The difference between unschooling & homeschooling? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 39 Old 07-10-2004, 03:07 PM
 
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"So, you're right, it's not "hands off." But, you know, it doesn't seem like work because we're all doing what we want to be doing. "
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Yes, exactly. I hear that old line of "Wow, I applaud you. That must be sooo much work". Well, yes and no I guess. To me it doesn't feel like anything other than being my kids' mom, and living my life though. Unschooling is like a natural learning dialogue that is always open, if not constantly flowing.

I agree also that the debates and conversations get more interesting! My son and I love to do this. We had a debate the other night about how much help to extend someone (with more than a few problems) before you just say "I want to help you, but you also have to want to help yourself." It involved a lot of different things, and I love that he can hone his debating skills with me. He is starting to feel pretty passionately about some issues, and that overtakes his logic sometimes lol.. but it's terrific to know he is thinking about.. well, tons of things. Kristi

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#32 of 39 Old 07-10-2004, 11:25 PM
 
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Hey guys - from my understanding and my reading All unschooling is homeschooling, but not all homeschooling is unschooling. I think we are mixing terms here. Homeschooling is the overall term that describes people who are outside the public / private school programs - learning at home (and other places as we all do - museums, beaches, cars, etc). Unschooling is a specific theory of homeschooling which has been very well described above. But homeschoolers can also be eclectic, follow the Well Trained Mind, be very school at home, or about anywhere else on the homeschooling spectrum. Although I agree with Dar that one can not kind of unschool or parttime unschool, there are ways to incorporate some of the philosophy into your homeschooling style. Just because you may feel it is necessary to include some kind of "lessons" does not mean that it has to all be adult let - certainly you can plan lessons around a child's interests or in other "fun" ways. But I have learned that if you ask, force, encourage (whatever term you want to use) your child to accomplish certain schooling tasks then techinically you are not unschooling in its purest sense. However, as others point out that is OK. We don't have to subscribe to any one style. We are free to pick and choose, to use what works and throw away what doesn't for us and our children. Isn't that one of the reasons why we all chose to hs - to avoid labels? So when you are inquiring about unschooling you are also asking about homeschooling, because it is a style of hsing. Homeschooling is an all encompasing word of those who learn at home no matter how they do it.
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#33 of 39 Old 07-11-2004, 01:10 AM
 
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what I truly think way down deep, who really cares???? Why is this important to define???

and who is the PITB who is making up the what is unschooling and what is homeschooling and what is funschooling etc.. technical rules????

I refuse now to conform or definemy family & say this is what homeschooling is & this is what unschooling is & this is what we are- that is very restrictive mindset to me. The longer we have homeschooled, the more I don't give a rats about what method use to get there.

It is the enjoyment of the journey on the way that is what I recall thinking of the years so far and I think that should be VIP in any 'how to' book.
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#34 of 39 Old 07-11-2004, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenoi
Isn't that one of the reasons why we all chose to hs - to avoid labels?
Nope. Well, I don't like labeling children, but I have no problem with labeling actiions and activities. Today Rain acted and swam, and it would seem silly to avoid labeling her hour onstage as "acting" or avoid labeling her laps up and down the pool as "swimming".

I'm not sure where you think people were mixing terms. We were contrasting unschooling and school-at-home styles of homeschooling, because these styles tend to be opposite extremes and thus are easiest to contrast. I didn't see anyone saying both weren't homeschooling, or that there weren't other styles.

Saying someone who is enquiring about unschooling us also enquiring about homeschooling, because unschooling is a form on homeschooling, is akin to saying that someone enquiring about Waldorf schools is enquiring about schools in general, because Waldorf schools are a type of school. I've found that when people ask about a specific piece of a topic, they generally want info just about that piece.

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#35 of 39 Old 07-11-2004, 01:23 AM
 
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I agree dar, when an OP says tell me about unschooling, you don't see me posting much cause I am no expert

but if someone posts tell me about unschooling vs/or just homeschooling and the def of each, then I am here sucked in by curiosity sake like a moth to flame LOL

for me when we started homeschooling we did Natural structure and I took comfort in that what we did was 'something' I could tell people easily
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#36 of 39 Old 07-11-2004, 01:35 AM
 
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I don't unschool to avoid labels. I unschool to avoid school!

I agree that labeling a child with some terms like oh say .. "hyper" or "genius" or "problematic" is something I wouldn't generally do, but saying that my family unschools is an accurate description of how we go about doing something. I do not see how that is restrictive. It is a word that means something. It means we approach this in this certain way, as opposed to this other way (or number of ways lol). I don't force other people to be unschoolers, I do not dislike them if they are school-at-homers or unit study or eclectic. I just use the term to tell people what *my* family is about Kristi

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#37 of 39 Old 07-12-2004, 08:09 PM
 
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Guys, I wasn't trying to say anything negative about unschooling - I was just trying to put my 2 cents about the original question "Wanted to know if anyone could clarify for me the difference between unschooling and homeschooling and the philosophy behind each?" and point out that many homeschoolers who would not call themselves unschoolers also follow a child-led philisophy. And that I agree as long as it is working for you then it is working. . . It doesn't matter what it is called or whether you meet others criteria for a specific style of homeschooling.

But I do agree with what you said and take to heart the comment that you can't kind of unschool. Since the idea is to put the control of their lives to the children, you can't give it to them between 10-2 and then revert to parental control from 2-5. I think that Dar made a very important point that should be recognized by new hs.

As for anyone anywhere else on the spectrum, it doesn't really matter how you interweave your style.

Maybe the reason it seemed as if I was stepping in the middle, was because I read all the entries that day having just come back from vacation whereas you guys were on the next section of the conversation. I appologize if my entry came across wrong.
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#38 of 39 Old 07-13-2004, 08:49 AM
 
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I do know a couple people who have a very routined day of school at home. Most homeschoolers I know are a mix of all sorts of things-like me!
I use unit studies (there are all kinds of homeschooling techniques-unit study, textbook, classical, etc).
The unit study covers everything. They do recommend you add a math program, though.
I ask my kids what unit they want to do-we just finished ships and floating, which was a ton of fun. The kids picked most of the activities listed in the book, but I picked a couple, too. We are learning together.
I can't really say when learning begins and when it ends. It really is a lifestyle and it goes on all day.
For example, they went outside to build a ship out of boxes, the broom, made maps, made flags, an anchor, etc. ( I stayed in the house to catch up on laundry) While they were out there, they found a cocoon under a rock to my garden wall. (It was the gangplank of the ship). That led to a totally different topic since they wanted to know what caterpillar made it. We found out that it was the cocoon of a wooly bear caterpillar which would turn into a tiger moth.
Most of their day is unscheduled-playing is learning, building with blocks is learning, catching tadpoles is learning, brushing the horses, climbing on haybales, watching the calf drink from her mother, etc. Basically everything is learning.
I don't know how to "label" our kind of schooling. We do a mix of all sorts of things and most homeschoolers I know do the same. I guess I could call it relaxed or eclectic. We have curriculum, but are not slaves to it. We use them as references. We use our unit study the most because the kids LOVE it so much.
I know that we are not unschoolers, but the major chunk of each of our days are like that of unschoolers. Even when we are doing our unit studies, it is child-led. They pick what they want to do and all our rabbit trails that we go on every day are due to the kids' questions. Our unit study book said floating and ships would take about 2-3 weeks. We finished it in 8, because we got on a huge tangent about pirates and a few other things that weren't even related to ships or floating.
I agree that many people "sieze" their children's playtime and try to make them learn something instead of just letting them play and learn on their own or just play for the pure fun of it.
Some of what we do I might call real-life learning. Such as the things that must be done everyday or situations that come up in real life-birth, death, divorce of a friend's parents, any questions the kids have.
Cleaning the house, making meals, baking bread, taking care of the animals. My in-laws have cancer. One of them almost died last fall after surgery. We went to 3 different non-family funerals. One was a cremation, one was a burial, one was a very close friend and it was like a party rather than mourning. Did I continue on with our kings and Queens unit? No-there was more important real-life learning going on. Lots of discussion, hugging and crying and laughing even. Learning to comfort others and ourselves, too.
My dd got the opportunity to be a model in a child's book about grief. She was the main character and my dh and I were in it and so were my in-laws. My MIL was the grandma that got cancer and died in the book. (She is alive and doing well and is in remission right now)
A lot of our friends thought we were crazy for letting dd do this, but she wanted to and it was really helpful for her (and my in-laws). The book came out 2 months ago. It is amazing to see us in it. We are friends with the illustrator.
Also, kids are ready for certain things at different times-aknowledging that and going with it is child-led. My dd was reading when she was 4, almost 5.
My ds was not ready for anything like that and now is just ready at 6 and is already sounding out 3 letter words-but the key was I waited until he was ready and wanted to. We would still be waiting, but he decided he's ready.
Well, sorry so long and kind of all over the place. I think everyone has their own style and for me, I don't label it. Everytime I do, I jump out of that particular box. LOL
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#39 of 39 Old 07-13-2004, 06:26 PM
 
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Sounds a lot like us and a lot of fun with the ships and such.

Quite an experience on death and dying. We unfortunately went through a loss ourselves from cancer. It takes a lot out of everyone. I give you a lot of credit for facing it straight on.
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