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#1 of 10 Old 03-24-2005, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son will be attending public school--but I love love love the idea of unschooling as a lifestyle. I love paying attention to what he is interested in and then searching for information about it on the internet together or getting a book about at the library.

I would really like to get a book on unschooling or that sort of thing so that I can learn how to further encourage learning in this way. I looked at some on amazon, but some seemed to be concentrated on convincing the reader to unschool--I am more looking for tips and ideas on encouraging self learning.
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#2 of 10 Old 03-24-2005, 02:06 AM
 
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Not much help here but, imho, Unschooling and Public Schooling are like oil and water, LOL! However, I understand what you are talking about. Just about any books you try to get on unschooling are going to be anti-public schooling, I don't know of any that would not be. But you can take the basic concept of unschooling and apply it to your world. Just check out books about unschooling and look up stuff on the internet and apply the principles to you and your dc's time together. You may find it to be a total conflict with dc's public school experience, but I am totally confident it will be beneficial to dc in the long run and at school.

If you look at unschooling with it's other names, like child led learning, delight led learning, etc., then it may become clearer to you as to how you can adapt it to your dc's experience.

Good Luck!!
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#3 of 10 Old 03-24-2005, 02:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am just really inspired by Gavin learning through our everyday life and taking his cues on what he is interested in. I guess I would like to find a good unschooling book that would help me do that better and give me some resources in how to do that better. I hope to enrich his learning as a 4 yo and as he grows and is in school as well.

I have always thought my parents and grandparents had a very "unschooling" type of approach even though we attended public school. They were always taking us to interesting places (farms, creeks, whale watching, etc etc) just so we would have those experiences.

I just want to make sure i am maximizing my child's experience in this world!!
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#4 of 10 Old 03-24-2005, 02:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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To add: I bascially was hoping to find books whose concentration is tips and resources for unschooling as the main focusing rather than on "why" to unschool. That would be more beneficial to me.
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#5 of 10 Old 03-24-2005, 04:05 AM
 
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I think the problem with finding tips on "how" to unschool, on what resources to use, is that unschooling is by its very nature led by the child and different every time it's practiced. A sandbox and a classic novel might be what Kid A needs, while Kid B might need DVDs about ancient Egyptian mythology and Kid C might need a carpentry set or a border collie.

I do know of a couple of books that are about supplementing public schooling (or any educational situation, really) with an unschooling-type philosophy.

Coloring Outside the Lines: Raising a Smarter Kid by Breaking All the Rules by Roger Schank

Schank, the founder and director of Northwestern University's Institute for the Learning Sciences, is admittedly a little eccentric and largely anti-school in his opinions. That turns some readers off, but it sounds like the book has many thought-provoking suggestions anyway. From an Amazon.com review:

"Roger Schank doesn't accuse teachers of trying to squelch children's interests or administrators of being bad people, but he does point out that the way the school system teaches is completely outdated and unintentionally destroys children's eagerness and passion for learning. To raise a truly intelligent child, Schank says, parents must take charge personally. They must work to undue [sic] the damage school does to a child, and to instill positive character traits in a child that will help him develop true intelligence: verbal ability, analytical ability, gumption, inquisitiveness, creativity, and ambition. There are simple (and not-so-simple) ways parents can do this, and Schank dedicates his book to telling us how we can help our children and also WHY we should take charge. "

Guerilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education With or Without School by Grace Llewellyn and Amy Silver

Product description:

"GUERRILLA LEARNING IS CREATING A HOME ENVIRONMENT THAT FILLS YOUR CHILD WITH THE JOY OF LEARNING

"Let your daughter read her library books instead of finishing her homework . Ask your eleven-year-old’s beloved third grade teacher to comment on his poetry. Invite a massage therapist to dinner because your daughter wants to go to massage school instead of college. Give your child the freedom to pursue his interests, develop her strengths, cultivate self-discipline, and discover the joy of learning throughout life.

"If you’ve ever felt that your child wasn’t flourishing in school or simply needs something the professionals aren’t supplying, you’re ready to become a "guerrilla educator." Revolutionary and inspiring, Guerrilla Learning explains what’s wrong (and what’s useful) about our traditional schools and shows you how to take charge of your family’s education to raise thinking, creative young people despite the constraints of traditional schooling.

"Filled with fun and exciting exercises and projects to do with children of all ages, this remarkable approach to childhood, education, and life will help you release your child’s innate abilities and empower him or her in the wider world that awaits beyond the school walls. "

Hope that helps!

Miranda

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#6 of 10 Old 03-24-2005, 04:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Those are exactly the kinds of books I am looking for!! Thanks!
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#7 of 10 Old 03-24-2005, 10:22 AM
 
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This might sound like a weird suggestion, but I would recommend a book called The Well-Trained Mind. It's about as opposite of unschooling as you can get, but it DOES have a wealth of resources on specific subjects. Even though I am completely turned off by the process described in the book (and its underlying assumptions about what education is), I bought a copy of the book just to have all the resources.

There's also a huge brown book that has billion of suggestions for games, curricula, books, software, etc. for just about every subject under the sun. It's homeschool-specific, and I can't remember the name of it right now, but I'm also going to buy that because it's a fabulous list of resources.

Namaste!
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#8 of 10 Old 03-24-2005, 10:28 AM
 
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The Complete Home Learning Sourcebook by Rebecca Rupp

Namaste!
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#9 of 10 Old 03-27-2005, 04:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
There's also a huge brown book that has billion of suggestions for games, curricula, books, software, etc. for just about every subject under the sun. It's homeschool-specific, and I can't remember the name of it right now, but I'm also going to buy that because it's a fabulous list of resources.
I wonder if you're thinking of The Complete Home Learning Source Book, by Rebecca Rupp. It's over 800 pages.

And there's a really nice book edited by Linda Dobson called The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas: 500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12. It has ideas contributed from lots of homeschoolers.

As I remember, The Unschooling Handbook, by Mary Griffith had some practical ideas from contributors rather than only philosophy, but as Miranda said, it's kind of hard to write a book on unschooling "how-to's" when there really isn't a set of "how-to's" with a way of living that more or less involves taking things as they come and facilitating your child's interests in her own style. I think you can probably get your librarian to order some for you - and you might be surprised to find more practical ideas than you expect. I know that youth librarians in my area are really eager to help homeschoolers - their jobs depend upon finding ways to be useful or else the funding dries up.

You'll be sharing your own interests with your child too, though, and introducing her to all sorts of wonderful things as you go. It's just that you won't be doing it as "school" or in a coercive and controlled way. So a lot of what you're looking for actually is probably philosophical in that it involves how to go about thinking along those lines in the long term.

It's not always easy when the anxieties comed along - and come along they do! There's mythology of all kinds you'll have to cope with - like the myth that a child will burst into being a dedicated little scholar as soon as she finds something she's interested in. A lot of parents pace and stare at the unschooling pot, waiting for it to boil - and start to worry when it doesn't even seem to be coming to a simmer, much less a boil. People tend to tell stories about the most dramatic/impressive moments - not about all the more mundane ones and the anxiety attacks in between. Nevertheless, the outcome is pretty darned impressive for all the unschoolers I know, including my own son who's in the process of sending off college applications.

Wait! I just remembered - there are some fun ideas in a math article I put together recently that are quite unschoolling-friendly. It has lots of fun ideas and links to other interesting articles about natural ways to handle math:
The Delights of Exploring Math with Your Child

And here's a good one on reading:
Raising Readers at Home, by Paula Harper-Christensen

And some though interesting thoughts about teaching history, by the wonderful textbook author, Joy Hakim:
Remarks, by Joy Hakim
- Lillian
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#10 of 10 Old 03-27-2005, 12:56 PM
 
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I was going to suggest the same two books that Miranda (moominmama) did. I read the Schank book several years ago and recently looked at it again when I found it at a used book sale and picked it up for my sister. (Her kids are in ps.) He has a bit of an elitist and competitive attitude about having "smart" kids. Going on about how they will be able to excell above their peers, etc. But if you can get past that, the book is full of great ideas. I recommend it.

Guerilla Learning may be targeted for children older than yours (I skimmed it a while ago), but it's a great book to take a look at -- I think it'll be right up your alley!

Good luck!

Stephanie mom to Brianna (6/00) , Alexander (6/02) , and Ethan (9/07) .
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