two of the kids going to school - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 07-04-2011, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have 3 kids, ages 16, 14 and 8. We have unschooled all their lives. Last fall, the 14 year old wanted to try going to school, and she quit after about 6 weeks. THe option was totally open, and it caused so much stress I was so happy when she decided not to go back. Well this fall the 16 and 8 year old are wanting to go. It is breaking my heart :( The oldest wants to go the last two years then smootly go on to tech afterwards. My 8 year old, I don't know why, for many reasons I guess. She is the quickest to learn and pick up on things.

 

Also I am having a baby late sept/early oct and it's all just feeling overwhelming. I'm going to have to register, come up with transcripts(what fun THAT will be), get non-vaccine forms and face the nice preachy people at the health dept. My oldest is seriously "behind" in math, my youngest's handwriting is awful. She refuses to write in lower-case and will be in 3rd grade. I lay awake at night full of anxiety about this.

 

School goes against everything I feel, especially for the younger kids. I am feeling much better about the oldest going except for her math skills, but that has been something she could have been working on at home and chose not to, so it's on her at this point. Will I live through this? Will my heart literally break? Last fall I cried when my middle child went to school, dh even took the first day off to see her off and stay with me and keep me busy all day. This time I'm pregnant so it'll be 10X as worse, pluse it's two of my babies leaving. Ugh. I HATE school and how it draws our babies in :(


drowning in hormones with 4 daughters and an understanding, loving hubby. also some dogs. my life is crazy and we are always learning.

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#2 of 20 Old 07-04-2011, 10:51 AM
 
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Why are you letting the 8 year old go if you feel such angst/ dislike of school?

 

I would totally let a 16 year old go - but an 8 yr old?  Nope.  I still have final say at that age.  

 

fwiw, I have an 8 year old and a 15 year, so I am pretty familiar with the age if not your children.

 

 

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#3 of 20 Old 07-04-2011, 12:57 PM
 
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I am really anti school. But it's not the bogeyman. Your kids have the option of withdrawing if it doesn't work. This is not a permanent unalterable decision. It will work out.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#4 of 20 Old 07-04-2011, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah the only thing that is positive is that if she wants to stop going, she will be free to do so.

 

She really wants to go, and seems so unhappy about not going. We are social, she has lots of friends and activities, but she keeps giving me reasons not to go. I feel that unschooling includes letting them try new things and school falls into that category.


drowning in hormones with 4 daughters and an understanding, loving hubby. also some dogs. my life is crazy and we are always learning.

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#5 of 20 Old 07-04-2011, 05:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplerose View Post
 I feel that unschooling includes letting them try new things and school falls into that category.


I disagree.  I know many USer hold this position, but not all.

 

I don't abdicate all parental authority due to USing - and my line is drawn in areas that I think might be harmful.  For example - once upon a time (2 or 3 years ago) my son wanted to go on a field trip with a fundamental youth group  (they were stopping at a theme parkon the way to the mass religious event)  We are not fundamentalists ( or religious at all, actually) and some of their ideas on sin had me dizzy.gif.  He did not get to go.

 

You do not like the idea of school - I think you get the final say as the parent - particulalry with a young child.

 

That being said, we can agree to disagree.

 

If you are determined to let your child go to school, there are some things you need to work on this summer.  You need to work on letting go of your fear of school,  of embracing the good parts of school, and figuring out a plan on how to be the best school mom you can be. I speak from experience - if you send a child to school and you have unresolved issues towards school, you often do not work in the best way with the school for your child.   Perhaps reading and posting on the schooling forum?  There have been (over the years) threads on homeschoolers moving to schooling and some of them have been quite supportive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#6 of 20 Old 07-05-2011, 02:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I disagree.  I know many USer hold this position, but not all.

 

I don't abdicate all parental authority due to USing - and my line is drawn in areas that I think might be harmful.  For example - once upon a time (2 or 3 years ago) my son wanted to go on a field trip with a fundamental youth group  (they were stopping at a theme parkon the way to the mass religious event)  We are not fundamentalists ( or religious at all, actually) and some of their ideas on sin had me dizzy.gif.  He did not get to go.


 

I'm not trying to tell you that you are wrong or that your approach is wrong.  I'll say that bit first. :D

 

I don't think I abdicate all parental authority either. :)  I'm actually far more authoritarian than most parents on MDC near as I can tell. :)  That said, I think my kids have to get used to the fact that there are people in the world who are very different from us.  I would let my kids go along with the fundamentalist youth group.  I did such field trips as a kid periodically and I can promise you that they did not cure me of being a pervy, poly, queer who is closer to atheist than agnostic these days. :)  

 

I have good friends who are whack job fundamentalists.  We have very specifically agreed to live and let live.  They are good people even if I think their invisible sky friend is really bizarre.  I'm allowed to think that.  They are allowed to think I am going to hell.  If I'm going I will probably be the one driving the bus. thumb.gif  

 

It's a weird balancing act.  People get more flustered the more choices they have in a given situation and it doesn't increase their happiness.  Yet I think my kids need to know that there are all kinds of people in the world.  How does one learn to graciously navigate uncomfortable topics with crazy people if you don't know they exist?  It's not possible to avoid them forever and I would prefer my kids learn about these folk while they are still young enough to give my opinion more weight than other people. winky.gif  That way we can talk about the kinds of things they are going to see, hear, experience in advance and then process it afterwards.  We can talk about fanaticism and skepticism and teach how very interesting it is that this current Christian thing isn't really all that different from every other religion that came before it.... it's just the current thing.

 

That's just my approach.  I have no beef with you, Kathy, and I tend to like your posts.  I hope this doesn't sound too bossy. whistling.gif


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#7 of 20 Old 07-05-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post



 

That's just my approach.  I have no beef with you, Kathy, and I tend to like your posts.  I hope this doesn't sound too bossy. whistling.gif


You don't sound bossy at all.  Seriously.  I never mind reading about what works for others or what others would do.

 

Op- how are you doing?

 

 

 

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#8 of 20 Old 07-06-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

 

Why are you letting the 8 year old go if you feel such angst/ dislike of school?

 

I would totally let a 16 year old go - but an 8 yr old?  Nope.  I still have final say at that age.  

 

fwiw, I have an 8 year old and a 15 year, so I am pretty familiar with the age if not your children.

 

 


I was asked to edit my post so here is the comment written in a different way: Since your 16 year old is having so many issues, how are you going to keep that from happening to the 8 year old?

E, wife to D, mommy to G (born March 2010). joy.gif

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#9 of 20 Old 07-06-2011, 12:04 PM
 
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I hope what you mean by "but that has been something she could have been working on at home and chose not to, so it's on her at this point" is that you explained out that she'd need to be at a certain point going into school, offered to provide materials and teaching, and she refused to do anything. But your OP reads as if you expected her to just know to do math all on her own.

 

I don't get why you would expect a 16 year old to know high school level math without help. Someone on this forum was saying something about 15 being the age for starting to really learn math without explicit teaching. If your 8 year old wasn't reading yet, since a lot of 'late' readers start figuring out reading at 9, would you just say "that has been something she could have been working on at home and chose not to, so it's on her at this point"?

 

 

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#10 of 20 Old 07-06-2011, 01:02 PM
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So enrolling two children in school is going to be way too difficult and time consuming but schooling 3 children and taking care of a newborn will be just fine and dandy?

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#11 of 20 Old 07-06-2011, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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1.My 16 year old decided not to catch up on her math for the past couple of years, even though both her parents were here to help her. I actually have tried to help her several times but she wasn't interested. We have K-college math books available, plus computer programs.

 

2.I figured parents in an unschooling group(it *is* an unschooling group, not a homeschooling group) would get this. Unschooling does not mean sit down and do school on a schedule. And when teenagers are unschooling, of course the responsibility is on them, just as it would be to do their schoolwork and studying if they were in public school. I know when I was in public high school my parents couldn't make me do my work, and if I failed, it was on me. Why is this different for an unschooler/homeschooler than a public schooler? Double standards? Not very fair, is it?

 

3.And yes, having my 3 children and a newborn at home with me would be better (for me) than two of them gone all day, everyday. I will miss them, that will be a huge chunk of their lives being away from home. And while that's ok for the 16 year old I still don't have to like it.


drowning in hormones with 4 daughters and an understanding, loving hubby. also some dogs. my life is crazy and we are always learning.

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#12 of 20 Old 07-06-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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So you don't plan to do any schooling with your existing kids after your baby is born?

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#13 of 20 Old 07-06-2011, 01:48 PM
 
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I sense a bit of a dog pile coming on.  It is not unusual at all for an USer to wonder about if her kids should go to school.  It is not unusual for HSed kids to want to go to school.  It is not unusual for a mom to be sad about it.  It is so not unusual for a 16 year old to be behind their peers in math (many of DS schooled friends!).  Some of you are coming across as a little judge-y - and I have the feeling some of you are not USers or USing friendly.  

 

 

This is the USing forum.  Here are a snippet of the guidelines:

 

Welcome to the Unschooling subforum! MDC's Unschooling subforum is one of support, respectful requests of information and sharing of ideas and experiences. To uphold this purpose, we will not host discussions of debate or criticism. Disagreements about unschooling should be set aside out of respect for the diversity and varying interpretations and beliefs that we hold as a community.

We will actively discourage an individual from solely posting for the purpose of disagreement, with no interest in practicing the belief or view in discussion, or who posts only to prove unschooling concepts to be wrong, misguided or not based on fact

 

 

 

 

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#14 of 20 Old 07-06-2011, 03:12 PM
 
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Such concern about schooling in the Unschool Support Forum.  We don't do any "schooling."  lol.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by lasciate View Post

So you don't plan to do any schooling with your existing kids after your baby is born?


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nursingmommaof2 View Post

So enrolling two children in school is going to be way too difficult and time consuming but schooling 3 children and taking care of a newborn will be just fine and dandy?



 


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#15 of 20 Old 07-06-2011, 04:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by purplerose View Post

1.My 16 year old decided not to catch up on her math for the past couple of years, even though both her parents were here to help her. I actually have tried to help her several times but she wasn't interested. We have K-college math books available, plus computer programs.

Glad to hear it. I agree that it is on her to sort out what she needs now that she's chosen to go to school. She knows you're there, she knows the books are there, and she is capable of asking for other materials if the ones available don't click with her.
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#16 of 20 Old 07-06-2011, 04:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post


Such concern about schooling in the Unschool Support Forum.  We don't do any "schooling."  lol.gif

 


 

Huh, and they seemed so knowledgable and supportive... I am sure they came to this forum to learn.

 

For the 16 year-old I guess what I'd try to do is find an appropriate math class so she's not in over her head. Maybe someone at the school can get an idea of what she knows and what kind of aptitude for math she has and find a good fit.

 

I agree with Kathy about letting go of the fear of school if your kids are going to go. I am sure it's hard to do but they are choosing it and they can also choose to stop. That right there makes their experience very different from the majority of kids in school.




 

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#17 of 20 Old 07-06-2011, 04:41 PM
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I came here to do some moderating but it looks like things are taken care of, pretty much... please remember the forum guidelines and the MDC rules (basically "talk nicely to one another").

 
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#18 of 20 Old 07-06-2011, 05:10 PM
 
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If it would lower your stress levels, set some boundaries, like -- it would be reasonable for youngest to evidence an ability to do standard writing between now and registration, and oldest to do her transcripts.

 

I might be of the opinion, that if Youngest wants to refuse lower case writing, and Oldest is not willing to do her transcripts properly after you help her locate some examples if necessary, they don't actually want to enroll in school (or Oldest wants to enter in 9th grade, which might be fine). 

 

I can't comment on Oldest's math, because plenty of people get through high school without much high school math, and can go on to successful careers without it. 

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#19 of 20 Old 07-14-2011, 08:15 PM
 
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I just want to add my support. I agree with kathymuggles posts. I would not worry about the 16 year old. Sounds like she is choosing school for practical reasons (to easily progress to tech school) and she is, by now, solid enough in herself that I'm sure she will handle school fine. If she doesn't, she has the option to quit which is more than most schooled kids get. As for the math, this is part of any child-led learning: figuring out how to set goals and do the things you need to do to get to those goals. With her goal clear in her mind I'm sure she will figure out the math thing. As someone else said many schooled kids are behind in math or reading skills and it's no big deal. The school will present her with some options, as you can at home, and she can make decisions for herself. 

 

As for the 8 year old, I'm inclined to agree that at this age I would still pull the parental authority card. It's a tough age, bordering on adolesence. The child is still figuring out who they are and my personal opinion is that the dysfunctional social dynamics of school can wreak havoc on this process for many kids. It might be tough explaining why she can't go but her older sister can, but that's part of being the younger one I suppose. I would not push her to do any subject she doesn't want to do. There is plenty of time for that when she is older if the subject she needs is one that helps her achieve her goals. It's all about relevance, IMO. As unschoolers we do not believe in pushing any subject on a kid unless they have specifically asked for help with it and understand how that skill or knowledge will help them achieve a goal they have set for themselves. Again, JMHO.

 

I consider myself fairly anti-school, but I think a teenager can choose to do a bit of school to get to a goal they have and by that age if they have been unschooled they are likely confident enough in themselves to not fall victim to the negative social aspects of schooling. I actually think it's great that your oldest has a plan and has chosen how to get there. If you look at it that way I'm sure you will not feel conflicted or anxious about it. 


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#20 of 20 Old 07-15-2011, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by goinggreengirl View Post



If you do keep the 8 year old home, maybe you should make sure she knows how to do math before she turns 16.


goinggreengirl this comment does feel mean-spirited and inappropriate. Please edit and post in a way that gives respectful advice and keeps the discussion comfortable for everyone. 

 

Edited to add: Thanks for the edit. thumb.gif


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