Is unschooling really a good idea? - Page 17 - Mothering Forums
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#481 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 12:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Roar
I was responding to the other poster's suggestion that an unschooler wouldn't look for a curriculum but instead at botanical names or word roots. If unschooling is about looking at the child's intersts for me it makes more sense to recognize that some kids want to learn the whole language, they may be motivated primarily by a desire to have systematic orderly study or to get to competence in reading as fast as possible. No reason why they'd all have the same goal or approach.
Since I am that other poster, I'll say I have been misunderstood. Unschoolers often use curriculum. Lots of kids click with a systematic approach to something they are interested in that is best mastered in that way or if it fits their learning style. My 11yo wants to study Algebra. We are looking at textbooks and at other options. Well, what if she wants to only learn about a few things in said textbook and then sticks it in her closet? How do you feel about that? I am trying to let her know that is okay, but also I am excited that she is taking the initiative on this and it'll really tickle me if she gets into it.

My bookshelves are so full of schoolish science and history and math books of the sort used in college classes--they aren't for homeschooling my kids though they are for me to read for pleasure. Alongside them are a lot of technical gardening, home improvement and repair, upholstery, art, craft, music, education, parenting, all there to enrich my life and support my own experiential learning in some way.... Like me, my kids use school-type reading sometimes too. Unschooling is VERY open to using curricula to meet learning goals, sometimes it is the best thing for doing so. BUT a curriculum is not assumed to be the way you learn nor is it assumed that learning is getting from point A to point B using it. Learning can be linear but doesn't have to be. A learning focus can be sustained over a long period and often is, BUT it can be simply pursued occasionally or briefly... The model is different even though unschooled kids can, and often do, do a lot of the same things that an non-unschooled kids do.

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#482 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 01:08 AM
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ok, I have a question for you unschooling mommas, which is pertinent to this thread.

What if your child, heaven forbid, has a severe Learning disability?

I for one, have Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia. the combination of those point to a brain disorder, but I havn't had the CT scan to prove it yet so it's just a combination of learning disabilities.

Thanks to the patience of teachers, I managed to plug through and get enough math skills to get me through life.

If I didn't have such teachers, Honestly, I would be completely innumerate, unable to function in day to day life, just as a severe dyslexic wouldn't be able to function very well.

Unschooling is all about following the child's lead. If the child has a learning disability, he/she doesn't know it till it's either A: too late (like me) or B: Till it's pointed out to them. Dyscalculia is a hidden disability, even more so when one is unschooling.

LD's seriously can affect future life. If one cannot read, if one cannot do math, without some sort of out of the home help to overcome said LD, than what kind of service is that parent doing?

And dont think that "Oh it wont happen to my child" It can. I was ahead of the game in all acedemic areas, till I suffered a severe concussion, that's when my Math and writing skills started to suffer. I take a good 2 minutes to write out a cheque, Yes, two whole minutes, to slowly draw out each letter so the bank and the cashier can read the printing, and even then it's infantile at best. Ask me to do any kind of handwriting and you'd look at it and go "What is this crap?" My grade 9 English teacher reccomended me to use a computer in submitting future essays to him, or at least a type writer because my penmanship was so horrid he couldn't read it. It still is horrid..

I can type upwards of 80wpm on a good day, but writing, dont ask me to handwrite you anything. Overcoming such hardship in basic penmanship, I never took a single note, I have a memory like a steel trap. My directional sense might be shot to hell by the Dyscalculia, but I have a photographic memory and wont get lost after living in a place for a few months, even if I return to the place years later, I still wont get lost.

I just moved back to a place I havn't lived in 13 years. I amazed my husband by giving him directions to everywhere we needed to go, right out of my memory.

I learnt how to cope with the mechanical parts, the non acedemic, but I still have difficulties with numbers. Today, I couldn't even write down my address and phone number on my midwifes intake form, I had to get my DH to do it.

I dial wrong numbers all the time. Our phone doesn't have speed dial. I hope those people I dial are understanding...

Instead of using cash, I use my bank debit card, not spending any more than I have in the bank, because I can't keep track of what I spend, I think I have more cash on me than I really do.... I dont know if the cashier gives me exact change or rips me off because my money counting skills are pretty crappy. Hence why I use plastic. It's easyer that way.

So please, realize, that learning disabilities are a fact of life, and can't be overcome by Unschooling. If anything Unschooling would harm an LD kid more than help. Because the parent is NOT trained to A: recognize the symptoms and B: Acctually help the child overcome said learning disability by themselves.
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#483 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 01:40 AM
 
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I beleive there are lots of unschoolers that have severe learning disabilities as well as mild to moderate L.D. Someones severe learning disability can easily be noticed by the parent and then they themselves can seek out the evaluations and therapies and best ways to teach or guide them. It is very possible. I am almost certain that many times LD's are BETTER addressed at home with one on one direction.
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#484 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 01:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Pandora114
ok, I have a question for you unschooling mommas, which is pertinent to this thread.

What if your child, heaven forbid, has a severe Learning disability?
Pandora, my son has Asperger's syndrome, and this has major effects on the way he learns and how well he functions. I have ended up on both sides of recent debates about unschooling often because of the ways we adapt to his needs. Yours is an important question.

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Originally Posted by Pandora114
Unschooling is all about following the child's lead. If the child has a learning disability, he/she doesn't know it till it's either A: too late (like me) or B: Till it's pointed out to them.
Unschooling is in many ways about following the child's lead, but that seems an oversimplified description. It is also about revealing the child's ability to lead himself (however limited) and helping him develop that ability, and supporting him during that process. In areas of lower maturity or special difficulty, more support is needed. Sometimes learning is child-centered more than it is child-led. It's not curriculum-led, though. I respond to my child's needs first and foremost and to do so it is also my responsibility to assess and learn about those needs. It is not my goal to have my child raise himself.

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Originally Posted by Pandora114
LD's seriously can affect future life. If one cannot read, if one cannot do math, without some sort of out of the home help to overcome said LD, than what kind of service is that parent doing?

So please, realize, that learning disabilities are a fact of life, and can't be overcome by Unschooling. If anything Unschooling would harm an LD kid more than help. Because the parent is NOT trained to A: recognize the symptoms and B: Acctually help the child overcome said learning disability by themselves.
You are right. Learning disabilities are a fact of life. Unschooling might be a problem for some special needs children and it might be the ideal solution for others. The parent may be able to recognize and address the child's challenges or not.
My son's needs come first in deciding how to raise/teach him. I can't be a low-intervention parent. But I do prefer to nurture his ability to self-direct and take intitiative. I am working to learn how unschooling can work for him and for each of my children. Like you, even with his disabilities, he has interests that inspire him and like any child he wants to understand the world. He can get a lot of mileage out of the abilities and assets he does have.

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#485 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by lauraess
I beleive there are lots of unschoolers that have severe learning disabilities as well as mild to moderate L.D. Someones severe learning disability can easily be noticed by the parent and then they themselves can seek out the evaluations and therapies and best ways to teach or guide them. It is very possible. I am almost certain that many times LD's are BETTER addressed at home with one on one direction.
True, but the parent isn't trained to help the child overcome the disability. Also, to work through a disability, one needs to pretty much approach it like physical therapy for a physically disabled person. The excersises MUST be done, weather the person wishes to do them or not, or they wont progress/get better. This is where the Unschooling ends. If one chooses to continue to unschool a child with a LD, then the excersises might go undone because it's too difficult, the child doesn't want to...ect.

A learning disability is very difficult to overcome, and if the kid isn't pushed to do what's needed when it's needed, then there's no hope to really overcome it.

My teachers pushed me, and pushed me and pushed me. My mother had no idea I had a learning disability, I Hid it very well from her. I cheated, I did what it took to get results and I got the one on one help during lunches and recesses. Sure the acctual diagnosis wasn't given till I was 23, but it doesn't take a genius to see the difficulties and the grades slipping to aknowledge there is a problem somewhere.

My LD is severe, and my mother didn't notice. that's right. she didn't...notice. It's a hidden one. Dyscalculia is a hidden disability. It's not like Dyslexia...where one can pretty much tell early on if one has it...

And anyway, how can one notice a learning disability while Unschooling? Kid picks up a book and goes "Nah dont feel like reading" walks away...Kid picks up an abicus, "Nah dont feel like doing this" and walks away...

writing or printing? "Nah Dont want to write anything today.."

Unschooling is about following the child's lead IRT learning and not putting a set cirriculum or even introducing set subjects till the kid expresses intrest themselves. A child with a LD usually doesn't express intrest in the topics he/she is disabled in because it's too difficult or they just can't grasp it...
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#486 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 02:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Pandora114
True, but the parent isn't trained to help the child overcome the disability. Also, to work through a disability, one needs to pretty much approach it like physical therapy for a physically disabled person. The excersises MUST be done, weather the person wishes to do them or not, or they wont progress/get better. This is where the Unschooling ends. If one chooses to continue to unschool a child with a LD, then the excersises might go undone because it's too difficult, the child doesn't want to...ect.
I dunno, unschoolers can engage professional therapists if that is needed. And I have made my children brush their teeth when they didn't want to. I don't think making kids brush their teeth disqualifies one from unschooling, so I doubt needed therapy would either.

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Originally Posted by Pandora114
A learning disability is very difficult to overcome, and if the kid isn't pushed to do what's needed when it's needed, then there's no hope to really overcome it.
My son isn't going to "overcome his disability." He is going to live with it and have a great life too! It does not seem that your disability has gone away due to teachers pushing you (with no diagnosis even to help them understand what made it so difficult for you.) You, too, have learned in many ways to live with it.

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Originally Posted by Pandora114
My mother had no idea I had a learning disability, I Hid it very well from her. I cheated, I did what it took to get results and I got the one on one help during lunches and recesses. Sure the acctual diagnosis wasn't given till I was 23, but it doesn't take a genius to see the difficulties and the grades slipping to aknowledge there is a problem somewhere.

My LD is severe, and my mother didn't notice. that's right. she didn't...notice. It's a hidden one. Dyscalculia is a hidden disability. It's not like Dyslexia...where one can pretty much tell early on if one has it...
I don't think an unschooling parent is as likely to miss the symptoms of a disabilility because they pay lots of attention to how their children learn. When parents are leaving that to the schools, they tend to pay less attention. The kind of cheating that can be hidden at school is impossible at home because the parent is directly engaged with the children, and knows what they understand. I cannot imagine not noticing discalculia in any one of my kids from the way you describe your symptoms. I would definitely know there was a problem.

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Originally Posted by Pandora114
And anyway, how can one notice a learning disability while Unschooling? Kid picks up a book and goes "Nah dont feel like reading" walks away...
Unschooling is about following the child's lead IRT learning and not putting a set cirriculum or even introducing set subjects till the kid expresses intrest themselves. A child with a LD usually doesn't express intrest in the topics he/she is disabled in because it's too difficult or they just can't grasp it...
I do not know why you think the parent will not notice the symptoms of a disability? Perhaps it could happen. It can happen at school, and often does. But unschooling parents are paying attention and they will quite likely notice if their child repeatedly gives up on certain things quickly, can't count money, can't measure, can't write legibly or if there is a suspicious gap in what their child is comprehending.

Unschooling parents can introduce subjects, and they can have expectations of their children. Unschooling parents are usually very involved parents. That helps with a lot of the problems you describe.

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#487 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 02:36 AM
 
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No offense intended at all, Pandora, but if my child suffered a concussion and then couldn't write their name, I can't imagine not worrying and consulting with medical professionals immediately. I can't imagine too many parents just blowing something like that off, not to mention the child. Unschooling doesn't mean that the child and parent dyad wouldn't be seeking out specialized help if that's where the child wanted to go. And I can't imagine too many 12 year olds who would be OK with not being able to write their name.

Hugs to you though. That sounds very traumatic.
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#488 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 02:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
Well, no, this isn't exactly what I said... but what's new, I guess?

Children are dependent on their parents for many things - as infants, they're utterly dependent, and even by independent-compared-to-most-13-year-olds daughter is dependent on my for food, shelter, economic support, advice, rides, medical care, and more. Do you really deny this? And can you then see how these kinds of dependance would make it more difficult for a child to disappoint a parent. Look at Adragon DeMello, for example.dar
Yipes. The example you choose is an abused child who is isolated from his mother and raised by a father who threatens to kill himself? That's a pretty extreme example and I'm not sure particularly relevant to the moms on MDC!

Really, when you think about Adragon do you think "well gosh, that could practically be us if it wasn't for unschooling". To me that seems sort of like saying that you could be Andrea Yates driving your kids off the bridge but you realized that seemed coercive so you didn't. In other words, to me it seems rather bizaare to bring abuse into the discussion.

The part I'm having difficulty with about your approach here is that I don't really know any IRL kids who are so fearful of parental dependency that they fear speaking their mind. I certainly don't dispute for a minute that these kids exist and the example of abuse you mentioned shows there are kids in this situation. I'm sure many people here experienced that kind of fear as kids. It doesn't though ring true as a pressing issue among kids I know IRL. Do you see this as coming up a lot with kids you know?

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Originally Posted by Dar
Again - if you trust him, why must you guide him? If you and I were in a car and I was driving, and you trusted me to get to where we were going, would you feel the need to guide me? I don't think so. You might share information, like, "Did you know that the on-ramp on 87th street is closed until Monday?", but you wouldn't try to guide me. I believe that my child belongs in the driver's seat, because I trust her. dar
And, I guess it must be a difference in family communication style. No one in our family, parents or kid, would hestitate to offer an opinion in this situation. We aren't all worried the other person is going to have difficulties asserting their own thoughts if we express ours. And, we all respect that other people may well see things we don't or have experiences we haven't. We aren't afraid to take a guiding role in each other's lives because we trust each other.

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Except that he didn't tell you when he wasn't getting his needs met from his teacher... somone he didn't really know and who didn't have any power over him. And yet you're sure that he'd tell you if something you were doing wasn't working?dar
Let's try one more time. He was very young. He had mathematical questions he wanted to ask that were so complex they were difficult for him to communicate. He didn't know the names for the fields of mathematics that contained his questions. In the beginning the professor offered topics that were okay, but not his perfect be all end all topics. It was sort of like our son had been offered a cheese sandwich. Something he likes, pleasant enough to eat, but not his dream come true like say Thai food. Well, if you've never had Thai food you may have no idea if it exists or how to ask for it. Perhaps someone will steer you or guide you or encourage you to try Thai food and you find out...wow, Thai food rocks! Rest assured had he been offered something he doesn't eat like chicken he would have no problem saying that doesn't work for me. And, before long he found the mathematical equivalent of Thai food.

As far as the parent versus the teacher, I believe I've explained this, but I can try one more time. I think for many kids, especially those of folks here on MDC who are aware and try to nurture close relationships, it is easier to communicate with your parents. You feel safe with them. You are used to talking with them. You have a lot of experiences or vocabulary in common. You know they love you. Personally I do better speaking with people I have these kinds of relationships with than I do with a strange teacher I don't know and I suspect that is the case for a lot of us.

I agree though if you think of the parent child relationship as often being abusive as the example you mentioned above this would be really problematic.

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Originally Posted by Dar
That's how classes generally work, yes. The teacher is trying to meet the needs or ten or twenty students. She signed up for the class knowing this. If something was morally wrong to her, or too pianful or uncomfortable, she could refuse. If much of the class didn't meet her needs, she could quit. But the world doesn't revolve around Rain, and she's never assumed that it does.dar
Right she could refuse or she could quit. She would have those same options with structured learning at home right? Or, would she be so dependent on you that she'd not be able to refuse or quit?

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Originally Posted by Dar
This has nothing to do with parent vs. outside teacher; it's more about class situations vs individual teaching. dar
But, if she was taking private lessons the teacher may also operate out of a particular structure with set expectations or expect her to play a particular section from a particular song. If Rain consents to learn from this person and goes along is that really okay? Would that be any different than if you placed the same expectation at home and if so why?

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Originally Posted by Dar
This to me sounds like what some kids go through as part of deschooling - they don't feel comfortable choosing their own activities and are used to having other people scheduling their time for them, because that's familiar. Frankly, I'd be concerned about a child who was this passive when it came to making choices about his own life... and I've never seen a long-term unschooling family where things work that way. Generally it's a give-and-take, where all family members pick group activities and negotiate timeing.dar
I have seen kids coming out of school do this. I've also seen some other kids, especially younger ones, who are really happy for an hour or two a day to follow a parent's lead. It is a small segment of the day and doesn't mean they aren't making choices in their lives. They realize that parents have a whole lot of things to share that they don't already know about and some kids are enthusiastic not about one or two things but about nearly everything. Back to the food example, I accept there are some people who very firmly only want a single food for dinner and it needs to be the exact thing they were planning on and anything else would be a violation of their autonomy and an imposition of another person's will. Other folks say "oh goody a buffet with lots of stuff I've never tried before, I'm not concerned if I thought of it or if you did, it is just good!"

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Originally Posted by Dar
Also, your separation of "learning" from everything else is not the way unschoolers see life. dar
For us "school" (would you be more comfortable if we just called it "morning") is about having a time of the day for undivided parental attention as needed. I promise to be an audience for your play, to help you look stuff up, to read with you, to try to go back through the cobwebs of my mind to the Latin section, etc. Other times of the day a parent may well be available but they may also be engaged with other tasks and not available immediately. That's the distinction for us and it works out well for our family.

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Originally Posted by Dar
You've clearly never seen unschooling... dar
What always makes me laugh is that no matter what I do someone will tell me I'm really an unschooler. My bottom line is that the term or not the term doesn't hold a lot of meaning for me. It is interesting though to hear the thought process of how people sort out what they believe to be true about learning.
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#489 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
No offense intended at all, Pandora, but if my child suffered a concussion and then couldn't write their name, I can't imagine not worrying and consulting with medical professionals immediately. I can't imagine too many parents just blowing something like that off, not to mention the child. Unschooling doesn't mean that the child and parent dyad wouldn't be seeking out specialized help if that's where the child wanted to go. And I can't imagine too many 12 year olds who would be OK with not being able to write their name.

Hugs to you though. That sounds very traumatic.
Oh I'm able to write my name, just not legibly. It takes me about 30 seconds to print it out, and when I sign it, well you can recognize the M from my first name and the B from my last but that's it. Just takes me a bit of time to acctually print out things by hand. If I write at "normal" speed, that's when I run into problems. But the slow and steady makes it so it's legible...barely...looks like a 5 year old wrote it out, but it's still legible.
I'm not illiterate, as you can see. I can type, I can spell, I can read, I just can't use a pencil/pen accurately. Thankfully technologies have advanced so people like me can acctually communicate through text, even if it's impersonal. I type out all my letters before mailing them. Looks impersonal, but it's better than someone opening up a letter and going "What the heck is this?" Because after a while of writing I get a cramp and want to get it over with quickly and that's when the mess starts.
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#490 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 03:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by deeporgarten
I don't think an unschooling parent is as likely to miss the symptoms of a disabilility because they pay lots of attention to how their children learn. When parents are leaving that to the schools, they tend to pay less attention. The kind of cheating that can be hidden at school is impossible at home because the parent is directly engaged with the children, and knows what they understand. I cannot imagine not noticing discalculia in any one of my kids from the way you describe your symptoms. I would definitely know there was a problem.
But, how do you know for sure. Probably many of us know homeschooled kids who read much later than their public school peers. A kid at age 11 may be not be able to read and six months later they are reading the newspaper just fine. Do you agree though that another kid could appear the same way but have an LD and not learn to read at all?

I know some homeschoolers think anyone can or should homeschool. While I know many homeschoolers who homeschool special needs kids and do a much better job than the school professionals did, I don't think it is something that everyone wants to or can do and with special needs kids that may be especially true.
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#491 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 03:16 AM
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I do not know why you think the parent will not notice the symptoms of a disability? Perhaps it could happen. It can happen at school, and often does. But unschooling parents are paying attention and they will quite likely notice if their child repeatedly gives up on certain things quickly, can't count money, can't measure, can't write legibly or if there is a suspicious gap in what their child is comprehending.
I dunno, mabe I unconciously hid my LD from my mother. I was very embarassed by the fact I couldn't write properly and I couldn't do math. My mother had such high expectations of me, that once I stopped doing so well in those two fields, I decided to hide them. At the time I didn't really need my directional sense or whatever because I was a child and my parents took me where I needed to go when I needed to go there. Mom had a suspicion that something was wrong, but I hid it so well out of sheer embarassment that I managed to fool even her.

That's another thing to take into acount. The embarassment, the sheer embarassment that the child will be letting the parent down, even in an Unconditional Parenting household (which mine was certainly NOT) the child who has one of these would be embarassed and work hard to hide the fact he/she has a LD. Lots of involvement from the parent or not. Kids are canny, if they want to keep something from their parent, they will...
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#492 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 03:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Roar
But, how do you know for sure. Probably many of us know homeschooled kids who read much later than their public school peers. A kid at age 11 may be not be able to read and six months later they are reading the newspaper just fine. Do you agree though that another kid could appear the same way but have an LD and not learn to read at all?

I know some homeschoolers think anyone can or should homeschool. While I know many homeschoolers who homeschool special needs kids and do a much better job than the school professionals did, I don't think it is something that everyone wants to or can do and with special needs kids that may be especially true.
I don't know for sure. None of the homeschooled kids I know read very late--not later than 8yo anyhow. Kids with disabilities slip through the cracks at school so often, and wait years before they are really noticed. Waldorf schools have some reputation for not addressing learning delays because of their philosophy and late-academics approach. Can it also happen at home if academic delays are accepted as part of a normal pattern? Yes. Could a late-developing kid really be a kid with a learning disability being missed at home? Yes.

I really don't know the answers for you. I think unschooling has made tremendous contributions to our understanding of learning. I think our decisions need to be customized. And I think we all can make mistakes about what is best for our children.

Neither unschooling nor homeschooling is a panacea.

I am not one who thinks everyone can or should homeschool. Not even close. I almost didn't and my ds's special needs were a big part of why I almost didn't.

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#493 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 05:04 AM
 
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Don't have time to respond in depth, because well, it's 3:00 am. Today at work I thought about this thread and suddenly flashed back to that scene in The Wall where the school kids are getting dragged down the conveyor belt and cranked through the grinder to the tune of "We don't need no education." That's all I'm sayin'.

But anyway, more seriously, one thing that really strikes me is how some are relating negative experiences from their childhood which occurred in the context of formal schooling. It is often assumed that unschooled kids will also have no initiative whatsoever to read, that they will also feel ashamed if they are not keeping up with "grade level", etc, etc. This reminds me a bit of how it is often assumed that kids will have psychological problems, or feel ashamed, or whatever, if they nurse past xyz age. The speaker has no personal experience of the radical lifestyle in question, and can't imagine how it could work. Obviously, all people, including kids, are different. Regardless of schooling context, problems may arise. Unschooling encourages parents to observe their children and respond flexibly. In that way, it is a reasonable plan for addressing diverse problems.

Tonight Grace picked up her little children's missal, which I'd bought recently because she had seemed soooooo bored in church. (And said so.) She picked it up simply because Eve had been playing with it, so it was lying out. She said, "Mommy, I'm going to tell you a story." She proceeded to "read" her own story, involving a variety of Jesus-related tropes. Before the ensuing conversation was over, she had commented that the illustration wasn't right because it showed only bread and wine, and not the church water -- which she noted is different from the holy water you dip your hand in. (She was referring to the water used for washing and for diluting the wine at the altar.) She asked me to find the part where you go up for the blessing. I did, and she asked me to read the page. She asked questions about the text, which is pretty much the complete liturgy text with commentary, and asked about the picture. I figured out that the picture must be of the Last Supper. She wanted to know...why is it called the "Last" Supper? Why did they put it on this page? Why do they have plates? What were they eating? We ended up googling images of Seder plates and what goes on them, before she casually returned to nursing.

This was not a big deal. It took a few minutes. This happens all the time, day in and day out. I didn't even realize, before this conversation, how aware Grace was of what was happening at the altar. Obviously, there was a give and take, on both sides, leading up to this discussion. My part was pretty much looking for a book (a devotional book, in this case, not a textbook) and saying, "I thought you might like this to bring to church. It's just like the books at church, only made specifically for kids." It took a good couple of weeks of apparent non- or minimal interest, beyond the physical object itself as something to grab from one's sister, before this conversation arose tonight, out of thin air. If I had planned it, I strongly suspect that it would have been a lot more labored, a lot less profound and complete, and it might well have featured Grace saying "Bathtub" over and over and erupting into giggles.

I should mention that I used to teach this "material" to seven-year-olds. It was a lot more labored, a lot less profound and complete, and it featured a lot of erupting into giggles. For many of the children, it quite clearly was not coming at the right time or in the right way. It was not [I]theirs[/I...but they knew that it was somehow important to their parents, who were buying them special clothes and planning parties for their first communion. In theology, we would say that faith is part of the discipline: "faith seeking understanding." Growing spiritually, approaching freely, wrestling with questions: this isn't so much re-inventing the wheel as appropriating the habits that are required for complete understanding, the kind that you can apply to any situation you wish. This is what keeps us from remaining "dumb sheep", to quote the august CB. (Though it might promote our approaching dumb ox...if you are up for a little theology humor.) That's theology and religion (or catechesis, in this instance). But every discipline is as much about mental habits as about information. Every discipline should engage the whole person.

Um. That wasn't short.

Oye Yemaya oloto
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#494 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 08:10 AM
 
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Don't have time to respond in depth, because well, it's 3:00 am. Today at work I thought about this thread and suddenly flashed back to that scene in The Wall where the school kids are getting dragged down the conveyor belt and cranked through the grinder to the tune of "We don't need no education." That's all I'm sayin'.

But anyway, more seriously, one thing that really strikes me is how some are relating negative experiences from their childhood which occurred in the context of formal schooling. It is often assumed that unschooled kids will also have no initiative whatsoever to read, that they will also feel ashamed if they are not keeping up with "grade level", etc, etc. This reminds me a bit of how it is often assumed that kids will have psychological problems, or feel ashamed, or whatever, if they nurse past xyz age. The speaker has no personal experience of the radical lifestyle in question, and can't imagine how it could work. Obviously, all people, including kids, are different. Regardless of schooling context, problems may arise. Unschooling encourages parents to observe their children and respond flexibly. In that way, it is a reasonable plan for addressing diverse problems.

Tonight Grace picked up her little children's missal, which I'd bought recently because she had seemed soooooo bored in church. (And said so.) She picked it up simply because Eve had been playing with it, so it was lying out. She said, "Mommy, I'm going to tell you a story." She proceeded to "read" her own story, involving a variety of Jesus-related tropes. Before the ensuing conversation was over, she had commented that the illustration wasn't right because it showed only bread and wine, and not the church water -- which she noted is different from the holy water you dip your hand in. (She was referring to the water used for washing and for diluting the wine at the altar.) She asked me to find the part where you go up for the blessing. I did, and she asked me to read the page. She asked questions about the text, which is pretty much the complete liturgy text with commentary, and asked about the picture. I figured out that the picture must be of the Last Supper. She wanted to know...why is it called the "Last" Supper? Why did they put it on this page? Why do they have plates? What were they eating? We ended up googling images of Seder plates and what goes on them, before she casually returned to nursing.

This was not a big deal. It took a few minutes. This happens all the time, day in and day out. I didn't even realize, before this conversation, how aware Grace was of what was happening at the altar. Obviously, there was a give and take, on both sides, leading up to this discussion. My part was pretty much looking for a book (a devotional book, in this case, not a textbook) and saying, "I thought you might like this to bring to church. It's just like the books at church, only made specifically for kids." It took a good couple of weeks of apparent non- or minimal interest, beyond the physical object itself as something to grab from one's sister, before this conversation arose tonight, out of thin air. If I had planned it, I strongly suspect that it would have been a lot more labored, a lot less profound and complete, and it might well have featured Grace saying "Bathtub" over and over and erupting into giggles.

I should mention that I used to teach this "material" to seven-year-olds. It was a lot more labored, a lot less profound and complete, and it featured a lot of erupting into giggles. For many of the children, it quite clearly was not coming at the right time or in the right way. It was not [I]theirs[/I...but they knew that it was somehow important to their parents, who were buying them special clothes and planning parties for their first communion. In theology, we would say that faith is part of the discipline: "faith seeking understanding." Growing spiritually, approaching freely, wrestling with questions: this isn't so much re-inventing the wheel as appropriating the habits that are required for complete understanding, the kind that you can apply to any situation you wish. This is what keeps us from remaining "dumb sheep", to quote the august CB. (Though it might promote our approaching dumb ox...if you are up for a little theology humor.) That's theology and religion (or catechesis, in this instance). But every discipline is as much about mental habits as about information. Every discipline should engage the whole person.

Um. That wasn't short.
I just want to say that i caught this whole thread late and have only been able to read a bit so far.... new to hs/unschooling----whatever/not sure which yet, and I am so impressed at the complete and loving wisdom a lot of the moms here (sorry if i left out any dads) have shared.

The above quote is going to be saved by me >hope you dont mind, eminer? I just think it's inspiring and resonates with me because i've certainly experienced some of that being home with my 5 and 8 yr old. They were in private Waldorf and i am sooo glad to be really knowing my kids again!
Thanks <eminer> for that little peek into Graces learning-- Gosh they are so smart arent they?: ***first time i ever used that smiley!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#495 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 11:20 AM
 
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Unschooling children with learning disabilities (of which I have two-maybe three)...is very challenging. To lay it right out, I do not have $2,000 or $5,000 dollars or more for special therapies for each child. We sent one to speech therapy, for her expressive receptive language disorder, paid for by insurance. It helped. As far as the dyslexia, unschooling required a certain amount of faith that at some point, she would and could get these letters all unjumbled up in her brain. I told her, she really needed to figure out the best way of teaching herself how to read, and eventually everything would unjumble. The 10 year old who had been stuck on simple blends for years is reading. The 8 year old aspie taught herself how to read. The 13 year old with dyslexia...did in fact, unjumble those letters. Does she read for enjoyment? NO. No way. She is preparing to take her drivers test next year, along with her brother who is preparing to take the test now. She read the driver's manual aloud to me. It was only on certain multisyllable big words that she would have problems. I suggested that she break the big words into threes, or syllables like to read the word combination as com-bin-a-tion, which is helping with the bigger words.

I confered with my husband, who is also a dyslexic, and asked him if he was reading/struggling with the same issues at that age and he said yes. She is struggling with learning to read cursive, but has the motivation because in the petsitting business that she owns and runs (since she was ten), sometimes her customers leave her a note in cursive. This particular customers note was very difficult to read and written as to be very confusing to me, as an excellent reader. We spent a good hour reading and re reading the note before we got the message out of three cats, which two did not get along and had to be separated. This was a life and death situation for these animals, and that is some powerful motivation for her brain to try to decipher the cursive writing on that page. It helps her to realize the importance that reading is going to have in her life.

I cannot imagine the stress she would be under in public school, at 13, still in the learning process of reading. Or if I was constantly nagging and pushing at her to do read before her brain was ready to unscramble the jumble that is going on in a dyslexic's brain when it comes to letters by requireing her to complete reams of reading curriculum...(She HAS already gone through a complete reading curriculum four times-one of which promised that at the end you would know how to read if you completed-and that was not true for my dd). I feel that Unschooling is preserving her self confidence and dignity in the learning process.

If we won the lottery today, I would be seeking out all kinds of special therapies for her, like sending her to the Davis training camp for a week...or doing brain gym. Actually some of these things you can buy and try to do a "do it yourself version". We did the Davis training at home. This got her from not reading to easy readers. Do I think the Davis people would have done better? In this situation, yes. We were going to get the brain gym manual and just try to wing it. do I think the brain gym people would have done better? probably yes, certainly a lot easier for me to just write a check and show up than to try to figure out how to teach special therapies for learning disabilites myself. It is really challenging and time consuming to try to do special therapies for children who need them on your own, in a do it yourself manner. But, I guess no more challenging than building a house yourself, having a homebirth yourself, or laying ceramic tile yourself. It just takes longer and is a lot more work. And sure, it would be a lot easier to pay someone $8.00 a square foot to do our ceramic tile for us...but that is not the world we live in. We are buy the tile for 67 cents and install it yourself people, with home improvement, healthcare, and schooling. In many ways this has made our lives rich and rewarding, and it is what it is.
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#496 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 11:44 AM
 
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BestBirths,
If it helps the Brain Gym book is pretty inexpensive. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/094...lance&n=283155
I got it free from Interlibrary Loan and really there isn't much to it so I was glad I didn't buy it. The basic exercises are very simple and you could get them from a quick read to the book. I'm sure there other better more expensive programs. I've seen one complete system balance board and balls that looked very good but it was expensive. http://www.balametrics.com/products/index.htm

And, I agree it is hard for families of special needs kids to have extra high out of pocket expenses. We've had to make tough choices of what we can do and what we can't. One thing I always keep in mind is that in our son gets a lot more of certain things (our time, our attention, our acceptance, etc.) and that means a lot too.
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#497 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 11:57 AM
 
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The above quote is going to be saved by me >hope you dont mind, eminer?
Heck no, I'm honored.

Oye Yemaya oloto
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#498 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 12:03 PM
 
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It is really challenging and time consuming to try to do special therapies for children who need them on your own, in a do it yourself manner. But, I guess no more challenging than building a house yourself, having a homebirth yourself, or laying ceramic tile yourself. It just takes longer and is a lot more work. And sure, it would be a lot easier to pay someone $8.00 a square foot to do our ceramic tile for us...but that is not the world we live in. We are buy the tile for 67 cents and install it yourself people, with home improvement, healthcare, and schooling.
I can see it with building a house, I guess, but having a homebirth and laying tile? Giving birth is something that your body is meant to do; reading when you're severely dyslexic isn't. Installing tile isn't remotely difficult, I can't begin to compare something like that with, say, trying to run a speech therapy program at home when you have no experience in the field and you've never even had a chance to talk to a speech therapist in person.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#499 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 12:17 PM
 
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I can see it with building a house, I guess, but having a homebirth and laying tile? Giving birth is something that your body is meant to do; reading when you're severely dyslexic isn't. Installing tile isn't remotely difficult, I can't begin to compare something like that with, say, trying to run a speech therapy program at home when you have no experience in the field and you've never even had a chance to talk to a speech therapist in person.
I thought something similar... giving birth at home was really easy for me, but I'm scared to try tile. I know people say it isn't that hard, but it I'm thinking that I have trouble cutting up a pan of brownies and having them look even.
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#500 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 12:56 PM
 
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I guess I agree with you. Teaching children to read with learning disabilities has been more challenging than all of the other things. I have had some pretty challenging homebirths too. I do sometimes doubt, and definately feel like there is not enough time and resources for everyone. I do not have proof that the school system would do any better of a job than I am doing with my LD children, though. Or even that some other structured method would be better for our children...We've been there done that...and basically...it was a waste of time. They would be better off playing then making their brains try to learn something they weren't ready for. Since there isn't vast amounts of funding for special therapies...we have to do the best we can.
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#501 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 03:00 PM
 
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The embarassment, the sheer embarassment that the child will be letting the parent down, even in an Unconditional Parenting household (which mine was certainly NOT) the child who has one of these would be embarassed and work hard to hide the fact he/she has a LD. Lots of involvement from the parent or not. Kids are canny, if they want to keep something from their parent, they will...
It's just not necessarily so. Having been raised without specific expectations of achievement, my children have no fear of "failure". They don't have any reason to be embarrassed because I don't make a big deal out of things. I trust them and believe in them. My son is nine and didn't start reading until recently. There was no shame in that for him because he didn't know that he was "supposed" to read earlier. Only delight and pride. He isn't afraid to come to me for help when he can't do something, because there's no shame involved in not knowing how to do something in our house, and no assumed expectations of what age something should have been learned by.

And, no offense meant here either, but I really don't believe that a parent who takes pains to be aware will miss problems. I can see a well-meaning parent slacking on that because they assume that the school is on top of it, and if the school is relatively satisified with the child's abilities, then the parent's attention can be elsewhere. If it's taken care of, why spend mental energy on it?
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#502 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 03:06 PM
 
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What if your child, heaven forbid, has a severe Learning disability?
One of my DDs has mild special needs and would be labled LD in a school setting, though I'm not sure which LDs would be pinned on her because she has never been to school.

We do what works for her. Because with some skills (such as reading and math) she needed very specific instruction, new information gradually introduced, and lots of review, we've used far more curriculum than most unschoolers -- so much so that I seldom identify myself as an unschooler even though I share an unschooling point of view, lack of coercion,and faith in my kids.

I think that our lack of concern with things like grade levels and school years is VERY helpful to her.

Because every child with LD is different, finding what works can be like looking for a neddle in a hay stack. We went through more reading programs than I care to list before we found things that made sense to her. Once we found the right tools, she was quite happy to work at it because she really wanted to be able to read and she knew she wasn't going to figure it out on her own. She reads well and avidly now and I believe that my attitude that we should keep looking for the key until we found something that really suited her learning style is part of the reason she is able to take joy in something that was once so difficult for her.

Math has been a similar journey. We've tried lots of different things and finally stumbled upon Prof B's Power Math for Kids, which is perfect for her. It builds gradually and is mostly oral. She is very happy with new math skills and likes sitting down 5 days a week to work on it. If she weren't happy about it, my assumption would be that the program was longer meeting her needs, or she needed a break or something else. I wouldn't assume that she needed to be forced to continue -- which to me is an important point. I have faith in her, even though some things are hard for her. I believe that she is the best judge of what works for her and what doesn't.

One of the other posters talked about unschooling being about helping a child recognize their inner voice, and I think that is just as important for a child with LDs as it for a child who learns more easily.
Quote:
is NOT trained to A: recognize the symptoms and B: Acctually help the child overcome said learning disability by themselves.
I completely disagree. There is no way a parent could spend 24/7 with a child and not be able to tell that some things are much more difficult for their child than they are for most kids. Because every LD is different, there aren't easy answers and regardless of how a parent chooses to educate their special needs child (school, homeschool, unschooling), the parent has to make decisions about what will best help their child. We have employeed professional help in the past, and we haven't ruled doing so again.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#503 of 591 Old 07-22-2006, 03:36 PM
 
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Perhaps the Roman empire will never be that interesting to me personally, and that piece won't be filled in presently; but the Egyptians are very fascinating, and so it will lead me to the Romans eventually, and the interrelatedness of concepts is cool. I might not study as deeply if not personally interested in the topic.
Yes. In speaking of the problem with teaching "the un-relating of everything," Gatto writes,

Quote:
Even in the best schools a close examination of curriculum and its sequences turns up a lack of coherence, a host of internal contradictions. Fortunately the children have no words to define the panic and anger they feel at constant violations of natural order and sequence fobbed off on them as quality in education. The logic of the school-mind is that it is better to leave school with a tool kit of superficial jargon derived from economics, sociology, natural science, and so on than with one genuine enthusiasm. But quality in education entails learning about something in depth. [...] Think of the great natural sequences – like learning to walk and learning to talk; the progression of light from sunrise to sunset; the ancient procedures of a farmer, a smithy, or a shoemaker; or the preparation of a Thanksgiving feast. All of the parts are in perfect harmony with each other, each action justifying itself and illuminating the past and the future."
It seems to me that he is speaking very clearly here about the inherently logical structure of natural learning in itself, which engenders coherence and insists on relevance and an inner drive for understanding. The second part of that quote isn't meant only as an analogy, it's meant *literally*. It's not something we have to make happen. It's something that just does happen, when we follow our instincts and take care to be authentic in our actions.

That doesn't mean, though, that the knowledge that comes from this will manifest in a temporally efficient way, or according to academic classes (orders) of things. It may appear messy and chaotic, yes, but there is still an organic, natural logic to it. It is that type of logic that unschoolers value so much, and see being suppressed by more consciously imposed structures.
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#504 of 591 Old 07-23-2006, 01:08 AM
 
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Once again coming late to the party, and responding to CB, about reading a book out of order:

I guess I see it as more of a jigsaw puzzle, where you don't have to start at the top left, working to the right and down, but you can work on the sections that catch your eye and eventually you get the big picture.

I can see a criticism being that word "eventually." But a six, seven, or eight year old who is learning chronologically doesn't have the big picture either.

Young children seem unlikey to grasp all the nuances of history. Some of it is scary or, to use a euphamism, adult stuff. And if that stuff isn't covered, children aren't really learning to understand history in order, right? They will have to relearn it.
That's a good analogy I think, but isn't it easier to put together a puzzle when you can see the picture on the box of what it's supposed to look like at the end? To me having a sense of chronology is like that. It's not that everything *has to* be learned chronologically, but it's just easier to understand whatever piece of the puzzle you may come across or choose to study if you have an idea of what the big picture looks like.


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That's basically the way it works in our high school too, and to be honest, it ensures that students have absolutely no "cultural literacy" background or ability to understand anything, so naturally, they find it all boring. They have no idea, in 9th grade for example, who the Greek gods are, so if you want to teach The Odyssey, or even a section from it, you have to go into a whole long schpiel about the Greek pantheon (which seems babyish and boring to them by that point, when it would've been way cool for third graders). Then by the time you get to The Odyssey, they don't care.

In the Baudelaire Dream School , students would learn about Greek mythology (and Sumerian mythology, and Indian mythology, and mythology period) in first grade, which is a lovely grade to teach them in because there are some wonderful, wonderful picture books (especially by K.Y. Craft, among others) to illustrate them. Later on, they'd read expanded children's versions of The Odyssey (e.g., by Rosemary Sutcliffe or Mary Pope Osborne), and so by the time they ran into Odysseus and Friends in 9th grade, they'd be old friends with whom they would feel familiarity and confidence. It's what I liked a great deal about TWTM -- that repetition of information at increasingly difficult levels.
That sounds good in theory, and is certainly more logical than the ps approach, but what would happen if a hypothetical first grader at Baudelaire Academy didn't want to learn about mythology? Which I suppose comes back to the fundamental unschool/curricular homeschool divide. I completely agree with a more classical approach to teaching, but there is still the issue of teaching by the consent of the taught.



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This to me sounds like what some kids go through as part of deschooling - they don't feel comfortable choosing their own activities and are used to having other people scheduling their time for them, because that's familiar. Frankly, I'd be concerned about a child who was this passive when it came to making choices about his own life... and I've never seen a long-term unschooling family where things work that way. Generally it's a give-and-take, where all family members pick group activities and negotiate timing.
Not to be (even more) excessively contrarian, but my never-schooled dd is very much like this. She has her own ideas, of course, and she doesn't always go along with what I want, but she does go along a lot of the time. I don't think she's unhealthily passive, and she will voice any objections that she has, but she does tend to go along with what I say as long as she doesn't have an objection to it.
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#505 of 591 Old 07-23-2006, 01:30 AM
 
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ok, I have a question for you unschooling mommas, which is pertinent to this thread.

What if your child, heaven forbid, has a severe Learning disability?

I for one, have Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia. the combination of those point to a brain disorder, but I havn't had the CT scan to prove it yet so it's just a combination of learning disabilities.

Thanks to the patience of teachers, I managed to plug through and get enough math skills to get me through life.

If I didn't have such teachers, Honestly, I would be completely innumerate, unable to function in day to day life, just as a severe dyslexic wouldn't be able to function very well.

Unschooling is all about following the child's lead. If the child has a learning disability, he/she doesn't know it till it's either A: too late (like me) or B: Till it's pointed out to them. Dyscalculia is a hidden disability, even more so when one is unschooling.

LD's seriously can affect future life. If one cannot read, if one cannot do math, without some sort of out of the home help to overcome said LD, than what kind of service is that parent doing?

And dont think that "Oh it wont happen to my child" It can. I was ahead of the game in all acedemic areas, till I suffered a severe concussion, that's when my Math and writing skills started to suffer. I take a good 2 minutes to write out a cheque, Yes, two whole minutes, to slowly draw out each letter so the bank and the cashier can read the printing, and even then it's infantile at best. Ask me to do any kind of handwriting and you'd look at it and go "What is this crap?" My grade 9 English teacher reccomended me to use a computer in submitting future essays to him, or at least a type writer because my penmanship was so horrid he couldn't read it. It still is horrid..

I can type upwards of 80wpm on a good day, but writing, dont ask me to handwrite you anything. Overcoming such hardship in basic penmanship, I never took a single note, I have a memory like a steel trap. My directional sense might be shot to hell by the Dyscalculia, but I have a photographic memory and wont get lost after living in a place for a few months, even if I return to the place years later, I still wont get lost.

I just moved back to a place I havn't lived in 13 years. I amazed my husband by giving him directions to everywhere we needed to go, right out of my memory.

I learnt how to cope with the mechanical parts, the non acedemic, but I still have difficulties with numbers. Today, I couldn't even write down my address and phone number on my midwifes intake form, I had to get my DH to do it.

I dial wrong numbers all the time. Our phone doesn't have speed dial. I hope those people I dial are understanding...

Instead of using cash, I use my bank debit card, not spending any more than I have in the bank, because I can't keep track of what I spend, I think I have more cash on me than I really do.... I dont know if the cashier gives me exact change or rips me off because my money counting skills are pretty crappy. Hence why I use plastic. It's easyer that way.

So please, realize, that learning disabilities are a fact of life, and can't be overcome by Unschooling. If anything Unschooling would harm an LD kid more than help. Because the parent is NOT trained to A: recognize the symptoms and B: Acctually help the child overcome said learning disability by themselves.
While it's true that a parent may not be specifically trained to recognize learning disabilities, I think an involved homeschooling parent might be more likely to notice something "off" about her child than a classroom teacher who has a schedule to follow and might just label an ld student a "problem child" and not even bother trying to help. Also, with homeschooling and especially with unschooling, the child can be taught according to his individual needs. So if it takes a kid three times as long as "normal" to learn to read, for example, that's okay, because there's no pressure to "keep up with the class." I do understand that homeschooling/unschooling a ld child would have its own challenges, but I certainly don't think it's impossible or inferior to a school education.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandora114
True, but the parent isn't trained to help the child overcome the disability. Also, to work through a disability, one needs to pretty much approach it like physical therapy for a physically disabled person. The excersises MUST be done, weather the person wishes to do them or not, or they wont progress/get better. This is where the Unschooling ends. If one chooses to continue to unschool a child with a LD, then the excersises might go undone because it's too difficult, the child doesn't want to...ect.

A learning disability is very difficult to overcome, and if the kid isn't pushed to do what's needed when it's needed, then there's no hope to really overcome it.

My teachers pushed me, and pushed me and pushed me. My mother had no idea I had a learning disability, I Hid it very well from her. I cheated, I did what it took to get results and I got the one on one help during lunches and recesses. Sure the acctual diagnosis wasn't given till I was 23, but it doesn't take a genius to see the difficulties and the grades slipping to aknowledge there is a problem somewhere.

My LD is severe, and my mother didn't notice. that's right. she didn't...notice. It's a hidden one. Dyscalculia is a hidden disability. It's not like Dyslexia...where one can pretty much tell early on if one has it...

And anyway, how can one notice a learning disability while Unschooling? Kid picks up a book and goes "Nah dont feel like reading" walks away...Kid picks up an abicus, "Nah dont feel like doing this" and walks away...

writing or printing? "Nah Dont want to write anything today.."

Unschooling is about following the child's lead IRT learning and not putting a set cirriculum or even introducing set subjects till the kid expresses intrest themselves. A child with a LD usually doesn't express intrest in the topics he/she is disabled in because it's too difficult or they just can't grasp it...
But if the child knows that he or she has to do certain things in order to learn whatever skill, I don't see why that couldn't still be done with the child's consent. I have never had a learning disability, but I have had to re-learn certain skills like writing as a result of being injured. I trained myself to do it because it was important to me to have that skill. I think a ld person could probably do the same thing, if not at 6, than maybe at 16. I don't think forcing someone to learn something is ever a good idea. But you certainly bring up a valid point.
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#506 of 591 Old 07-23-2006, 02:47 AM
 
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Does anyone remember the Calvin and Hobbes comic where Calvin is in his room, and he starts seeing both sides of everything, and the artwork in the comic gets all weird -- you see the top and front of his dresser when you're looking at it from straight on, and both of Calvin's eyes when he's in profile? The narration reveals that Calvin is beginning to see both his and his mom's side of an argument they are having. To stop the visual weirdness, he forces himself back into understanding only his own side of the argument. His world returns to normal, and he tells his mom she's still wrong.

(Wow, not a comic that translates well into all text.)

ETA: I've been googling to try and find it online... the best I can do is this quote of part of the text: "it all started when Calvin engaged his dad in a minor debate. Soon Calvin could see both sides of the issue. Then poor Calvin began to see both sides of everything"

I'm beginning to feel like Calvin. I agree with fourlittlebirds and CB and Brigianna and Miranda and Dar and many others too...

I think what it comes down to, for me, is that I *do* believe that there are certain things that An Educated Person should know. At the same time, I don't think anyone can ever learn anything they don't *want* to learn. So that leaves me figuring, if it's something I feel that is essential to being educated, it's either going to come up naturally in our family, or I should get a move on and learn it myself.

(I think this thread has moved on by a few more pages than I realized, I hope I'm not bumbling in in the middle of something else.)

Mom to DS(14), DS(12), DD(9), DS(6), DS (4), and DS(2)  

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#507 of 591 Old 07-23-2006, 12:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
Thanks, but I know about anxiety and this type of treatment first hand. The way I dealt with the anxiety was to remove the stressors that had been causing it for over two decades of my life.

The treatment was a massive failure when imposed from without, making things far worse. It has been a tremendous success when coming from within, by my choice, of my making, and when I felt I was ready.
Just a quick note (I'm only halfway through the thread)- Not everyone has the luxury, ability, or desire to 'remove' all stressors from their lives (as in, agoraphobes may well want to get out of the frickin' house), & cognitive therapy (self-directed ) is a great help, the only long-term solution I've found to problems of anxiety, imho (and personal experience).

I cannot imagine having it imposed from outside, though. I would've resisted mightily.

Just my thoughts, Suse
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#508 of 591 Old 07-23-2006, 05:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerTail
Just a quick note (I'm only halfway through the thread)- Not everyone has the luxury, ability, or desire to 'remove' all stressors from their lives (as in, agoraphobes may well want to get out of the frickin' house), & cognitive therapy (self-directed ) is a great help, the only long-term solution I've found to problems of anxiety, imho (and personal experience). I cannot imagine having it imposed from outside, though. I would've resisted mightily.
I didn't mean to imply that the treatment consisted only of removing the stressors, and I certainly haven't removed *all* the stressors. Just the worst and unnecessary ones. When I referred to "treatment" I meant actively working on the neurosis, not avoidance. I meant my point to be that it worked only when it was specifically tailored to what I needed, which only I really knew. Nothing was forced on me "for my own good". In other words, and in context of the discussion, someone pushing me into an uncomfortable situation made things worse (over and over and over) not better. If I was going to face my neuroses, it had to be on my own terms. And it was, and I did.

Thanks for showing me the need to clarify!
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#509 of 591 Old 07-23-2006, 06:48 PM
 
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This Thread has taken a very interesting and much appreciated turn!
Thanks to all who have posted here.
Nothing more to add to the wonderful replies at this time, I just wanted to share my appreciation!

Take Care,
Erika:

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail..."
"I am learning all the time, the tombstone will be my diploma"- Eartha Kitt
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#510 of 591 Old 07-23-2006, 06:54 PM
 
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This Thread has taken a very interesting and much appreciated turn!
ITA. We're all following our hearts and doing the best for our children that we can.

Except for those who aren't.

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