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#151 of 164 Old 10-28-2005, 01:26 AM
 
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How do you tell people about unschooling? I ask because I have people who seem interested in homeschooling (good or bad) and they want to know what we do. I have a hard time telling mainstream people what unschooling is all about. I really don't think they will get it.
Are you honest with people? I had a dinner guest tonight that I know I freaked out telling him about our schooling. He would ask "well how do you know they are up to grade level?" Is it even worth describing to people? My mom is freaked out about homeschooling. I haven't been honest with her about unschooling. I wonder if I'm being fair to her. Would she understand if I told her?
There are times when I just want to keep to myself rather than have a debate about what is right for my family.
What do you do when people ask you about homeschooling/unschooling?
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#152 of 164 Old 10-28-2005, 10:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mirlow
What do you do when people ask you about homeschooling/unschooling?
For me, it completely depends on who's asking. If a homeschooling family asks about our "style" or "program" then I'll say we unschool. Sometimes they're open to that and we talk, other times I get the wrinkled-brow-of-concern-frown which tells me not to bother going any further.

Outside of other homeschoolers though, I don't even use the term. Most people I know have a hard enough time understanding homeschooling, never mind unschooling. My own parents believe that we sit at the table and "do work." I've found it very difficult to get people irl to understand unschooling -- I thought I'd made headway with one relative, who was excited for us that the kids could direct their own learning and follow their interests, but she's concluded that unschooling equals unit studies.

I don't think I'm inept at describing the philosophy of unschooling, I just think it's not something that a lot of people are open to. Subjects and grade levels and schoolish ways are so ingrained in most of us that unschooling is a huge shock. If someone is really interested, I'll describe what the kids are interested in, what they've read lately or what projects they have going on, or what trips we've made. I might equate what we do with how THEY, as adults, learn something, and how much easier and more fun it is to learn something when you're enthusiastic about it. Usually, there's a little "light bulb" moment when they understand that part. I don't mind debating education issues and theories, and unschooling in general but I absoluetly will NOT debate whether unschooling is right for our family.

And there are definately times when I just keep to myself. Like when the store clerk says, "Oh, no school today?" and we reply, "We homeschool." and she says, "Oh...so you can do your work any time of day?" and I just smile and say, "uh huh."

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#153 of 164 Old 10-28-2005, 10:49 AM
 
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A Canadian friend who lives abroad and knows many, many CN & US expats who send their children to international schools, semi-freaked on me a couple of years ago. . He said 'Do you *know* what these other kids know? Kids ifrom international schools are going to blow your kids away someday".

He wanted to quiz the kids , even asked one, in a rather cranky way, "How do you think you would do well in a school like that?" I put an end to that line of questioning , pronto.

(My feeling is you can't change how they think. I wasn't about to engage him in a conversation like that. I have no need/desire to justify to anyone why we live as we do, and would not bring up unschooling with people who might challenge me. I do not care to hear from them, thankyou).

I told him not to worry about my kids, how they were raised was our business, not his, and left it at that. I must have scared him, because he has never again brought this up. If i ever thought he had a genuine interst, or if he has kids one day who need to experience a little freedon, he can call me.
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#154 of 164 Old 10-28-2005, 01:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom
A Canadian friend who lives abroad and knows many, many CN & US expats who send their children to international schools, semi-freaked on me a couple of years ago. . .
I had some tense moments when in Europe for a seminar and to visit friends. At the seminar, some Germans at lunch were stunned when they found out our son didn't go to school. The big question was "What about the mathematics?!" - as in "How could you ever begin to provide an adequate math education?" We talked for a while, and I went on to say that he pretty much taught himself, which I assumed was going to really freak them out. To the contrary - they ended up quite moved, finally saying "This is a wonderful thing you're doing for your son..." The friends we visited on the trip are Swiss. They were pretty surprised about our homeschooling at first too, but didn't say much. Then one day Roland got very somber, and said to us that he'd been thinking about it a lot. He said had been thinking that about the things that go on in school - and how our son wouldn't be missing anything by not having to deal with all the bullying and intimidation that go on there among the children. He came to the conclusion that it's not a bad idea at all to homeschool. Lillian
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#155 of 164 Old 10-28-2005, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Lillian J


I had some tense moments when in Europe for a seminar and to visit friends. At the seminar, some Germans at lunch were stunned when they found out our son didn't go to school. The big question was "What about the mathematics?!" - as in "How could you ever begin to provide an adequate math education?" We talked for a while, and I went on to say that he pretty much taught himself, which I assumed was going to really freak them out. To the contrary - they ended up quite moved, finally saying "This is a wonderful thing you're doing for your son..." The friends we visited on the trip are Swiss. They were pretty surprised about our homeschooling at first too, but didn't say much. Then one day Roland got very somber, and said to us that he'd been thinking about it a lot. He said had been thinking that about the things that go on in school - and how our son wouldn't be missing anything by not having to deal with all the bullying and intimidation that go on there among the children. He came to the conclusion that it's not a bad idea at all to homeschool. Lillian
I'm German. Home education is illegal in Germany. I am not surprised that they were shocked at first. In Germany, you are brought up to believe that every child absolutely MUST attend school [there are absolutely no exceptions, and parents are criminally prosecuted if they refuse to send their child to school].

Because of the legal situation in Germany, I would not consider moving back there. I couldn't live in a country that withholds my fundamental parental right to home educate my son (and future children). I like the way they word it here in the UK... education is compulsory but the form it takes is up to the parent's discretion.
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#156 of 164 Old 10-28-2005, 09:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom
A Canadian friend who lives abroad and knows many, many CN & US expats who send their children to international schools, semi-freaked on me a couple of years ago. . He said 'Do you *know* what these other kids know? Kids ifrom international schools are going to blow your kids away someday".
What he doesn't realize is that those kids in the international schools already "blow" our PS kids away.
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#157 of 164 Old 10-28-2005, 09:18 PM
 
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What he doesn't realize is that those kids in the international schools already "blow" our PS kids away.
Not altogether true, unless you know something i don't. Tests don't prove anything but that you're good at taking tests. These kids might have more savvy, be more sphisticated because thye travel etc. These internationally traveling parents might have more connections, however. I doubt that there are many poor kids or kids with parents who don't own books attending these schools.

But you know, I wouldn't even go there with him. Those elementary kids might blow US kids away on paper, but they are still not free. And i would like to see some stats showing they are better off, or do better in life, because i don't see how. Did you attend an international school? What did you think?

Further is was the 'educated' the math-loving Nazi -German scientists who came up with the Atom bomb (with US protection and funding)-- and Bush went to Yale. So, yk--

like I care about that.

That crap is not an issue for me. And I think a few more people need to get off *that* train.

FTR, US elementary education might bite, but the college level is a whole different story. Americans do graduate level university really well. We're the country of choice for that. We just don't do elementary level really well. We change direction with each new president.
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#158 of 164 Old 10-31-2005, 09:08 PM
 
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WOW! Eight pages of Unschoolers. I have hit the jackpot!

Pat

I have a blog.
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#159 of 164 Old 10-31-2005, 10:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom
Not altogether true, unless you know something i don't. Tests don't prove anything but that you're good at taking tests. These kids might have more savvy, be more sphisticated because thye travel etc. These internationally traveling parents might have more connections, however. I doubt that there are many poor kids or kids with parents who don't own books attending these schools.

But you know, I wouldn't even go there with him. Those elementary kids might blow US kids away on paper, but they are still not free. And i would like to see some stats showing they are better off, or do better in life, because i don't see how. Did you attend an international school? What did you think?

Further is was the 'educated' the math-loving Nazi -German scientists who came up with the Atom bomb (with US protection and funding)-- and Bush went to Yale. So, yk--

like I care about that.

That crap is not an issue for me. And I think a few more people need to get off *that* train.

FTR, US elementary education might bite, but the college level is a whole different story. Americans do graduate level university really well. We're the country of choice for that. We just don't do elementary level really well. We change direction with each new president.
I guess I'm just thinking of the ones I met who knew so much world history, geography, political science, literature, and had a real love of learning. The ones I met could write and speak better than most of my college students. I suppose it depends on the system and the school and the child.
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#160 of 164 Old 10-31-2005, 11:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eternal_grace
I'm German. Home education is illegal in Germany. I am not surprised that they were shocked at first. In Germany, you are brought up to believe that every child absolutely MUST attend school [there are absolutely no exceptions, and parents are criminally prosecuted if they refuse to send their child to school].

Because of the legal situation in Germany, I would not consider moving back there. I couldn't live in a country that withholds my fundamental parental right to home educate my son (and future children). I like the way they word it here in the UK... education is compulsory but the form it takes is up to the parent's discretion.
Slightly OT, but my husband has a few opportunities to work abroad with his employer, with Germany being the most likely one as they are a German company. I really wanted to do that, but then I learned that homeschooling is illegal there. At first, we thought that, maybe as foreigners working on a temporary work visa, we could educate our children ourselves. But it seems like it's illegal across the board. Neither of us would take that opportunity to spend a few years there based on this. It's a shame. I was rather surprised when I learned that homeschooling was not allowed.
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#161 of 164 Old 11-01-2005, 12:40 AM
 
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I know someone who is homeschooling in Germany. PM me if you'd like me to put you in touch with her.

Ulrike, mom to:
Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)
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#162 of 164 Old 11-01-2005, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by LeftField
Slightly OT, but my husband has a few opportunities to work abroad with his employer, with Germany being the most likely one as they are a German company. I really wanted to do that, but then I learned that homeschooling is illegal there. At first, we thought that, maybe as foreigners working on a temporary work visa, we could educate our children ourselves. But it seems like it's illegal across the board. Neither of us would take that opportunity to spend a few years there based on this. It's a shame. I was rather surprised when I learned that homeschooling was not allowed.
AFAIK, the only exception to the law are (US) Armed Forces members who are stationed there temporarily. The kids have to do an English curriculum.

I am in touch with people who are trying to challenge the legal situation in Germany, but it is not going well so far. One friend had her two (elementary school aged) kids put into school under threat of criminal charges in case of non-compliance. They are moving to Belgium now. The legal situation there is terrible, IMO.
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#163 of 164 Old 11-01-2005, 10:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RubyWild
I guess I'm just thinking of the ones I met who knew so much world history, geography, political science, literature, and had a real love of learning. The ones I met could write and speak better than most of my college students. I suppose it depends on the system and the school and the child.

These children are growing up in a very different sort of home-- with parents who value certain things, not the least of which is seeing the world in a certain way. That makes a great difference. A college instructor might not see those children who were emotioally damaged-- those who choose never to set foot in a classroom again.

If i choose hsing, it's for a reason... when I do not choose to send my children to school...it's for a reason. I can see that my schooled children are getting a much broader, more respectful, more classical 'education' in a much better (Quaker values) setting (lots of wooded acerage with ponds etc) than most public schooled children...but it doesn't mean that I think school is better than a thoughtful hsing situation.

If my oldest ds were in your class, fi, you would think that a Friends education is the way to go. But I would say that it was the respect and attitude of his family that inspired his love of learning and helped build his articulate thoughts on life, history etc. The school only fed the hunger that was already there. In the same way a terrible school can zap the life out of children and take away any spark of fire.

Conversly, I think a good teacher or school can inspire those who come from deprived backgrounds (which would not be the case with most International school students).
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#164 of 164 Old 11-01-2005, 12:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eternal_grace
I am in touch with people who are trying to challenge the legal situation in Germany, but it is not going well so far. <snip> The legal situation there is terrible, IMO.
Please keep in mind that Germany isn't just one large country with federal law over education; it's made up of Sixteen States, all of which have different laws, and the attitude toward homeschooling varies greatly among them. As in the US, if/when homeschooling becomes legal under German law, it will do so one state at a time, and it's likely that some states will be more strict than others.

I'm aware of one case of a family homeschooling without persecution, even though the school district is well aware of their status. I also know someone personally who is homeschooling "under the radar" as an American ex-pat. Maybe everyone just assumes that she's affiliated with the military, but no one has questioned her so far, and she's been homeschooling for years.

Ulrike, mom to:
Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)
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