unschool panic? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 09-02-2011, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Or just general school panic, I think.

I realized two days after the fact that our local district school year had started.
So now I'm feeling like we should be "doing" something more structured than me running around like a crazy person (we have a farm Valdale Farm and a photography business Brown Eyed Photography) while the kid's entertain themselves. This is how it's worked over the summer and it's worked quite well and I'm so proud of all that they are learning ON THEIR OWN as they go about their day.

But now I'm feeling like they need more.

I just need to be talked down, I think.

Or maybe the question is: what did you do today? YOU, as the parent primarily responsible for child care.

 

 


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#2 of 11 Old 09-02-2011, 03:37 PM
 
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We went to the park and played with other kids, came home and watched some TV while I embroidered....thats pretty much it:)  Wild Kratts is the kids favorite show it it was one they hadnt seen before so I have been entertained with all kinds of facts about cheetahs since;)


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#3 of 11 Old 09-02-2011, 03:59 PM
 
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Last night the whole family stayed up late watching a movie together and today was a sleep in day. We all got up around noon. The kids made breakfast while I checked my email and dh convinced himself to get out of bed (and looked over my shoulder at my email a lot. lol) Then, we had breakfast together at like 1pm, and did some chores. dh and dd are out running errands. ds is laying on the couch playing Civ III. I'm playing games on g+ and messing around here. We'll have lunch when dh and dd get home. Then we'll all go swimming. Then watch our recorded tv show we watch as a family together before dh starts getting ready for work. I'll make dinner in time for dh to throw some in tupperware to take to work tonight. Then the kids and I will have dinner together early. Dd will work on her youtube show she's making. Ds will probably do something involving a computer. Around 10ish they'll start getting ready for bed. Ds will read in bed until he falls asleep.So will I. Dd will either read or work on a script until she falls asleep.

 

The kids go through phases with things. One of them will spend an entire day, or several, working on more typically academic things when they feel like it. They have catapillars in cacoons right now, a few days from emerging. They like the workbooks (but not software) from Teaching Textbooks for math. They're both ahead of their age peers in every subject. Ds designed and upkeeps his own website. Dd makes movies. Dd loves the Anatomy Coloring book. Ds is fond of biographies. They both have some workbook things they do for fun when they feel like it (presidents, states, maps, geography, etc.) They both use Roseta Stone Spanish most days. There's other stuff...it's just there, though, and sometimes they're really into it, and sometimes they ignore it for months at a time. =)

 

They've always been unschooled. We've done some unit study kind of things when they were into something, but never anything forced. Just an expansion on what they were already enjoying, so it was a fun family activity. You could try something like that, if you want to feel more involved in their education. Pick a country. Listen to music, read stories, play games, learn to make some foods and sample them. That's good fun, and fully educational at any age. Heck, I was part of a group of adults that did a monthly themed get together with that purpose a few years ago. =D


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#4 of 11 Old 09-02-2011, 04:40 PM
 
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Isn't it funny that even though we are proud unschoolers even the most confident of us sometimes feel like it needs to happen *faster*?  We worry that the kids should be *ahead* of the school kids so that we can feel feel some of the rewards of "success".  It would be proof positive that unschooling is simply the best way for kids to learn, hands down.

 

Luckily dh and I don't have too many of those moments.  No, my almost-7yo does not need to be writing or drawing more to work on her dexterity and hand strength.  Right now they are snacking and playing horsey, complete with ear-splitting whinnying and trotting.  It doesn't matter that what they are learning, if anything, can be handily fit into schooling standards.  (Really, I must still convince myself.  Really really really!)  But.... at the fair she watched the different gaits of the horses and mimicked them at home.  She did that with cheetahs and gazelles, too, but from a book that broke down their foot patterns.  So, sometimes the kids throw you a bone.  But I have to be careful or I expect those too often and if I don't get them I feel like I'm not doing enough.  I want so much to have proof that it's *working*.

 

*Sigh!*  I'm right there with you!


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#5 of 11 Old 09-02-2011, 05:30 PM
 
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We scootered around the neighborhood ending up at the park.  Then we went on a spontaneous hike in the woods.  Came home - then more scootering and a picnic. Back home to relax, then to the playground once neighborhood friends got home from school.

 

 


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#6 of 11 Old 09-02-2011, 07:39 PM
 
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We were at the market most of the day. Dd8 sold her tea blends. She did a bit of her own shopping. Came home and played with the kitten. Packaged up a mail order of tea for her aunt. Went and picked up a few groceries. Visited the new puppies at a friend's farm. Came home and helped make pizza. Fed the chickens. Read her new Muse magazine. Ate dinner. Played with her older sister and friend. Did a bit of work in her a science workbook. Played with the kitten. Read a bit. Playing with the kitten again. Bed later.

 

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#7 of 11 Old 09-06-2011, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone!
I'll try to just live. Glad to hear it's not just me. That's reassuring and also to read examples of daily comings and goings that seem normal but can fit into "standards". Blech.
I have a teaching license and don't agree with standards and see their silliness but it's still hard! I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

I started the "100 easy lessons to teach your kid to read" (or something like that) because ds said he wanted to learn to read. Some days he's less interested but he's starting to put together letter sounds to make full words recently so he's more enthused. Then we made a cake. Then he pulled out legos and asked me to play with him.

We need to do errands today after lunch.
I think that's about it.


Sarah, Farmer, photographer, teacher, mother to Noah 05-05-06 and Del 03-27-08 and best friend to Josh 05-29-04.

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#8 of 11 Old 09-06-2011, 09:03 AM
 
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I don't think i can remember what we did all day but after lunch dd read a book, watched Fetch on video, then went outside to play with some neighborhood kids for an hour or so.  Then dinner and now she has built a fort with pillows and is addressing the illnesses of her dolls, using her medical kit.   Other things she / we have done lately include playing with magnetix, painting, and housecleaning.  Oh I forgot we did about 5 minutes of spelling and spent 10 minutes or so brainstorming about math.

 

When she was younger and not yet reading / writing we probably spent more time outside.   We also do more overtly academic stuff some days, but haven't done it today (so far).   Though she makes thought provoking remarks throughout the day.  for example right now she is telling me something about how the brain works (specifically how and why it never stops working).

gotta run. :-)


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#9 of 11 Old 09-06-2011, 08:49 PM
 
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DD announced this morning that she wanted to do an owl craft. (She had seen a picture of an owl made of paper plates on a website I was looking at www.enchantedlearning.com) I had some paper plates on hand so we did that and then we watched a short documentary on birds.We ran some errands, did some laundry, and then it was the library. I picked up some books on birds since that seems to be her interest at the moment and she picked out some Angelina Ballerina books (her favorite right now). Wished we could have played outside more but it was a gray cold rainy day, hopefully we can get outside more tomorrow.


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#10 of 11 Old 09-06-2011, 08:56 PM
 
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My ds is around the same age and what I found made me feel better was to do some organizing of his stuff, I guess it's the remnants of my teaching days but I just felt like we needed some sort of fresh start. Beyond that we just keep on doing what we do. However he just started reading a tiny bit so next week we are going to celebrate with a early morning hike and a book for him with honey dripped on the cover for him to lick off, it's a bastardization of an old Jewish tradition of teaching letters for the first time with honey. It's no different than when we celebrated him swimming across the hot springs with a wet meal. I'm not sure if this helps but the basic idea is that we try to acknowledge learning and other accomplishments of anyone in our family with little celebrations, it becomes a reminder of all the learning that happens naturally.


Mama, writer, partner, wanderer. Living life with my ds (7/06), married to my best friend and nemesis .
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#11 of 11 Old 09-07-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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Today dd12 got up and did her chores (all animal-related), ate breakfast and went back to bed.  She's growing--bigtime.  Other than that she read alot, made quesadillas, grated cheese for supper, practiced her violin, and is now playing IPredator online til chore time again.  Oh, and she spent time on the website of our soon-to-be neighbors who raise mini donkeys.

 

Dd10 got up and did his chores, ate breakfast, read, practiced piano, and built a really cool Mario out of Legos.  He took his little sis to swing, and jump on the trampoline, and ate quesadillas on the porch.  He spent time learning new ways to change a video games appearance.

 

Dd4 played a new wolf game most of the day by herself except for when she was swinging and jumping or eating, lol.  She's had a very, very quiet day today, for which I was very thankful, lol. And she practiced her piano lessons, too.

 

Tonight we're grilling pizzas and playing Blongoball as a family.


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