What if your child had no interest in math? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 130 Old 10-13-2010, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think the point is, though, that at that time there would have been time for tutoring, switching up approaches, possible diagnosis of a learning disability (if there was one), and all kinds of creative solutions to learning math that there is not time for now.
It is always 20/20 when we look back. It is easy to find faults with our past. One can also say that there was a time 2-3 years brfore cc when math could have been introduced in a more formal way. Maybe that would have made a difference. Maybe not.

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#62 of 130 Old 10-13-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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I agree with the PP that there is time for tutoring now, and he should receive it. But I think it would have been ideal if someone who is choosing to go to college, a time for choice and exploration of what you really want to do in life, does not have to waste that time (and money) on remedial classes.
I just wanted to clarify that I meant tutoring is an option now that could help, that it's not "too late", but whether he should receive it (if he's not already) depends on what he the student wants to do. In my case it would have helped, but it would have had to be offered to me as it's not something I would have sought out on my own. I also clearly remember that I missed a couple of classes and felt so lost that I just gave up.

I don't really think this is an unschooling issue. People say that kids will likely pick up basic math from everyday life and that if they need to go beyond that they will. This is exactly what the young man taking the remedial class is doing. Remedial college classes aren't for learning the very basics such as the 4 operations, etc. It's more like the class you would take the year before you start high school math, but much faster paced as it's only 12 weeks. I passed all the math classes in middle and high school just fine, but I also developed a hatred of math and took the bare minimum required to graduate. So I had the same problem only I wasn't unschooled. I bet he'll come through it better than I did!
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#63 of 130 Old 10-13-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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I embrace unschooling with full understanding that it is not a guarantee for anything. My kids might blame me later. But I realise that they might blame me for a bunch of other things as well. At least I'm doing what I believe in.
Yes. Even more so: I'm doing what I believe in with full disclosure to my kids, who are pretty level-headed intelligent people. My 14yo ds has decided this year to study formal math. About three times a year over the past number of years we have sat down to discuss his educational desires, dreams, plans and goals. Formal study of math was an area he'd chosen not to tackle since about age 10. I haven't pressured him about it, but I have made it clear that (a) most kids study a bit of math most days (b) his skills are currently at the level of his age-peers, but that may not continue if he doesn't choose to work consistently at math (c) although I'm confident he could make up for years of neglecting math later, it would probably require some serious effort (d) most degrees, diplomas and practical training programs do require at least some proof of math proficiency (e) if he would like to work learn math but finds it a struggle we can look creatively at ways to remedy that situation, including, if he would like, the option of me making him study math. In other words, I'm giving him this choice, including the option of relinquishing his choice. There are times when I have expressed to him my concern that there might be something standing in the way of his interest in academic learning. In his case it's not so much a possible learning disability but perfectionism and difficulty with scheduling and routines. We've had long heart-to-hearts about this. In the end it has always of course been his choice that prevailed -- but he has always listened to my advice, perspectives and concerns. Last winter we did some work as a family dealing with our general difficulties with rhythms and routines. My ds chose to include math in his daily responsibilities as part of that work, and this year he is moving ahead with it into more structure and more challenge. While he was resistent to formal math study for a few years, I believe he was hearing what I was saying and when the time was right he acted on my advice.

So I guess I'm saying that if the parent sees areas of learning that seem to have been significantly neglected by their child, it behooves them to discuss any concerns or worries they might have, advising their child on the bigger picture and of any price that might be paid for that neglect later. Not in a threatening, fear-mongering way, but rationally and with love and offers of support whatever the choice ends up being.

I think the responsibility for informing decisions is shared between parent and child, while the decision itself falls to the child. If I inform my children adequately and revisit the dialogue regularly, I don't think I'll deserve the blame for their choices. That's not to say they might not blame me; I think it's inevitable that grown children will blame their parents for at least a few things. (I tell my kids that it's part of a parent's job to give her kids something they have to get over as adults. ) But I don't think I'll accept that blame into my own collection of emotional baggage. I'm doing the best I can, according to my values, and my kids are well-informed about alternatives and free to ask for something different.

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#64 of 130 Old 10-13-2010, 09:02 PM
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It is always 20/20 when we look back. It is easy to find faults with our past. One can also say that there was a time 2-3 years brfore cc when math could have been introduced in a more formal way. Maybe that would have made a difference. Maybe not.
I would wonder what conversations about math Tigeresse had been having before her son went to cc... I guess maybe this is just my experience, but most of the unschoolers I know have started to look forward and think about their futures by their early to mid-teens. If college seemed to be something a kid was headed for, I would think that a parent would tell them about the skills that would be necessary, and then IME it's really on the teen to use that information as he or she wishes. My job as an unschooling parent is to provide information that seems useful or relevant, and it's my kid's choice to do what she wants with it.

I guess I see teens as pretty competent, and I think expecting them to take on this role is not unrealistic... and if they plan poorly, well, as others have said, it's not too late... and if community college takes an extra semester or two than I don't think that's a huge deal in the grand scheme of things.

 
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#65 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 01:56 AM
 
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And I don't mean just workbooks. What if he/she wasn't interested in board games that involved any kind of computation, even if it was roll to die at once or oral number games? What if he or she didn't like to bake? What if he or she wasn't interested in keeping track of the allowance or measuring anything, budgetting with the family, saving up for anything and so on?

Everything I read suggests that if a child is not interested in formal math,
the real world math will be unavoidable--board games and bakind being the favorites.

How comfortable are you with your child showing no interest in anything math related? Until what age?
I have not read anything but the OP at this point.

Honestly, if my kids had no interest AT ALL in numbers and math, I'd have to come to the conclusion that unschooling was not the best fit to meet their educational needs. And I love unschooling. But math is a necessary life skill that needs to build on itself and requires lots of practice, and I would be doing my kids a disservice to send them out into the world without a strong foundation. Sure, we can learn lots of things quickly as teens and adults, but I don't see any sense in putting my kid at such a significant disadvantage...Their education should give them choices, not limitations.
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#66 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 02:02 AM
 
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These are some of the things my ds told me when I asked him about how he felt about his unschooling experience and his current situation with math (posting with his permission):

"Math education should start as early as possible"
"Real life math is very different from classroom"
"If kids don't want to do it, the parents should make them do it. They will not learn it without doing it".
"Teachers at this level expect that you have some sort of background. I am starting at the beginning."

He was also clear with me that he does not blame me for his deficiencies in math. He is well aware that I offered and made suggestions that he turned down. I purchased an entire "Key To" set and the math placement preparation guide from the cc and suggested he go through them before his placement test, and this was probably 2 years before he took it. He told me he would not do it and would prefer to be in a classroom where someone "would make him do it". He went in to take the test with no prep whatsoever, bombed of course and began with the lowest level remedial. This option cost us a lot more money, but it is the way he wanted to do it. And yes, he does want to transfer to a 4-year college.

Although I do not discount a LD as a possibility and appreciate the info., I simply do not believe that any and all neuro-typical unschooled kids will end up equipped to pick up math in a structured environment without missing a beat(if they decide they need/want it). I do believe in so many aspects of unschooling..."freedom from and freedom to" are so important to us. But at the end of the day I do not feel I did my son any great service by believing that he knew best what he needed at any given time. He did not want to do math. He didn't need it. He didn't see that he *would* need it. I had math stuff all over the place. I took 2 homeschool algebra classes with him. I followed his lead and made suggestions. This approach did not give him what he ended up needing in math.

Maybe this is Ok, and it has to be in our situation. We have to take it from here. BUT I will not let the same thing happen to my younger kids. My 14yo is already all over bringing up his skills to avoid the struggles his brother has been dealing with. 11yo is also doing more formal math, but he picks it up very easily as he is the one who incorporated calculators in all is made-up games for years. I don't worry about math w/7 yo., she just has a workbook she likes to do when her brothers pull their stuff out!

My original post was in response to the question about unschooling kids who have no interest in math. That was my kid (although he did do quite a bit of informal math play). He learned to function with money and simple day to day stuff, but not to handle math as was eventually required of him in a classroom setting. I knew he might be in that situation someday, but I believed the dogma that "he will learn it when he needs it," and "in a few months", I might add. That has not been not our experience, and I think that it is important to share both sides.
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#67 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 02:03 AM
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It seems that, if any unforseen struggle occurs with a child who has been unschooled, the fear or reply is that it is the unschooling that caused the frustration, and that it should not have been that way.

I truly do not mean to minimise Tigresses' son's struggle or frustration. But I do think because we are doing something counter-culture, we immediately question/blame it if something 'goes wrong'. And THAT is the issue, not the math skills.

Both DH and I went to the same high school. He went on to an engineering type program, I went on to nursing. I never had to use math in my nursing that I couldn't handle, nor did I ever need to upgrade my remedial math 10, the last year of math I did at our school before opting out of it entirely. Up until grade 9, math was no issue. basic fractions, decimels, volume. Then it became greek to me. Dh actually knows those damn memorised times tables, and uses them at work. I don't, and figure it out in my head. Same age, same school program. but we're not the same person. We sat in the same class learning the times tables, the Soh-Cah-Toa, all of it. And he remembers it all and I don't. I'd likely fail a math 10 test today. But it has never hindered my goals in life. f it did, I'd figure it out.

I'm debating doing a science degree in the near future, and to get into the program I'd need math 11 and 12, plus physics and chemistry 12. ugh. I was not unschooled. I went on to university. These upgrade classes WILL frustrate me, and take time. so it goes.

It is not the decision/choice to school or unschool that causes this. We are all different, we excel and rebuke different things. Tigresses' son is not incapable of functioning in the world, he's just struggling with the math required for a post-secondary program. This does not set him apart from schooled kids.

I do hear the point of 'when is it learning in their own time vs. a learning block that needs our help/guidance' and there is no rule or answer. but most unschooling parents are with their kids all the time, and as was already said, they 'see' teir frustrations, their motivations. and yes, comparing our kids to schooled kids is just insane. it is an entirely different way of thinking and learning, so you have entirely different measures of 'success'.


I'm sorry for your DS' struggle Tigresse. I feel his frustration. but he is motivated to learn it, because he needs it for something else. that's the case for so many kids out of high school.

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#68 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 02:10 AM
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Sorry Tigresses, I posted as you did. I can see for sure how 'real life' math does not always translate into 'math on paper' skills. I struggle with how to share the difference with my kids, without turning them off because I'd be 'teaching' them (something they do not enjoy, because they feel that I'm *smarter* and they are not).


You bring up one part of unschooling that I have yet to figure out my thoughts on. And actually I do not think of it in terms solely of unschooling, but of parenting in general, of preparing your child for the world stuff. Do I *make* my kids do chores because they are part of life, or do I have faith that when needed, they'll learn? but if I'm always doing it all for them, when will it be needed? My public schooled DH was never taught to do any chores, and as an adult, he struggles to *see* the chores, to know what to do and how and be flexible and look ahead. Yet unschooling dogma seems to say I should not make them earn them, and when I try they deflect me and our relationship suffers.


Sorry for turning math into chores, but it is the thing most on my mind lately.

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#69 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 02:10 AM
 
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Honestly, if my kids had no interest AT ALL in numbers and math, I'd have to come to the conclusion that unschooling was not the best fit to meet their educational needs. And I love unschooling. But math is a necessary life skill that needs to build on itself and requires lots of practice, and I would be doing my kids a disservice to send them out into the world without a strong foundation. Sure, we can learn lots of things quickly as teens and adults, but I don't see any sense in putting my kid at such a significant disadvantage...Their education should give them choices, not limitations.
Yes! This is very put very succinctly and what I now believe to be true, and also what I learned the hard way. Guess I had to be unschooled to learn I'm not a true unschooler.
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#70 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 02:11 AM
 
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What I got from earlier posts is that age 12-16 or so is the prime time for math to "click" with kids. So my mental : on it is to have the "will you need math and how can we get it for you?" conversation at 16 (OMG, she's going to be 16 some day? : sorry, moving on...)

And if she says she wants a class, fine, but she'll be taking the remedial level classes AT 16--benefiting from Tigresse's ds's experiences--and the money will come away from other activities.
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#71 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 02:47 AM
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"If kids don't want to do it, the parents should make them do it. They will not learn it without doing it".
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He was also clear with me that he does not blame me for his deficiencies in math.
To me these statements seem a bit contradictory...

Anyway, I guess I'm learning some things about myself here, and my boundaries. I'm not willing to make my kid do academics. If she wants that, she'll need to go to school - which is fine, if that's her choice. I'm willing to create schedules with her and remind her and check up on her, if she asks me to do these things (she wanted some accountability with her online SAT prep course, for example, so I came up with a number of lessons for her to do every week and agreed to ask her every Sunday if she's completed them all - and I have, and she has). And, of course, I'm always here to answer questions and teach her stuff if she asks me to. That, however, is as far as I'm willing to go. I'm not willing to take on the responsibility for her learning something.

YMMV, of course.

 
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#72 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He is well aware that I offered and made suggestions that he turned down. I purchased an entire "Key To" set and the math placement preparation guide from the cc and suggested he go through them before his placement test, and this was probably 2 years before he took it. He told me he would not do it and would prefer to be in a classroom where someone "would make him do it". He went in to take the test with no prep whatsoever, bombed of course and began with the lowest level remedial. This option cost us a lot more money, but it is the way he wanted to do it. And yes, he does want to transfer to a 4-year college.

.
I don't know how I would approach it if my kids had this attitude and later insisted I should have been forcing them to do math since early childhood. This is a tough one, emotionally. I might be questioning my choices as well, just because it is human nature to doubt and question, when things don't go as you'd hope, especially when children are concerned.

But right now, as a detached observer, and not an emotionally involved parent, my comment would be that he made his decision, fully aware of the consequences. This is a personality issue. It is not something a parent can prevent, unschooling or not unschooling. At some point we let them make their own decisions, even the big ones.

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#73 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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I didn't comment on Tigeresse's original post because there really wasn't anything on which to comment. There wasn't enough info to form any kind of opinion. Did he just not like math? Did he have a learning difference that made it difficult? There is no saying his being schooled would have made a difference. Some schooled kids struggle with remedial math. His CC class is most likely comprised of them. He's learning now and frustrated. He could have learned earlier and been frustrated. Sure he wishes he did it before because that would mean he wasn't doing it now. He has my sympathies, though.

I don't think anyone claims that unschooling results in kids that can segue into a schooling system with no prep. In Tigeresse's later post, she explained she told her ds what would be needed to achieve his goals and he chose not to attempt to prepare. But he did learn, naturally, the sort of math a typical adult needs to know to function "in the real world," the thing everybody always expresses so much concern about.

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Anyway, I guess I'm learning some things about myself here, and my boundaries. I'm not willing to make my kid do academics. If she wants that, she'll need to go to school - which is fine, if that's her choice. I'm willing to create schedules with her and remind her and check up on her, if she asks me to do these things (she wanted some accountability with her online SAT prep course, for example, so I came up with a number of lessons for her to do every week and agreed to ask her every Sunday if she's completed them all - and I have, and she has). And, of course, I'm always here to answer questions and teach her stuff if she asks me to. That, however, is as far as I'm willing to go. I'm not willing to take on the responsibility for her learning something.

YMMV, of course.
I was responsible for my choices when I was a schooled teenager. I expect my ds to be responsible for his choices when he is an unschooled teen. I'll have all the conversations with him to make sure he is aware of his options and what skills he'll need to develop for certain goals. I'll be there to help him or find resources. But I'm not going to "make" him do anything. I don't even know how I'd go about that. I know it wouldn't go anywhere healthy for our relationship with ds' personality.

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#74 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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I can't say for sure because he's not here to ask, but I think he does not blame me because I did provide information and resources and he chose not to use them. He does not blame me because I worked within the unschooling paradigm and told him so. I think he just does not believe in the paradigm.
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#75 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 04:54 PM
 
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I'm not willing to take on the responsibility for her learning something.
I'm their parent and a homeschooler (unschooler). When I decided to homeschool my kids, I made a commitment to take responsibility for their learning what they need to know to be successful adults. I do not take that lightly.
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#76 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 05:56 PM
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I'm their parent and a homeschooler (unschooler). When I decided to homeschool my kids, I made a commitment to take responsibility for their learning what they need to know to be successful adults. I do not take that lightly.
I guess I don't see how that's even possible, both in a practical sense (you can lead a horse to water, but...) and in a predictive sense, because I don't think it's possible to really know what kids will need to know to be successful adults. I remember hearing Pat Montgomery addressing this very point - IIRC, she talked about how her father was told be the Irish nuns who were his teachers that they were teaching him the things he would need to know to be successful, and then he immigrated to the US and realized that they had been utterly and completely wrong, and he needed to learn a whole new set of things.

I do think we can make our best guesses as to what our kids will need to know to become happy and successful adults, and we can and should share these ideas with them, but I also don't think we should lose sight of the fact that we may be very, very wrong.

Anyway, maybe this is what separates unschooling from other forms of homeschooling? Because I see the responsibility for learning to ultimately be on my kid's head, not mine, and I don't see how one could unschool and think otherwise.

 
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#77 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 06:41 PM
 
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I don't see how one could unschool and think otherwise.
I do. One can unschool, letting the children follow their interests within an enriching environment, letting them choose how and what and when to learn about their interest, but without the parent utterly abdicating their responsibility to their children's education. I am a facilitator, a navigator, and I consider it my ultimate goal to teach them HOW to find any information they need. But if--barring learning disabilities--my 10-year-old couldn't write their name without help or count change, or my 17-year-old had no interests outside of video games to the detriment of their health, then I would consider it my responsibility to re-evaluate our homeschooling style to see if my favorite choice (unschooling) is actually the best fit to meet THEIR needs.

Unschooling works for us because my children love to learn--they seek out information at every turn, are inquisitive and passionately curious, and truly want to grow and learn and expand into and with their worlds. (We do not have addictive video games and the like, so I do not know how that might change their interests/dynamics.) It seems to me that some unschoolers (not singling anyone out--this is just an evolution of conversation) take unschooling to mean doing nothing, and cross that line into education neglect. I find it sad and feel it gives unschooling its bad name.

I think there is a difference between giving children the choice of what, when, where, and how to learn, and giving up all responsibility for their education. I am drawn passionately to unschooling, but not if it is such a mismatch for my child and their environment that it sets them up to be at a disadvantage from the start. As I said upthread, I want to increase their options (which I fully believe uschooling can do) and not limit them. If my preference to unschool is not a good fit for the child, then I need to be the bigger person and find a homeschooling style that works for the child, rather than sticking to my guns and blaming them for the fallout when they have to take mutliple semesters of remedial math in community college because they cannot even count change well enough to get a job at Burger King.
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#78 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 07:32 PM
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I do. One can unschool, letting the children follow their interests within an enriching environment, letting them choose how and what and when to learn about their interest, but without the parent utterly abdicating their responsibility to their children's education.
I think there's a different between having a responsibility to your child's education and a responsibility for them learning a particular set of things. I don't feel that I've abdicated the former because I refuse to take on the latter. I think unschooling includes giving children back their educational agency. My kid has tended to live up to my (and others') expectations of her, and I think treating her as a competent individual and expecting her to make good decisions (when given access to good information and support) is part of the reason why.

Or... maybe I got lucky. Or maybe it's because she's a Capricorn.

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But if--barring learning disabilities--my 10-year-old couldn't write their name without help or count change, or my 17-year-old had no interests outside of video games to the detriment of their health, then I would consider it my responsibility to re-evaluate our homeschooling style to see if my favorite choice (unschooling) is actually the best fit to meet THEIR needs.
So if your child didn't learn the things you wanted him to within the timeframe you thought appropriate, you'd change from unschooling to something else? And you'd agree that the something else, if it meant forcing him to learn things (or attempting to do so) would not be unschooling? I'd agree with that definition... although I guess I'm not sure unschooling with a specific learning agenda is really the same as unschooling without one, and I would wonder how that changed the process. IME, trying to commit to unschooling while also trying to, for example, ensure that your child stays at or above grade level in all areas at all times is a recipe for disaster... maybe trying to ensure that your kid can count change at 10 produces less of a conflict, but it seems to be along the same lines.

 
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#79 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 10:39 PM
 
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I don't get how what I said equates to having a "specific learning agenda." I don't care about unschooled kids keeping pace in all subjects with their schooled peers. I'm talking about the more extreme examples--(aside from disabilities) if a kid can't write their own name by age 10, and has no skills at age 17 outside of playing video games... that's just plain NOT learning. Educational neglect. If "avoid educational neglect" is an "agenda" then I'll own it.
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#80 of 130 Old 10-14-2010, 10:56 PM
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Well... what about a ten year old who could sew beautifully and designed her own clothes, was a keen equestrian and earned money for lessons by mucking out stalls, and was a talented artist who could speak knowledgeably about various artistic eras and styles... but could not reliably count change and struggled with writing her full name and wasn't able to read fluently. Is she being educationally neglected? Because she's clearly learning. She's just not learning the same things other kids her age are learning...

I think a lot of people react strongly when video games are mentioned, and some people think there is an actual addictive to them going on, which would be a different situation - I think a kid addicted to anything is probably not having a good unschooling time of it. I'm not sure whether I buy the addition analogy, but because it is out there I think it's easier to just remove that piece. Hence, my non-gaming example.

 
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#81 of 130 Old 10-15-2010, 01:07 AM
 
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Well... what about a ten year old who could sew beautifully and designed her own clothes, was a keen equestrian and earned money for lessons by mucking out stalls, and was a talented artist who could speak knowledgeably about various artistic eras and styles... but could not reliably count change and struggled with writing her full name and wasn't able to read fluently. Is she being educationally neglected? Because she's clearly learning. She's just not learning the same things other kids her age are learning...
If she's ten and struggles to write her name and count change, and no one is working to help her with reading, writing and math, yes, I will say that she is educationally neglected. Such a child is clearly doing wonderful things, and that's great, but without the ability to read comfortably, and deal with practical every day arithmetic, she is going to hit a very unpleasant wall in her learning, and possibly in her real life, very soon. Her ignorance will not only stunt her intellectual exploration, but it will put her at serious risk of being taken advantage in a number of ways, the least harmful of which is being underpaid.

If this hypothetical child read fluently and could handle decimals, fractions and percentages, I would have no issue. But she needs those things.
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#82 of 130 Old 10-15-2010, 01:13 AM
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The horse, fashion, and art businesses require most workers (and virtually all of those who are earning a living wage) to work as independent contractors. As such, they need to be able to handle contracts and business math, as well as the specialized math skills required for those particular areas. I would be very concerned that a 10-year-old with career plans in those areas needs some significant educational support if she cannot yet read fluently or handle money with confidence.

That said, I can't imagine how this 10-year-old can be considered "Accomplished" in those particular areas without functional reading and math skills. There are a lot of natural opportunities for reading and calculation in those fields (how much clay, paint, fabric, or hay? How many stalls equals a riding lesson? How much does it cost to frame the pieces needed for a gallery show? How much does creating a garment cost, and what's a fair price for the finished product? What kinds of angles and distances make a jump course or a reining pattern difficult?). I don't think helping her pick up a reasonable level of skill is going to be painful or difficult unless she has an underlying learning disability. And if she does, it's probably a good idea to start getting help before she has to be independent.

So, yes, honestly, I think a parent who was completely content to let that 10-year-old's skill deficits persist because she's learning lots of *other* stuff is neglecting their child's education.
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#83 of 130 Old 10-15-2010, 01:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What about a 10 year old child who could read fluently, could count her change and write her name easily, but couldn't sew, was scared of horses, didn't like painting and knew nothing of art history? Is this child educationally neglected?

I'm guessing most would say she wasn't. But why is that? What's your definition of 'education'? Who determines what is 'education'? Are things that are more pragmatic more educational?

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#84 of 130 Old 10-15-2010, 01:27 AM
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Midnightwriter, no, I would not consider that child to be educationally neglected because she has math and reading skills that can be adapted to many different situations. With those skills, she can pursue many interests. As a parent, I would want to encourage her to develop some interests because pursuing a passion makes people happier than just earning a paycheck - but she probably has some, even if they don't happen to be art, fashion, or horses.
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#85 of 130 Old 10-15-2010, 01:52 AM
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That said, I can't imagine how this 10-year-old can be considered "Accomplished" in those particular areas without functional reading and math skills.
Interesting. I can. I've known plenty of kids who were quite accomplished in one of these areas without being able to read or count change, in my opinion.

And yes, of course someone who wants to have a career in one of these areas will need those skills, but how many ten year olds have the skills they need for their future careers?

Unschooling is about allowing your children to grow and develop at their own speed and in their own way, while providing them with the information and resources they need. I think, too, that now there are plenty of your adults out there who were quite "behind" their peers at 10 in one or more academic areas, and who are now successful college students or working adults. In the earlier days, we really had to take a lot more on faith.

And yes, some kids get to be 18 and are still behind and are frustrated and unhappy about it, and I think that's a perfectly valid topic to discuss.... but I'm not comfortable throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Unschooling, IME, most often results in happy adults who are able to achieve what they want as far as education and careers. That's pretty cool.

 
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#86 of 130 Old 10-15-2010, 01:55 AM
 
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He told me he would not do it and would prefer to be in a classroom where someone "would make him do it".
I'm not often in this forum, because my DD is only 4, but can I ask about this? It sounds like you are saying that he indicated at the time that his preference was to take a formal math class, but you didn't let him take one. Or are you saying that he said after the fact that he would have preferred a formal class?
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#87 of 130 Old 10-15-2010, 02:16 AM
 
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And yes, some kids get to be 18 and are still behind and are frustrated and unhappy about it, and I think that's a perfectly valid topic to discuss.... but I'm not comfortable throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.
I hope you understand I am discussing the valid topic and am not throwing out the baby. () I also think there can be some earlier indicators that can be addressed in order to avoid the 18yo being in that situation.
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#88 of 130 Old 10-15-2010, 02:49 AM
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Interesting. I can. I've known plenty of kids who were quite accomplished in one of these areas without being able to read or count change, in my opinion.

And yes, of course someone who wants to have a career in one of these areas will need those skills, but how many ten year olds have the skills they need for their future careers?
I don't think any 10-year-old has all the skills they will need for a future career, but I think it's sensible to acquire the basics early. The basics apply to anything, and kids change their minds a lot. Again, I know I'm in the minority here, as this is the unschooling forum, and I'm not an unschooler by any stretch of the imagination. When would you worry, Dar? If a 12-year-old can't count change? A 17-year-old? What services do you think are most effective in meeting the needs of a learner with those concerns at that late age? You can't get financial aid for remedial college courses, so it pays to prepare to avoid the need. (I know a lot of people who go through traditional schools need them anyway, but I can't see why anyone would want to replicate the failures of the traditional educational system). And I haven't checked lately - do community colleges routinely offer remedial courses that cover skills like making change? Or are they more geared towards algebra and geometry?


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And yes, some kids get to be 18 and are still behind and are frustrated and unhappy about it, and I think that's a perfectly valid topic to discuss.... but I'm not comfortable throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Unschooling, IME, most often results in happy adults who are able to achieve what they want as far as education and careers. That's pretty cool.
That is pretty cool. It's also true of many other ways of schooling. My main concern is with the people it - not just unschooling, but whatever method of schooling they are using - doesn't work for. At what point is it apparent that a learner needs to radically change their approach?
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#89 of 130 Old 10-15-2010, 02:50 AM
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I hope you understand I am discussing the valid topic and am not throwing out the baby. () I also think there can be some earlier indicators that can be addressed in order to avoid the 18yo being in that situation.
Oh, I know. We're good. I was just trying to make it clear that I didn't think unschooling necessarily meant a perfect future of sunbeams and rainbows...

 
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#90 of 130 Old 10-15-2010, 03:23 AM
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I don't think any 10-year-old has all the skills they will need for a future career, but I think it's sensible to acquire the basics early.
I think that's a common mindset...for me, one argument against it is that learning later (if that's when a kid becomes interested and seems ready) seems to be much faster and easier than learning sooner. In my experience the K-6 skills can generally be learned within a few months by a motivated 12 year old.


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When would you worry, Dar? If a 12-year-old can't count change? A 17-year-old? What services do you think are most effective in meeting the needs of a learner with those concerns at that late age?
I'd worry when a kid seemed frustrated with his lack of abilities, or seemed to be avoiding the subject, or seemed unhappy in general. I'd worry about a kid who seemed to be stagnating, or a kid who wasn't able to do the things he wanted to do.

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You can't get financial aid for remedial college courses, so it pays to prepare to avoid the need.
Is this something you've had personal experience with? Because I know I got financial aid for my 077 math class, and our local community college says federal financial aid can be used to pay for up to 30 credits of remedial classes (ESL classes are also below 100-level).
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And I haven't checked lately - do community colleges routinely offer remedial courses that cover skills like making change? Or are they more geared towards algebra and geometry?
Nope, they start with basic addition and subtraction and go up from there. Our community colleges have a computer lab-based self-paced course for students below pre-algebra. The students work through an online adaptive math course (ALEKS, I believe, or something similar) and there are teachers there to help them as needed.

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That is pretty cool. It's also true of many other ways of schooling. My main concern is with the people it - not just unschooling, but whatever method of schooling they are using - doesn't work for. At what point is it apparent that a learner needs to radically change their approach?
I wouldn't say that a ten year old who can't make change is necessarily a ten year old for whom unschooling isn't working. If a kid is unhappy, asking to go to school, stuff like that... then yeah, I'd consider making a radical change.

 
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