New to US- Differences in mindset? - Mothering Forums
Unschooling > New to US- Differences in mindset?
newsolarmomma2's Avatar newsolarmomma2 11:52 AM 05-07-2011
Hi All,
My DS in still a baby, not even a year old, but since I view learning as a lifelong process, I have been looking into US now. It seems like the mind set of US is so totally different from school,It seems to be a different way of looking at the world, which I like.

Can you share with me how you think about US vs schooling? I know this is a vague question, but Im having a hard time putting it into words. Maybe why you switched to US, or why you will avoid school?

I hope this makes more sense to you!
THANKS


rumi's Avatar rumi 08:01 PM 05-07-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by newsolarmomma2 View Post
 since I view learning as a lifelong process, I have been looking into US now.


Exactly this would probably figure in many people's answers to the question ... as you observe how your child learns, and how you learn along with your child, then you may prefer this learning environment and learning dynamic to that offered by a school. 

 

For me there were differences in mindset even from infancy, and I tried as best I could to listen and understand and respond.  This means understanding baby's rhythms and following / accommodating them into your schedule, rather than only expecting baby to follow your schedule,  or setting times for eating / sleeping / eliminating.  For us diaper-free or "ec" was a natural part of this "mindset" and probably so was nursing on cue, in public, for years, etc.   Though of course we were doing these way before we were thinking about school / unschool, but just that our experience with her feeding and relieving herself whenever she needed to, and responding to her cues, perhaps oriented us towards the trust that leads to the unschooling path. 


Piglet68's Avatar Piglet68 09:42 PM 05-09-2011

It would probably take a series of essays to discuss all the ways in which unschooling differs from schooling. It's not just in terms of daily schedules or choice in learning but even more fundamental differences as well. You are correct that it is a completely different way of looking at the world, a whole new paradigm of learning. It's a real trip, to be honest, and I've loved every step of the journey.

 

I particularly enjoyed the feeling I had one day when I was watching a troop of kids walking home from school past our (old) house. Without even consciously thinking about it, the whole scene suddenly struck me as bizarre. Bizarre that our society ships its kids off to an institution five days a week, to be surrounded by dozens of other kids and very few adults, away from their family and siblings and the rhythms of daily family life...After feeling how strange it all seemed to me I was then struck by how amazing it was that I, who had spent my whole life acclimatized to such a scene, should suddenly view it in so different a light. That is what unschooling does, it causes you to rethink so many assumptions, to view things you used to take for granted in a new way. It's very liberating, at least that has been my experience. 

 

How to sum up the difference in a single sentence? Unschooling is allowing the natural, biological process of learning to unfold; schooling is an industrial-age experiment in conformity that usurps Nature's design for learning and, in the process, subjects children to 12+ years of virtual enslavement in a dysfunctional social environment. 

 

How's that? pinktongue.gif

 

 

 


Cyllya's Avatar Cyllya 06:43 PM 05-10-2011

I see the unschooling philosophy as saying that school is not necessarily more valuable than a large variety of other things you could be doing with your life, therefore you don't need to force your kid into it.

 

Sometimes I see some articles about unschooling that don't bother to explain the difference in mindset. (I think they're usually written by people who aren't unschoolers.) People who believe strongly in schooling see these articles and seem to understandably get the impression that unschoolers honestly believe that their child, at age 8, will come to them and say, "Mommy, please teach me multiplication, since I will need it to get into college 10 years from now, which I will need to get a job and support myself someday." And yeah, that's not happening!

 

Those people hear unschooling called "interest-led learning" or "child-led learning," and they're picturing traditional homeschooling where the child chooses their own curriculum. (To make matters worse, they're probably picturing homeschooling as more school-like than it actually is.) In their eyes, unschooling fails if the kid doesn't pick the same thing they'd be taught in school.

 

I think these are some beliefs pretty much any unschooler shares:

1) If it exists in the real world, you can learn it in the real world. If it doesn't exist in the real world, it's okay if you don't learn it.

2) Nobody wants to be forced to memorize things that are useless to them. Kids are happy to learn things for the fun of it or to achieve a goal they have set for themselves. And sometimes they just learn things by accident.

3) It doesn't matter what age you learn something. If you get to age 18 and are bothered by the fact that you still don't know your multiplication tables, you can just learn it then.

4) Sometimes you do need to be learn things in a certain order, but it's not nearly as common as many people think. For example, you don't need to memorize your multiplication tables in order to take a calculus class.

5) Kids can and deserve to learn things the way adults do, e.g. you need or want to know something, you go find out about it.

6) There are a few things you need to learn by the time you reach adulthood if you're going to succeed in adult society, but the list is much smaller than schoolers act like it is. (And half the stuff on it isn't taught in school anyway.) You're not a failure of a human being just because you've never read the script for Romeo and Juliet, for example.


newsolarmomma2's Avatar newsolarmomma2 05:57 PM 05-23-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post

Sometimes I see some articles about unschooling that don't bother to explain the difference in mindset. (I think they're usually written by people who aren't unschoolers.) People who believe strongly in schooling see these articles and seem to understandably get the impression that unschoolers honestly believe that their child, at age 8, will come to them and say, "Mommy, please teach me multiplication, since I will need it to get into college 10 years from now, which I will need to get a job and support myself someday." And yeah, that's not happening!

 


Exactly! The difference in mind set is huge. I did the school thing, and went to college. Then I got into the real world and realized how little I knew that would actually be helpful. Thankfully, a stubborn attitude and curious mind allowed me to overcome this knowledge gap, and I got into my current career by learning as I went. I just don't want to crush my kids spirit, and not enable him to develop the tools needed for life.

I want my son to be able to navigate the modern world, and succeed how HE wants to, while remaining an engaged, thinking person. IME, school prohibits free thinking, and smashes individuality and self motivation, all things you need in life!

"Bizarre that our society ships its kids off to an institution five days a week, to be surrounded by dozens of other kids and very few adults, away from their family and siblings and the rhythms of daily family life (Piglet68)"

The age segregation thing also really bothers me. When we were still in Mexico, I had friends from 18-75! And there was nothing unusual about this, or unusual about whole families participating in things together. Kids were everywhere, and there was no place they weren't welcomed. The USA is so very age segregated, I rarely encounter people out of my generation, with the exception of seeing them in a shop occasionally. I hate this. how are kids suppose to learn to respect and feel compassion for all ages and types of people, if they are never around them? Formal schooling perpetuates this, and I think it divides society in an unhealthy way.

Thank you for your replies so far. I think US is going to be a great for us.
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