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faiths13's Avatar faiths13 10:37 PM 12-14-2011

i have been hs'ing my two oldest sons for almost a year and a half. they are almost 13 and 11. I am also doing some hs with my youngest who are 2 & 4. I am really stressed out about hs'ing and i think i am really doing more of a ps at home in a way. i feel like i am always stressed about what my kids "should' learn and what they "need" to learn. I have a total ps mindset coming from 12 + years of it. I have done some reading and looking into us but i always felt like what i read made it seem to unstructured - like kids get to do whatever they want. i understand that us is unique for every family though. when i talk to my dh about my struggles with hs and my stresses i always come back to what i have read about us and it seems so much more natural. yet i dont know how to find a place where i feel comfortable with it - i am a very structured, scheduling kind of person and my kids generally do better when they know what is going to happen in their days. I am now becoming totally stressed about my 4 yr old who will be in K in Aug. I am worried about what he will "need" to do and learn. sigh. I dont know... I know there is a more natural way to learning but I feel like I dont know how to get there.



Midwitch's Avatar Midwitch 04:28 AM 12-16-2011

I think the greatest obstacle with US lies in the mind of the parent- because most parents have been to PS and we have been told again and again that PS is the right thing to to.

Think back on your own years of PS- how much of what you were taught can you remember now? How much of it do you put to use now? And of all the things you have forgotten- have you ever been in a situation, as an adult, where having forgotten it has gotten you into problems?

 

I think it is very easy to get a negative scenario in ones mind, that an US'ed child will end up in a situation where they'll fall short because of something we forgot to teach them. And I believe the likeliness of that actually happening is very small- probably even smaller than the likeliness of the same thing happening to a PS'ed child, who is more likely to be put on the spot during various tests and assessments. 
I really believe, that children will learn what they need to know, as they go along. Driven by their interrests and passions. And I also believe, that not all children need to know the same things. A child with a passion for astronomy and space, will grow up and have a greater knowledge of science and maths, than the child who has a great passion for animals and will grow up with great knowledge of biology and anatomy. And both are equally well off in knowledge, because they know what THEY need to know in order to pursue their path in life.

 

Maybe, just as an experiment on middle ground, you could sit down with your kids and ask them what THEY would like to learn during the coming week? So that you plan it together and pick something that THEY really want to know more about? Then see how it goes? You might be surprised to see just how many subjects will be included :) 


faiths13's Avatar faiths13 10:33 AM 12-16-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwitch View Post

I think the greatest obstacle with US lies in the mind of the parent- because most parents have been to PS and we have been told again and again that PS is the right thing to to.

Think back on your own years of PS- how much of what you were taught can you remember now? How much of it do you put to use now? And of all the things you have forgotten- have you ever been in a situation, as an adult, where having forgotten it has gotten you into problems?

 

I think it is very easy to get a negative scenario in ones mind, that an US'ed child will end up in a situation where they'll fall short because of something we forgot to teach them. And I believe the likeliness of that actually happening is very small- probably even smaller than the likeliness of the same thing happening to a PS'ed child, who is more likely to be put on the spot during various tests and assessments. 
I really believe, that children will learn what they need to know, as they go along. Driven by their interrests and passions. And I also believe, that not all children need to know the same things. A child with a passion for astronomy and space, will grow up and have a greater knowledge of science and maths, than the child who has a great passion for animals and will grow up with great knowledge of biology and anatomy. And both are equally well off in knowledge, because they know what THEY need to know in order to pursue their path in life.

 

Maybe, just as an experiment on middle ground, you could sit down with your kids and ask them what THEY would like to learn during the coming week? So that you plan it together and pick something that THEY really want to know more about? Then see how it goes? You might be surprised to see just how many subjects will be included :) 


thanks : ) i have tried to talk to my ods about what he would like to learn, or even what he thinks he might want to do when he graduates high school. he doesnt have an answer beyond all he wants to do is play video games. he says he doesnt want to learn anything and hates learning. (ps really ruined it for him) i want him to want to learn, but i dont know what to do. i cant just not do some sort of school work during the week. lol. my others ods is very motivated and loves to learn. hes very easy. my ods just wants to get it done so he can read a magazine or play minecraft or go on you tube.

 


moominmamma's Avatar moominmamma 02:56 PM 12-16-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by faiths13 View Post

all he wants to do is play video games. 


Okay, that's a starting point!

 

Let me explain. It sounds like the two of you have inadvertently ended up viewing this as a dichotomy. You're on the side of "work and learning." He's on the side of "fun and gaming." There's no common ground, and no meaningful communication as a result. He doesn't see that learning can be fun. You don't see that gaming can be learning. I, on the other hand, see no such dichotomy. My ds15, unschooled for the first 15 years of his life, has taught me otherwise.

 

Has your ds had any experience creating user-generated levels? Some video games (and many PC-based computer games) allow you to do this. We don't have a video game console, so I don't know many details about Xboxes and PSPs and the like, but I know Little Big Planet on the PSP can do this, and likely many other console games as well. With PC games you can get busy creating levels, modding, scripting, playing about in sandbox mode in many games: Half Life 2, Left 4 Dead, Clonk Rage, Crysis, Bontago... Then there's Garry's Mod, a sort of giant physics playground which allows you to integrate elements of any game using Source Engine, plus many other user-generated libraries. Tons of possibilities, especially within the context of PC gaming.

 

If he doesn't know about any of this stuff, encourage him to start digging in and discovering what's modifiable on one of the games he likes. One rabbit-trail tends to lead to another. He'll likely find a virtual universe of possibilities once he starts scratching under the surface. Encourage him to get involved in user-group communities where ideas, hacks, cheats and mods are exchanged. He can watch YouTube reviews and discussions of games and levels, and countless hours of gameplay and machinima.

 

If he's drawn to tech stuff, he might also be interested in creating animations, machinima, photoshop graphics, digital video-editing, digital photography, music editing. He might like to start a blog or a website, to learn HTML scripting ... CSS syntax, the upcoming HTML-5 tags and formats. 

 

Get him a subscription to a gaming magazine. Encourage him to take an interest in the marketing and financial strategies of the video-game industry. 

 

There's no end of directions an interest in video-gaming could lead. My ds (now 15) has explored all these areas and more. Along the way he learned C++, lightning fast touch-typing, about economics and marketing 'spin', how to express his opinions in writing in ways that leave him respected and valued, how to tweak and manage hardware, networks and security, trigonometry, fluid dynamics and a host of other things. 

 

If you think of his video-gaming as a useless dead-end, it will likely remain so. If instead you help him discover the creative and educational opportunities that arise when he scratches below the surface, and make it clear that you appreciate and value particular types of virtual exploration and creativity, he will likely move more and more in the direction of discovery, creativity, challenge and learning. Pretty soon you'll see the line between work/learning and fun/gaming blurred, and eventually erased.

 

Miranda


faiths13's Avatar faiths13 09:15 PM 12-16-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post


Okay, that's a starting point!

 

Let me explain. It sounds like the two of you have inadvertently ended up viewing this as a dichotomy. You're on the side of "work and learning." He's on the side of "fun and gaming." There's no common ground, and no meaningful communication as a result. He doesn't see that learning can be fun. You don't see that gaming can be learning. I, on the other hand, see no such dichotomy. My ds15, unschooled for the first 15 years of his life, has taught me otherwise.

 

Has your ds had any experience creating user-generated levels? Some video games (and many PC-based computer games) allow you to do this. We don't have a video game console, so I don't know many details about Xboxes and PSPs and the like, but I know Little Big Planet on the PSP can do this, and likely many other console games as well. With PC games you can get busy creating levels, modding, scripting, playing about in sandbox mode in many games: Half Life 2, Left 4 Dead, Clonk Rage, Crysis, Bontago... Then there's Garry's Mod, a sort of giant physics playground which allows you to integrate elements of any game using Source Engine, plus many other user-generated libraries. Tons of possibilities, especially within the context of PC gaming.

 

If he doesn't know about any of this stuff, encourage him to start digging in and discovering what's modifiable on one of the games he likes. One rabbit-trail tends to lead to another. He'll likely find a virtual universe of possibilities once he starts scratching under the surface. Encourage him to get involved in user-group communities where ideas, hacks, cheats and mods are exchanged. He can watch YouTube reviews and discussions of games and levels, and countless hours of gameplay and machinima.

 

If he's drawn to tech stuff, he might also be interested in creating animations, machinima, photoshop graphics, digital video-editing, digital photography, music editing. He might like to start a blog or a website, to learn HTML scripting ... CSS syntax, the upcoming HTML-5 tags and formats. 

 

Get him a subscription to a gaming magazine. Encourage him to take an interest in the marketing and financial strategies of the video-game industry. 

 

There's no end of directions an interest in video-gaming could lead. My ds (now 15) has explored all these areas and more. Along the way he learned C++, lightning fast touch-typing, about economics and marketing 'spin', how to express his opinions in writing in ways that leave him respected and valued, how to tweak and manage hardware, networks and security, trigonometry, fluid dynamics and a host of other things. 

 

If you think of his video-gaming as a useless dead-end, it will likely remain so. If instead you help him discover the creative and educational opportunities that arise when he scratches below the surface, and make it clear that you appreciate and value particular types of virtual exploration and creativity, he will likely move more and more in the direction of discovery, creativity, challenge and learning. Pretty soon you'll see the line between work/learning and fun/gaming blurred, and eventually erased.

 

Miranda



thanks for your thoughts. you have some good ideas and i liked what you said. 

 

i dont think video games are a dead end - i just told him yesterday that if he wanted to 'grow up' to design video game classes that i would help him start working towards that right now. he didnt seem to care. I enrolled him in a 'how to design a video game' class and he hates it. he plays minecraft alot and that is very creative, and he is a part of a forum for it and goes on you tube all the time. so he does do some of that stuff now. its not that i have a problem with him playing video games - its just his negativity towards just about everything else. i dont want to battle with him over anything - school work, chores, etc. i want him to be happy and i want to have a good relationship.

 

i did just show him the blogger website and told him if he wanted to make a blog he was free to work on it when he wanted and not use his 'alloted' computer time. so he seemed pretty interested in that. i think him having something like that would be good for him.


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