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#121 of 164 Old 10-21-2005, 02:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
Think about it, when your child reads a book or newspaper, do you call "doing Reading"? When your child writes a story or blog entry or note asking you to pick up some more apples on your way home, do you call it "doing Language Arts"?
I think it's just a linguistic matter. There's no word like "mathing" the way there is for writing or reading, and mathies often use the term "doing math" to describe the conversations, games, activities, and such that flow through their lives. Lillian
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#122 of 164 Old 10-21-2005, 03:15 PM
 
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This may not be what you're talking about...in school, math was presented to us as a tricky subject divorced from real life. It was one subject that I really hated, but primarily feared, because it seemed to have no relation to RL. nak.

As an adult, I've reframed my opinion of math, because I realize how interwoven it is with life. I really believe that, if math had been presented in relevant chunks interwoven with RL tasks, rather presented as 45 mind-numbing minutes of odd mental exercises, I would not have feared it.

I have no exp with older kids yet and I'm about to describe something that I've actually done.--> People often seem to say that they want to do unschooling but also math, like that 95% freedom and then a required math booklet. I think, in my opinion, that follows a similar mindset as was brought across in school, i.e. math is separate from RL and it's a daunting task.

still nak! please forgive typos...

Anyway, this is what I think of when reading these latest posts. I think that it might go beyond semantics into how math is actually viewed. I think you can do the math workbooks or problems due to interest, and see math as part of the rest of the world. And I think you can do no required math, but strew and encourage math so much based on a mindset that it is divorced from reality and just has to be done.
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#123 of 164 Old 10-21-2005, 05:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
But when mathies unschool, they don't "do math".
We "do" math, just like we do a puzzle. It's not a chore to be done, just one of the many fun things we do. And, yes, a lot of our math is just plain life (my son likes to play dice games with his dad, for example), but sometimes it's also a game called "math" which is fun for them to learn more about.

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#124 of 164 Old 10-21-2005, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Lillian J


I think it's just a linguistic matter. There's no word like "mathing" the way there is for writing or reading, and mathies often use the term "doing math" to describe the conversations, games, activities, and such that flow through their lives.
Um, I don't. I can't require ever hearing any adult talk about "doing math"; it's something children do, or adults do with children. Can you really imagine an adult saying to another, "Let's do some math tonight"? Or science, or language arts, or any of it (and really, "reading" isn't a school subject anymore, at least not in most schools. Neither is "writing". Too much reality, perhaps. It's Language Arts). These aren't real things; they're categories of knowledge relevant only in a school-type system that breaks life into neat little boxes. In real life, they're meaningless. "Doing math" could mean anything from doubling a brownie recipe to doing your taxes to performing lesson 54 in Saxon Math 2 to playing with an unproven geometry theorum.

And I think linguistics matter. Our words shape our reality. When we see "math" as a "subject", when we categorize certain pieces of life as "doing math", we're thinking in schoolthink. I do think it ties into what LeftField wrote, and what UnschoolnMa wrote about math on another thread. How many people do you know who say they unschool "except for math", or they would homeschool "except for math"? Math has a special, divorced-from-reality feel to it for a lot of people - math scares people. The sub jobs I always get are the ones in my area of expertise - special ed - and the ones in math, especially high school math. There's even a thread on the front page now about someone worried about how unschoolers learn math, and that comes up a lot.

I believe that separating math from life - turning it into some thing we "do" - creates and reinforces the belief that math is something foreign and separate and a bit scary, and something that won't naturally be learned. People start to believe that they have to "do" something, or else their children won't gain anything mathematical knowledge and insight. I disagree, and I believe that this kind of thinking undermines unschooling.

There are lots of verbs within math, just like there are verbs within the subjects of language arts, science, and everything else. Instead of "doing language arts", unschoolers generally read, write, discuss, edit, proofread, orate, and more. Instead of "doing math", we can calculate, explore, prove, compare, solve, double, divide, pattern, or just play... to name a few.

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#125 of 164 Old 10-21-2005, 08:46 PM
 
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I agree, Dar.

Math can scare folks.

Math scares *me*.

Yet none of my children are scared of math.

So I am grateful. Very grateful.
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#126 of 164 Old 10-21-2005, 09:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
Instead of "doing math", we can calculate, explore, prove, compare, solve, double, divide, pattern, or just play... to name a few.
I'm starting to get your point. So using the example someone gave earlier of a homeschooler sitting and reading a textbook for fun (uh, was that this unschooling thread? I'm getting confused :LOL). Instead of a child saying she's going to do math, she would say she's going to read her calculus textbook. I guess that would make it more specific and more real than "doing math".

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I believe that separating math from life - turning it into some thing we "do" - creates and reinforces the belief that math is something foreign and separate and a bit scary, and something that won't naturally be learned.
I get what you're saying here but I also think that school tends to do this with everything. Most schools definitely think of reading as something that won't naturally be learned if they don't plug away at it. I don't know what the schools divide things into nowadays, but we had Social Studies which was seperate from Math which was seperate from English (in the younger grades that was Reading and Writing - seperately), which was all completely and utterly seperate from Music and Gym. I wonder why it's math that so many people end up so scared of and not the other subjects? Personally I'm not scared of math but do consider myself to not be good at it. Good enough to get by in life though, and that's all that matters to me

I also used to be one of those unschoolers who worried about math, :LOL Not that I ever pushed or required it but it was on my mind a lot. Not so much anymore, but I totally understand the worry.
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#127 of 164 Old 10-21-2005, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ShannonCC
I'm starting to get your point. So using the example someone gave earlier of a homeschooler sitting and reading a textbook for fun (uh, was that this unschooling thread? I'm getting confused :LOL). Instead of a child saying she's going to do math, she would say she's going to read her calculus textbook. I guess that would make it more specific and more real than "doing math".
Yes! And that's reading, even... reading can be "math" (Rain read The Cartoon Guide to Statistics, for example... great series).

I mentioned this thread to Rain in the car as we were going to get some dinner. I told her I was writing about "doing math", and she replied with, "Hmmm... well, I guess some number can be rather provocative. Eight, maybe."

I thought it was pretty funny and I laughed, but perhaps it's just our strange senses of humor... or my ability to tune into 12-year-old humor.

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#128 of 164 Old 10-21-2005, 11:09 PM
 
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:::sigh::: I don't think the mathies I know go around saying to their kids "Let's do math" - not at all! - they're simply doing the things that have just been listed here, and that's exactly what I've been trying to make clear. It's just when they're talking to other homeschooling parents that they use that terminology as in "We do math all the time - we don't separate into a separate subject, we don't use texts...," etc. And then they give examples of how math permeates life. They're people who spend a lot of time trying to help other parents relax about math and not be afraid of it but find the fun in it so that they don't pass on math phobia to their kids.

And as a matter of fact, I do know someone who likes to go to coffee shops alone and do fun math things from one of the Theoni Pappas books.

-Lillian
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#129 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 12:28 AM
 
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"Hmmm... well, I guess some number can be rather provocative. Eight, maybe."
:LOL
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#130 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Lillian J
It's just when they're talking to other homeschooling parents that they use that terminology as in "We do math all the time - we don't separate into a separate subject, we don't use texts...," etc. And then they give examples of how math permeates life.
But by using the school terminology, they're reinforcing schoolish ways of thinking. I believe that helping people overcome math fears is best done by getting away from the schools' way of thinking. And in your previous post, you talked about these other homeschooling parents "doing math" with all sorts of "fun activities" that the parent introduced. That doesn't sound like math permeating life.

When I worked for an independent study charter back during the late nineties, I enrolled Rain, and every month I came up with a summary of what she'd done in "math" and "language arts" and "science" and "social studies". I did it all retroactively, and I was her "educational facilitator" so I didn't have to justify anything to anyone; I just sent in the reports. I didn't think it was affecting the way we unschooled... but it was. Once we got out of the charter and just filed the R-4 (and later PSA), I saw how keeping those school categories in my head had subtly changed the way I reacted to what she was doing. I was keeping track, even in a very loose mental-note kind of way ("Okay, we're playing Yahtzee, I gotta remember to put this down for math.") Now, and since we left the charter 5 years ago, I often have no idea what "math" or "language arts" or "social studies" Rain has done, and I frankly don't care. She's happy, she's competent, she's thriving in her environment and in everything she attempts. That's what matters.

We're talking a lot here about other people, and I think it's easier to discuss what we ourselves are doing, and have done.
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And as a matter of fact, I do know someone who likes to go to coffee shops alone and do fun math things from one of the Theoni Pappas books.
I never really liked her stuff, although I know a lot of people do. I enjoy Martin Gardner's stuff a lot, though - Rain and I used to do a lot of cool stuff from his books when she was little, calculating paths in taxicab geometry, and there was a whole series of experiments and calculations you could do with an egg. Great stuff. And I *adore* reading Raymond Smullyan's stuff. He used to write a column in Scientific American, and many of the columns are collected in his books. My dad owned them all and I read most of his when I was 10-14 or so. He does mostly logic stuff, like the island of the knights (who always tell the truth) and knaves (who always lie), and there are various puzzles about deciphering which someone is. He also wrote about the adventures of the Incredible Dr. Matrix, who was a character in a lot of his math puzzles.

Of course, I never seem to get to go hang out in coffee shops anymore, but maybe someday...

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#131 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 02:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
But by using the school terminology, they're reinforcing schoolish ways of thinking. I believe that helping people overcome math fears is best done by getting away from the schools' way of thinking. And in your previous post, you talked about these other homeschooling parents "doing math" with all sorts of "fun activities" that the parent introduced. That doesn't sound like math permeating life.
Okay, I guess I'm just going to have to agree to disagree. I don't see anything at all schoolish about the term "doing math." I'm an artist, and I paint, but I have no objection to the term "doing artwork" either - it's not a schoolish term for the artists who use it.

I think that introducing fun math activities people enjoy is one of the ways math permeates their lives. I'm not oriented that way, but I can certainly understand how others might be so fascinated with it. I did the best I could to show math as a fun thing to think about and play with, but I never cared to bring it up all the time as it wove through our lives.

I don't think there would be as much reaction about it if it were music or sports or political activism or something other than math.

And - I really like Theoni Pappas' stuff, although I don't think I'd ever take it out to coffee...
- Lillian
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#132 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 10:17 AM
 
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I'm not big on the whole strewing deal, either - it feels simularly manipulative. I wrote a piece on the strew-fairy once, too, this mystical little creature who secretly deposits various things around the house. I'm generally prefer the direct route - "Here, I thought you might think this was cool." Oh, and Calvin and Hobbes are way cool, just for the record. I also share things I'm interested in, because that's what people who like each other do... and we listen to NPR in the car sometimes because that's what I like, and Rain actually likes some of the stuff now (especially This American Life, which is a great program).
Dar
I just don't get the strewing either. It always seems weird and manipulative to secretly plant stuff for your kids to find. I'd be pee'd if I found someone had been doing that to me even if it was something I liked.
I prefer honesty : "Here, do you wanna look at this book on.......?" or "Heh what do think of this?". Part of real life, not my agenda of what I think my kids should be doing. That is what strewing seems like to me.

Talking of labels, here in the UK few understand what an unschooler is. Here I am an autonomous educator
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#133 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 10:28 AM
 
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I like the idea of strewing for a young child who doesn't know what's out there or how to get it. I strew for my husband, too. That's how he comes to read a lot of books.

If I thought he or my Dd wouldn't like it, I wouldn't do it. I don't see it as any different than bringing something home that you think might interest them and then mentioning that you put it in a cabinet. I just put the books on our library book shelf.
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#134 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 10:33 AM
 
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I just don't get the strewing either. It always seems weird and manipulative to secretly plant stuff for your kids to find. I'd be pee'd if I found someone had been doing that to me even if it was something I liked.
I prefer honesty : "Here, do you wanna look at this book on.......?" or "Heh what do think of this?".
When I first heard about strewing, I thought it was what you are doing--just sharing stuff that you think they'd like. I didn't see it as a secretive thing. So, I thought I was a strewer, but maybe I'm not. It's not done as a covert thing in our house. Actually, I just dog-eared a magazine article and left it out for dd because I think she'd like it. Last week I saw a book at the library that I thought ds would like and I brought it home for him. I gave ds an announcement about a medieval festival which was supposed to happen today (except it's raining--Shannon, you could have kept this rain to yourself down there!

Am I a strewer or not?

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#135 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 10:54 AM
 
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That's how I strew, definitely not a covert op to squeeze learning in. My oldest is mechanical, so I bought him K'Nex. He never asked for them (he didn't know about them), but I thought he'd like them. And they are educational, I think, but that's not why I got them. I just wanted to feed his interests. When he was younger, I bought math rods and pattern blocks as a form of strewing, b/c he seemed to like patterns. He loved them and I leave him alone when he uses them (unless he wants my company).
nak

Also, I try to expose them (and us) to a wide variety of stuff: walks, state parks, cool shows, books, trips, etc. We find out soon enough who likes what and who dislikes what. That's strewing, I guess, but it comes from our love of new things, not from a fear that the kids won't learn enough on their own.

Ok, now I'm going to the zoo.
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#136 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 11:00 AM
 
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It depends on your definition of strewing If it's just buying cool stuff and bringing it home and offering to take the kids places, then sure, I strew, but I don't think that's what Dodd means and isn't she the one who copyrighted the term or something? I read an article by her in the last year or so (HEM?) where her dd was talking about angles or something. So the next morning Dodd gets out the geoboard, sets it up with an angle, casually leaves it on the breakfast table and then keeps quiet and and waits to see if her dd noticed. That solidified for me that I don't like the concept of strewing. Dodd and other unschoolers out there online seem to say it's wrong to directly bring something up. I mean, what would be the problem with just saying "remember our conversation last night? This is the angle I was talking about" and then leaving it up to the child whether they wanted to continue with it or not. To me, unschooling should be natural, like life, and for me, putting out things and then deliberately keeping quiet and watching to see if they are discovered is not natural Now, there of course *are* things that they find all on their own, but it's not me manipulating the situation, it's just them exploring and finding things.
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#137 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 12:59 PM
 
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Dodd and other unschoolers out there online seem to say it's wrong to directly bring something up.
Yup. I think this is why a lot of people (including me at times) are hesitant to call themselves unschoolers. Some unschoolers do give off a vibe that if you try to introduce a topic or material to your child, however casually, that you are being "schoolish" and are thus not an unschooler. This is why I am starting to think that we are not unschoolers. We do have a large number of learning materials available in subjects my kids like or subjects I think they might like, and I will show the kids the materials and tell them we can use them whenever they want.
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#138 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 01:40 PM
 
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I think it's unfortunate that there's so much turmoil around the subject of unschooling. I don't usually hang out around unschooling talk because of just these kinds of things. It sure doesn't help all those who could really benefit from some of the wisdom to be found in unschooling. Regardless, t's still important to me is to pipe up once in awhile to point out that there are a lot variations among people who embrace and live unschooling. Maybe there should be some variations with the word - there could be the Unschoolers, the unschoolers, and the un-schoolers. <--That was a joke...although the idea doesn't sound that farfetched to me at the moment...

Years ago, I began a review of The Unschooling Handbook by saying that, because of all this kind of fussing over the word, I hadn't even had any interest in the book when I heard it was being written - and then was so relieved and pleased to see how broad and inclusive it was. If someone who is an unschooler can write a book that's long been well respected by a lot of other unschoolers, how can others turn around and say all their definitions are off? No one owns title to the word, and yet there are apparently a lot of people these days defining it narrowly in one way or another. All I can say is what it is for me, and all anyone else can say is what it is for them. - Lillian

PS: I don't think Sandra meant to coin a word - others of us were "strewing" long ago and using the word. I left piles of books around or tossed cool things on the couch, and my son would look at them if he pleased. He found a lot of cool things that he made good use of - things he would never have encountered on his own - and they really got him interested in reading on his own. He loved coming across things and pursuing subjects further on his own - and owning his findings from his reading. I don't consider it manipulative - it was pretty obvious things weren't being strewn by the book fairy. I think a lot of kids who have been to school do indeed prefer not to have things handed to them - and yet feel perfectly fine about having some things handed to them. It's all about your own family's personalities.
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#139 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 02:23 PM
 
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Lillian, I really appreciate your saying that. I am so interested in unschooling. I want to learn from people, but I was originally turned off because unschoolers seemed so militant. That seems antithetical to unschooling, but it's starting to feel that way again. When I read the Homeschooling Handbook, the broadness of it was attractive to me because it allowed so much freedom. But then I come here and hear people say that such and such is "silly" or "disrespectful" of children (essentially calling my methods disrespectful, which being so judgemental feels disrespectful to me and my ways of parenting). All of this I can handle, but I'd love to have a place where I can hear about how kids are actually learning through following their own interests.

I've been thinking about this for a few days, about why it seems that I want to find a place to fit. It's the same reason that I visit mothering.com and not some traditional parenting site. I can read general homeschooling stuff, but really those threads are about which curriculum parents are using, so then I don't find that interesting because I don't fit nor want to fit. That's where the whole fitting in thing comes into play.
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#140 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 02:27 PM
 
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Holt uses a version of Strewing in his books (though he doesn't call it that). Both Holt & Dodd emphasize that if you go into it with the expectation that the child will do X with the item you've strewn, you're going to be disappointed.

The thing I remember from Holt's book is multiplication. How many kids are going to say, "YOU BET!" if you say, "You wanna memorize your multiplication facts?" So, Holt suggests that one way to expose them to those facts is to provide them with a blank or partially filled in multiplication table, and let them fill in the blanks if they want. Those of us who enjoy that type of puzzle may choose to do it and have fun doing it, appreciating the patterns that appear and remembering some of them the next time they come up. Those who don't feel like doing anything with the chart won't, and that's ok, too.

I don't see anything wrong with leaving sidewalk chalk on the back patio or "educational" games on the table or taking them to the zoo or making an effort to read to my kids every night in addition to what they request during the day. One of the main principles of unschooling is to provide them with opportunities & exposure to concepts, ideas, tools, etc, and to let them run with them if they so choose.

Let's take reading. Is it OK for me to read to my kids if I enjoy it? Does it become "manipulative" if I continue to read to them after I know that reading to kids provides a whole wealth of educational benefits to them? Why is it ok to provide Legos as toys, but not ok to provide them when you know that they might be used to discover certain math concepts?

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#141 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 03:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RubyWild
...I'd love to have a place where I can hear about how kids are actually learning through following their own interests.
Well, let's start a thread called "Kids Learning from Own Interests." That should be fun! I'd do it right now.

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I've been thinking about this for a few days, about why it seems that I want to find a place to fit. It's the same reason that I visit mothering.com and not some traditional parenting site. I can read general homeschooling stuff, but really those threads are about which curriculum parents are using, so then I don't find that interesting because I don't fit nor want to fit. That's where the whole fitting in thing comes into play.
I know what you mean. When I began, I was basically surrounded by a few unschoolers in a very small group, but they had only very young children at the time, so it was hard for them to give examples of how it all worked. They didn't even want to talk about it or about any of the homeschooling questions I had. It was frustrating, to say the least.

Then I found Home Education Magazine, and eventually found the AOL forum (before the Internet was even a resource) - where a whole bunch of us were exploring the territory and really wanting to talk it all over as we went. I subbed to GWS too, but simply didn't relate to the format as well as HEM. I loved the pictures and format of HEM because I'm just an extremely visual person. I also enjoyed the articles format more than so much in the way of just letters, although the letters were very helpful too. That's really why I keep popping into homeschooling boards and lists even though I've moved on and can feel my easel calling from the other room while I'm doing this - I rememember how it feels, and I know that what we find or don't find affects children as well. You're all lucky today - there's so much more around now. And of course that's got the other side of providing overwhelm for many.

One of my epiphanies came when I finally got around to reading "I Learn Better by Teaching Myself," by Agnes Leistico. Some unschooling friends of mine said that wasn't really an unschooling book - because she provided educational games and such - but she never said it was an unschooling book ! It was just about the experiments and observations that came along as she realized her kids could learn just fine without her teaching them. I had been making observations of my own - seeing my son learning things out of what seemed like the air - and so I laughed at myself as I read the book. I love the title - it's just such a truism.

Gotta' run - look for the other thread. Lillian
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#142 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 04:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UlrikeDG
Holt uses a version of Strewing in his books (though he doesn't call it that). Both Holt & Dodd emphasize that if you go into it with the expectation that the child will do X with the item you've strewn, you're going to be disappointed.

<snip>

I don't see anything wrong with leaving sidewalk chalk on the back patio or "educational" games on the table or taking them to the zoo or making an effort to read to my kids every night in addition to what they request during the day. One of the main principles of unschooling is to provide them with opportunities & exposure to concepts, ideas, tools, etc, and to let them run with them if they so choose.

Let's take reading. Is it OK for me to read to my kids if I enjoy it? Does it become "manipulative" if I continue to read to them after I know that reading to kids provides a whole wealth of educational benefits to them? Why is it ok to provide Legos as toys, but not ok to provide them when you know that they might be used to discover certain math concepts?
Yeah, we could go on and on and on about all the things unschoolers pull into their families' lives that have not been requested from their children. We could even include conversation that isn't initiated by the child. I think it could get pretty weird.

That's part of why I often wish there were not such commonly held terms that make it look as if homeschoolers choose their method from among a set menu. A woman called me once who had spent hours and hours intensely researching on the Internet. By the time she got to calling me, she didn't know who I was or where she'd found my number. It was spring, and she told me she couldn't begin homeschooling until fall - because she hadn't even decided : "what style I'm going to be." She was aghast when I politely tried to tell her she didn't really need to choose a "style" before starting - she could see that she was talking to someone who obviously wasn't familiar with homeschooling and shouldn't be trying to give advice. And you know what often happens to people like that? They end up putting their kids back in school and saying "Well, we tried homeschooling, but it just didn't work for us.

And now I've really got to run out the door and get on with errands! Lillian
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#143 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 04:46 PM
 
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I read once (in one of her posts I think) that Dodd was thinking of copyrighting not the word strewing but a phrase. I think it was "strewing their paths" or something? I thought it was odd at the time because it's not like she invented the phrase. But maybe she dropped the idea since then. Or maybe she was joking in the post and I didn't get it

On the whole militant thing - I have a lot to say on that but I'm not sure if any of it is relevant to anything at all I enjoy the discussions about what unschooling is or isn't and I do find it weird when people say they are unschoolers while talking about the school work they require of their kids, but at the same time, I don't limit my friendships to only unschoolers. Looking for "unschoolers" is just the way I find other homeschoolers I have something in common with. It doesn't matter to me if we are exactly alike, yk?

I also don't care if other people think I am an unschooler or not and I know I definitely don't fit into some of the definitions. I think it's great that some people can come out of the end of 12 years of public education (and preschool, kindy and college!) and *not* see the world as "subjects" but I'm just not there. I don't think I'll ever be there I try not to impose it on my kids and I think I'm doing great in that regard, but it's still in my head. If that makes me not an unschooler then there you go And, like we discussed, I offer things. "Educational" things even : We even own a math curriculum around here somewhere because yeah, I'm one of those who sometimes freaks out and thinks we should have stuff like that. Yet another waste of money

I am also weird in that I enjoy talking about curricula and tests and stuff like that, even if I don't do that with my kids. I find it fascinating how much stuff is out there for homeschoolers! Some of it is really cool! It just gets weird to me when the conversation turns to how to make the kids do the work and what consequences are applied for non-cooperation. So yeah, I get along best with "relaxed homeschoolers" whether they be unschoolers or not.

Basically, I don't care if people fit my definition of unschooling or not, or if I fit theirs or not. Whether we hit it off often has nothing to do with how they homeschool. I can name a few local unschoolers who I have nothing in common with and at least one school at home mom (that's what SHE refers to herself as!) that I am good friends with.

I *still* wish there was a definition of unschooling we all could agree on though (I'm a virgo - I like things nicely labeled, defined and pigeon holed )
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#144 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 05:32 PM
 
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I know what "radical unschooling" is. I could be a "moderate unschooler". I always feel a bit nervous participating in unschooling threads, because: 1. my children are very young and we're newbies and 2. I'm not trying to unschool, so maybe we're not doing it "right".

On number 1, my oldest child has very academic interests and is a very busy little person, so I've seen benefits of unschooling with him. He really has learned so much on his own; this is what I am interested in unschooling threads. People say, "Oh, it's not homeschooling at this age; it's just childhood." And that's just not true for us (and it's kind of dismissive). Kids are all different. And I assign no value or emotion to this statement, but he is doing more than playing, so unschooling threads really catch my interest.

On number 2, I think we're unschooling, but I'm not interested in purposely doing it, if that makes any sense. We're just going with the flow and going with what feels natural for our family. So it seems like it's unschooling right now. But I'm not interested in trying to follow a methodology to fit in with a definition, so if we wander away from unschooling, that's fine. When I purposely try to fit us into a methodology, it feels wrong or I find myself wondering if we're still in that box, and then we are not as happy. Maybe I'm a moderate unschooler or "on the unschooling spectrum". I have no requirements or expectations of my kids, but I don't care if I introduce a topic through conversation to see if any interest is there. We just go with the flow. I'm assuming the radical unschoolers are also going with the flow and that's where they end up. I don't quite end up that far down on the spectrum, but it's still good to me, because it's just taking things day by day and going with that flow.

ETA: I found the "strewing" thing very interesting; I had no idea of the different interpretations for it. For me, personally, it would feel very unnatural to leave that geoboard set up on the table. In some ways, I think one could argue that it does set up an expectation, because the child didn't ask for the geoboard. And when she gets up, there it is, sitting on the table with no explanation. It would feel weird to me if someone did that to me, after I just had a casual conversation about angles. It would feel like an expectation and I think I'd stop talking about deep things with that person. But see, that's just my interpretation, whereas another person would find that a follow-up conversation would be more intrusive. I guess that's an example of what I mean by going with the flow. I, personally, would rather do what felt most natural and comfortable and if that crossed an unschooling line, then I don't care.
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#145 of 164 Old 10-22-2005, 10:27 PM
 
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Hello, I'm slowly getting thru all the posts but wanted to add my family. My 4 yr dd who officially should be in JK and I are unschooling. However she is in a type of preschool programme that she doesn't ever want to go to. She fits the Highly Sensitive Child profile.
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#146 of 164 Old 10-25-2005, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi MangoMama

It's taken me ages to read all the pages as well. Very interesting, thanks for the great discussion mamas!
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#147 of 164 Old 10-25-2005, 02:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J
[COLOR=DarkSlateBlue]I think it's unfortunate that there's so much turmoil around the subject of unschooling. I don't usually hang out around unschooling talk because of just these kinds of things. It sure doesn't help all those who could really benefit from some of the wisdom to be found in unschooling.
If someone who is an unschooler can write a book that's long been well respected by a lot of other unschoolers, how can others turn around and say all their definitions are off? No one owns title to the word, and yet there are apparently a lot of people these days defining it narrowly in one way or another. All I can say is what it is for me, and all anyone else can say is what it is for them. - Lillian

COLOR]
Wow!- what a lot of incredible discussion is happening here! I believe this reveals the numbers of thinking people who are drawn to the philosophy of unschooling! I think that the whole unschooling idea appeals to many, and it would be a shame to have anyone turn their back on the idea, if they felt that they didn't subscribe to every detail that the next person did. I mentioned this before, and it seems even more apparent now, there are a lot of different ideas out there, and each family seems to take these ideas, and make them their own. And I still believe firmly that that's the way it should be-
Oh, and on the Calvin and Hobbes "polls"- how else could ds have learned to read so well? Sounding out those first"arghs" and "wahoos"...
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#148 of 164 Old 10-26-2005, 09:05 PM
 
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From dallasobserver.com
Originally published by Dallas Observer 2005-10-27
©2005 New Times, Inc.

Wild Child
For Quinn Eaker, a son of the radical "unschooling" movement, school's out forever - By Glenna Whitley

Lillian
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#149 of 164 Old 10-27-2005, 03:56 AM
 
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Lillian,

Wow, what an amazing article. There's a lot to ponder there.
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#150 of 164 Old 10-27-2005, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Very interesting article, thanks for posting!
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