Unschool? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 20 Old 10-31-2012, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
Nursingnaturalmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 736
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We are long time homeschoolers.  I have a 10 year old that I told my husband when she was 3 that she was gong to be our unschooler.  Up until almost 6, she did just that.  amazing the things she learned.  She had a brief stint in waldorf school before we moved from the area.  She did well in the school, but would rather not be there.  She loves to read and her life revolves around horses and animals.  I have for the past 3 years tried what seems like every.single.curriculum I thought she'd LOVE.  She hasn't.  She melts down almost daily over school work.  I know I need to have her do a math curriculum etc, but Im wondering if I can half her work.  Let her school a few days and have "off" a few day sto do her thing.  It makes me nervous as she is almost middle school age now.

 

  But she would thrive and our relationship would mend.  So, what does real life unschooling look like?


: :Mama to 4 girls and Michael is here 9/11/09 We love :::
Nursingnaturalmom is offline  
#2 of 20 Old 10-31-2012, 09:26 PM
 
Emaye's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: between beauty and beast
Posts: 623
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

notes.gif

I hope you get detailed answers from experienced Mamas' with older kids.  My kids are pretty young so I have no advice for you. Just wanted to bump the thread....


E

Emaye is offline  
#3 of 20 Old 10-31-2012, 10:15 PM
 
pek64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,502
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Unschooling as they grow up. There is no ser way. It depends on parent and child. I talk about everything, and that was a lot of our lessons. What I didn't know, we looked up together. There's a math thread here with a lot of math games, or you can use educational computer games. I'd write more, but I need to end my day. I'll check back tomorrow and see if you got more responses.
pek64 is offline  
#4 of 20 Old 10-31-2012, 11:30 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,682
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)

Unschooling will look like whatever your child makes it. Don't expect it to look anything like anyone else's unschooling. Though it can probably help blow your mind open to the possibilities to hear about a range of different experience with different kids in different families. So, with that in mind...

 

I have a 9-year-old unschooler, and her three older siblings also unschooled through the tween years. For us unschooling at age 9 seemed to involve a lot of getting out and experiencing and learning about the bigger world. Making friends, doing small but significant bits of real work (cooking for the family, yard work, volunteering for community events), taking up organized sports, learning about natural science, world history, politics, religions, geography. By age 11 it was starting to turn inwards again ... but not within the family, instead within the self. My pre-teens spent a heck of a lot of time chilling, cocooned in their bedrooms or on the couch, listening to music, reading, surfing the internet, watching videos.

 

My youngest can sometimes spend six hours a day on the computer. She is definitely a child with teen siblings: she loves social media, on-line TV sitcoms like Community and 30Rock, fantasy/sci-fi, nature documentaries, and on-line games like scrabble, sudoku, draw-me and such, as well as more complex games like Minecraft and Portal 2. She also reads most days. She makes her own breakfast and lunch. She often bakes muffins or cookies. She practices violin. Three or four days a week she gets out for some exercise: volleyball, gymnastics, mountain-biking, trail-running, snowshoeing, eg.. She likes doing a bit of bookwork; maybe an hour three or four days a week. She has a few organized activities she attends: gymnastics, a violin master class, an occasional civics homeschoolers' workshop, a weekly art class. She likes to run errands with me, whether to the post office, or driving the older kids places, or shopping. She sometimes listens to podcasts, watches the news, reads the newspaper. She hangs out with friends and siblings. And she talks .... just keeps up a flow of conversation with whoever is available, offering thoughts and ideas, asking questions, listening, observing, thinking aloud, taking stuff in.

 

Occasionally she delves into something with gusto, persistence and a long-term goal. A year and a half ago she decided to collect wild herbs and fruits and roots, dry them, craft herbal tea blends and sell them at the local market. A few weeks ago she wanted to build a topographical map representing our local region and created a stunning layered 3D model. Last summer she decided to learn to read the alto clef on viola and worked hard at it for a few weeks until she mastered it. These deep learning jags don't happen often with her, but they are reassuring when they take place. 

 

So in summary, her learning is mostly pretty capricious, except for the scheduled out-of-home activities. Some days make her unschooling look pretty lazy and unproductive. But the net result over the long term is a pretty darn robust education. 

 

Miranda

Emaye likes this.

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#5 of 20 Old 11-01-2012, 06:54 AM
 
4evermom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 8,834
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

Most of my 11 yo's days look like the typical stereotype of a child glued to the computer all day. We go to a weekly park day gathering with other homeschoolers when the weather is nice. Go to a museum once in a while. 

 

I feel like we used to do more "out in the world" stuff, but at this age, ds has experienced the things easily experienced. He spent hours watching construction workers when he was young. He followed the mailman around on his route and helped him. He played in the creek at the park for long periods. He declines many activities now because he feels he has "been there, done that."

 

But I'm impressed with how playing computer games has fueled his interest in learning to read and write over the years. He likes to play online with other kids and needs to be able to communicate with them. And his understanding of math concepts has always been very good even if he isn't doing precise, accurate calculations. I think gaming has also strengthened those skills. His people skills are better than many kids and he's very social, so I've never worried about gaming being used to withdraw from the world or whatever worries people about it. 

 

My child's temperament is exactly why we unschool. Trying to get him to follow a curriculum would not have worked in the least. We would have all been miserable and he would have dug his heels in at every step. He isn't actually stubborn but he is sensitive and a perfectionist. He would have been overwhelmed by being asked to do things he didn't yet feel comfortable doing. I'm happy with how unschooling is working for us. I'm happy with my relationship with him. He feels we are on the same team. But he isn't doing anything anyone would be particularly impressed by:-) 


Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
4evermom is offline  
#6 of 20 Old 11-01-2012, 07:18 AM
 
Cyllya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 542
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I found the numerous examples, discussions, and debates on Sandra Dodd's website useful for getting my head around unschooling. It's about radical unschooling, but if you're not into that, you can take what you want and leave the rest.

Cyllya is offline  
#7 of 20 Old 11-01-2012, 08:40 AM
 
SweetSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfarthing
Posts: 5,104
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)

The read/horses/animal formula has worked well for us so far, but my girls are younger, 6 and nearly 8.  They spend a significant amount of time with their chickens.  They love books, whether they can read them by themselves or not.  We use the library more than anyone we know, and what we do now is a lot less than last year.  They love watching nature videos, Bill Nye and Popular Mechanic for Kids videos.  They can watch them over and over and really absorb the information.  They love geography (books like "Scrambled States of America" fuel their fascination) and stories about real people and real places, though they still love fiction.

 

DD1 reads her horse books as best as she can.  She has an elaborate game she invented involving paper doll "fairies" cut from girls' clothing catalogs.  She writes their names and "birthdates" on them and is forever figuring out how old they would be on certain dates.  This is a fun way of doing her basic arithmetic because the counting always starts at "0", as opposed to counting things which usually begins with "1".  She is forever doing gymnastics in the living room these days.  Horses/animals/reading.  She writes lists of all the horses and other farm animals she wants for her farm, their breed, color and name.  She's pretty good at math, too.  Her ability to listen to and comprehend stories is pretty sophisticated for her age, even though her reading skills are average.  Recently I read "Hound of the Baskervilles" and am now reading "The Lightening Thief".

 

DD2 is wildly creative, without the sense of perfectionism DD1 struggles under.  It can be truly inspiring to watch this girl work, and she makes our schooling style extremely easy.  She worked fanatically through our origami book, folding and asking help folding all the projects, and when that was done she grabbed paper and started folding stuff on her own.  "Stuff" is right.  Nothing was recognizable, they were just experimental 6yo stuff.  But it was wonderful the sense of experimentation and discovery unbounded by any limits beyond those the paper itself presents.  She is forever busy, recently liking to pull out board games like Battleship and Star Wars (yes! the same game you grew up with!)  She, too loves gymnastics and horses and our chickens.  I've mentioned her love of field guide books in previous posts, and she still loves them.

 

This is a snapshot of us.  There is a lot more.  I posted even though my kids are younger and we are really just getting into the swing of things.  Unschooling is going to look different from family to family, from child to child because it is at its heart directed by the children.


Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
SweetSilver is online now  
#8 of 20 Old 11-02-2012, 02:14 PM
 
incorrigible's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The Oregon Outback
Posts: 1,696
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We've moved around a bit, so unschooling has looked different based on what the state requirements have been. 

 

When there WERE requirements, I sat the kids down and we discussed them. I explained that they needed to do or know these specific things to continue homeschooling. We worked out the schedules and methods together and my job was to help and remind them, not to make them do anything. If they weren't willing to meet the state requirements, they would have to go to school. That's the law, and arguing with me about it wasn't going to change it. If they complained a bit from day to day, I'd sympathize how unfair the requirements were. If they tried to avoid them or fight me over them, I'd remind them that I'm legally bound to send them to school if they won't homeschool the way the state wants. Really, they rarely gave me any flack. They see me as being on their side, not on the state's side, in this matter. I have never required anything of them that the state didn't as far as education. I don't give them free reign on video games and such, though. I don't feel that behavioral and academic concepts benefit from similar teaching methods. That could be it's own lengthy discussion, though. ;)

 

When we don't have requirements, I am pretty loose...but a little manipulative I guess. I see grade level as a label that describes your academic level. When signing up for classes or talking with friends, their assigned grade level is their academic level. They both have an above average grasp of literature, writing, science, social studies, etc. Math has been both of their weak spots, though I think that's shifting to writing with Crash and science with Spritely. Completing math has been our standard for completing a grade. They pick the book/curriculum. They don't have to do every lesson for me to count it. If they pass all the chapter tests, they pass the "course". It's about knowing the material, not doing the work. Since they like Teaching Textbooks, they then get to burn the workbook, too. lol If they want report cards for something (freebie programs or something) they need to tell me what they've been doing for each subject to get a grade in it. That's more an exercise in self awareness, because they get so caught up in the public school model of education that they sometimes think they're stupid because their education isn't highly controlled. It also reminds them that if they want to be good at things they have to actually practice them, though. =D

 

Crash is 14 and wants a diploma from an accredited program. He is taking a couple classes at the local high school in the mornings (P.E. and math. He's really enjoying the discussions in math, and the P.E. teacher seems to think he's hosting a big party each day or something so it's loads of fun. lol), and will be starting with American school for the rest of his credits. That's self paced so he can work as fast or slow as he likes, and just focus on one course at a time if he wants. If he's going to do an accredited program, I want him to be in one that has a fairly hands off approach, you know?  He would be in 8th grade by age, but is enrolled in 9th. He is very self motivated and his plan is to whip out the American school course quickly, taking a couple 11th grade courses at the high school next year, while he finishes up his credits. The hospital 6 blocks from our house said he can earn his CNA on site as soon as he has a diploma, and I've said I don't want him starting that work until he's 16...so 16 is his goal. He also works part time as a dish washer at a local diner. He works 12:30 - 2pm, 3 - 4 days per week. 

 

Spritely is almost 12. She'd be in 6th grade this year. She wanted to take a couple classes at the Jr. High, but after a couple weeks of back and forth they basically said they couldn't figure out how to enroll her legally until next year. *shrug* She only wants to take electives with them anyway. She is basically playing around until dh and I will let her do American school for high school too. Academically, she's there, but she will get grouped with high school kids in a lot of her activities once she's officially enrolled in the program. Spritely, dh, and I all sat down and discussed the options and compromised that she can start high school at 12, but no younger, but she won't be allowed to participate in most of the social activities that will make available. I don't think she has any idea what she wants to do after high school. She just wants the bragging rights of being a brainiac. *sigh* This month, her big focus is NaNoWriMo. She's written about 4000 words since she started yesterday. Other than that, she has archery club, and church youth group, and I think some 4-h project clubs should be starting soon.


Affordable organics delivered from GREEN POLKADOT BOX

Wife to jammin.gif Beast 

Mama to guitar.gif Crash (14) and hippie.gifSpritely (12)

incorrigible is offline  
#9 of 20 Old 11-02-2012, 05:12 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,682
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by incorrigible View Post

Crash is 14 and ..... would be in 8th grade by age, but is enrolled in 9th. 

 

This reminds me how arbitrary age-based grade-levels are. My middle dd is 13, but here she would be 9th grade by age (but is enrolled in 10th). Weird differences in cutoffs. 

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#10 of 20 Old 11-02-2012, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
Nursingnaturalmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 736
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Incorrigible,
Your schooling is exactly what I think my 10 year old needs. She is so smart and loves to learn. I don't want to squelch that by forcing curriculum on her. Can I ask what a day at your house looks like? I also agree, that unlimited screen time isn't good. I'm nervous about unschooling.

: :Mama to 4 girls and Michael is here 9/11/09 We love :::
Nursingnaturalmom is offline  
#11 of 20 Old 11-02-2012, 08:29 PM
 
SweetSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfarthing
Posts: 5,104
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)

Even radical unschooling advocates, like the folks at Radical Unschooler's Network, do not recommend making huge, sudden transitions.

 

http://familyrun.ning.com/

 

If the idea of unschooling makes you nervous, honor that.  Go slowly.  Take up what you can manage at one time.  You will most likely get some positive feedback that will give you more confidence.

 

One reason for nervousness is not yet having the faith that your kids will learn this stuff without making them.  Faith gets cultivated and renewed in little chunks, and it seems even the most experienced parents aren't immune to it.

 

Another common experience (and another cause of nervousness) is feeling like a doormat.  Possibly it is simply the different perspective of a parent who has been used to trying to control so much. Other times it's because you are making yourself a doormat.  There needs to be a Serenity Prayer for unschoolers along that line.   ("...and the wisdom to know the difference"!)


Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
SweetSilver is online now  
#12 of 20 Old 11-03-2012, 07:03 PM
 
incorrigible's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The Oregon Outback
Posts: 1,696
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

moomin- I completely agree. It's a point of frustration for me that age and academic level are tied together in our culture, and the specific cut offs are so silly. Crash's birthday Sept 22 so he would be 8th grade in most states, but 9th in a few. *eyeroll* Really, he should be in 8th for english be can scrape through high school english with some work, and should be in 10th or 11th for social studies and science, and 9th maybe 10th for math....whatever...he can just get his diploma and get on with real life. lol

 

Nursing - A typical day for us starts at 5:50am. My alarm goes off and I hit snooze! lol At 6, my alarm has gone off a couple times and dh's goes off. One of us gets up and makes sure Crash is awake before starting breakfast. While breakfast is cooking, we wake Spritely and make sure the other spouse is awake enough to be at the table when it's served. =D Around 6:30, everyone is at the table for breakfast. After eating, the kids wander back to their rooms to work on "school work". Throughout the day, they come tell me when they complete something (a lesson, a project, whatever they're up to). I write it down in a teacher's plan book. After the fact, when you look at the book, you can see that they've really been doing a lot and they can see if they've been working more or less in each "subject" area too. I also record attendance in the record book. While we aren't required to do as much record keeping as we do, I've found having these things on hand cuts off official inquiries with a quickness. This month, they're both writing books for NaNoWriMo, so they do that until they get brain fry, then switch to something else for a while, then back. Spritely likes to use either Rosetta Stone or Teaching Textbooks math to break things up. She also enjoys digital art projects and has taught herself to use a variety of art and business programs (like powerpoint) in her pursuits. Crash uses Rosetta Stone, but his morning is already broken up. He has to be at the high school (4 blocks away) by 8am for Algebra I. Then he comes home for second period, has a snack while he works on his book. Then, back to school by 9:50 for P.E. Then home. We do lunch around 11:30.Crash just started as a dishwasher for a local diner. So, if he's working that day, he works from 12:30 till 2pm. If not, he and Spritely usually go for a long walk around town. We're in a really rural small town. <5k people, and 2hrs from another town in the thousands. They might go downtown, or out into the National Forest that start just a block away, to hike. They come home by 3, because that's when their friends are out of school and start calling to hang out. During football season, Crash would practice from 3 - 4 or 5 every day, and leave with the team for away games every other Friday or so from noon till nearly midnight (we're really far from other schools). Now...On Fridays at 3:30 - 5, they have archery club. Crash will have welding club (through 4-H) starting soon on Wednesdays at 3:30.  Also on Wed, but at night, is youth group through church. We usually eat dinner at 5-6, and the kids go to bed around 8-9. Spritely stays up reading till who knows how long, and Crash is exhausted. Bed time is really when he says he's going to bed and we tell Spritely to do the same. He's asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow. Then, dh and I watch a little TV, go for a walk, and head to bed too.


Affordable organics delivered from GREEN POLKADOT BOX

Wife to jammin.gif Beast 

Mama to guitar.gif Crash (14) and hippie.gifSpritely (12)

incorrigible is offline  
#13 of 20 Old 11-03-2012, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
Nursingnaturalmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 736
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:

 

If the idea of unschooling makes you nervous, honor that.  Go slowly.  Take up what you can manage at one time.  You will most likely get some positive feedback that will give you more confidence.

 

 

Quote:

One reason for nervousness is not yet having the faith that your kids will learn this stuff without making them.  Faith gets cultivated and renewed in little chunks, and it seems even the most experienced parents aren't immune to it.

 

THIS is exactly it.  I've told myself over and over and over that Peyton will do fine as an unschooler.  She has taught herself EVERYTHING she knows.  She and her siblings are eager learners.  We just went to the library and the books they all picked out were everything from Math to learning French to Art history.  Its just the if this "experiment" doesn't work that I keep going back too.


: :Mama to 4 girls and Michael is here 9/11/09 We love :::
Nursingnaturalmom is offline  
#14 of 20 Old 11-03-2012, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
Nursingnaturalmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 736
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

So as unschoolers, do you just sit back and let them go?  Will the kids come to you with questions etc?  COnversation is in every aspect of our lives.  They tell me an interest and I will"suggest" they may look for books or one willsay, can I have the computer and some encyclopedia's to research*insert whatever subject it is*  I talk to the kids about everything.  Some of the best talks we've all had was in the car.

 

iincorrigible, I know all about rural. We live in a rural town of 400!!


: :Mama to 4 girls and Michael is here 9/11/09 We love :::
Nursingnaturalmom is offline  
#15 of 20 Old 11-03-2012, 09:14 PM
 
SweetSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfarthing
Posts: 5,104
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nursingnaturalmom View Post

So as unschoolers, do you just sit back and let them go?  Will the kids come to you with questions etc?  COnversation is in every aspect of our lives.  They tell me an interest and I will"suggest" they may look for books or one willsay, can I have the computer and some encyclopedia's to research*insert whatever subject it is*  I talk to the kids about everything.  Some of the best talks we've all had was in the car.

I am just as interested in exploring things as they are.  I find books about all kinds of interesting-sounding things, try to find things to do that might interest them (and me!).  I would love to find an antique car show to visit.  Not so much hot rods or other souped-up cars, but as faithful-as-possible antique and vintage cars.  I think they would like to go as well.  I do not wait until they ask me, but I don't say "You are going to this!"  Well, they love gymnastics and we pay through the teeth for gymnastics, so sure-as-shootin' we will GO TO GYMNASTICS.  

 

They ask me for all kinds of things, but I will still be on the look out all around me.  After 2 years of doing no origami because they were only marginally interested, I bought an origami book that had paper in the back and stickers for eyes, jewel stickers for the crown, and we've been folding origami a lot these days.  I just happened to find a book that presented the subject well at a time when my girls were ready again.  

 

I do try to think about what interests them now, and I choose things that are similar.  Sharks and whales= crocodiles =dinosaurs= mythical monsters=greek myths.  Deer= goats= horses. The Hobbit= Harry Potter= Percy Jackson.  Etc. Etc.

 

There are so many resources, people, places and events just out there, waiting for us.  

Emaye likes this.

Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
SweetSilver is online now  
#16 of 20 Old 11-03-2012, 09:45 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,682
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nursingnaturalmom View Post

So as unschoolers, do you just sit back and let them go?  Will the kids come to you with questions etc?  COnversation is in every aspect of our lives.  They tell me an interest and I will"suggest" they may look for books or one willsay, can I have the computer and some encyclopedia's to research*insert whatever subject it is*  I talk to the kids about everything.  Some of the best talks we've all had was in the car.

 

You sound like a born unschooler to me! Just do what you do naturally, respond to questions, share your enthusiasms, have conversations, observe carefully to see what your kids tend to be drawn to, offer things that you think might interest them based on what you've observed. The parent's role in unschooling isn't one of benign neglect: it's one of support and sensitive facilitation. And it's about living authentically within your family and community ... honoring your own interests, your own boundaries, caring and giving, but not being a martyr.

 

Miranda

Emaye likes this.

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#17 of 20 Old 11-04-2012, 01:51 AM
 
Emaye's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: between beauty and beast
Posts: 623
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nursingnaturalmom View Post

So as unschoolers, do you just sit back and let them go?  Will the kids come to you with questions etc?  COnversation is in every aspect of our lives.  They tell me an interest and I will"suggest" they may look for books or one willsay, can I have the computer and some encyclopedia's to research*insert whatever subject it is*  I talk to the kids about everything.  Some of the best talks we've all had was in the car.

 

iincorrigible, I know all about rural. We live in a rural town of 400!!

 

At my kid's age (Ds 6 and Dd 4) they just spend a lot of time playing.  And because they have all the time in the world to do that, their play develops complicated narratives.  They build a lot of forts (I tolerate a messy -- but NOT dirty-- playroom well).  Ds has gotten into a habit of jump roping and counting how many jumps he was able to do.  They draw, cut, glue all the time.  Their desk is right in the living room and it is fully stocked with art supplies.  They wander to and away from it all day long.  They use a ton of yarn and paper.  Ds has gotten into writing urgent notes and having his sister deliver it to me -- and I am generally able to decipher the notes.  They read/listen to books on the ipad and Ds listens to audio books when his sister naps.  In the evenings, they are allowed to watch videos up to 45 min on weekdays.  We have movie nights on the weekends.  They recently started watching Liberty kids and because of that my son now has a lot of questions about American history.  They fret over bean plants they sprouted over a month ago and planted in a pot.  Winter has began killing the balcony garden but my son still loves "harvesting" the remaining tomatoes and eggplants.  He enjoys watering our indoor herbs.  They go outside for about an hour in the morning and 1.5-2 hrs in the afternoon.  

 

Through out the day they take breaks and play on the ipad which is choke-full of learning oriented stuff (drawing apps, origami, piano music, books, brainpop, physics and math games, abc phonics, fast math, writing apps).  Their little hands know exactly how to work the ipad and I download stuff I think they may like and I continuously troll the Internet and the app store for useful interesting things.  I am also on the lookout for great shows I think my children may enjoy.  My son asks questions ALL the time.  He is full of ideas and is curious about lots of things.  I answer.  I explain. I listen.  I provide.  Sometimes the providing happens before the questions begin.  Other times the providing begins after the questions.  I try to spark their interest and follow interests that arrive on their own.  And from members who tirelessly share their experience here on this board, I am learning to not push when doing the first and to lean more on the later -- a tricky balance in which I find myself continuously unschooled! 

 

Ds takes Taekowndo twice a week.  Dd takes dance once a week.  And together, they take art classes twice a week.   All this works very well for us.  My children are busy and frankly, sometimes I wonder how other children have the time to go to school! 

Emaye is offline  
#18 of 20 Old 11-04-2012, 09:36 AM
 
incorrigible's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The Oregon Outback
Posts: 1,696
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Emaye - That sounds just like what life was like for us when my kids were that age. I have to say I really miss it. lol All this structured schooly stuff the kids are into now frustrates me to no end. I'd be perfectly happy if they chose to spend their days out hiking and playing instead of devoting every morning to bookwork.


Affordable organics delivered from GREEN POLKADOT BOX

Wife to jammin.gif Beast 

Mama to guitar.gif Crash (14) and hippie.gifSpritely (12)

incorrigible is offline  
#19 of 20 Old 11-04-2012, 10:22 AM
 
pek64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,502
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I looked for educational activities and books, and of course answered questions. Being a talker, a single question can lead to 3-5 hours are discussion on various subjects. During that time, there were sometimes other activities being done (grocery shopping, making and eating lunch, just to name a couple). We went to parks, the zoo, museums. We read many books!! I read to my son long after he could read, because he got so much more pleasure and knowledge out of them than if he had to keep still long enough to read. I had to like the book in order to read it, so 'fluff' books didn't get read. Captain Underpants is an example if what I consider fluff. I looked for values and morals, science or history,or deductive thinking to make the book worthwhile. We did art galore! I connected with my artistic side, and found I understood art lessons from my childhood when I was freed from the pressure to get a good grade. I spent time with my son. Possibly I was trying to make up for his father and other relatives who treated him badly. Possibly it was because I felt bad that he had no siblings. It doesn't really matter, though. He benefitted from the time we spent together.
pek64 is offline  
#20 of 20 Old 12-07-2012, 02:19 PM
 
Swimmyswim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We're new to unschooling but I thought I'd outline a fairly typical day for us.  Our kids are 5 and 9.

 

The kids are going to bed later and sleeping later since we don't have a set time to get up.  But we're generally up by 9am.  

 

They are expected to help with breakfast and the youngest loves dragging a chair to the fridge to reach the milk.  The eldest will make himselfw some toast or I'll make porridge and the kids will get the dishes and water.

 

The youngest will lie on the sofa under a quilt for a little while then go get a Beano to read to me or bring a colouring book to do or a quiz book.  The eldest will read in his room or get out a natural history book and do some drawings of animals and come talk to me about how they evolved.  Or he'll go get the junk modelling box and make something with an aim to get it 'working' somehow.  

 

They may or may not help with lunch, depending on how busy they are.  

 

They might get the paints out or a board game.  They might want to play monopoly or Uno or play with the dog or help change the fish tank water.  Sometimes they'll just mooch around reading or they'll play in their room or ask me to give them challenges (physical games or 'draw a ...' or can you spell...)

 

They're allowed screen time after 4.  The youngest will usually go straight to Reading Eggs then some CBBC games and the eldest will watch a Dr Who or a wildlife documentary.  They may or may not help with dinner but we all eat together.  

 

Sometimes, like today, I'll go pick up one of their old school friends from school and they'll play together till bedtime.

 

They'll stay up reading long after I've put them to bed and the eldest seems to get all his 'ideas' at this point.  He makes things and writes things, depending on what he's interested in that day/week.  He sometimes just brings me a pile of papers to look at or he makes them into paper airoplanes and flies them at me.

 

I'm happy with this for now.  The eldest wouldn't write at all while he was at school.  Years of being told he was bad at it knocked his confidence completely - now he's writing something every day and I'm not attempting to correct or change it.  This time is about confidence building, finding their passions, playing and just 'being'.

 

We have some set things we do - a playpark visit once a week, a soft play ones a fortnight, ice-skating once a fortnight, all with other home ed families, another play centre most weeks with a school friend or two.  I go to uni 4 hours a week.  They tend to have planned activities with their dad.  They maybe go to the museum or do some experiments with household stuff or make things or go to the park.

 

I feel pretty relaxed about it all.  Some days it seems too hard and I'm exhausted.  Other days it seems unbelievably easy and I think I can't possibly doing it right if it's so easy - am I being lazy?!  But then I sit back and watch what is actually going on and my kids seem to be happy, thriving and learning.  

 

So far so good!

Swimmyswim is offline  
Reply

Tags
Unschooling

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off