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#1 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi to everyone here, found this forum few days ago, Single, with a 7 year old girl

 

Seems most of you have gone down the route of teaching reading, writing and maths, I was wonderng if any of you have gone down the route of no education.

 

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#2 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 10:21 AM
 
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I think we need to be clear how we're using the word education in order to communication clearly. To me education is defined as the act of imparting or acquiring knowledge. While I don't do any formal uninvited teaching at all, my kids are certainly engaged in education, in that they're acquiring knowledge. 

 

So I don't do any uninvited formal teaching. At all. Not in math, not in reading, nothing. If that's what you mean, then I'm definitely in this camp. 

 

However, I informally and often inadvertently teach my kids, just by living with them, doing things I do, answering their questions, discussing things that interest them, modelling skills as I go about my daily life and by creating an environment which contains tools and resources they might find interesting and useful.

 

For instance, our home was full of books from when they were little, and we also had some magnetic fridge letters. My kids were interested in what reading and letters were all about and would sometimes arrange the fridge letters by colour, or find mirror letters (d and b, M and W), or ask me how to spell 'grandma' or whatever. And if they asked "Does grandpa start with G too?" I'd answer and they might pursue that tangent, guessing other words that begin with G. And I would read aloud to them, stories that I found enjoyable and thought they would enjoy too. And they ended up becoming good readers that way.

 

And from time to time, especially as they've got older, my kids have gradually begun to ask for formal instruction or formal instructional resources in order to learn specific things. Perhaps they've wanted gymnastics classes, or violin lessons, or a Canadian history reference textbook, or a workbook program for high school math, or a computer-based program to help learn some Japanese. Because I believe that learning should be child-led, I have happily allowed them to lead themselves into these sorts of formal learning. 

 

At this point the only regular "teaching" I do with my 9-year-old (my last remaining home-learner) is some math. She loves math and is fairly advanced for her age because of her enthusiasm and whatever aptitude she has. She has a high school textbook that she really likes, but she's a social learner and enjoys talking her way through problems and explanations with me. We do math only when she asks, or when she says "I want to do some math tomorrow before we go skiing. Can you remind me in the morning?"

 

Before I was unschooling, I found it difficult to imagine that kids would ask to practice correct punctuation, or to be given spelling words, or to drill multiplication facts. Yet to unschoolers, who have none of the baggage of having been coerced into learning such things, these sorts of things are no different than, say, challenging themselves to do a handstand, or learning to knit. 

 

My guiding principle is "no uninvited teaching." But I don't refuse to teach when my kids are asking me to do so. 

 

Miranda

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#3 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 10:42 AM
 
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Hi to everyone here, found this forum few days ago, Single, with a 7 year old girl

 

Seems most of you have gone down the route of teaching reading, writing and maths, I was wonderng if any of you have gone down the route of no education.

 

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I'm not sure exactly what gave this impression, unless, as moominmamma pointed out, we have different ideas of what "education" means.  There are 2 forums here, one dedicated to unschooling, the other including all styles of homeschooling.  Those of us who identify as "unschoolers", or those whose style is like unschooling but choose not to attach a label, or those of us who feel more comfortable asking advice and sharing our lives with families who are more child-led and prefer that kind of advice, all of use the unschooling forum.  Also, we unschoolers are happy to post in the "Learning at Home and Beyond" to support other homeschooling families with different styles--trying to be respectful of other paths.  Perhaps this has helped give you your first impression as well.  Some folks posting in the past have suggested the opposite of what you are implying:  that those of us who follow a child's lead tend to "push our agenda" on others who prefer a more "traditional" approach to HSing!  

 

We would love to hear about your experiences.  I am always eager to learn more about other families.  Being on this forum has been an amazing resource for support.  The collective experience here is incredible.  

 

So first, elaborate on what you mean-- I admit to being confused.  Tell us about your family, post about your day, join the conversation.  We are always welcoming new, thoughtful perspectives.  That, above all, is why I like it here.


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#4 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 11:12 AM
 
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I am confused about what, exactly, is the path of no education. There is no way I can comment reasonably until I know what I am discussing. Please explain.
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#5 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 04:27 PM
 
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My guess is that the original poster means "no formal teaching."

 

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#6 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 06:12 PM
 
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If that's the case, then so far my girls have had no education.  They are 6 and 8.  


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#7 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 07:50 PM
 
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What exactly do you mean by no education? We unschool, or practice child led learning if you prefer. My children are still being educated, just not in a traditional manner.
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#8 of 25 Old 01-22-2013, 04:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, sorry for not reposting sooner also sorry for the confusion. OK I mean teaching although to me it is the same.

 

I did not go down the unschooling route by plan, it just I was working abroad at the time my daughter should be starting school. To date I have not done any type of teaching,  or whatever you wish to call it and at seven she still can not read for example.  She has shown no interest in wanting to and I am fine for her not to.

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#9 of 25 Old 01-22-2013, 08:53 AM
 
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I've read many supporting articles for your POV in Home Education Magazine.  Their website should be back up and running.  They have articles by homeschoolers of many styles, but are unschoolers at heart (especially recently!  I love it!)

 

I have not taught reading, but both my girls have been actively interested in learning to read.  How that looks has changed over the years, but now both have taught themselves (with help when they ask for it).  

 

It is important for me to have some resources available to them.  This does not mean workbooks or books on digraphs (though dd2 loved the books like "Fun with I and G" or whatever, and would bring home piles of them from the library).  And it doesn't necessarily mean "strewing", which some parents find manipulative.  I simply mean, having interesting reading material in the house, for everybody.  This doesn't have to be directed at children  Some of the most engaging books are large tomes with tons of pictures.  DH and I also read aloud to them, both at bedtime and during the day,  Once upon a time, we read close to twenty books to them every day(I include chapters of Winnie the Pooh and Little House, etc.)   

 

What is most important to me, though, is that dh and I are interested.  We read fiction, we read about science, we look up record sky dives and Martian landings on the internet.  We wonder aloud, and look things up.  The only thing that I have intentionally changed of my habits, with a mind to modeling, was writing.  DD1 was struggling with writing and I realized I hadn't been writing anything myself.  I can't say that my writing more led to her writing more, but I simply realized that she couldn't learn by osmosis what wasn't being used daily in our home.  (I feel the same way about music, BTW.)

 

In order to be at peace with my child's lack of interest in such foundational skills such as reading, I need to ask myself why.  

 

--Is the skill something that is not present in our house?  Do I need to change that (such as making a commitment to reading more or writing on paper)?

 

-- Is there something preventing them from having ease in learning it (difficulties with fine motor control such as dd1 had with writing and drawing, or perhaps the need for glasses)?  

 

--Is it age appropriate for them to be disinterested, or lacking in readiness? (I would say that not wanting to read at 7 is age appropriate!)  

 

--Are they rebelling from something I am doing unintentionally?  (For example, if I were constantly bringing home beginner books for her to read that aren't engaging, or the perhaps they see the whole thing as manipulative on my part).

 

If I were satisfied that I've explored the issue, I would be at peace with their choices.  I can't answer for myself 5 years down the road with children 11 and 13 that I would still be as serene as I feel now (though I hope I will be), but for now, I would be satisfied.  I'm pretty optimistic, I guess.  *I* am self-motivated, I am engaged, curious about everything, skillful in many ways, then I know my girls will be too.  How that will look in their lives, I don't know. I think, though, that the confidence I have in my children influences their own.

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#10 of 25 Old 01-22-2013, 09:11 AM
 
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Excellent post, SweetSilver! And I expect you will be even more serene in five years. 

 

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#11 of 25 Old 01-22-2013, 12:21 PM
 
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I consider myself to be mostly an unschooler, but I spent *tons* of time with my son, so there were *lots* of teachable moments each day. I loved to read, and read to him extensively. While I never taught reading, he learned, anyway. Science was something that interested both of us, so we read Magic School Bus books, and Kids Discover magazine. He asked questions all the time. So while I didn't "teach", following a lesson plan and having him do worksheets and read aloud to me daily, I did teach him. Maybe it's not really unschooling, but labels are not important to me. If you are spending time with your child, there is teaching and learning going on.
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#12 of 25 Old 01-22-2013, 01:16 PM
 
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I think that informal teaching is absolutely a part of unschooling. Human being are hard-wired to learn, but they are also hard-wired to teach. Biologically speaking we are not instinctual creatures, not primarily. Most of our behaviours and skills are learned, passed along by parents and community/tribe members. And so we've evolved to be natural learners (especially as children) and natural teachers (especially as adults). 

 

Now, by informal teaching I include natural modelling, conversation, answering questions, including your child in your life, sharing your genuine enthusiasms, responding to requests to "show me how to do that," providing things that you think your child will find fun and interesting .... basically anything you would do with an adult loved one. 

 

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#13 of 25 Old 01-24-2013, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Many thanks for your replies, think it must be the first time ever that I have not been criticized for my parenting.

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#14 of 25 Old 01-26-2013, 10:18 AM
 
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I think around 7 is a tough age for the parent of a non-reader, too.  Lots of pressure from friends and relatives, IMO.  The friends pressure wasn't nearly as rude or uncomfortable as that from my family (who feels it's okay to be uncensored about their opinions of my child-rearing since we are related).  My 12yo learned at read at 9 and now will not put down his books - really, we've had to  -make a lights out rule or else he stays up til ridiculous hours reading and then misses the entire next morning.  My 9yo is just learning how to read.  He has expressed interest for years and we'll keep trying different things, but after a day or a week or a month, he would reject the system.  I think maybe he was just feeling peer pressure to want to read even though he really wasn't ready for it.  Now he has finally started to learn all my himself (with my help a little when he gets stuck on a word) - mostly from comic sources like Calvin & Hobbes and Foxtrot, as well as Captain Underpants.

 

Hang in there!  And stop using the words "no education" when referring to your kids :)  That brings up the thoughts of not learning anything, which is nearly impossible unless you locked them in a closet.  And even then, I bet they'd learn things about that closet.  "No lesson plans" or "No formal school" may be better if you are needing to describe your methods to someone.
 


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#15 of 25 Old 01-26-2013, 11:58 AM
 
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 Now he has finally started to learn all my himself (with my help a little when he gets stuck on a word) - mostly from comic sources like Calvin & Hobbes and Foxtrot, as well as Captain Underpants.

 

Hang in there!  And stop using the words "no education" when referring to your kids :)  That brings up the thoughts of not learning anything, which is nearly impossible unless you locked them in a closet.  And even then, I bet they'd learn things about that closet.  "No lesson plans" or "No formal school" may be better if you are needing to describe your methods to someone.
 

Comics and graphic novels were the start for dd1 as well-- I found graphic novels of Greek myths, mysteries and classic horror.  We would read them together.  Recently it was the Hound of the Baskervilles.  I had read the original novels to her, we watched 2 movie versions, and then I found the graphic novel version.  As far as reading on her own, it is mostly her horse encyclopedia.  Though she reads very well, she still doesn't plop herself down to read for enjoyment. Mostly, she reads in order to do her puzzles in her Puzzlemania.  

 

It is interesting, because when I was 8.5yo I was already reading the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, the Sword of Shannara, etc.  However, I still learned the same way my girls are learning-- having books around, being read to--I just happened to put it all together much sooner than they did.  Perhaps they will grow up to be great readers, but perhaps they will never read much for enjoyment.  That's OK, too.


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#16 of 25 Old 01-26-2013, 02:08 PM
 
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It was a bad time in my life and I read For Better or For Worse and Baby Blues to my son from the books to cheer myself up. He learned to read, I guess because I was pointing to who was saying what in each picture. I've told that story to others, and been told that I did it all wrong, and I should have been deliberately teaching reading. Oh, well. Their loss. Learning from comics is fun!
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I'm pretty sure my kids learned to read from Sesame Street, honestly. I certainly didn't go out of my way to actively teach them. I come from a family of video game and other software designers, so they had tons of video games and computer programs...educational and otherwise, to choose from too. The early years are the hardest, though. Everyone questions everything you do and is always trying to convince you to raise your kids their way. No matter what kind of parent you are! All the people who would like to interfere will drive you nuts, if you let them. If your child is happy, healthy, and safe...you're doing well. Just take a deep breath and try not to let all the details weigh you down.


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#18 of 25 Old 02-23-2013, 10:04 AM
 
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I don't like using the word "education" in reference to "unschooling", it's too close to "teaching", which I don't think is a part of unschooling at all.  I think the word "learning" or "learn" makes much more sense, since it's something that a person does themself.  No one can force another, even a child, to learn something.  

 

That being said, my 14, 11 & 2 year old children have always unschooled, except the eldest went to a public school kindergarten (not that he learned much there).  I don't insist that they learn anything and I can't remember ever really teaching them anything, though I have shown them many things, generally after they asked.  We just live a really full & interesting life.  We are always on the go, do tons of things, enjoy field trips, park days, clubs, playdates, host parties & playgroups & game days, go to museums & festivals, zoos, amusement parks, community events, etc.  I try to treat life like we're on an amazing vacation with time to relax as well as tons of time to explore.  

 

Anyway, I think my kids are amazing!  

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#19 of 25 Old 02-24-2013, 11:37 AM
 
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I don't like using the word "education" in reference to "unschooling", it's too close to "teaching", which I don't think is a part of unschooling at all.  I think the word "learning" or "learn" makes much more sense, since it's something that a person does themself.  No one can force another, even a child, to learn something.  

 

That's funny, I feel quite strongly that education, in the sense of "acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself for mature life" is a part of unschooling. It strikes me as being a broader and more holistic big-picture word than learning. Granted, education can refer to either the imparting or the acquiring of those attributes, but in the sense of acquiring, I think that's definitely part of unschooling. I also think that unschooling doesn't preclude teaching, provided the teaching is requested, willingly undertaken and pursued by choice. My unschooled kids have asked to be taught to knit, play the violin, do back walkovers, bake pies, etc. etc.. 

 

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#20 of 25 Old 03-01-2013, 05:45 PM
 
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I've read many supporting articles for your POV in Home Education Magazine.  Their website should be back up and running.  They have articles by homeschoolers of many styles, but are unschoolers at heart (especially recently!  I love it!)

 

I have not taught reading, but both my girls have been actively interested in learning to read.  How that looks has changed over the years, but now both have taught themselves (with help when they ask for it).  

 

It is important for me to have some resources available to them.  This does not mean workbooks or books on digraphs (though dd2 loved the books like "Fun with I and G" or whatever, and would bring home piles of them from the library).  And it doesn't necessarily mean "strewing", which some parents find manipulative.  I simply mean, having interesting reading material in the house, for everybody.  This doesn't have to be directed at children  Some of the most engaging books are large tomes with tons of pictures.  DH and I also read aloud to them, both at bedtime and during the day,  Once upon a time, we read close to twenty books to them every day(I include chapters of Winnie the Pooh and Little House, etc.)   

 

What is most important to me, though, is that dh and I are interested.  We read fiction, we read about science, we look up record sky dives and Martian landings on the internet.  We wonder aloud, and look things up.  The only thing that I have intentionally changed of my habits, with a mind to modeling, was writing.  DD1 was struggling with writing and I realized I hadn't been writing anything myself.  I can't say that my writing more led to her writing more, but I simply realized that she couldn't learn by osmosis what wasn't being used daily in our home.  (I feel the same way about music, BTW.)

 

In order to be at peace with my child's lack of interest in such foundational skills such as reading, I need to ask myself why.  

 

--Is the skill something that is not present in our house?  Do I need to change that (such as making a commitment to reading more or writing on paper)?

 

-- Is there something preventing them from having ease in learning it (difficulties with fine motor control such as dd1 had with writing and drawing, or perhaps the need for glasses)?  

 

--Is it age appropriate for them to be disinterested, or lacking in readiness? (I would say that not wanting to read at 7 is age appropriate!)  

 

--Are they rebelling from something I am doing unintentionally?  (For example, if I were constantly bringing home beginner books for her to read that aren't engaging, or the perhaps they see the whole thing as manipulative on my part).

 

If I were satisfied that I've explored the issue, I would be at peace with their choices.  I can't answer for myself 5 years down the road with children 11 and 13 that I would still be as serene as I feel now (though I hope I will be), but for now, I would be satisfied.  I'm pretty optimistic, I guess.  *I* am self-motivated, I am engaged, curious about everything, skillful in many ways, then I know my girls will be too.  How that will look in their lives, I don't know. I think, though, that the confidence I have in my children influences their own.


Not planning on unschooling in future years, but I see my daily life with my toddler as "unschooling," and this post just put it all into perspective for me in a brilliant way.  It's funny, because I've been trying to postpone preschool thinking that I want to preserve this amazing way of learning that we have going already for as long as possible.  I guess I just never really thought of unschooling as being exactly that - until I read this post.  Thanks for the eye-opener, SweetSilver.

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#21 of 25 Old 03-01-2013, 06:08 PM
 
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  Thanks for the eye-opener, SweetSilver.

You're welcome!  

 

Some people with no intention of homeschooling/ unschooling suddenly are open to the possibility as kindergarten (or "curriculum time" for HSers) draws near and realize their amazingly curious child might benefit from continuing on in the way they have lived for years.  "As long as possible" just keeps going!


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#22 of 25 Old 03-01-2013, 06:42 PM
 
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Some people with no intention of homeschooling/ unschooling suddenly are open to the possibility as kindergarten (or "curriculum time" for HSers) draws near and realize their amazingly curious child might benefit from continuing on in the way they have lived for years.  "As long as possible" just keeps going!

 

This is more or less how our journey has unfolded so far and we will keep on going for as long as possible :)  

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#23 of 25 Old 03-09-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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That was us, too!  Glad to hear there are others :)  We were all ready to do the kindergarten thing and it just seemed so off, since the boy was already learning so well by his own methods!  Nearly 13yo now and haven't looked back!
 


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#24 of 25 Old 03-09-2013, 02:40 PM
 
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Keep going and one day find yourself figuring out how you are going to handle graduation.
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#25 of 25 Old 03-09-2013, 02:59 PM
 
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Hi, sorry for not reposting sooner also sorry for the confusion. OK I mean teaching although to me it is the same.

 

I did not go down the unschooling route by plan, it just I was working abroad at the time my daughter should be starting school. To date I have not done any type of teaching,  or whatever you wish to call it and at seven she still can not read for example.  She has shown no interest in wanting to and I am fine for her not to.

 

This happened to me... long story short: I was fine smile.gif

 

I started formal school when I was about 10, I'm not sure if I could read very well, I vaguely remember that I didn't, but I remember comments that I caught up really quickly. All through school I had above average grades.

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