Why do other people feel so threatened by unschooling? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 84 Old 04-01-2010, 06:42 PM
 
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This was an unexpected thing for me. When dd started to look at colleges she had a really clear picture of the type of place she wants to go to.

She told me that she knew a lot about how she learned and what she wanted from the college experience and what kind of learning environment would best suit her. I thought that was pretty surprising since she hadn't been to school since Kindergarten. But she's approaching it by looking for a college that suits HER rather than looking at colleges and making herself fit in.

She's in community college now, because of her age, but I was impressed with the amount of thought she's putting into her next step.
Same here. I had expected to help with the college search and application process, but I had no part in it. He went about researching with very specific ideas in mind, and he picked out colleges whose program he respected and wanted certain things from. He was even willing to go along with certain formats he wasn't so crazy about but that he respected their thinking around. Friends and I used to joke that we'd brought them up to be independent thinkers and then were surprised to find ourselves with teens and young adults who were...duh!...independent thinkers! Lillian
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#62 of 84 Old 04-01-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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I mean that people need to be introduced to the idea of history and have a basic foundation in chemistry because there is no way to predict what a child will grow up to be.
I think that, unless someone is living in a closet, it's hard to grow up and NOT be exposed to these things. Kids ask questions, they read, they hear others discussing things and one thing leads to another. It might not get studied in a methodical, linear fashion that is common in schools, but kids do get exposed to things like history and chemistry simply through living in the world.


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I just worry that because a parent didn't end up using math much in life they won't emphasize it with their kid.
Well, just because *I* didn't use or find interesting a certain bit of information doesn't mean that my kids won't. Every unschooling parent I know acknowledges that we'll all find different information important. So, just because I didn't like advanced math doesn't mean my kids won't be exposed to it or find it interesting, and just because I didn't study a musical instrument doesn't mean I wouldn't give my child that opportunity if he wanted it.

My dd recently explained to me how she used algebra to figure out a knitting design she was writing--I'm sure my eyes glossed over, but I'm very happy for her because she was very excited about it and it was important to her.

My son talks about music and it's pretty much a foreign language to me, but he catches on very quickly according to his music teacher and is learning to read what's on the page even though I can't make heads or tails of it. I love listening to him play and have no trouble supporting his interest.

It's the same for any of their interests. I wouldn't stop them for pursuing an interest simply because I didn't find it useful or because I felt it was hard.


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Plenty of people need intense academics in their career paths.
And an unschooling parent would facilitate that if/when the dc has that need.

Not trying to talk you into anything, just responding.

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#63 of 84 Old 04-01-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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Friends and I used to joke that we'd brought them up to be independent thinkers and then were surprised to find ourselves with teens and young adults who were...duh!...independent thinkers! Lillian
I can COMPLETELY relate!

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#64 of 84 Old 04-02-2010, 12:48 AM
 
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I'm not an unschooler. I will likely be a homeschooler.

I will admit that unschooling scares me.
You might have a bit different take on it if you read through this thread on Misconceptions about unschooling - there's extensive discussion about the kinds of issues you mention. Homeschooling is a lot different from what people imagine it be, and so is unschooling - and many of us don't think of them as either/or paths but of unschooling as just one form of homeschooling. It's unfortunate that the word "schooling" is part of either of them, because a home doesn't need to be a school in order to facilitate a fantastic education. - Lillian
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#65 of 84 Old 04-02-2010, 02:25 AM
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I do know that if I hadn't been MADE to take my math classes, I would not have learned anything past fractions (because I liked to cook, and fractions happen quite often in cooking). If I hadn't learned the more complex subjects, and learned how to sit through subjects I didn't care about at the time, I don't think I would have ever found my field of work, or pursued my degree field (accounting! of all thing, really!), and I do love my work.
You do not know that you would never have learned anything past fractions. It just might have happened later in life, or in a different setting.

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Is it common that the kids only learn what they want to learn? Or, is that a misperception?
The basic philosophy is that people will learn something when they have a need to know it. It's that whole "education is the lighting of a fire, not the filling of a bucket" thing.

You might be interested in reading this essay: What is Unschooling? It starts off with a quote by George Bernard Shaw...

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"What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge,
not knowledge in pursuit of the child."
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I will admit that unschooling scares me. I believe that there are certain foundations of knowledge that everyone needs.
I guess I do, too. I just don't believe that the knowledge needs to be acquired between the ages of 5 and 18.
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#66 of 84 Old 04-02-2010, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here. Wow, what a great discussion. I really appreciate all the insight offered here. I need to print this thread out and really read it. I'm planning a blog entry about unschooling, more to explain it to myself than anything. With my son being so young I'm still finding my way -- or rather, my son seems to be leading me.

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Well, apparently the guy never got "socialized" in school, huh? Lillian

What's funny is that this guy is very socially inept. I think he's better now that he has a family, but when DH first met him he was known for being really unfriendly and negative and difficult to work with.

My stepson (21 and in college) also thinks it's just terrible that we're homeschooling Henry. His main concern is that his little brother might turn into an antisocial freak. What SS21 doesn't realize is that although he (my stepson) has a lot of friends, he is a major dork, slightly socially inept and scared to grow up.

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#67 of 84 Old 04-02-2010, 11:36 AM
 
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Well, you were lucky. The "make people learn things on the off chance that they might love one of those things" way of approaching education is impractical because while the choice made for a person by others might end up involving something of value to them, the person's own choice is guaranteed to do so because the reason they are choosing it is because it already is valuable to them. There is also the risk of the student becoming resistant to something they might otherwise enjoy, simply by virtue of it being forced. Yes, people can find good things either way; they're just far more likely to in freedom.

Perhaps you would have never found out you love math on your own; but you would have found other things. Is the loss of autonomy and time really worth it? It is now, perhaps, because it's over and done with. But what if I were to, right now, tell you that you have to start learning the things I deem important? Would you balk? You might, after all, discover something you love. Why not, then?

Because, I'm guessing, you think you have better things to do, things that are of known value to you, and because you have faith in the world, in this present, as a place big and varied enough to engage you on your own terms, and you are large enough, on the inside, to contain many different possible loves, directions, goals. You don't need or want me to make demands on your time to play out my guesses, to see if there might be something in them. Young people, unless they're taught differently, aren't any different. They know what stirs their hearts and minds, and they have a natural drive to find a place in the world around them, to learn the things that help them fit and get what they want.
First, I still hate math. Accounting has very little to do with math (most of it is simple addition, subtraction, etc), it is much more about organizing information. But, for people not familiar with it, it looks like a lot of math. So, since I was not familiar with it, Intro to Accounting sounded like a lot of math. If I hadn't tried it anyway, I wouldn't have found out that it suits my desire to organize and categorize things. There aren't many other professions that offer the pay, ease of mobility, and chance to organize the living heck out of things that my current field does. So, no, I don't feel that I would have found as much satisfaction if I had followed the things that I naturally like to do.

This too, is my point. If I only pursued the things I like to do, I would quit once I got to a part that encompassed some other area that I don't like. For example, I only sew things with rather straight lines and no zippers, because I don't like it when sewing gets complicated. I have a strong tendency to quit any craft project once it becomes tedious, hard, or isn't going the way I want. If I were to take a class in that area, I would be "forced" (in quotes because one can only force an adult to do so much) to learn how to finish these things. Some people are just quitters, some people go half-way on things. I think it is a very common human trait to only go as far as is easy.

On to the point of having to learn something I don't want to because you say so, but asking me that now, you are asking an adult. Of course an adult isn't going to listen to someone trying to force them to learn something. However, as a kid, I understood that society expected me to learn certain things for me to be of value. Let's face it, the more educated a person is, the higher society's esteem for that person rises. I don't think that all kids can recognize the importance of learning, but some do.

My overall thought is that public school works for some, homeschooling works for some, and unschooling works for some.

I don't think it's fair to say that one group feels threatened by the other, though. I find it offensive to know that someone would think I felt threatened by them just because I didn't want to do the thing they are doing. It seems like an argument that a person could not win. Kind of like telling someone they are grumpy, and the other person saying they aren't. How do you ever win that argument? You are assigning a perceived condition upon a person, and that is not a fair way to start a conversation, I think.

Personally, I would not use unschooling. It doesn't mesh with my world view. If I were friends with a person who did, I may discuss with them why I wouldn't do it. But, that does not mean that I feel threatened by their choice.
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#68 of 84 Old 04-02-2010, 11:41 AM
 
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Really interesting discussion.

My DH had all sorts of trouble in school. He's smart, but he just didn't fit the mold. He has a harder time than most people learning by rote, and it came up for him over and over. He hates math so much that he specifically avoids it in his life - like, he would never EVER apply for a job at Home Depot because he heard there's a test.

So much for being forced to "learn" something having a happy ending.
Hey, that's not really fair. It's more of so much for that having a happy ending for your husband. Everyone is different. I think it's these hard statements that put both sides of the debate on the offensive. That statement makes me feel like you are thumbing your nose at my experience, just because it wasn't his experience, too. I don't think that's very nice.
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#69 of 84 Old 04-02-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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Hey, that's not really fair. It's more of so much for that having a happy ending for your husband. Everyone is different. I think it's these hard statements that put both sides of the debate on the offensive. That statement makes me feel like you are thumbing your nose at my experience, just because it wasn't his experience, too. I don't think that's very nice.
That's all I meant, for my husband. I should have clarified.

Also it wasn't pointed at you, either... "you have to be forced to learn things you don't like" is a common statement.

Which brings me to a thought I had since my previous post. I think for my DH (who, as a refresher, didn't fit the mold of school at all, yet whose initial response to homeschooling was "no way") his experience in school was pretty much entirely about being "forced to learn" (and I think we can all agree that being forced to learn something is not the ideal method of truly learning).

Since he remembered that he had to be forced to learn, he assumed that unless he were forced to, he would not have.

Which makes it seem like an analogy for hospital/home birth. People assume that since an emergency happened, it would have ended in tragedy outside of the hospital. But they don't consider whether the hospital caused the emergency.

(Standard disclaimer: Of course I completely understand there are some real emergencies, and I also understand that not everybody who goes to school feels forced to learn - I myself loved school!!).

The whole system of school probably felt oppressive to my DH from the beginning. In his case (and again, not in everyone's case - some, like me, flourish in school) school sucked the love of learning right out of him. Everything was a struggle. No wonder he did in fact have to be forced to learn - but never considered what caused that struggle for him in the first place.

So that, I think, could be some people's emotional reactions to unschooling. Some of them were forced to learn, and they could not remember a time when they loved it naturally and sought it out. Therefore they cannot even imagine being able to trust a child's innate, hardwired, inborn curiousity to lead him or her into learning about all sorts of things, even "yucky" stuff like math, grammar, etc. And they can't imagine "yucky" stuff actually being interesting enough for a child to naturally seek out.

And of course children will seek out those things to varying degrees - some might indeed not pursue math to its highest level. But neither do most schooled kids. And I think that it's not necessary for all of us to be the same. Even if some people have a hard time believing it, math is a fascinating subject that has been interesting enough ON ITS OWN throughout the history of humankind to attract many people to study it and build upon our knowledge over each generation. It's not like nobody bothered with "yucky" math until we geared up the modern public school system 60-100 years ago and made all the kids learn it.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#70 of 84 Old 04-02-2010, 12:24 PM
 
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I think it is a very common human trait to only go as far as is easy.
I couldn't disagree more, and this may be the crux of the differences of opinion on this thread.

I TOTALLY don't think this is a common human trait. I see people all around me challenging themselves and striving to get through tough parts of things in order to get to the goals they've set for themselves.

Of course, some people are more driven than others, but I don't think that makes the former group any less worthwhile. If they are happy with their lives, why would it matter?

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Let's face it, the more educated a person is, the higher society's esteem for that person rises. I don't think that all kids can recognize the importance of learning, but some do.
Some people don't care about "society's esteem." Some people identify for themselves what is important to them, what matters to their lives, and they create the life that THEY value. I don't think anyone doesn't recognize the value of learning--we do it naturally and it really can't be stopped--but we all have different ideas about what is valuable to learn, and to what extent.

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#71 of 84 Old 04-02-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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Another reason that other homeschoolers may appear 'threatened' by homeschooling is that immediately separates you as a different kind of homeschooler. How many times have you met other homeschooling parents and talked about different methods or philosophies. I experienced this just the other day when I met a group of moms who's methods were completely different from mine. I just felt an instant disconnect, like all of a sudden, we had nothing in common and they couldn't possibly be of any social value to me. They were talking about how exciting it is to receive boxes of state approved and selected curriculum sent to their doorsteps, including art and science supplies. I was thinking they're just doing school at home and that I would have nothing in common with them. I know that's not true, but it's how I felt and in some cases, it would be true that the differences in schooling would expose differences in parenting that would mean I would prefer keeping my distance or that they would.

I try not to say unschooling when discussing methods with other parents. It's just too far off on one side that many people just wouldn't be able to relate to it at all. I'll stick to "we don't really sit down much for work." or "we outsource a lot of our stuff." Plus, if someone else considers themselves unschoolers, they may have a completely different idea of what unschooling looks like than I do. If I do encounter someone who says "we're unschoolers." I try not to assume that it means much other than they don't model themselves after the school system.

So, maybe they're not as threatened by unschooling as a method. They may just feel threatened that they suddenly don't feel that they have anything in common with you.

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#72 of 84 Old 04-02-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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laohaire - thank you for the clarification. I think my post was the first one that mentioned being forced to learn something, so many of the posts have been referring back to my statement. It looks like I got my knickers in a twist over nothing.

Sagmom - for only going as far is easy... I see your point. I do go farther, sometimes blowing right past darn-near-impossible, when I really want to do something. I think my main point is that, for me, if it is something I don't really want to do, I'll be lazy about it.

chaoticzenmom made the comment "maybe they're not as threatened by unschooling as a method. They may just feel threatened that they suddenly don't feel that they have anything in common with you. ", and I totally agree.

Also, I was trying to figure out why "unschooling" has such a negative connotation to me (which is why I started reading the posts here, I wanted to understand it more), and I think it has to do with people treating me as if something was wrong with me because I was homeschooled. I constantly had to prove that I was just as advanced as the most advanced kids in public school, or people would think I was stupid. I had to constantly prove that I was well behaved, or people would think I was kicked out due to bad behavior. It was a constant struggle to show people that I didn't sit around watching TV all day. It was a relief to get the yearly tests given by the State, which showed my progress. I could point to the piece of paper that showed how I did (ever since I started I did as well on the test as an average 12th grader taking the test would have done, which was the highest possible scoring), rather than trying to explain how much I learned. So, I spent a lot of time defending my intellect. It was tiring. Then , I saw a few different TV shows where people were calling their studies homeschooling. Now I think what they were really doing was unschooling. But, they weren't really shown in the best light (or maybe they were, and I just don't like it). I'm not sure if it was a good representation of what unschooling looks like, but it made me angry. It made me angry because that is what I had to convince people I WASN'T doing all day long.

Then again, it was a TV show, and those aren't always known for showing a really accurate picture of reality.
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#73 of 84 Old 04-02-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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Quote - Originally Posted by DirtRoadMama:
"I think it is a very common human trait to only go as far as is easy."

I couldn't disagree more, and this may be the crux of the differences of opinion on this thread.

I TOTALLY don't think this is a common human trait. I see people all around me challenging themselves and striving to get through tough parts of things in order to get to the goals they've set for themselves.
Same here! And some of those happen to be young adults who were lifelong unschoolers. I don't think it's a natural thing for people to just want to go as far as is easy - if that were the case, our world would be in an even bigger mess than it is. Just think of all the things that would never have been invented or built or developed or explored or...or...or...


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Some people don't care about "society's esteem." Some people identify for themselves what is important to them, what matters to their lives, and they create the life that THEY value. I don't think anyone doesn't recognize the value of learning--we do it naturally and it really can't be stopped--but we all have different ideas about what is valuable to learn, and to what extent.
My unschooled son had an amazing opportunity that could have eased him into a certain post grad education and degree he thought could help him better accomplish some of the social service work he was interested in. But when he spent time with some very successful people who were working in the particular field the degree could provide, they told him they really wouldn't advise it unless he just wanted money and prestige. That might not necessarily sound like a negative, but that's the way they meant it, and he listened up and took their advice quite seriously - he subsequently started down a different path that he feels will better serve his goals. He has friends pursuing all sorts of things that don't bring automatic esteem from society, but they're really enjoying their lives and experiencing creative satisfaction, and that's what matters to them.

But regardless, unschooling doesn't in any way mean that someone will grow up with a limited education. One doesn't need to practice up to have the common sense to know how to go about achieving what one wants.

- Lillian

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#74 of 84 Old 04-02-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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So, maybe they're not as threatened by unschooling as a method. They may just feel threatened that they suddenly don't feel that they have anything in common with you.
That is definitely a possibility. I don't find myself threatened in similar situations, knowing that I am living in a very different way than most of western society, but then again, I am extremely introverted and I've made my choices with full knowledge that I'd be most often going-it alone. Perhaps if I had expected to be supported by a larger group, when I came into contact with people who would not be viable support, I might also feel threatened. I don't know; I don't function that way at all.

An example off the top of my head would be a dire one, where people are working together to rebuild after a major tragedy- natural disaster, for instance. In my participation, it is a given that my activities are supported by others doing the same for a common purpose. If someone came along and said "I'm doing it all my way, and it's just as good or better than what you are doing," regardless of whether or not that assertion were true, that dissent would be a threat to the solidarity the rest of us anticipated and upon which we'd based our participation and purpose. That person may well have a lot to offer and we may well have very much in common, but in the majority situation, the one who dissents (even if rightly) threatens the whole.

I personally do not think that way, and am truly fine with the dissenters (I'm one ), but it is common and even very beneficial in society for people to desire concensus; I just think it has to be properly placed, and oftentimes it isn't, imo, but that's perhaps another subject.

DirtRoadMama, I was public schooled, and I'm going back to the math thing here. I decided on my own to pursue higher maths and when I was 8 yrs old, taught myself algebra and finite maths during my summer break, to the grade 12 level. Then I went back to school and was told by my teachers that I couldn't import that understanding into my math work because we wouldn't be covering that in grade school. I was required to show all of my work in long division, fill in my multiplication tables and record every step, as they taught it, even though it was the elementary way of doing maths that typically is eventually absorbed by higher operations- which I had learned.

My point is that even though I was highly discouraged by my teachers, I still went ahead and learned what interested me. I did that with everything, and in truth, the first and only time I learned something academic in school that I didn't already know, was in grade 11 chemistry. This is excepting learning the french language in a francophone school in grades 7 & 8; but even then, it was the language and not the subject material that was new to me (and becoming fluent was my own doing in my own time because two years of schooling at that level doesn't afford full fluency to the majority).

I could not be stopped from learning because my appetite and drive were so great. I did the bare minimum for As all the way through to and including college, but lived very much like Mark Twain who wrote that he never lets his schooling get in the way of his education. School was something like a pest to me, one that I could keep at bay by satisfying its paltry requirements; I learned in spite of it and tossed in my 'work' at the required times while being focussed elsewhere.

There is a whole spectrum of personalities, from those who cannot be squelched (like me) to those who cannot bear up under the emotional strain of institutionalisation, and of course everyone else too. For at least this reason, I think that the manner in which one approaches education must be as inclusive as possible, and this is why I cannot agree with your sentiment that ps works for some, hs works for some and u/s works for some. I think that ps is the least inclusive of the range of experience of human beings, hs is in the middle and free-learning or U/S potentially has the most inclusivity built into it. If you are only considering yourself, then by all means, limit yourself to what suits you personally, but if you are considering others, at least recognise the arbitrary limitations that you are placing on their education for what they are.

I see the limitations of free-learning, but I find those to be healthy limitations, so I accept and embrace them. The limitations of ps and most forms of hs to me, are restrictive and their limitations are unnecessary and potentially/actually detrimental to my family, so we don't do those things.

I don't think there is child alive who would not benefit from a more inclusive approach to his/her education than public or mass schooling affords. If there is, then there is a type of human being with needs so divergent from the rest of us, that a new classification may be necessary in order to discern it from the rest in that giant chasm of difference.

Life circumstances notwithstanding of course. No doubt there are lots of children who benefit from the relatively safe environment of the school in contrast with their unsafe home environments, but that is another subject.

That you were underestimated because others didn't understand how you approached your education is not at all exclusive to hs'ed children. I was ps'ed, and I was underestimated as a matter of course- all day, every day, and not just when I came upon people who were ignorant of my institutional experience. What you experienced on occasion was the day-in, day-out experience I had in the classroom. I think it is the usual experience of ps'ed children with the distinction being between those who recognise it and those who don't; either way, it is the way of institutions to marginalise their constituents, so everyone is thereby underestimated for efficiency's sake, at least.

I doubt that you and I felt the same way about how we were treated; we're different people. And I assume that you didn't have the sheer quantity of interractions that I did each day given that you were hs'ed and I was ps'ed, in a classroom full of others and spending my days with teachers who didn't know me. I am assuming you were with your parent(s)/family at least the majority of the time, so that your experience with being underestimated by people who misunderstood hs was relatively less than my experience with teachers who misunderstood/grossly underestimated my potential and abilities on a daily basis. I recognise that I've made assumptions, and that I may be incorrect, so please do correct me if my assumptions here about your experience are inaccurate.

I am not competing for sympathy here; I am hoping to illuminate the reality that what you experienced as a negative result of hs, may well have been a negative result of a society that underestimates the human organism as a whole, and not just those who are hs'ed. I see regularly how children and adults alike are treated as though they were inept. A usual trip through the grocery store illuminates this, likewise any public building or employment situation.

I think it was Annakiss who wrote in this thread that genius is far more common than we tend to consider*; it's everywhere and in everyone. Its recognition is the less common reality, imo.

ETA: *Annakiss's post #35, pg 2.

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#75 of 84 Old 04-02-2010, 05:02 PM
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On to the point of having to learn something I don't want to because you say so, but asking me that now, you are asking an adult. Of course an adult isn't going to listen to someone trying to force them to learn something. However, as a kid, I understood that society expected me to learn certain things for me to be of value. Let's face it, the more educated a person is, the higher society's esteem for that person rises. I don't think that all kids can recognize the importance of learning, but some do.
Made me think of...

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"The traditional curriculum is based on the assumption that children must be pursued by knowledge because they will never pursue it themselves. It was no doubt noticed that, when given a choice, most children prefer not to do school work. Since, in a school, knowledge is defined as schoolwork, it is easy for educators to conclude that children don't like to acquire knowledge. Thus schooling came to be a method of controlling children and forcing them to do whatever educators decided was beneficial for them. Most children don't like textbooks, workbooks, quizzes, rote memorization, subject schedules, and lengthy periods of physical inactivity. One can discover this - even with polite and cooperative children - by asking them if they would like to add more time to their daily schedule. I feel certain that most will decline the offer." - Earl Stevens
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#76 of 84 Old 04-05-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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I'm not an unschooler. I will likely be a homeschooler.

I will admit that unschooling scares me. I believe that there are certain foundations of knowledge that everyone needs. I don't mean details of history or the memorizing of every bit of the periodic table. I mean that people need to be introduced to the idea of history and have a basic foundation in chemistry because there is no way to predict what a child will grow up to be.
USing scared me for a long time. I worried that I was wrong and they wouldn't learn what they needed to know through life experiences. I did not lay down my fears until I was proved wrong - by my own children, lol. This took years. Thousand of people could have told me not to worry and it did not really keep me from worrying until I saw what I needed to see.

I was NOT one of these USers>

I was a carefully thought out, I think Using is the best of the options, but it still scares the crap out of m, USer. I am a bit more relaxed about it now as I believe I have proof it works, but I still understand its potential pitfalls.

Honestly, though, fear may be more about parenting. Maybe parents are simply scared until they see there kids turning out alright-irregardless of system of education (or lack thereof) chosen?

As per the "foundations of knowledge" I have come to conclude (and I think studies will show this) that involved parents who value learning and provide resource rich environments have children who value knowledge. I think this is irregardless of schooling choices.
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#77 of 84 Old 04-05-2010, 03:34 PM
 
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USing scared me for a long time. I worried that I was wrong and they wouldn't learn what they needed to know through life experiences. I did not lay down my fears until I was proved wrong - by my own children, lol. This took years. Thousand of people could have told me not to worry and it did not really keep me from worrying until I saw what I needed to see.
I had read all the John Holt Books, had heard wonderful talks at conferences from David and Micki Colfax, Thomas Armstrong, Mark and Helen Hegener, and other powerful speakers/authors who all advocated the unschooling viewpoint even though they weren't using the term, and I was surrounded by unschoolers in the local support group - but it wasn't until my son started puzzling me with the array of things he knew that neither his dad nor I could account for that it really hit home with a big bang. Lillian
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#78 of 84 Old 04-06-2010, 01:30 AM
 
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How many times have you met other homeschooling parents and talked about different methods or philosophies. I experienced this just the other day when I met a group of moms who's methods were completely different from mine. I just felt an instant disconnect, like all of a sudden, we had nothing in common and they couldn't possibly be of any social value to me. They were talking about how exciting it is to receive boxes of state approved and selected curriculum ....
Am very much enjoying this discussion. Just to introduce another angle, I find that I rarely use the term "unschooling" in front of other unschoolers. Maybe I am threatened by them! I am always afraid of the "disconnect" that seems imminent if I happen to express a different viewpoint on something related to learning, growing, GD, TV, diapers, etc. There seem to be more fixed tenets of unschooling whereas with homeschooling everyone accepts that there are well over 31 flavors. No one expects you to have the same view on anything. Esp when they are all discussing curriculum and you can just say, " we have none" and be done with it. I rarely encounter anything other than appreciation.

no longer  or  or ... dd is going on 12 (!) how was I to know there was a homeschool going on?
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#79 of 84 Old 04-06-2010, 01:51 AM
 
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My DH said that none of this came off antagonistically -- very assertive, yes, but not antagonistic. And I wasn't there. But really, writing subject headings on his white board, meeting him as he walked into work, peppering him with questions? What's that all about?
I often find that with respect to breastfeeding, ec (diaper-free), etc, people who ask the most questions and appear the most troubled are the ones most likely thinking of changing their mind and maybe even changing their ways, if they can muster up the courage of their convictions. It doesn' tmean we need to answer their questions, in fact, probably what I have learned most efficiently is how to talk in such a casual way that does not encourage more questions (else it's all I would be doing).

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And yes, I totally understand US is way more than "do nothing"
Actually if I could get away with it without getting into 100 questions, that is probably the way I wuld describe US. Like do-nothing farming. It's of a piece with my approach to health as well. Maybe parenting.

no longer  or  or ... dd is going on 12 (!) how was I to know there was a homeschool going on?
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#80 of 84 Old 04-06-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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Am very much enjoying this discussion. Just to introduce another angle, I find that I rarely use the term "unschooling" in front of other unschoolers. Maybe I am threatened by them! I am always afraid of the "disconnect" that seems imminent if I happen to express a different viewpoint on something related to learning, growing, GD, TV, diapers, etc. There seem to be more fixed tenets of unschooling whereas with homeschooling everyone accepts that there are well over 31 flavors. No one expects you to have the same view on anything. Esp when they are all discussing curriculum and you can just say, " we have none" and be done with it. I rarely encounter anything other than appreciation.
I find that meeting real unschoolers in real life - meaning not necessarily those most visible in the culture - is really really refreshing. We can be different, but similar. I have used the internet to find those who are most like me philosophically to great success. The local unschoolers are also all totally awesome and struggling just like me, even with different perspectives and personalities, we all have questions that are often unanswerable and can connect on just trying to deal with our lives. It's nice.

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Actually if I could get away with it without getting into 100 questions, that is probably the way I wuld describe US. Like do-nothing farming. It's of a piece with my approach to health as well. Maybe parenting.
I'm totally this way too. I've tried activities here and there and I still do them, occasionally, but I have given up trying to coax too much out of my kids or fretting too much about what they're doing or what I'm doing, necessarily.

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#81 of 84 Old 04-14-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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Actually if I could get away with it without getting into 100 questions, that is probably the way I wuld describe US. Like do-nothing farming. It's of a piece with my approach to health as well. Maybe parenting.
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I'm totally this way too. I've tried activities here and there and I still do them, occasionally, but I have given up trying to coax too much out of my kids or fretting too much about what they're doing or what I'm doing, necessarily.
I am another like this. About my children and us being human and all that, I do nothing; it happens naturally. But I have found with my family that the absolute best thing for me personally to do(for my sake and theirs) is to do things that interest me, especially active things like building and making art, and in doing that, I really do nothing that tends toward anything but just living and being who I am; they do this naturally, but I guess I have to think about it.

I have found that while dp is also very hands-off with our children's explorations, he is very directive, and it takes them a day or two of him being at his job for them to relax back into just being again.

If I am not doing anything obviously active according to my dc, such as sitting here typing, they will swarm me with a million requests and suddenly urgent needs. I don't get that. But there it is. We all fare better when I do my own thing and it looks like it too.

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#82 of 84 Old 04-15-2010, 09:25 PM
 
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B/c it's basically saying, "My kid can stay at home and do nothing and be better than your kid who will be institutionalized for 18 years."
OMG. This is the funniest thing I've read, but you hit the nail on the head!

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#83 of 84 Old 05-23-2010, 04:21 AM
 
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I know this is a really old thread, but it's so good. There are so many interesting and articulate posts. I love mothering.

I could not be stopped from learning because my appetite and drive were so great. I did the bare minimum for As all the way through to and including college, but lived very much like Mark Twain who wrote that he never lets his schooling get in the way of his education. School was something like a pest to me, one that I could keep at bay by satisfying its paltry requirements; I learned in spite of it and tossed in my 'work' at the required times while being focused elsewhere.

This was my favorite, because it totally described me. My parents would have been great unschoolers, because somehow my brothers and I never became like our classmates. We would often be out reading high level economic/historical/political/etc. books and people would ask us if it was for school. We would look at them like they had two heads...schools make you read a certain number of "literature" books, but tend to rely on textbooks for the rest. And really, when (in that wide wonderful real world) does anyone learn anything from a textbook? We wanted to learn things that they didn't teach in textbooks.

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#84 of 84 Old 05-24-2010, 11:48 PM
 
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This is a great thread! Thanks for reviving it Sweetpeppers!

Take Care,
Erika(I don't wear a fro, I'm just a sister who likes this smilie!):

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail..."
"I am learning all the time, the tombstone will be my diploma"- Eartha Kitt
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