Unschooling Help - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-03-2005, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, when I first started homeschooling I was all about unschooling. It worked well. My oldest is now 12, though, and dh grills him everyday on math and other facts. So he has school books now. Actually, the three older kids all have some school books. I'm due to have a baby next month and we officially start school again this week after the holiday break. I really just want to unschool them the rest of the year. Esp. the 1st and 2nd grader. I think dh would flip out, though. I know unschooling isn't me just sitting around but I really just want to have fun with them the rest of this pregnancy. So what am I asking you all? I don't know. Give me a typical day and maybe some ideas. My kids are 12, 8, 6, 4, and 2.

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#2 of 12 Old 01-03-2005, 03:13 AM
 
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We play all types of games, cook, read books, crafts, play outside, talk, go for visits to playgroups and friends, parties, museums, library, other fun places, watch movies, do Science kits, research stuff together on the internet, build snow men, sled, do chores, run errands, write letters, measure stuff around the house, go for walks.

I think it would be so nice for everyone in your family to just enjoy and get to know the new baby when s/he comes. You should take this time to get ready for a month off when the little one arrives. Stock up on things you'll need, prepare and freeze food, organize your house and teach the oldest kids to take over your job a bit to help out. I don't know maybe you're already doing these things. Just wanted to throw you some suggestions.
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#3 of 12 Old 01-03-2005, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Great ideas! The board games and such I can do from my perch on the couch! :LOL I'm so swollen!! And I need to freeze food. I always say I'm going to do that and then this and that happens. I have no excuses this time. We literally have no plans for the next few months. Thank you so much!

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#4 of 12 Old 01-04-2005, 01:01 AM
 
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Our days are just life as it plays out. We tend to be homebodies lol. We enjoy the library, and then coming home to read really cool books (together and individually). What's often fun is to get some great picture books (Natn'l Geographic, TIME, etc) and look at them all spread out on the floor. We like to experiment with recipes and eat the results if they turn out edible lol. The kids watch movies, and check out videos and DVDs from the library. (I can't recall if you are a TV free family or not) We like board games alot, and play legos and such. Many days are just spent being around the house (especially now that its snowy out there) doing what sounds fun. There might be math game books at your library too!

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#5 of 12 Old 01-04-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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Well, even if your husband isn't on board with unschooling,what a nice and enjoyable and convenient time this would be to take a vacation from schooling!!

We have a 3-month-old baby, and kids ages 3-8. As far as educational stuff, in the course of a day, we/they

read books
make food
play card games
make things with K'nex, legos
read comic books
play video games
paint/draw/craft
play board games
listen to music
watch PBS
talk about math problems that are relevant to us, or play spoken math games
make letters and words on the DoodlePro
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#6 of 12 Old 01-04-2005, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been so tired this week! The kids have been doing math worksheets on their own. They are so happy to bring them to me finished and all correct. I'm for that! Other than that we haven't done much. They have done legos, went to Trader Joe's with me, dd1 is learning to weave. That's about it. Thank you all so much! I love this discussion! I'm finding it difficult to a) not feel guilty about not doing a million worksheets and b) not be compulsive about doing worksheets :LOL

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#7 of 12 Old 01-04-2005, 08:34 PM
 
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I unschool and always have done. When I try and describe what we do I say we live life like you do at weekends or on holiday with your kids. Life IS learning. You can't live a life doing the things you enjoy without learning..even when that involves video games or tv. We go to museums (when they are quiet!), cinema, libraries, park outings. At home we play, read, sing, bake, draw, write..whatever we like. It is just being there with your kids. Listening to their interests, helping them along the way. Good luck! Oh and check out www.unschooling.com for soooooo much info. As well as theses forums that is another I love to browse.
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#8 of 12 Old 01-04-2005, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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See, we do all of those things too. Then we try to fit in school "work" and it stresses me out. What about days when you just don't feel like doing anything. Like everyday for me right now. :LOL I wish dh would understand that. He hasn't even researched unschooling. I've given him many the resource. Anyway.....

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#9 of 12 Old 01-04-2005, 09:08 PM
 
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I sympathise with you. My twin sister homeschools and loves unschooling but her hubby can't get his head around unschooling and doesn't agree. He thinks kids need to do academic learning every day, be pushed etc. The school mindset is so deeply entrenched in our psyche that is hard for most to think outside the box. I always ask WHY is it SO important to learn, do...etc. Unless YOU wish to learn it because it interests you, it is doubtless any use to you anyway. On the days you feel like doing nothing, go with it. Doing NOTHING is learning and productive anyway. I am sure even Einstein spent lots of time doing nothing too. What is nothing really? Space? Time to absorb? Assess? Dream? Think? All adds up to a happy healthy existence really!
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#10 of 12 Old 01-04-2005, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I try to humor poor dh. He was against homeschooling from the beginning and we're in our fourth year of it now. I don't want to set him off but he is so structured. He's an engineer so go figure, :LOL When I ask him to tell me the fifty state capitals he can't but he thinks I should be teaching it to the kids. Why? Unless they want to learn it or plan to do something with it in their career then what's the point?

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#11 of 12 Old 01-04-2005, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I'm "getting" it. Dh took the two younger kids out tonight. So I was playing a board game with the kids and an old issue of Appleseeds caught my eye. After we played the game a couple of times we sat down to read the magazine. In it they talk about how paper was first made. Hannah says "I wish we could make paper" I say we can, we have the kit from Hearthsong. Old me would have planned it for another day but unschooling me pulled out the kit and we did that for the last hour and a half. They LOVED it! I wish everyday was that easy!

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#12 of 12 Old 01-05-2005, 04:07 PM
 
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"I don't want to set him off but he is so structured. He's an engineer so go figure, When I ask him to tell me the fifty state capitals he can't but he thinks I should be teaching it to the kids. Why? Unless they want to learn it or plan to do something with it in their career then what's the point?"

Well... the only thing I can think of is the idea that there is something of value in the academic framework in itself. I mean, no, they have no practical or even academic need of knowing all the state capitols by memory, but the act of memorizing in itself is thought to be a kind of exercising and conditioning of the brain. Now, personally, I think that is a collosal waste of time, but I can see why somebody might think it valuable.

BTW, I keep running into unschooling parents who are engineers... I can think of three off-hand. Funny, huh? In fact, almost all the unschooling parents I know have college degrees...
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