Tell me about unschooling - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 05-05-2004, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What is it really? How do you know they are learning what they will need to be able to go to college? I am planning to homeschool my children (so far I have a 3.5 year old and an 18 month old) and I keep trying to find a preschool curriculum that I like. I have tried hands on homeschooling and BFIAR and I just can't seem to stick with them. We do it for awhile and then it gets too structured and we stop. I know he's only 3 and a half but I am starting to wonder whether I would rather relax about it a bit. I have so much fun when its unprompted learning. Like lately he has been really interested in the weather and seasons and what not so we have been reading books and doing activities around that. Awhile ago it was bears. Who knows what it will be next although he seems to be heading towards being interested in botany. So those who unschool - what does unschooling mean really? Can you do a modified unschooling, like some bookwork but on a relaxed basis? Any info is greatly appreciated!

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#2 of 10 Old 05-05-2004, 08:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Heavenly
I have so much fun when its unprompted learning. Like lately he has been really interested in the weather and seasons and what not so we have been reading books and doing activities around that. Awhile ago it was bears. Who knows what it will be next although he seems to be heading towards being interested in botany.
THAT is unschooling.

Have you done a search for "unschooling" on this board? There have been some long discussions about it. You could also try visiting http://www.unschooling.com lots of good info there. As for what kids "need" to know, the basic philosophy is that the student will naturally learn what he/she needs to know to be able to do what he/she wants to do. If a teen wants to go to college, they would study what is needed to be able to score well on the SAT and get into college.

Single Mom to 3 (12, 17 & 21)  luxlove.gif and dog2.gif.

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#3 of 10 Old 05-05-2004, 08:23 PM
 
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First off, of course, check out www.unschooling.com for lots on this subject.

My kids are 8 and 4. We don't use any curricula, and we focus on whatever the kids are interested in. I do buy the kids a few workbooks, and they use them as and when they choose. From time to time I look through dds math workbook to get an idea of concepts she hasn't worked with yet, and when she wants to, we sit down and go over some stuff. Usually she goes through a math book and just does fractions, so I like throw out some other ideas, too. A lot of unschoolers would never touch workbooks or anything else that smacks of school, but I think unschooling is more about philosophy and the way you approach learning-- natural, child-led-- than the tools themselves. DD mostly draws and reads about animals. She chose to learn cursive, so she practices it most days. Sometimes we spend a lot of time on the trampoline or doing laundry. (I don't want to get controversial here-- but unschooling is about learning from real life, and kids will learn what they see as important, as displayed in real life with there parents, so, yeah, we cook and clean, too, and talk about life, love, making babies, politics-- yes with an 8 year old--we go to the grocery store and balance the checkbook, because all that real life stuff is more important in the end than boring, old Tolstoy ever was anyway.)
My husband complains that we hardly ever "do" anything, but mysteriously my kids keep up with the school kids just fine. Ds is four and a half, and is beginning reading (because he wants to.) He'll be reading well by 5, but a lot of unschoolers wait much later to give there kids time to decide they want/need to read. Anyway, unschooling flows easily out of attachment parenting, because both philosophies are about giving kids what they need, and trusting them to determine what and when that is, rather than controlling them with scheduled feedings and crying it out, or scheduled study that ignores their real needs at the time, becoming a power play of "I said so!!"
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#4 of 10 Old 05-05-2004, 08:51 PM
 
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I have so much fun when its unprompted learning. Like lately he has been really interested in the weather and seasons and what not so we have been reading books and doing activities around that. Awhile ago it was bears. Who knows what it will be next although he seems to be heading towards being interested in botany.
Yep, that is unschooling!
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#5 of 10 Old 05-06-2004, 01:36 AM
 
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Ah, Madame Ovary, I loved everything you said...except this:

Quote:
boring, old Tolstoy
I LOVE Tolstoy.


Love,
Laura
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#6 of 10 Old 05-06-2004, 02:02 AM
 
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Heavenly -- I'm a little burned-out tonight so I'm not going to attempt to answer your questions in my own words, but if you click on my "education" link below you'll find some good articles about unschooling.
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#7 of 10 Old 05-06-2004, 10:47 AM
 
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College is a long, *long* way off.

Quote:
Can you do a modified unschooling, like some bookwork but on a relaxed basis?
Yeah, you can do whatever you like! Personally, I'd do "nothing" until the child themself wanted to do "schoolwork". By the time they get to high school, you can do something different. Who knows how things will be then? But you don't have to worry about it now

I'm going through college admissions with one of my kids, and the ease with which he can jump thru the proffered hoops *now* (at "only" 16) is astounding. Makes me wonder what they are really teaching in the schools.

(oh wait, I know - how to pass the tests :P ) So take some time off of "work", relax and enjoy.
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#8 of 10 Old 05-06-2004, 01:32 PM
 
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FWIW Here is a book. Some of it is obvious stuff but alot of it is a good read for validation of your own instincts. KWIM.


http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/bibli...2-0761512764-0
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#9 of 10 Old 05-06-2004, 05:40 PM
 
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Openskyheart:
I suppose I should have nailed Flaubert, instead .
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#10 of 10 Old 05-06-2004, 11:18 PM
 
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You may also want to look into unit studies.
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