What is Unschooling? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 01-23-2004, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I still have a year to figure out what we're going to do so this is not urgent.... I just want to start thinking about things. Because of some rather complicated circumstances (I can go into it if you really want to know but don't want to bore anyone unless you really do want to know) we are receiving pressure to put our DS in pre-school on his third birthday. I'm pretty sure I want to homeschool and am looking into different methods & un-methods/non-methods. Before I became a SAHM I was a secondary teacher so the early education stuff is kind-of new to me. Anyway, I would greatly appreciate it if someone could explain unschooling to me and perhaps recommend some reading material and/or websites. Thanks everyone!
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#2 of 14 Old 01-23-2004, 06:58 PM
 
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There is a long thread here: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ht=unschooling
with some info on books, sites. you might want to start there and see if that's the kind of info you're looking for.

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#3 of 14 Old 01-23-2004, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I guess I should have checked the archives first!
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#4 of 14 Old 01-24-2004, 03:20 PM
 
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I have my 4yo in a pre-school and feel sorta guilty about it...i plan to homeschool her for 1st grade and the time she is in pre-school i focus on my son, right now it is much needed alone time .

I will be HSing DS(9) next year and will definatly keep DD in the place she is at.

Part of me is Sick about it, Part of me realizez that it is the right thing :

I'm not sure that this is relevent, but i am open to conversation,,,i have found that pre-scool is not as evil as i thought, it's moe about what goes on at home
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#5 of 14 Old 01-24-2004, 03:30 PM
 
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Quote:
What is Unschooling?
Life

Beloved---

Would love to converse about that, want to start a new thread?

 

 

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#6 of 14 Old 01-24-2004, 03:30 PM
 
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Ilabrook, I just re-read you post and i wanted to put in my opinion about un-schooling...I believe that children learn what they need without pushing but a gentle guiding and rolling w/ it if they develope a strong interest.

To me , unschooling is not just ~not~ doing anything, it takes alot of thought and strategizing by the parent to run with those interests and naturally they learn what they need to know.

For instance, my DS is picky about what he eats, so i have him involved w/ the grocery list making , the sale shopping, and calculating the price per pound as to determine the best prices.

I invite him to help with the cooking, but he refuses to even enter the kitchen if DD is there and invariably she is there (a born cook)

This part of it affects the control freak inside of me , i need to work on that:

We learn so much through our children , don't we?+
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#7 of 14 Old 01-24-2004, 03:35 PM
 
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Tiredx2,

~whoops~


The pre-schoolword just captured my attention, i really am interested in a convo about unschooling, didn't mean to hi-jack Ila's thread
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#8 of 14 Old 01-24-2004, 03:40 PM
 
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:LOL Well, your statements about preschooling and then homeschooling caught *my* attention!

 

 

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#9 of 14 Old 01-24-2004, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No, worries! I don't feel hyjacked! I intend to read the thread Joan listed. I am also interested in the pre-school side of it, too. I think b/c of our special circumstances, I will at least try pre-school a couple of half-days a week at a school where parents are encouraged to participate, too. The main thrust of DS's education, though, will be from homeschooling. Unfortunately, I haven't read the above mentioned thread yet so I don't really have much else to contribute to the unschooling discussion. : Anyway.... thanks for taking the time to post, Mommas!
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#10 of 14 Old 01-24-2004, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by beloved1
I believe that children learn what they need without pushing but a gentle guiding and rolling w/ it if they develope a strong interest.
<...>
To me , unschooling is not just ~not~ doing anything, it takes alot of thought and strategizing by the parent to run with those interests and naturally they learn what they need to know.
I don't guide, or strategize. I trust my daughter to learn what she needs to know, and I don't look for ways to turn her interests into educational experiences...

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#11 of 14 Old 01-24-2004, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I'm making my way through the other thread.... slowly.....

For those of you who unschool, isn't it a bit scary? I mean, it's a lot of letting go and a lot of taking things on faith that our kids will just learn what they need to learn when they need to learn it. Don't you ever get scared that your child/children will be at a disadvantage later on? I'm not trying to start an argument here, I'm just trying to express my own fear. As always & with many aspects of my DS's life, I am so scared of screwing it up! His education seems like such a HUGE thing to screw up.... either way... by unschooling, by home-schooling or by public-schooling.
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#12 of 14 Old 01-24-2004, 10:51 PM
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I think you've hit on the hardest thing about unschooling... trust. It really requires that you have a lot of trust in your child, and in his ability to learn what he knows to succeed and be happy in the world. You also have to realize that his definition of happiness and success may be different than what you've dreamed for him - he may not want to be a doctor, but a potter, for example. Or a fishing guide. Or a waitress... um, I mean theatre actress, which is my daughter's current plan.

I've found it helpful, in parenting in general and in unschooling specifically, to focus on the now and trust that the future will work if the now keeps working. My child functions superbly in her world right now. She's competent in all sorts of things, she's comfortable with her social life, and she's generally very happy (I know this because I saw her answering an online survey ;-) )

I didn't worry when she wasn't weaned at 3, or cutting her own food with a knife at 4, or sleeping through the night at 2... and she does all of those things now. Learning has worked in much the same way - she didn't know the months of the year in order until a year or so ago (and she's 11, remember) but now she does, she didn't do much writing until she was ten, but now she does, and she enjoys it. We were actually looking through a 5th grade Daily Language Questions workbook the other night and she knew all the ones we looked at (grammar, punctuation, spelling), which is actually pretty amazing to me...

So, yes, I think it can be scary, more for some people than for others, and more in the beginning then after you've been doing it for a while. In the beginning, I figured she could always "catch up" with a few months work if there was a reason for it, so I didn't need to worry... and now I just don't worry, and we never have found a reason for it...

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#13 of 14 Old 01-27-2004, 01:28 AM
 
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As far as good reading goes, almost anything by John Holt is great. I really liked How Children Fail and Teach Your Own. Great for understanding what unschooling is all about.
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#14 of 14 Old 01-27-2004, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone, for your responses! I am terrified of the prospect of homeschooling DS, even more terrified of putting him in public schools. In my heart, I know unschooling is a great thing.... I just don't know if I can let go enough & trust enough to do it. But, we've still got some time & I can do some reading & we'll see. Thanks, again!
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