Is unschooling really a good idea? - Page 11 - Mothering Forums

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#301 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 08:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by monkey's mom
Porn and video games are hardly in the same category.
I think you missed what I was getting at. The point is that we can of course say there is learning in everything. A person could learn their colors, shapes, numbers, how to count - one breast, two breast - from Playboy. So, yes, I feel quite certain from a video game a person if looking hard enough could find something they consider learning. Does that mean it is a worthy use of time?

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But, yes, if a kid became interested in Japanese history and culture b/c of video games or as a way to improve his gaming, then that would be the "most ideal and most efficient way to learn" b/c he would be interested and there would be some relevance.
Right and maybe Playboy gets him interested in anatomy.
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#302 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 08:44 PM
 
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Have you had concerns that he's playing too much or for too long? Is there ever a point where it could be too much from your perspective?
I've only had a concern to the extent that he looked unhappy or uncontent playing, and that was when he was much younger. (He's 15 tomorrow!) At those few times I wanted to be sure that he
A) knew how long he'd been at it in case he'd had a time frame in his head that had escaped him
B) to ask if he was feeling fine about playing that long, because I was getting signs that he wasn't. (And if so, to suggest that the amount of time he'd been playing might be partly responsible for him feeling blah.)
C) To make sure he knew that he could take a break and come back later without any problem.

Is there ever a point that it would be too much from my persective? Well for me personally half an hour is too much for my own preferences. I never did care much for video games. (Well I loved Galaga, but I believe that is somewhat the "cave man" of video games these days. Just past Pong or something lol.) But when dealing with his game play I need to look at it from his point of view. He really enjoys playing just as I really enjoy knitting and painting. From his perspective any knitting is too much because he has zero interest in it. I suppose if he had been playing literally from the time he woke until the time he went to bed again without doing anything else and this became his entire life I would be concerned.
My concerns would be that
1.its not his usual behavior, and would be extreme for him,
2. It would seem to be a behavior that was not in his control
3. selfish perhaps but- we would miss his company and presence within our family if he was never available.

But that situation has not happened. He is in control, aware, and comfortable with his game play. He takes any of my concerns seriously because I take his views seriously. The communication is what would matter in any situation, and we work crap out.


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You acknowledge though if he spends 8 hours playing a video game that is 8 hours less he has to read, to walk, to stare at the clouds, to build a bookshelf, etc.
Can you acknowledge that if he spends 8 hours reading (he has before lol), staring at clouds, walking, and building bookshelves he has less time to play a video game? We do things that have value to us personally. He walks everyday (aside from people that do not use their legs don't we all?), doesn't need to build a bookshelf, and likes cloud watching on occasion. He reads daily, and often late at night. We fit what we want and need to fit into our lives.

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#303 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
But what if the child wanted to exclusively study medicine and germs for a year?
Okay, let me put myself imaginatively into this hypothetical situation -- I say, "Hey, kiddo -- which one do you want to do first, math or history?" and she says, "I want to read about germs and medicine," I think my first response would be to negotiate (How about math first, then germs, then history, then medicine, or germs first, then math, etc.?) but if she were absolutely dead-set on doing absolutely nothing but studying germs and medicine, I'd let her -- partly because I see a central value in germs and medicine, I'll admit. I'd be far less comfortable if she wanted to play video games all day (with all due respect to the video game enthusiasts here -- I'm not leveling judgment; I'm saying what would make me personally uncomfortable in my family).

And if it were like this the next day and the next and the next? Well, again, it would depend on how open to negotiation she was. If she's not open to negotiation, then there's not a whole heck of a lot that I can do, is there? Burble math facts while she's basically shutting me out and thinking, germs, germs, germs?
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I imagine that would be unacceptable, because there's still a general timetable and concern for learning, in that you're "missing windows" during the purportedly fact-based developmental time.
I confess, I would be worried about the non-development of math and writing skills.
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#304 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 08:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bestbirths
I could see him really enjoying living by himself, in a very clean home with modern furnishings and everything in its place, no children, no noise. Solitude is something he values.
You could be describing my son - except he wants very "fancy" furnishings very different from my taste.

It is good you are thinking of different scenarios and hopefully chelation will be an answer and he can look to a bright future. When you look at the different scenarios do you at all consider that less video games may be more likely to make the better ones happen?

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because of his migraines...unless chelation fixes his migraines.
Is there a way to rule out computer and video game time as connected to migraines? I ask because we have some similar issues in our family with autism spectrum diagnoses and chemical sensitivity and we find a relationship.
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#305 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 08:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
To quote Shakespeare...

Oh, reason not the need!! Our basest beggars are in the poorest thing superfluous. Allow not Nature more than Nature needs, [and] man's life's as cheap as beast's.
Well that does it. I have a crush on CB.

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#306 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 08:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Roar
So do you see any difference between relaxed homeschoolers and unschoolers then.
Yes I do see a difference. Unless I am mistaken, relaxed homeschoolers still have requirements for their kids and though they may involve the kids on what to do/when to do it, they still have an agenda and goals they want and require their kids to meet.

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If you meet someone and they say "we use Calvert and we are unschooler" you wouldn't be thinking huh?
Not really, though I cannot recall any who did. Does that kid want to do it? Does the kid get to decide when and if they want to use it? Does the kid decide when to stop using it? Works for me.

Perhaps many unschoolers reject full currics because no curric really is big/varied enough to be what they want and need. But I am assuming that some unschoooled kids out there somewhere have decided for themselves to do assignments or a curriculum of some kind. No big deal to me as far as unschooling goes.

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#307 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
I think many you see in the schools don't "know a lot" because they prove Kohn et al's. central theses that if the kids aren't into it, they're not gonna learn it, particularly once they've passed that test.
Partly I agree with you, but I partly disagree on these two grounds:

1. They're not actually taught a lot of facts, and
2. They're not taught in particularly interesting ways.

Let's take science, for an example. Much science in the PS for elementary, at least, is taught in little units -- we're doing a bat unit, a frog unit, etc. However, it's all broken up into these little discrete chunks that don't really permit connections across disciplines -- or heck, within disciplines -- so that you can see how a bat relates to a mouse, and how both of them relate to frogs.

Or take history. Schools avoid conflict, avoid controversy, avoid tension, and unfortunately, history is the story of a great deal of conflict, controversy, and tension. Again, as in science, they're taught little factoids -- in 1492, Columbus, funded by Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain, began an exploration to the New World...but there's no explanation or sense of how this "discovery" affected Europe as a whole, what sweeping changes it made to Spain as a world power, what devastation Columbus' treatment of the Taino wrought on their civilization, no examination of why it was that the Europeans were equipped with guns, germs, and steel (to quote the title of that excellent book by Jared Diamond) and the native people weren't, and so on -- no "connective tissue," as it were, no strand to hold all the fact-beads together.

No wonder they "don' know much about history / Don' know much biology."
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#308 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
Pookel, I am having trouble following you. You say that your parents made up math games and worksheets, which you enjoyed doing. Nowhere do you say they forced you.
Of course not, and that is the whole point I have been making over and over and over and over again in this thread and the other one I started. It is simply not true that the only kind of teaching that isn't unschooling is forced learning. There is such a thing as non-coercive parent-led teaching that is neither unschooling nor authoritarian schooling. It means guiding your child, leading, planning, making goals, encouraging your child to learn certain things, but NOT forcing them to learn.

It's like the difference between consensual living and GD and spanking. You don't have to be CL to not spank.
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#309 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
What I'm saying is that PoMo and exposure to world cultures rocked my theoretical underpinnings of human history, man. Western civ is not all it's cracked up to be, put on a pedestal when there's an awful lot of nasty stuff growing in there to be weeded through first, and I'd have a very difficult time discussing it without a lot of cynicism.
I absolutely agree that what's traditionally taught as "the classics" may not actually be valuable. But that doesn't mean there's not such a thing as classics (not necessarily Western - I would definitely put a heavy emphasis on China and North Africa in teaching classical civilization).
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#310 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:07 PM
 
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Can you acknowledge that if he spends 8 hours reading (he has before lol), staring at clouds, walking, and building bookshelves he has less time to play a video game? We do things that have value to us personally. He walks everyday (aside from people that do not use their legs don't we all?), doesn't need to build a bookshelf, and likes cloud watching on occasion. He reads daily, and often late at night. We fit what we want and need to fit into our lives. [/QUOTE]

Absolutely. Today my son worked on his logic study, spent time on a play he's writing, read, visited a friend and played at chess group. This was time not spent cleaning the lint out of his belly button, playing video games, studying physics, tap dancing or cleaning out the fridge.

What I hear from gamers and from unschoolers whenever a concern is mentioned that a child obsessively focuses the bulk of their time on an electronic entertainment activity is that "hey my kid last year learned algebra in a day" or "but last month he read a book about Japanese history". Time spent on one thing is time not spent on another...and that another may the thing that ultimately results in the child having a healthy, independent and successful life. If you want to suggest video games are the road to get there I'll be perfectly honest in response and not try to pretend the half an hour my child spends a month playing chess on the computer is an equivalent life experience to 45 hours of Doom a week.
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#311 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel
There is such a thing as non-coercive parent-led teaching that is neither unschooling nor authoritarian schooling. It means guiding your child, leading, planning, making goals, encouraging your child to learn certain things, but NOT forcing them to learn.
YES!
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#312 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
But what if the child wanted to exclusively study medicine and germs for a year? I imagine that would be unacceptable, because there's still a general timetable and concern for learning, in that you're "missing windows" during the purportedly fact-based developmental time.
Well, I can't say what Susan Wise Bauer would say about this, but I'd be OK with my child exclusively studying medicine and germs for a year as long as they weren't behind on other subjects going into that year. And I'd probably make an effort to work in other subjects as they fit into medicine and germs, in sort of a unit study approach. But I wouldn't be too concerned as long as there was some academic learning going on.

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Ah ha. You're a D&D player. Now it all makes sense.

And I use my calculator every day.
Hey, I resemble that remark.
Most of the guys at the table use the calculator sometimes, but there's actually a lot of pretty fast mental math going on most nights. I've often thought that D&D would be among the best ways to unschool math, if you were looking for one. (Except that to the kids, it's probably this boring game that only old people play ... )
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#313 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
At least as far as I see it, one perk of being a parent is that at least with a few things, the BTDT factor can be used to benefit your child: you can say, "I tried X and it wasn't really worth it for PDQ reasons," and they can listen to you or not -- hopefully they will.
Oh yea we do that a lot. It's great to share what I have learned with them. What they do with that is really not up to me though.

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I feel more comfortable by offering a choice between, say, history and math or history, math, science, rather than history/math/science, or nothing. KWIM?
(Bold emphasis mine) I am probably misunderstanding this sentence here, and I know it wasn't even directed to me, but are you meaning that unschooling would be the option that offers nothing? Because our experience is the opposite. Unschooling offers so many choices.

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#314 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zeldamomma
That's interesting. You seemed to have missed my question though. Why teach a 3 year old math facts? Why at age 3? Why math facts?
Sorry, I thought that was implied in my answer - because it worked for me. Why NOT teach a 3-year-old math facts? It's a basic piece of knowledge that will benefit them later, and if they're ready and willing to learn, how could it possibly be a bad thing to teach them?
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#315 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:20 PM
 
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ROAR wrote:

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What I hear from gamers and from unschoolers whenever a concern is mentioned that a child obsessively focuses the bulk of their time on an electronic entertainment activity is that "hey my kid last year learned algebra in a day" or "but last month he read a book about Japanese history".
HEY ROAR!!!

Are you ignoring me?

I keep answering these questions and I never see you responding?!

We unschool. This bothers me too. I'm sorry you know unschoolers who are gaming 80 hours a week. I do not possibly see how gaming 12+ hours a day 7 days a week is a healthy existence for a human child. We occupy bodies that have needs. At a minimum, a child sitting in roughly the same spot 12 hours a day, every day, is at risk for a variety of physical problems including but not limited too obesity.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#316 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Roar
So, yes, I feel quite certain from a video game a person if looking hard enough could find something they consider learning. Does that mean it is a worthy use of time?
It is if it's worth it to the person doing it.

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Right and maybe Playboy gets him interested in anatomy.
Well I dont have a problem with Playboy really. Come to think of it we did once have a conversation that was prompted by a naked picture of a woman. The subject of some slang regarding body parts came up, which led to us discussing how if at all the slang was related to the technical terms for those parts, and then to how accurate we are or aren't when we call a woman's genitalia her vagina rather than saying labia, vulva and so forth. Who knows.

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#317 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by eilonwy
This is where I split with unschooling, then. It's not that I have a personal investment in what my children learn when, but I don't expect that my children will be able to entirely map out their own educational paths without a fair amount of guidance.
FWIW, all of the unschooled kids I've known have asked their parents for lots of advice and assistance. They generally see parents as one of their most important resources. IME, unschooled kids and teens are far more likely to ask their parents for opinions and ideas than non-unschooled kids... and I think it's because they know both that their parents are well-informed and will advocate on their behalf, and also that their parents won't force, or "nudge", or in any way coerce them into learning things they're not interesting in learning.

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It strikes me as counterintuitive, to assume responsibility as a parent for everything else that my children do but to step back and let them lead with their educations.
I don't take responsibility for everything else that my child does... I take responsibility for things she can't be responsible for yet, and things she has no interest in being responsible for, and things she wants me to be responsible for... but even when she was as little as your two older kids, it was nowhere close to everything.

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I'm a fairly relaxed parent, I definately encourage my children to make decisions, but only to a certain point. For example, when I go to the grocery store, I don't go down the crap aisles
And this probably works well for you, because your oldest is 3. As children get older, they know more about the world around them, and they're less likely to simply accept your rules. I think it's harder to parent young children by letting them make their own decisions, but it's far easier to parent older children who have grown up like this. IME, anyway...

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It doesn't change the fact that I'll continue to offer them the educational options that I see as being most beneficial, just as I'll offer them the foods that the rest of us are eating for dinner/dessert.
Rain got into theatre when I was reading through class options from a parks and rec schedule. She said no to tumbling, maybe to pottery, and a big yes to theatre. I didn't see it as being any more "beneficial" to her than any of the other options... but she enrolled, got the lead right off even though she was one of the youngest students, and spent the next 5 years immersed in theatre. She's learned a lot about a lot of things, from "traditional" academic stuff like Shakespeare and American history and good speaking skills, to life skills like poise, responsibility, filling out time cards, and getting along with, um, interesting people.

On the other hand, I stopped offering things that required writing for years, or at least I offered them very occasionally, because she clearly wasn't interested... and at 11 or she she did become interested, and because she had no baggage about it she quickly became a skilled writer. I'm seeing the same thing right now with math. It's clear to me that she has been doing exactly what she needed to be doing all along, and she has known more about living her life than I did.

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Originally Posted by pookel
There is such a thing as non-coercive parent-led teaching that is neither unschooling nor authoritarian schooling. It means guiding your child, leading, planning, making goals, encouraging your child to learn certain things, but NOT forcing them to learn.
Because parents have so much power over their children naturally, I think "guiding" and "leading" generally are coercive, or they can quite easily become so. There is pressure to please a parent, and the idea that a parent will be displeased is an implied threat.

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#318 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:33 PM
 
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Partly I agree with you, but I partly disagree on these two grounds:

1. They're not actually taught a lot of facts, and
2. They're not taught in particularly interesting ways.
Well, we agree there. Sorta. I would say in my area they're taught plenty of facts (gotta pass those standardized tests that are going to test you on meaningless facts, so that GWB can feel smug about no child being left behind on addition facts 1-10 or your ability to find the adverb in the sentence), but I agree, they're taught in horribly rote manner (drill&kill).

Pookel, I guess I don't see a "behind" in learning, so I wouldn't have the concern of being behind due to an unnatural fascination with medicine or the plague. I also don't see an "ahead." Kids are at where they're at. But I suppose we've been around that thorn bush before. And I would support her in interests that I don't find stereotypically "educational" either. She really likes Captain Underpants right now. I mean, any book that uses the words "urinal cake" is of dubious educational value according to current society, but it sure is funny.

I don't really have anything to contribute to the electronic media argument, as we don't watch much TV at all (ok, only The Office), and she doesn't watch any TV other than movies. I have a rather tortured personal history with electronic media (um, OK, I played a LOT of nintendo as a kid and still have Duck Hunt flashbacks), so I'm ambivalent.
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#319 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by heartmama
HEY ROAR!!!

Are you ignoring me?

I keep answering these questions and I never see you responding?!
Hey mama - sorry didn't mean to miss your posts. We were out most of the day, this thread has been so busy, it is raining cats and dogs and I feel some sinus weirdness coming. So, there is my list of excuses - so good you yelled at me again.

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Originally Posted by heartmama
We unschool. This bothers me too. I'm sorry you know unschoolers who are gaming 80 hours a week. I do not possibly see how gaming 12+ hours a day 7 days a week is a healthy existence for a human child. We occupy bodies that have needs. At a minimum, a child sitting in roughly the same spot 12 hours a day, every day, is at risk for a variety of physical problems including but not limited too obesity.
Good we agree. Do you believe it is consistant with unschooling to place a limit?
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#320 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel
encouraging your child to learn certain things, but NOT forcing them to learn.
Well I do those things and we are radical unschoolers. I encourage them to learn about all kinds of things. I share with them the things that I find interesting, that I think they might find interesting, and that I think have value in some kind of way. I do not direct their education though. I don't make the goals for them, but I support them in making them for themselves.

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#321 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
FWIW, all of the unschooled kids I've known have asked their parents for lots of advice and assistance. They generally see parents as one of their most important resources. IME, unschooled kids and teens are far more likely to ask their parents for opinions and ideas than non-unschooled kids... and I think it's because they know both that their parents are well-informed and will advocate on their behalf, and also that their parents won't force, or "nudge", or in any way coerce them into learning things they're not interesting in learning.
This is so good to hear, for me. I know children who have very antagonistic relationships with their parents as far as revealing their interests, in fear that they'll be pushed into clubs, competitive aspects, formal classes that they MUST FINISH OR ELSE. I worry about that.
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#322 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
Because parents have so much power over their children naturally, I think "guiding" and "leading" generally are coercive, or they can quite easily become so. There is pressure to please a parent, and the idea that a parent will be displeased is an implied threat.
I'm not so worried about my children's sensitivity that I would withhold my guidance from them. And I would hope that they will be able to stand up and tell me when they disagree or don't want to do something - certainly, I will be encouraging them to stand up for themselves, including to me.

I grew up with parents who were directly coercive and authoritarian, and I see a world of difference between that and my own parenting ideals.
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#323 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 09:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
Pookel, I guess I don't see a "behind" in learning, so I wouldn't have the concern of being behind due to an unnatural fascination with medicine or the plague.
You know, I do like that in homeschooling, you can be a lot more flexible about your child's learning pace and not worry about whether they're exactly at "grade level" or whatever. But I do think that there's such a thing as innate intellectual development, and to me, a child who hasn't learned basic skills that he/she is capable of is falling behind.
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#324 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by pookel
I'm not so worried about my children's sensitivity that I would withhold my guidance from them.
Where did you get the idea that I don't "guide" my child because I'm worried about her sensitivity?

I don't guide her because I think people should have the freedom to guide themselves...

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And I would hope that they will be able to stand up and tell me when they disagree or don't want to do something - certainly, I will be encouraging them to stand up for themselves, including to me.
Well, my kid does do this, because she doesn't have to worry that she's disappointing me or displeasing me or rejecting me personally. If she thought that I was attempting to guide her down certain paths, I think this would be much harder for her to do... or else she would go overboard and disagree with everything I said, because she was tired of being "guided" and wanted her freedom.

Let me know in 12 years how it's worked for you, though...

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to me, a child who hasn't learned basic skills that he/she is capable of is falling behind.
There is no "falling behind" in unschooling. Whom would a child fall behind? Likewise, "basic skills" are highly individual, for the most part, depending on environment.

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#325 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 10:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
Well, my kid does do this, because she doesn't have to worry that she's disappointing me or displeasing me or rejecting me personally. If she thought that I was attempting to guide her down certain paths, I think this would be much harder for her to do... or else she would go overboard and disagree with everything I said, because she was tired of being "guided" and wanted her freedom.

dar
If I may jump in here and ask...

Is that something particular about your child that would make her have trouble or do you believe that is the case with all children? Is it possible for you to imagine there are other kids who wouldn't feel that way?

Also, do you maintain that you have no agenda at all? No desire to guide your child in any direction - equally happy if she is a serial murderer or loving mother, a homeless person or a midwife? Would your daughter have any idea which of these options you might prefer and if so will it make her do the opposite just to be "free".
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#326 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 10:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
There is no "falling behind" in unschooling. Whom would a child fall behind? Likewise, "basic skills" are highly individual, for the most part, depending on environment.

Yes, this is so very true!

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
peace.gif  Embrace the learning that is happening within the things that are actually happening!    
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#327 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 10:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
Where did you get the idea that I don't "guide" my child because I'm worried about her sensitivity?
Because you said this:
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There is pressure to please a parent, and the idea that a parent will be displeased is an implied threat.
I think that in order for my children to feel so pressured and threatened by my feelings that they feel obligated to do what I ask, they'd have to be exceptionally sensitive. It is *because* I trust and respect my child to tell me when to back off that I am willing to guide and lead him. When he doesn't want to be led, he will tell me "no."
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#328 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 10:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
And if it were like this the next day and the next and the next? Well, again, it would depend on how open to negotiation she was.
"the next day and the next and the next" really jumped out at me because it really seems to underscore the difference between having an agenda for what your child needs to learn on a daily basis but being willing for them to go off on a time-limited tangent to follow their interests and letting them go off on a tangent and follow their interests today and the next day and the next day and the next ...

Namaste!
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#329 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 10:44 PM
 
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I've often thought that D&D would be among the best ways to unschool math, if you were looking for one. (Except that to the kids, it's probably this boring game that only old people play ... )
Hey now, I already got my kids interested in TOONS

I was telling dh about this thread today and about the weird tangent about how horrible it is to play video games at all, let alone for hours. I mentioned to him that when we gamed (we never gamed together, but we were both gamers) you could never play for 1/2 an hour and then stop. The best games were all nighters. 12 hours or so sitting around a table, occasionally running out to get junk food or jumping up and yelling at someone or maybe going to the bathroom But mainly hours and hours just spent in some imaginary world. And yeah, back in the 80's (when I did most of my gaming) some parents were all worried about this evil waste of time ruining the youth of today (uh, the youth of then). And now some parents are worried about video games as being a waste of time ruining the youth of today. Interesting.
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#330 of 591 Old 07-14-2006, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Roar
Is that something particular about your child that would make her have trouble or do you believe that is the case with all children? Is it possible for you to imagine there are other kids who wouldn't feel that way?
Are you denying that children want to please their parents, at least in general, and feel uneasy when they know their parents are displeased? It's pretty classic child development stuff. Even severely abused children are generally reluctant to displease a parent - wouldn't a child who had been generally well-treated also feel this way? When you're a child, you are dependant upon your parents for pretty much everything, and it's pretty risky to risk that for something like answering a few math problems.

Parents have a lot of power, whether they realize it or not. I have known a number of parents who believed that they were "gently suggesting", and then found out when their children grew older that the children felt guilty every time they didn't do something the parenst suggested... or, in a couple of cases, the children got angry and refused to do anything, and then the parents decided that "relaxed homeschooling" didn't work for their family, so they instituted more formal requirements for the children.

I can see that my child wants me to be happy. She does things often with the goal of bringing me some joy. I would not be comfortable with her believing that her academic achivements would please me any more than her other achievements - I want her to do what makes her happy, not what makes me happy.

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Also, do you maintain that you have no agenda at all? No desire to guide your child in any direction - equally happy if she is a serial murderer or loving mother, a homeless person or a midwife? Would your daughter have any idea which of these options you might prefer and if so will it make her do the opposite just to be "free".
Her father has been homeless on and off for years, so she's pretty clear on that not being a choice she wants for herself. I want her to be happy and fulfilled. I don't believe that she'll find happiness as a serial murdered or a homeless person, because I don't think many people like that are truly happy. I reall am pretty flexible, though. My little brother found happiness in the Air Force, which is so not what I would have chosen for him. Next to Rain, I love him more than anyone in the world... and although I'm not a big military supporter, I'm glad he's found a place in the world where he can be fulfilled and happy.

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