out of what we are doing here? What are MY goals? What if NO ONE was looking?"

I think that cruelly judging other homeschoolers is unfair and wrong and I think it hurts ALL homeschoolers. There are so many labels in the spectrum of home education and degrees of interpretation that no one can fit into any neat category perfectly. Some may lean more toward one lifestyle or teaching style than another so it's a good resource(HS groups) for certain info etc.

Personally however I just don't feel like my family is in need of one right now and in part it is because of the judgment issue that you speak of. I would say that the pros of going it on your own, finding your own path, outweigh the cons if any group is making you feel bad about your personal choices and rights as a parent to live a lifestyle that you feel strongly about .

And like I said while we don't necessarily unschool, I think anyone that leans toward CL or ideas about trusting kids as whole human beings with a say in the matter, is going to come up against it at some point, I know I have.

"He'll never be able to take a test if you don't pull him away from the book he's reading to MAKE him do his history"

Yeah I heard that today lol.

I think a lot of times homeschoolers do best as a group from a distance First of all for the most part they are pretty strong willed , second of all, like I said , they all have unique philosophies.I think it's great when someone finds a group that works for them, but I don't think it is necessary to be in a group to successfully homeschool.

These are just my random late night thoughts on the matter

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#8 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 01:20 PM
 
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Well, generally I avoid any group where people need to knock those who disagree with them, I've seen groups like this on both ends of the homeschooling spectrum. So I would run like heck from that group, or at least the women who were so hostile towards unschooling-- mature people who are comfortable in their choices don't need to slam people who make other choices. Aside from that, I have known some homeschooling moms who don't have a problem with other people unschooling, except that it makes their life more difficult when their kids find out that not every kid has to do their schoolwork. Because of this attitude, I don't broadcast our homeschooling style unless someone asks specifically. I don't want my kids' social opportunities to be unnecessarily restricted based on someone else's fears.

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#9 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 01:39 PM
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I totally don't understand the point of HSing groups. I did try one out when dd was about 4 more for the meeting new people aspect because we were new to the area but I went once and never went back. I can totally see why the groups are popular with school at homers or anyone using a curriculum as there is all the stuff to talk about choosing resources ect.
We've been HSing for ten years, and have done so in three different states. We belong to HS groups and have since the beginning. The groups have never been places for us to discuss curriculum, nor are we school-at-homers. They've been places for my kids and I to meet other homeschoolers, like-minded people, etc. In the past decade we've only lived in one little neighborhood where there were any other kids to hang out with, and they aren't going to be making friends at school....so the groups are a social outlet. They also provide ways to go to museums, zoos, and other activities on the cheap. We've been on (and have organized) some really neat field trips, too.

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Well, generally I avoid any group where people need to knock those who disagree with them, I've seen groups like this on both ends of the homeschooling spectrum. So I would run like heck from that group, or at least the women who were so hostile towards unschooling-- mature people who are comfortable in their choices don't need to slam people who make other choices.
ITA!

I would like to mention, though, that some of the hostility towards unschoolers may come from the fact that some unschoolers tend to get on a soapbox. Just last year I had a tiff with a good friend of mine who is a radical unschooler. We are very relaxed and eclectic, but don't really fit the unschooling label. I really get tired of being told about how I "should" be doing things, even if she means well. OTOH, I've never had a school-at-homer scold me for being too loosey-goosey.
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#10 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 03:22 PM
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I think part of it is the same reason that some schooling parents feel threatened by homeschooling: basically, you're sharing your belief that the stuff they're suffering through and making their kids suffer through is unnecessary (to say the least). Even if you don't say that, the implication is there, especially if these people are needing to go through all sorts of stress to gt their kids to do schoolwork. People don't like to feel that they're wasting their time and energy.

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#11 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 05:22 PM
 
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Well, generally I avoid any group where people need to knock those who disagree with them, I've seen groups like this on both ends of the homeschooling spectrum. So I would run like heck from that group, or at least the women who were so hostile towards unschooling-- mature people who are comfortable in their choices don't need to slam people who make other choices. Aside from that, I have known some homeschooling moms who don't have a problem with other people unschooling, except that it makes their life more difficult when their kids find out that not every kid has to do their schoolwork. Because of this attitude, I don't broadcast our homeschooling style unless someone asks specifically. I don't want my kids' social opportunities to be unnecessarily restricted based on someone else's fears.

ZM
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#12 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 07:20 PM
 
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I think part of it is the same reason that some schooling parents feel threatened by homeschooling: basically, you're sharing your belief that the stuff they're suffering through and making their kids suffer through is unnecessary (to say the least). Even if you don't say that, the implication is there, especially if these people are needing to go through all sorts of stress to gt their kids to do schoolwork. People don't like to feel that they're wasting their time and energy.

Dar
OK- in the most UN defensive way possible I will say: It is an attitude like that that causes problems! We only unschool a few areas, otherwise we are eclectic classicals. I DON'T feel like I am "suffering" through anything! And my kids DON'T feel like they are suffering either! We have fun! I think so and they SAY so! I also don't go through any arguments or stress to "get" my kids to do their "schoolwork." And to openly say that they way I teach my children is "unnecessary" .... That's just a loaded post Dar!! I rather hope I am misunderstanding it!
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#13 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There is so much wisdom here at MDC.
Thanks mommas for all of your posts.

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I see you're in Florida. I have to say that things seem to be divided pretty sharply here. The homeschoolers I know are either secular and open to unschooling as a choice (even if they are more eclectic or even classical in their own home schooling) or religious and very set in their school-at-home ideals.

I found myself in a conversation at one park day recently about how best to force your child to do their school work, and when I suggested that perhaps just not making them do it would work best for some kids they all looked at me like I had three heads.

If you are in South Florida, PM me and I'll hook you up with some unschool-friendly groups...
I'm in the Tampa Bay area.

This is exactly what I have been finding too. I guess I was a little naive to think that homeschoolers as a group would all be open minded.

I am very familiar with look of disdain that others give you when you share unschooling ideas. I've learned to keep a low profile.

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Oh, and I meant to tell you that there's a new statewide homeschool organization called SHEAF, which was formed in reaction to the FPEA going religious. SHEAF is apparently much more open to unschoolers than FPEA ever was. Here's their Web site: http://oursheaf.org/
How did you know the group I was talking about? Thanks for the link.

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I'm not sure if it's the case with anyone else, but for myself what draws me to USing and CL is the same thing that causes me to have no desire to join a HSing group. I don't get it at all. I totally don't understand the point of HSing groups. I did try one out when dd was about 4 more for the meeting new people aspect because we were new to the area but I went once and never went back. I can totally see why the groups are popular with school at homers or anyone using a curriculum as there is all the stuff to talk about choosing resources ect. But as a CLer and USer we move so much at out own pace and whim that I don't see the point of a group. Heck that is partly why I don't post here that much. I love that it's here, but I just don't have much to say about it.
I completely agree with this.

I have felt an urge, spurred on by outside influences, to join SOMETHING. Maybe because it would validate my choices to others? If I was part of a state or nationally recognized group some how my schooling methods would be magically OK.

I will admit my mothers worry and "concerns" sometimes shake my confidence. Your post gave just the confidence boost I needed right now. It IS OK to follow our own path!


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Well, generally I avoid any group where people need to knock those who disagree with them, I've seen groups like this on both ends of the homeschooling spectrum. So I would run like heck from that group, or at least the women who were so hostile towards unschooling-- mature people who are comfortable in their choices don't need to slam people who make other choices. Aside from that, I have known some homeschooling moms who don't have a problem with other people unschooling, except that it makes their life more difficult when their kids find out that not every kid has to do their schoolwork. Because of this attitude, I don't broadcast our homeschooling style unless someone asks specifically. I don't want my kids' social opportunities to be unnecessarily restricted based on someone else's fears.

ZM
I often wonder if the hostility is stemming from insecurity or a fear that their kids will want to be free from all of the forced schoolwork too.

I am learning to stay quiet too because the number one reason to mix with other homeschooling families is for social opportunities.

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I think part of it is the same reason that some schooling parents feel threatened by homeschooling: basically, you're sharing your belief that the stuff they're suffering through and making their kids suffer through is unnecessary (to say the least). Even if you don't say that, the implication is there, especially if these people are needing to go through all sorts of stress to gt their kids to do schoolwork. People don't like to feel that they're wasting their time and energy.

Dar
Again, I think there is truth here.

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#14 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK- in the most UN defensive way possible I will say: It is an attitude like that that causes problems! We only unschool a few areas, otherwise we are eclectic classicals. I DON'T feel like I am "suffering" through anything! And my kids DON'T feel like they are suffering either! We have fun! I think so and they SAY so! I also don't go through any arguments or stress to "get" my kids to do their "schoolwork." And to openly say that they way I teach my children is "unnecessary" .... That's just a loaded post Dar!! I rather hope I am misunderstanding it!
I think you did misunderstand.

I took her post to mean that people that feel threatened by unschoolers might feel like all unschoolers think that anything resembling structure is unnecessary. Not that it IS unnecessary.

This is exactly what I don't get about the homeschooling community. Why can't we all just get along? Why does there have to be right and wrong ways of doing things. I really thought that at the very least we all made the decision to do things that were best for our individual children so we decided to leave the traditional school model behind. Does not the desire to do what is educationally best for our own children unite us? (Rhetorical question...Obviously it does not. )

I would never in a million years have thought that homeschooling would look the same in any 2 families. How could it? Isn't that the point?

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#15 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 07:44 PM
 
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I rather hope I am misunderstanding it!
Far be it from me to explain Dar... , but I think you are misunderstanding. I took it to mean that when schooling parents or school at home parents are having difficulties, they don't want to imagine that those difficulties could be unnecessary...that they are taking a route that is going to provide some major drawbacks (or not, depending on the specific family) that would not exist were they not making the choices they are making. Even if an unschooler were to never say a word, the implication is there that those parents are choosing to do something that is causing difficulties for their family/children.

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#16 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 07:48 PM
 
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I feel like this is something that's true of most "alternative" choices. Put a non-vaxer in a room with vaxers and you get the same thing. Put a school-at-home type in a room full of school-at-school types. Try talking about co-sleeping in a room full of CIOers. Majority rules, I guess

ETA... I think most of us would agree that if you put one CIOer (or another mainstream choice) in a room full of attachment parents there's a similar feeling of horror going around, no? I think people tend to get defensive when the status quo (whether on a large scale or small scale) is questioned.

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#17 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 08:04 PM
 
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I'm not Dar either . But I have seen plenty of homeschoolers who "suffer" through a lot of stuff that I just don't think is necessary. And by "suffer" I mean posts about moms tearing their hair out (no, I don't think they mean literally) or kids crying over work, being sent to their room, etc. I really think it is the people who have so much trouble with homeschooling who are more likely to be hostile toward unschooling.

On the other hand, the people who love and enjoy the way they are homeschooling and have kids who really enjoy it, do not tend to be upset to hear about the way we do it. Just like people whose kids are in school and loving it aren't threatened by homeschooling. The people whose kids hate school and beg not to go - that's a different story.

I have plenty of friends who do not unschool. We just spent 4 hours with a playdate of one of those friends today. She knows I unschool, I know she doesn't, we're both totally cool But on the other hand, there are message boards I just can't post on because I just don't know what to say when someone says their child hates doing their math work and they're sick of the fighting but they HAVE to make them do it or they'll never learn so . . . . you get the point.

But yeah, as someone else said, it goes both ways. I'm pretty confident and happy with our unschooling and I'll be the first to say I've met some obnoxious unschoolers, We're human too
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#18 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 08:29 PM
 
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I'm not Dar either . But I have seen plenty of homeschoolers who "suffer" through a lot of stuff that I just don't think is necessary. And by "suffer" I mean posts about moms tearing their hair out (no, I don't think they mean literally) or kids crying over work, being sent to their room, etc. I really think it is the people who have so much trouble with homeschooling who are more likely to be hostile toward unschooling.
Whooo- OK I guess I read into Dar's post! Good, I was hoping I was! ! I, as a schooler-at-home (mostly) I do not feel "hostile" to unschoolers. I actually think those who TRULY unschool, work harder then I do. But sometimes I run across a (virtual) unschooler who does not seem to "get it" and it grates on my nerves. It's true- those are the unschoolers that give unschooling a bad name to school-at-homers! And at least for me, as more of a school-at-homer...I can "get" the unschooling- I will *never* understand RU!
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#19 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 09:11 PM
 
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Far be it from me to explain Dar... , but I think you are misunderstanding. I took it to mean that when schooling parents or school at home parents are having difficulties, they don't want to imagine that those difficulties could be unnecessary...that they are taking a route that is going to provide some major drawbacks (or not, depending on the specific family) that would not exist were they not making the choices they are making. Even if an unschooler were to never say a word, the implication is there that those parents are choosing to do something that is causing difficulties for their family/children.
yep, I know that for a long time that my BFF didn't want to discuss her issues and complaints about the school system with me. She had kids first, and would complain to me all the time about the schools, until I had dd and decided to HS. At that point she felt defensive about her decision to PS.

She'd complain about the school and then on her own jump right into defending her choice to put her kids there. I hadn't even said anything. Honestly, I love her to death and have been friends with her for 30 years but she has a serious drinking problem and the last thing her kids needed was to be HSed. I'd have never have suggested such a thing, or even thought that.
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#20 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 09:13 PM
 
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Whooo- OK I guess I read into Dar's post! Good, I was hoping I was! ! I, as a schooler-at-home (mostly) I do not feel "hostile" to unschoolers. I actually think those who TRULY unschool, work harder then I do. But sometimes I run across a (virtual) unschooler who does not seem to "get it" and it grates on my nerves. It's true- those are the unschoolers that give unschooling a bad name to school-at-homers! And at least for me, as more of a school-at-homer...I can "get" the unschooling- I will *never* understand RU!
I have no idea what a virtual unschooler is
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#21 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 09:19 PM
 
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I think homeschool groups are useful at times. When I was a kid the group we were a part of has a mix of homeschoolers and a few unschoolers. Everyone seemed to get along fine. The HS group provided a lot of outings, social interaction, and field trips. Lots of places only offer field trip opportunities to groups (I assume because they're set up to deal with public schools) so a lot of the places we went were only possible if we went with the group. There were lots of fun activity days too like camp day or writing club. Of course, you could also do those same things with a couple of other like-minded families without having to join a HS group. Of course, that's how most get started. My mother and a few of her friends started the first one in this area. It grew like mad, but I don't know that that was their intent.

Anyway, I wasn't aware that anyone had a bad opinion of the unschoolers...but I was a kid so I might have missed it. We did pretty loose school-at-home and I'm more unschooly-minded in my future plans with DD. I think most people just don't get it. I think it's hard to see that learning can come naturally on its own when you've been in a school mindset your entire life. I think it was easier for me to be open to unschooling because I've never been to school and don't have that mindset to make me second-guess myself and my children.
See I'm not big on schedules, and my dd had tons of friends in our neighborhood. I never felt the draw to planned "field trips" or scheduled play dates. Maybe we were lucky but we did what we wanted and the kids played when the other got home from school. Now that I look back it was much more of the kind of childhood I had. You hung out with the people that lived in your neighborhood. The modern need to drive and meet up for play dates is just out of my realm of experience. Now that I look at it, it's probably a generational thing. I'm in my 40s and my dd is 19.
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#22 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 09:20 PM
 
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I'm not sure if it's the case with anyone else, but for myself what draws me to USing and CL is the same thing that causes me to have no desire to join a HSing group. I don't get it at all.
We belonged to a homeschooling group for many years, and it was only about meeting other homeschoolers and having fun . There was a park day every week at which the children played and parents socialized; there were totally casual field trips to things like factories, museums, theater, farms, etc.; there were some seasonal get togethers where different people might lead crafts; and just whatever anyone came up with to offer. It offered the opportunity for families to make friends they could have fun with or form little sub-groups for special activities with - but they were mostly unschoolers, and everyone just did their own thing. Most of us would have felt very isolated without that group.
- Lillian
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#23 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 09:23 PM
 
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I have no idea what a virtual unschooler is
I mean unschoolers that post online!
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#24 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 09:27 PM
 
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We belonged to a homeschooling group for many years, and it was only about meeting other homeschoolers and having fun . There was a park day every week at which the children played and parents socialized; there were totally casual field trips to things like factories, museums, theater, farms, etc.; there were some seasonal get togethers where different people might lead crafts; and just whatever anyone came up with to offer. It offered the opportunity for families to make friends they could have fun with or form little sub-groups for special activities with - but they were mostly unschoolers, and everyone just did their own thing. Most of us would have felt very isolated without that group.
- Lillian
yep, that is exactly what the one I went to once was like.

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#25 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 09:27 PM
 
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I mean unschoolers that post online!
ok wasn't sure.
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#26 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 09:29 PM
 
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Oh, and I meant to tell you that there's a new statewide homeschool organization called SHEAF, which was formed in reaction to the FPEA going religious. SHEAF is apparently much more open to unschoolers than FPEA ever was. Here's their Web site: http://oursheaf.org/
And Linda Dobson and Dayna Martin were set to be speaking at their conference February 6-7, 2009 - Holiday Inn - Universal Gate, Orlando, FL. But I couldn't find any mention of it or a link to that page through the front page of their website when I looked just now. Anybody know if it's still on? - Lillian
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#27 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 09:41 PM
 
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We sorta belong to a very small local HS group which has a "live and let live" kind of philosophy...we're the resident unschoolers i guess. Once i got practically attacked (in a very nice way, they didnt mean it like that, but when you are The Unschooler and several school at home moms are questioning you, its intimidating!)...there is SO MUCH misinfo about unschooling, and its kind of hard to really explain RU in a soundbite. Like, one mom said that they were unschoolers and it was working fine until her tween daughter stopped doing stuff like writing stories and instead spent alot of time on her gameboy. Well...where do i start? Another mom said she didnt feel comfortable not teaching certain subjects because what if her child gets to college and then blames HER because she didnt "make her learn math"...its kind of hard to explain away their fears without going deeply into unschooling philosophy.

One of the moms said to me "oh we're practically unschoolers too, i mean, we've been doing NOTHING lately!" i looked at her and deadpanned "Thanks alot!" and she was all 'oohh sorry, thats not what i meant, you know i meant blahblah..." it was funny.

Now, i've learned to not take things too personally and to only offer info or advice when asked.

I do agree with Dar that when people are really defensive about YOUR choices, it may be because they feel like you are saying they are wasting their time. So many many HSing moms spent so much energy picking the perfect curriculum, buying the perfect supplies, time spent "teaching" and "testing" and "grading"...and many do really identify as "The Teacher" that some (not all) feel like you are saying their entire identity is unnecessary. And so they get offended. I also think some moms feel like us unschoolers are letting down our kids, not taking the responsibility to "Teach" seriously, and that our very existence may threaten their legal right to homeschool. And of course most know that one family who unschooled and didnt own any books and let their kids do "nothing" but eat junk food and watch tv all day.

Sometimes i think its a little easier to deal with total school at home types than those parents who say "oh we unschool too! except for math and the weekly required bookreport!"


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#28 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 10:05 PM
 
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Sometimes i think its a little easier to deal with total school at home types than those parents who say "oh we unschool too! except for math and the weekly required bookreport!"
That's why I say we "unschool some things." We are mostly school-at-homers but if my kids want to learn about X then we'll break away from the "curriculum" (which is made up anyway) and do X in whatever way makes X fun. If my kids express interest in learning something I'm not gonna look at my book and say "Oh, sorry, you're not allowed to learn that until NEXT semester!!"

Then there are things like life skills, art, music etc that I have no "plan" for and we just do as the spirit moves us and interest strikes.

But there seems to be a lot of emphasize on unschoolers are people who don't *make* their kids learn and school-at-homers who *make* their kids learn. I follow my own curriculum but I don't *make* my kids do it, it's just 99% of the time they are interested and want to do it. The 1% of the time- OK, then don't do it then! But I wouldn't say that makes me anymore or less of one thing or another. I would say that just that makes me good at holding my kid's interest and following their interests.

I think the definition of unschooling is far to vague. Maybe that's the problem.
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#29 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 10:11 PM
 
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...there is SO MUCH misinfo about unschooling
Boy, is that true! It's amazing how much misunderstanding there is... Lillian

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#30 of 91 Old 01-15-2009, 10:20 PM
 
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We joined a hsing group when we first started, just because we didn't know any other hsers and felt pretty isolated. We didn't last long there though--it just wasn't our thing.

I'm just not a "joiner." I don't really feel the need to belong to any clubs or groups, and we're not interested in co-ops or anything like that.

But, I am on a local hsing yahoo list. It's just sort of a network of people and they post happenings, discounted group tickets to events, park days, etc. And my teens are part of an email loop for unschooled teens where they plan social things.

Mostly, we do things with our circle of friends who are either unschoolers or friendly to unschoolers. When we do go to a large gathering I don't advertise that we unschool. I don't get involved in "How do I make my dc do his work?" or "What do you use for math?" conversations. I don't have any interest in hanging out with people who are negative about unschooling.

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