Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North of Boston, MA
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I have a question for all of the unschoolers out there. My oldest daughter is six. We started out with Oak Meadow this year, but were vey loose with it. We have also used various workbooks and "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons." Oh, and there was that project about teeth I tried when she lost her first tooth; that got really ugly, really fast... Anyway, things seem to go well for a while, then rapidly deteriorate once the novelty wears off. When we start arguing about what, whether, when, and/or how to something, I generally back off. We read ALL the time (at dd's request -- there is nothing else she would rather do), so I figure we can't go too far afield.
After the "great tooth incident" about two months ago, I was fed up and hurt and I stopped initiating anything. I figured, she knows what we have in the house, if she wants to do something, she'll let me know (God knows she has no problem telling people what she wants). We still read constantly, and in the past couple of weeks she has started reading on her own; and nobody "did anything" to her or for her. Well, this made me think that maybe unschooling really is the way to go with her, as she is so strong willed (she comes by it naturally).
What I am wondering is, with little kids who can't be as self directed as older kids (simply because they don't yet know what is "out there" or how to access it all) do you plan any sort of activities at all? Or do you just let them play and drive you nuts? If you do make plans, how do you select from everything available? Do you usually have a couple of options available for your child to choose from, or is it more "Do you want to do X? If not, you're on your own." As you are selecting projects, when do you cross the line into unit studies? Does it even matter?How do you make sure, as you go along, that you are meeting legal requirements?
I think unschooling would work really well for us, but I am still nervous about "letting go" of everything (and my husband thinks I'm nuts). Any advice?