Unschooling irresponsible? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 03-03-2014, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have not come here to be disruptive or to argue, so do not take what I write as such.

I have twin grand daughter, sweet girls even though they lack disapline. My daughter, their mother obviously, works as a ski instructor in winter and during the rest of the year in night clubs, as a rep at a holiday resort, guard on the beach, depends on what she gets.or chooses to do.

The girls are now nine and despite this neither can read or write, or do even basic maths, my daughter says they are unschooled. She says they will learn if they Ned to or want to until then she has no intention of doing so

While they might be great skiers, super swimmers is not educating properly neglect?

I am here to understand although reading the forum here most of you do teach your children
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#2 of 23 Old 03-03-2014, 07:24 PM
 
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Hi and welcome to mothering! We welcome you to post and we are glad you joined us. You might consider posting an introduction thread in the introduction area, here. As for unschooling, there are many educational philosophies represented in the world, have you tried asking your daughter about what lead her to unschool? I would start there and I would read books about different types of learning. It is unfortunate your grand daughters cannot read or write, yet. Perhaps the gift of an age appropriate book would be nice?


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#3 of 23 Old 03-03-2014, 08:30 PM
 
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I think it's great that you are seeking answers and trying to understand. :thumb

I don't really have anything helpful to share though. We're doing a mix of homeschooling and unschooling with our own kids. Which means we have a curriculum that we use part time. And the rest of the time is open for them to follow wherever their interests take them.


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#4 of 23 Old 03-03-2014, 09:55 PM
 
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I'd suggest three general things as you try to deal with the situation with your grand-daughters that feels uncomfortable to you.

 

First ... resist the urge to judge the supposed shortcomings your granddaughters' education through the lens of traditional schooling. Yes, there's definitely something wrong if a 9-year-old who is in school can't read and do pencil-and-paper math, because that child will have had 4 years of instruction that hasn't "taken" which suggests there's a problem with her ability to learn, the child will have a very poor self-concept as a result of her repeated and ongoing failures in the presence of other kids who are succeeding, and the class and its instructional content will have left the basics behind and moved relentlessly on, making it almost impossible to catch up. These considerations don't apply to unschooling. I've told this story several times here but it bears repeating: my dd learned to read fluently, including proper novels, at age four and a half, but her unschooled best friend had absolutely no interest in learning to read until she was 9 1/2. Then her friend did learn to read: her brain was ready, and she was motivated. And guess how long it took my daughter's friend to catch up to 8th-grade-plus reading level she was at? About two months. By the summer before her friend turned 10, they were eagerly sharing fantasy novels back and forth and discussing them in great depth together. There's a report from Sudbury Valley School that gives evidence that it takes approximately 20 instructional hours to teach a motivated pre-teen the entire K-7 math curriculum. Twenty hours! The secret is to be more-than-ready both developmentally and motivationally. The "lags" you're seeing are not at all un-heard-of in unschooling circles. Pre-adolescence tends to be when things shift for kids who don't have those basic skills. 

 

Second, become a sensitive to what they are learning. What are they passionate about? What can they do really well? What are the other skills and pieces of knowledge have sprung from those passions? Pay attention to all the myriad things that they know that their public schooled counterparts don't know. Start making a list. Can they bake scones, do they understand DIN settings on ski bindings, do they understand principles of avalanche risk assessment, are they origami experts, can they estimate distance in yards with impressive accuracy, are they sci-fi nuts who can tell you all about black holes and pulsars? As you start to notice and appreciate the things they do know, you'll realize their lives have been rich in different ways. 

 

Thirdly, once you've got past judging their education as irresponsible (even if it involves biting your tongue), and have taken the time to observe what they do know, what their interests are and what their needs are ... offer to help. Write them letters ... write in code, or in pictures and simple manuscript that you think they might be motivated to puzzle out. Mail them through the post every week. See if they'd be interested in exchanging emails. Send them books. Not patronizing alphabet books and KG primers that scream Remedial Academic Agenda. Real books that you think might interest them, especially non-fiction with lots of illustrations and captions and sidebars. Consider graphic novels or comic book compilations (Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes and the Babymouse books were popular around here). Take them out to the dollar store and give each of them $5 to spend. Help them mentally add up their items to make sure they're not going over. Offer to teach them a hobby or game: chess and knitting are fabulous for math skills. Explain to their mom that you're not trying to undermine what she's doing, just to help with things that are enjoyable for you to share where you think they might benefit: you won't pressure them, and you will back off if it feels intrusive to them. 

 

If you're concerned, help rather than criticize. You sound like you really care about these girls; that's wonderful. But being critical will almost certainly distance them and their mother from you and not result in any change in their educational approach, so it's not going to help at all. Support them. Do what you can, not to undermine, but respect their choices and to offer help in whatever small creative ways you can. 

 

Good luck!

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#5 of 23 Old 03-04-2014, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree they had experiences other children can only read about, I know they are bright

I am not criticizing, but concerned. I have bought them books in the past but they have no interest in them. I see them once a month on average, I sometimes go and stay with them and get on great but when I try to interest them in reading or maths they just want to do something else, if mum is around she will step in to stop it.

They will be ten in early June and feel that they need to be introduced to the subjects.
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#6 of 23 Old 03-04-2014, 09:59 AM
 
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Okay, the premise in unschooling is that kids will not fail to learn the necessities of life because they are surrounded by life and its necessities. Why does a person need to know how to read? Because the world is full of print! Why does a person need to know how to manipulate numbers? For tasks like measuring, comparing and managing money. I dare say the girls have been introduced to the subjects in these ways. They're surrounded by uses for written language and arithmetic. 

 

But even though they're surrounded by these "subjects," they're not learning according to what you expect. I would tend to agree with your dd that to teach them directly when they're clearly not interested is likely to be both unproductive in terms of their learning and destructive in terms of their likelihood of developing a natural motivation to learn those things at some point. 

 

But I wonder whether they have a lot more in the way of skills in these areas than you are appreciating. For instance, if they have an extensive vocabulary and generally good grammar, and an appreciation of good stories, and an understanding of rhyme, they have a lot of literacy-related skills. (Those are the sorts of things that allowed my dd's friend to go from a pre-school to high school reading level in just a couple of months.) If they can estimate sales tax on a 69¢ pack of gum, can work out that there aren't enough cookies for everyone to have three, and can tell you that based on the difference in their ages, their cousin must have been four when they were born, they have a lot of mental arithmetic and conceptual math skills. Just because their eyes glaze over when you write 4 + 7 = 11 on a piece of paper doesn't mean they don't know any math.

 

There's a concept in some unschooling circles called "strewing." It means you casually present opportunities and resources -- without any specific expectations -- in the hope that at least some of them will inspire interest and learning. From hearing about the type of contact you have with them and what you've tried in the past, I think it might be helpful to ramp up some more grandmotherly strewing. That's the sort of stuff I was getting at in my previous post... writing them fun notes, giving them occasional $5 "shopping sprees," sending attractive girl-inspired scrapbook/journals, bringing some extra knitting needles and yarn with you on your next visit, showing them how Sudoku works, giving them a Garfield book from a thrift store, showing them how to play Draw Something on a couple of smartphones, providing them with a couple of cheap mp3 players with some audiobooks to listen to on them, a subscription to Highlights magazine. If you see them once a month, maybe you could have a ritual where you leave a little package of things you want to strew in their paths (and maybe a few silly trinkets or a couple of packages of candy that are just for fun) that they are allowed to open halfway between one of your visits and the next. What they do with them, whether they become interested in them or not, is of course up to them. Don't be hurt of frustrated if most of the stuff doesn't inspire interest, at least not immediately. But keep going. Some day they may come back to some of the things they initially set aside, and sooner or later you'll hit the jackpot with something. And you'll feel like you're doing what you can to help with a situation that concerns you.

 

By the way, I completely understand your concerns. I was lucky enough to be the parent to a bunch of unschooled kids who happened to gobble up academic milestones early. I'm sure that if they'd got to age 9 without achieving those milestones I'd have been concerned too. In the absence of red flags for learning disabilities I don't think I would have abandoned my philosophy of child-led learning, but I certainly would have quietly worried. It's tough when kids seem insistent on taking a different path from the one we expected from them. Having been part of real and virtual unschooling communities for many years, though, I can tell you that it is not at all unusual for unschooled kids to spend the first 10 years of their lives learning almost entirely socially and experientially. Natural learning tends to occur in great spurts of near-instantaneous progress once kids have become truly ready. 

 

Hope this helps!


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#7 of 23 Old 03-04-2014, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi and thanks.

I guess it depends how many cookies/people there are if they could work out if there is enough for everyone to have have three, estimating distance no problem, or which stars are which, or the type of clouds and of it is going to rain or snow or not. The tax on gum, that be a challenge I would say no.

I guess your suggestions are good, off to learn to knit now:)
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#8 of 23 Old 03-04-2014, 07:39 PM
 
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Games can be a fun low pressure way to expose them to reading and math. Not special "academic" games that might go across badly with your daughter, but regular games like Monopoly or PayDay or Rummy. Or you could suggest scoring different moves they're doing in a sport with different things being worth different points and having something they could do that would double it, etc... they could help you figure out the scoring system and then you could calculate the scores together. You could also look for magazines in line with their interests and give them subscriptions. Sometimes what motivates kids to learn to read is having something they want to read. 

 

As you go, give them the opportunity to work things out themselves, but don't quiz them. The idea is to expose them to the concepts, not assess where they are or make them prove mastery. 

 

I know it's easy to worry about them being behind where they would be in school, but what they would have done in school up to now is all repeated multiple times because so many kids aren't actually ready to learn it well the first time through. There's every reason to believe they will be fine. 

 

I'm sorry you're worried about them. I'm sure that's really hard. 

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#9 of 23 Old 03-05-2014, 09:54 AM
 
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Here is a semi-scholarly article on how children teach themselves to read that might give you some comfort:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201002/children-teach-themselves-read

 

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#10 of 23 Old 03-10-2014, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorryfor the delayed responce, the link is interesting and I can see how you children can learn by themselves if they are motovated or encouraged by the enviromeant around them.
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Games can be a fun low pressure way to expose them to reading and math. Not special "academic" games that might go across badly with your daughter, but regular games like Monopoly or PayDay or Rummy. Or you could suggest scoring different moves they're doing in a sport with different things being worth different points and having something they could do that would double it, etc... they could help you figure out the scoring system and then you could calculate the scores together. You could also look for magazines in line with their interests and give them subscriptions. Sometimes what motivates kids to learn to read is having something they want to read. 

As you go, give them the opportunity to work things out themselves, but don't quiz them. The idea is to expose them to the concepts, not assess where they are or make them prove mastery. 

I know it's easy to worry about them being behind where they would be in school, but what they would have done in school up to now is all repeated multiple times because so many kids aren't actually ready to learn it well the first time through. There's every reason to believe they will be fine. 

I'm sorry you're worried about them. I'm sure that's really hard. 

Thank for the suggestion which is good but Monopoly is to advanced, they get bored very quickly with scoring games, they won't make the effort.
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#11 of 23 Old 03-10-2014, 07:32 PM
 
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DIsclaimer~we're more in the "delayed academics" camp, but since it looks a lot like unschooling in practice until 10 or 12 at our house I step into this forum sometimes.
I understand your concern and think it's great that you're seeking to learn more for your Grandaughters!
Although 9yo non-readers are well within the range of normal for homeschoolers keep in mind that they might have math and reading skills that you don't see. My inlaws had a very blatant "Remedial Academic Agenda", as moominmama put it... dollar store workbooks by the stack for every holiday and quizzes every time we're over. It was especially obvious to the kids because their public schooled cousins didn't get the constant questioning on basic facts, etc. that started at Kindergarten age. I wouldn't be surprised if they thought my children couldn't read or do math (even though they learned without instruction at around that time) because the girls refused to perform for them. Not in a rude way, but I'm fine with "No thank you Grandmom, let's play instead".

ETA- not trying to imply that you push your Grandaughters this way at all, just suggesting that it is possible for them to be private about things like that esp. if they sense that an adult is invested in the results smile.gif
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#12 of 23 Old 03-10-2014, 07:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zmmt View Post


Thank for the suggestion which is good but Monopoly is to advanced, they get bored very quickly with scoring games, they won't make the effort.

They might not enjoy it, but as far as being too advanced, my very-average 7 and 9yo play Monopoly (and its spinoffs--Farmopoly and Horseopoly) frequently.  We use the new "speed di" to help make the game faster.  DH and I helped a lot at the beginning, but they got the hang of it.  They don't always want to finish the game, I'll admit, but that's because they weren't really interested in starting at the time


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#13 of 23 Old 03-11-2014, 07:53 AM
 
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I understand how this can be hard for you, it usually takes people awhile to get their head around how unschooling is beneficial.  I often question the term unschooling, a friend once told me it's more about the adults than the kids....adults have to unschool themselves to allow the children to lead their learning.  I often refer to it as "child led learning".  

 

The things about children is that they are natural learners and they love learning.  They learn to walk and talk without school, and even though reading and math may seem more complex, it really is just as basic as they will learn it when the need is there.  What I see as dangerous is squashing that natural love of learning....which school seems to squash out of them, not to mention creativity and individuality too.  I understand that you are not stating that they should be in school, but forcing sit down school work can have the same effect.  If they were made to do math workbooks everyday they may say "I hate math".  But when given some money to buy something, figuring out if they have enough or have to save more...it's just a fact of life that one needs to know.  You cannot get by in life without math, so they will learn it.

 

I also agree that games are wonderful for teaching so much.... and Monopoly bores me too.  My 7yo and 9yo like to play, we don't play exactly by the rules, we change it to suit them.  I grew up play cards, rummy, euchre, solitaire, skip-bo (mostly euchre)....and I truly believe this is what has really helped me be comfortable with numbers in my life, I'm actually quite good with numbers.  My husband can calculate any numbers on a dart board as quick as anyone I've ever seen...as he grew up playing darts in Ireland.  (I'm still quicker at regular math than he is though:)   Just sitting playing games bonds people together and the learning happens naturally. There are so many wonderful games to explore that teach touch so many subjects.

 

I have a 9yo daughter who reads, but not at the level of 9yo in school.  I have a hard time myself sometimes because I really just want her to sit and read, practice.  I truly believe that pushing her to do so will make her think she dislikes reading, which would be a fail all around.  All through my school years I hated the required reading, but I fell in love with reading on my own after highschool, I am an avid reader now.  My son and daughter love novels, their dad reads to them before bed.  They understand the novel, they can relate to me what is happening and complex plots in the novels.  I think they do not read much on their own because there is no need to.  They do know how to read and spell the words they need to manouver around in a computer game they play though.  So when they need it, when the interest is there, they learn it quite quickly.  It's true what the others said, when the interest and necessity is there it will happen very quickly.  When your granddaughters are 16 or 20 years old no one will know that they did not learn to read after the age of 10.

 

The thing to remember about unschoolers is that they tend to be self taught, they initiate their learning when the interest is there, they are self starters and self finishers simply because their interest is guiding them.  They to seek out the answers to their questions, they accomplish the goals they set for themselves, they follow their passions.  These are wonderfully qualities that will carry them through life.

 

I agree with the others, reading about unschooling/homeschoolng may help you to understand better.  I also wanted to say that sometimes I find myself fiercely defending my right to unschool, my position about it, because it is so uncommon or looked down upon...and maybe when I don't always need to.  Your daughter may take more offence in your suggestions than you mean because she is fighting against the norm and always having to defend her decision. 

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#14 of 23 Old 03-25-2014, 08:11 AM
 
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I think it's pretty normal for kids to resist when they feel like someone is testing them or trying to push them to do something. Rather than focusing on getting THEM to read, try reading TO them. Get a fun fantasy series to read to them when you are together. They might really enjoy it! Also games. Lots and lots of games....also cooking. Make cookies the next time you are together. Just don't try to call attention to fractions when they're trying to measure out stuff...kids are smart, they know when we're trying to manipulate them into learning something.

One math card game I can recommend is Sleeping Queens. It was designed by a child and it's funny and a lot of fun to play. smile.gif

http://www.amazon.com/Gamewright-230-Sleeping-Queens/dp/B0009XBY3A
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#15 of 23 Old 03-25-2014, 09:30 AM
 
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When I read your request it reminded me of something I wrote to share with my children's grandmother. She is very supportive but struggles with some of the finer points of our lifestyle choices and, well, habits are hard to break and it helps her to have something written down so she can try to follow our wishes. Take this for what it is - just what we believe and what works for our family.  I hope you are able to find a balance that feels right for everyone involved in your family. 

 

How to Just “Be” With the Unschooled/Life Learning Child

 

Children learn through their play all the time without adult assistance. They learn because they are curious. They learn because they enjoy developing new skills. They learn because they want to be able to do the things they see others doing around them. Parents and society accept this as natural for children when they are very young. There is no difference as a child gets older. They just become interested in more topics and ideas and we as adults just need to keep answering their questions.

 

What they do NOT need is to be questioned in order to learn. The child should be asking the questions. Think about it. If you are asked a question and know the answer, you're not going to learn anything. If you don't know the answer you may be frustrated and embarrassed or at the very least need to be told the answer. So why not just give the information in the first place. Being asked questions is the most difficult way to learn. We all learn best by asking questions, not answering them.

 

Children also do NOT need praise, unasked for explanations, or unsolicited suggestions to learn. This often just hampers their own internal motivation and often thrusts unneeded adult motives and ideas on to the child's learning journey. Following the child's lead and quietly just enjoying your own part in the play is ideal. If you are going to offer a comment or suggestion, ask yourself, “Am I trying to teach the child something I think they should know” or “Am I simply sharing something I find enjoyable or interesting as I would if it were any other adult by my side?” If you are attempting to teach something that the child has not indicated he wants to know, consider just staying quiet.

 

If there are times you feel the need to comment on a “product” a child has made, consider saying “You really seemed to enjoy making that” rather than “That is amazing. You did such a great job.” Allow them to evaluate their own work and how they feel about it. This does not mean that genuine praise that arises from a joyful heart and gives loving support to children should be withheld. Just make sure the intent behind the praise is one of celebration and joy!

 

Whole life learning trusts that all people regardless of age have the right to direct their own learning and that there are many paths to do so. We can trust a child's natural curiosity and love of learning to guide him in his personal growth. We as adults can therefore look way less for “teachable moments” and more for ways to connect, strengthen our relationship, and share our passions in life.

 

 

 

What is Life Learning? (Popularly known as Unschooling)

If you are interested in learning more about this philosophy of life and learning you may want to check out some of the resources below. This is by no means a complete list of resources. If you find yourself intrigued by the ideas you find here, enjoy delving into the many other references you will find among these works.

 

Articles:

The Words We Use: Living as if School Doesn't Exist by Wendy Priesnitz http://www.lifelearningmagazine.com/the_words_we_use_living_as_if_school_doesnt_exist.htm

What is Unschooling/Life Learning? By Rachel Johnson and Jane Van Benthusen

http://www.lifelearningmagazine.com/definitions/what_is_life_learning.htm

Our Social Obligation Toward Children’s Education: Opportunities, Not Coercion by Peter Gray

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/200909/our-social-obligation-toward-children-s-education-opportunities-not-coerci

Deschooling a Parent: Learning to Trust by Jan Hunt

http://www.naturalchild.org/jan_hunt/deschooling.html

Variety of Articles by various authors http://www.lifelearningmagazine.com/selected_articles_from_Life_Learning_Magazine.htm

 

Blogs:

http://unschoolingchronicles.blogspot.com/

 

General Websites:

http://www.naturalchild.org/http://sandradodd.com/unschooling

 

Magazines:

Life Learning Magazine http://www.lifelearningmagazine.com/index.htm

 

Books:

The Unschooling Unmanual http://www.naturalchild.org/unmanual/

How Children Learn by John Holt http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0201484048/ncp-20

Parenting a Free Child: An Unschooled Life by Rue Kream http://www.freechild.info/

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This morning I read through several of Laurie Pickert's recent blog posts:http://project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog.  Project Based Homeschooling IS NOT UNSCHOOLING, but her essays continue to be inspiring for me, and for parents and loved ones who are dedicated to being child-led, and it can be motivation to continue on the path we feel is the right one for our children.  Her essays can sound very much like the kind of philosophy unschooling families believe, but digging deeper into website and PBH will illustrate the differences,if you look at them.  However, I highly recommend her writing, especially since she addresses recent ideas and books, and those thoughts can apply to unschooling.


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#17 of 23 Old 03-25-2014, 10:33 AM
 
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What they do NOT need is to be questioned in order to learn. The child should be asking the questions. Think about it. If you are asked a question and know the answer, you're not going to learn anything. If you don't know the answer you may be frustrated and embarrassed or at the very least need to be told the answer. So why not just give the information in the first place. Being asked questions is the most difficult way to learn. We all learn best by asking questions, not answering them.

 

I loved this whole post, but the paragraph above especially. In our family we call these Questions That Aren't Questions. Real questions arise when someone who doesn't know something wants to know the answer. But most of the questions that well-meaning adults trying to guide the education of children ask aren't real questions.  They are designed not to discover the answer, but to discover whether the other person knows the answer. They're thinly veiled evaluations.

 

There is a genuine style of teaching that is based on asking questions, the Socratic dialogue. I think it is occasionally a very productive method to use with older learners who are developmentally capable of appreciating irony and have the confidence and self-assurance to emerge from being intellectually tripped up with excitement about learning something new. From wikipedia:

 

Quote:
In the dialogues Socrates presents himself as a simple man who confesses that he has little knowledge. With this ironic approach he manages to confuse the other who boasts that he is an expert in the domain they discuss. The outcome of the dialogue is that Socrates demonstrates that the other person's views are inconsistent. In this way Socrates tries to show the way to real wisdom.

 

But that's not going on when an adult asks "What's 7 times 8?" Or "What does that spell?" Not at all.

 

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#18 of 23 Old 03-25-2014, 01:11 PM
 
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There is a genuine style of teaching that is based on asking questions, the Socratic dialogue. I think it is occasionally a very productive method to use with older learners who are developmentally capable of appreciating irony and have the confidence and self-assurance to emerge from being intellectually tripped up with excitement about learning something new. 

Miranda

 

Thanks for sharing, Miranda. I definitely agree that what I wrote is a simplification of asking questions if we are talking throughout the whole lifespan. Since I've still got pretty little ones I haven't moved into that arena quite yet. Glad it is on my radar for the future! 

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#19 of 23 Old 03-30-2014, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hallo to everyone here and to these of you who are celebrating mother's day today, I wish you all a great day.

 

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Originally Posted by mapleleaf View Post
 

I understand how this can be hard for you, it usually takes people awhile to get their head around how unschooling is beneficial.

 

I do not have an issue with unschooling any more, in fact I would recommend it now that I have experienced it.

 

I recall watching a program when my children were little that said by the year 2000 the majority of children will not attend school or will attend for one day to do practical things like science.

 

I quoted the wrong posts so I will write without quotes

 

A lot, virtually all of you have told me that children learn through asking questions, being curious.

 

I watch my neighbors daughter who is six and schooled, eagerly trying to put words together, forever counting out, reading things as she sees them, happily trying to read words she sees around her, so pleased with herself if she succeeds

 

If my grand daughters are not interested, don't ask questions learning this how will they learn?

 

I have not oushed them, but have tried to get them interested. I bought a basic card matching game, they watched me lay it out, one looked at the other and told me we don't want to play this, you know we can't read.

 

Baking, they can happily bake but when it comes to measuring things, working things out they will follow instructions but just not interested in how it is achieved. As I said before if they don't give in their mum will jump in to rescue  them, it is as if she does not want them to learn

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#20 of 23 Old 03-31-2014, 01:22 PM
 
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Again I think think it sounds like they are reacting negatively to your effort.  Perhaps you do not mean it, but you could be interpreted as "testing" them  (Why a reading game if you know they don't read?) ... and it turns them off.  You sound worried that they show no interest in reading.  They will ask questions in the things they are interested in or require.  They're kids, they ask a ton of questions everyday.... guaranteed!  Probably less as they get older.  

 

I forget how old your grand daughters are, I have three children and my eldest is 9.  At 9 years old she knows what she likes and doesn't, I get that same reactions from her when I try to initiate some games too.  I wanted to by Quiddler and she said no, that's a reading game.  If you want to play games with them you have to find the game that catches their interest.  If you want to see them engaged in a game, find the game that does it.  There are great game reviews at gameboardgeek.com.  Some we like to play are Battleship, The Secret Door (by Family Pastimes), Crazy 8s, Skip-Bo. 

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#21 of 23 Old 03-31-2014, 07:46 PM
 
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My girls are interested, great at math for their ages.  With dh and I they can play Monopoly and exchange money and figure their puzzles out.  Girl Scout cookie sales arrive, and they are figuring totals and change.  Complete blank.  They know this, but now everybody is asking them to figure it out.  Not just giving them a chance to figure it out.  Asking them to figure it out when they already know the answer and don't need to be told.  Big, big difference.  They completely tanked.

 

Also, your daughter might be sensitive to your efforts as well, and might be reacting as if to say "you don't need to do it that way'.  Maybe when you aren't around, she does plenty to give them time to figure things out.  But if you've made obvious, repeated efforts that have been rebuffed every time, mama might be a bit sensitive to anything that smacks of pedantry, same as the kids.

 

If you've a had some acceptance of their situation, it might take some time for everyone to stop acting so defensively.  Parents see this all the time, the ones that haven't unschooled from the start (and many who have).  Kids remain suspicious *long* after the agenda has left.  Same for grown daughters.  (Gee, wonder how I know this?  Hmmm...... could be I have an eensy weensy bit of experience with my own mother?  :Sheepish)  You might have some adjustment time.  Find a game that has no obvious educational value and play with them (good luck with that one--unschoolers see the value in everything).  

 

Or, better yet, become interested in what *they* like and connect with them there.  Stop bringing them things you think are missing.  What's missing is *you*.  Once they start adjusting to the fact that "grandma has no agenda", you might find them plying *you* for what you like to do!


"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
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#22 of 23 Old 04-03-2014, 12:13 AM
 
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I also want to point out that sometimes kids learn things in "gaps." What I mean is something that they don't seem to know they can all of a sudden grasp and even surpass in educational skills. My son for the longest time just absolutely.could.not get counting from 11-20. Don't know why he shouldn't could not get those numbers right. When it hit him he went from barely counting past ten to counting to well over 100 just like that. I was so happy I wanted to cry. Same with my daughter's reading. She did well with the sight words she knew and she knew her phonics but she would only read words she KNEW. She had zero interest in sounding things out until one day she just started reading everything. It may be that they are waiting for it to click or it may just be that they are suspicious of your questioning and thus won't answer as my kids won't answer questions they think have a reasoning or agenda for either.

Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD plus and spending my days
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#23 of 23 Old 04-03-2014, 10:59 AM
 
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They will be able to pass their high school exit exam, believe you me.  Do not get caught up in the invisible benchmark chart that has been created by society/government feeding in to your fears/anxieties.  Sit back and enjoy the children.  All will be well.

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