Is unschooling really a good idea? - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-14-2006, 02:55 PM
 
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Yooper -- Michigan is a bit far from us, unfortunately. And I'm not overly crazy about the clarinet unless it's in something jazzy/bluesy/etc. :

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Old 07-14-2006, 03:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Brisen
Yooper -- Michigan is a bit far from us, unfortunately. And I'm not overly crazy about the clarinet unless it's in something jazzy/bluesy/etc. :
Too bad I do some jazz and blues. I really like roots music although I do not get much chance to play with others in this area. The most fun I have ever had playing was for a rock concert series. As a 10 yo I had no idea I would ever get to play rock clarinet
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Roar
If you believe that video games are good and fun and academics are icky and boring, I can see why you come to this view point. We don't see academics that way at our house.
LOL, we don't see learning as icky and boring. We just see being held to some so called "educational" thing that we have no interest in at all boring and icky.

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It is about worthwhile use of time and recognizing that intellectual fulfillment is a part of being human.
And freedom. For us it's about the freedom to, with the help of loving parents as guides, find things we find worthwhile. Intellictual fulfillment comes from many places.


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And, yes, I think it is very appropriate for parents, including homeschooling or unschooling parents, to embrace the goal of having their children grow up to be functional people who are capable of living independently and doing something other than being plugged into a video game ten hours a day.
Well I am totally with you on having my kids grow to be healthy peoples who go out and create an adult life for themselves. I think almost every parent wants that. We disagree that a kid who plays several hours of video games cannot be learning, and we disagree (apparently?) that they'd never be capable of something else. Maybe he plays video games for 6 hours one day, and then the next two he doesn't touch them? Maybe he gets really involved in a book, or a game, a movie series on DVD, or running errands and visiting. (We do leave the house. ...actually lately weve been strangely busy.)

I have no problem talking to my son about my concerns regarding anything, including video games and TV. If I were to be concerned about his time spent doing so I would approach it with him politely. I'd talk, he'd talk. In the past the few times I felt moved to say something it was only in the interest of making sure he was aware of how much time he'd spent there. Like me, he sometimes loses track of time, and I since I hope he makes informed decisions on how he spends his time I have mentioned a quick "Wow dude, I think you've been playing since 10 am." What he does with that is up to him. Even on the days he plays for 3 hours he comes down and eats, talks with us, goes places.


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Time spent plugged in is taking time away from something. It may be from exercising, socializing, playing an instrument, reading, learning another language, serving the community, etc. It comes from someplace.
We believe the time spent plugged in is a valuable way to spend time. Exercising comes in the form of jumping rope (he likes it), hiking, playing ball at the park, going to the lake and swimming, etc. Socializing happens every day within the family (and it can happen while playing video games!!) and with others when we go or they come around. Reading is a great love of my son's, and he's almost always into some book or magazine. Also reading happens in video games. He took two terms of Japanese a couple of years back. He really enjoyed it and still looks at his materials from time to time. We don't believe the time we spend watching TV or playing video games takes away from life, it is part of life that we enjoy.

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peace.gif  Embrace the learning that is happening within the things that are actually happening!    
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Roar
And, this gets back to the Playboy thing. Yes, you could learn your colors, numbers, etc. from reading Playboy. Would it be an ideal or efficient way to accomplish this? Do you honestly believe that the most ideal and most efficient way to learn about Japanese history or culture is to play video games?

Not touching the Playboy thing because we could really take this thread OT lol.

I think video games can really open the door to a lot of topics. It's wonderful! You get inspired or interested by the game (or something in it) and then you go look it up if you are so inclined.

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Old 07-14-2006, 03:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
So if she were interested in the workbooks, would you then proceed to have a timetable, routine, flexible schedule of learning, or what? None of the above? Some of the above?

At our house the answer would be "none of the above". They are there for her when and if she wants to use them. And I am here when and if she wants to use me.

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Old 07-14-2006, 03:41 PM
 
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First, Charles, I have to say I'm enjoying this part of the conversation so much because you are genuinely curious about understanding what we do. There is nothing more fun than to have someone show interest in something you are interested in. Well, and you are respectful, take the trouble to be clear, and can keep a linear argument going. That lowers the frustration level considerably.

Okay, now to answer your questions:

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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Then I think I'm operating on a misconception here. My impression -- and please do correct me if I'm wrong -- is that an USing family waits until the child spontaneously demonstrates an interest in something (let's say trucks) and then offers to feed that interest (e.g., with Internet research, library visits, visits to construction sites with trucks).
No offense, but it is funny to me to hear non-unschoolers say this over and over because it seems to me that the unschoolers on this board are constantly saying things contrary to this. Then I wonder: do people not believe us? Think we're not "real" unschoolers if we do this and so can be ignored? Or are we just not vocal enough about it? lol. Well, so yes, this is a misconception. Or rather, it is a misconception that it is something that is necessary to the definition of unschooling. I *think* I have read before that some unschooling family or other does this, but in my experience it's not the norm.

As Dar (it seems to me) is constantly pointing out with examples from her own life, unschooling parents do share what they're interested in and what they think their kids might be interested in. This happens *all the time*. The spirit of the thing, though, is not about the goal of educating someone per se, it is about normal human interaction and the value in the *desired* exchange of information, which can be initiated from the giver as well as from the receiver.

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I thought it was an USing no-no for the parent to offer a curriculum or subject because it was or might be seen as coercive on the parent's part.
No, that's not why. It's not coercive to offer. What I, as an unschooler, see in a curriculum is a standardized regimented system for learning that is not based on my individual needs but on someone else's standards, with the purpose of telling me what I'm "supposed" to learn. This is essentially school. Now say I found a curriculum that just happened to have everything in it that I wanted to share or that I thought my child might be interested in, and presented it in a brilliant, interesting way, I could certainly offer that as a convenient resource. But the intention behind that and my perception of its value to us would certainly be different than if I were to offer a prepackaged curriculum just for the sake of offering a curriculum.

Actually, we do each have a curriculum, in a sense: Right now, my son is learning to read, listening to the story The Hobbit, taking Ki-Aikido and acrobatics classes, and learning how to use Adobe Illustrator, among other things. I offered some of these things (and many others which he declined.) And it's unschooling because it's entirely individualized and by his choice.

So, if you're an unschooler:

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let's say I'm sitting here at the computer reading about how Latin (for example) is a great language to learn, and I say to my dd, "So, do you want to learn Latin?" and she says yes,
So good so far...

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I order a curriculum -- do we then...
... decide we'll do Latin every day (that is, unless she really hates it)?
How do you decide this? Do you say, "okay, let's make a plan. How often do you want to do it?" That's not unschooling. Do you say, "okay, here it is, let me know if you want my help" and/or "I think I'd like to look at this every day in the morning, and you're welcome to join me." That's unschooling.

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...work on the Latin only if and when she spontaneously mentions it, e.g., "Mom, can we work on Latin today?"
No, you can offer if you feel moved to, like if you'd like nothing better than to do this very thing with her right now. And some people probably would. I get that way sometimes about math.

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...work on the Latin only until she experiences frustration?
No, we work on it as long as she chooses to. School: parent determines how long a child should work on something. Unschool: child determines how long they should work on something.

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...work on it with gentle encouragement ("I know it can sometimes be tough, but I'll bet you can do it")?
I would encourage if I knew that she really wanted to be able to do it, but not if it was just that *I* thought it would be good for her if she could do it. First compatible with unschooling, second compatible with schooling.
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Old 07-14-2006, 04:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
I can tell you that it *was* a big deal to me, a huge deal, and still is. I don't learn well when held to someone else's expectations -- sometimes I just shut down entirely.
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Originally Posted by Roar
Does this seem fully functional and healthy to you? Do you at all see this developing in a broader context for you? I don't know you, but I will say that other people I know who have voiced this have been people who were parented and schooled in a high authoritarian manner and as a result always felt threatened and unable to easily accept help from others.
No, it's not fully functional and healthy to shut down, but it's the situation that is the problem, not me. If someone were to tell me "you must practice your piano half an hour a day," the joy and desire would go out of me pretty quickly, and I consider that normal human nature and completely valid. So, to become healthy again (to regain that joy and desire) I reject that which interferes with it, i.e., the regimentation and coercion.

And actually, no, I wasn't parented or schooled in an authoritarian way, aside from the mandatory schooling, homework, and testing. And thanks for the psychological profile but, no, I don't always feel threatened and unable to accept help from others. I surround myself with positive, compassionate people, and I am often grateful for help I receive from others.

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So, hearing that for example regular practice is part of learning an instrument to him doesn't seem like a plot dreamed up to shut him down, but instead useful information.
Information is great. I would have no problem with someone telling me, "you will progress faster if you practice." (Well, okay, I might be a little annoyed that someone might think that would have never occured to me in my 40 years of life. ) What I would have a problem with would be someone telling me, "you have to practice every day if you want to be satisfied with your progress, so you have to." Um, no, I don't.

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Why do you believe that fulfilling the conditions isn't serving you?
I don't, necessarily. I meant that if they didn't, it wouldn't make sense for me to do them.

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My son's persepctive is that this is a good teacher, she knows a lot more about this instrument than I do, and I trust her.
Well, good for your son. I mean that sincerely, if it's working for him. I never said that he shouldn't do what this teacher is telling him to do, if he thinks that's serving him. You must be misunderstanding me. My position is *only* that I'm not going to do what someone else tells me to do when I know better what I need. My goals for myself are clearly very different than yours for your son. My point is only that to allow a teacher to tell me I have to do this or that -- or to make up and follow any sort of regimented plan -- would not serve *my* goals.

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Learning to say "hey this doesn't work for me, let's try something else" is exactly the kind of skills I'd like him to develop. If she shut down and ran away that would never happen and that would be a loss for him.
Why would she shut down and run away? Are you trying to relate this to me somehow?

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And, what you are saying in this post is exactly the sort of thing I hear many unschooler say. In my opinion they are extending their own childhood emotional experience to believe that their kid will feel the same way. My reaction is that it is an overreaction and often not really serving their kids.
You're projecting your own biases and prejudices onto them. But whatever, don't unschool then. Just don't make the mistake of assuming you have a clear grasp of what the motivations for unschooling are. Your continued lack of ability to understand how someone might *not* learn best by being directed and coerced says that you have no fundamental conception of what those things suppress. Clearly you've never experienced it, and have no awareness of it, so when people try to explain it, you have no basis for accepting it as valid.

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And, for me the real story there would be hours spent on video games are hours not spent reading, talking, writing, drawing or learning about Japanese history or culture. I'm not saying he is a child devoid of other interests or passions, but that he is wasting his time playing video games.
And I say he's not. And you say he is. And I say he's not. We're really getting somewhere with this, eh?
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Old 07-14-2006, 04:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Like many of you folks, I have come to a point where I realize I can't teach the unwilling -- I really CAN'T; this is not a matter of my strong preference, but my absolute inability. Unless my dd actually wanted to sit down and learn, I really couldn't teach her jack squat -- so in what, exactly, lies the difference between me and an unschooler? In the fact that we chose the curriculum?? :
I think the difference is that it is implied by you that a certain amount and type of work is expected.
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Old 07-14-2006, 04:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FrederickMama
Why wouldn't you have asked to be taught that stuff?
Because I was 3 years old!
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Old 07-14-2006, 04:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
To me unschooling means that the student is in control of his or her own education with parents and others as support systems, helpers, teachers, providers of materials, etc. If the child is free to say "No I don't really want to do that. I'd rather do this." (whatever this happens to be) without the parent saying "No, Im sorry this needs to be done" or "If you do this then we can do that." and so on then it's unschooling for me. If your thoughts about a parent teaching mesh with that then we are not really in disagreement. Bottom line: Kid is in control of their education.
I guess, to me, there's a difference between full child-led education and a situation where the child only has veto power. I supposed if I had a kid who insisted on doing his own thing all the time, we'd be effectively unschooling even though I didn't set out to. But supposing that I have a kid who agrees to do what I suggest most of the time and generally goes along with my ideas for his education, I don't think that's unschooling. But maybe it's on a different end of the same spectrum.
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Old 07-14-2006, 05:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
I myself am still getting the hang of this unschooling business. Would it be correct to assume that unschoolers would not be using a curriculum, unless the child and parent selected it? But instead, the parent might introduce concepts via games, or observation, or the child's questions?
To me, lack of a curriculum doesn't make you an unschooler. That's why there are terms like "eclectic homeschooling" and "relaxed homeschooling." If you set out with a plan to teach your child, say, math, I don't see the difference between handing her a textbook and handing her a fun computer math game. The point is that the parent is trying to get the child to learn math, without the child making the initial decision.

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I think people have the misconception that an unschooling parent lets children do whatever, without any attention or concern on the parent's part.
I definitely don't have this misconception. I understand that there's a lot of attentive parenting in unschooling, and I don't think it's a bad method. I just don't think it's the best method either. I think that there are advantages to having a parent guide the child's learning.
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Old 07-14-2006, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
For me offering is not a problem. Insisting, bribing, begging, or requiring is. The child has to be completely free to turn down whatever is being offered without there being a problem.


First I am not sure I would put it "Do you want to learn Latin?". I might tell her about Latin that I had come across, how interesting I thought it was (if I did) and why, etc. I might call her over to show her something. If she did want to learn more I'd ask her how she'd like to go about learning it. (Do you want some tapes, books, flash cards, websites, a full program to follow, ?) Then we'd follow up on that.

I wouldn't decide when to work on it at all. She would. I'd certainly let her know that I was there for her for help anytime with it. If it seemed like she'd forgotten we had the materials I might say "Oh, we have the Latin stuff in the cabinet if you're interested in it still. What did you think of it?" Or I might just get the Latin stuff out and do it myself if I was into it at all. I'd surely offer support like you mentioned above -"I know it can be difficult, but like knitting it probably gets easier as you go."- but she could still stop whenever she wanted to.
This sounds pretty reasonable as you're describing it.
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Old 07-14-2006, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by pookel
I guess, to me, there's a difference between full child-led education and a situation where the child only has veto power. I supposed if I had a kid who insisted on doing his own thing all the time, we'd be effectively unschooling even though I didn't set out to. But supposing that I have a kid who agrees to do what I suggest most of the time and generally goes along with my ideas for his education, I don't think that's unschooling. But maybe it's on a different end of the same spectrum.
I was wondering about that too. It seems to me that two essential, fundamental differences lie between unschoolers and non-unschoolers:

1. Rarely use curriculum, and
2. Don't require the child do the work.

Are those the big "litmus tests" that separate out unschoolers from the rest?
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Old 07-14-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel
Because I was 3 years old!

I asked tons of questions as a 3 year old and my 3 year old asks more than i did ....or so it seems when you're the mom.....

And although no one taught me - I did read at 3 as well. And although my two oldest were later to read - my youngest has been asking to be "taught" what words are ...how to read her books since she was 2. She also asks that we count things with her - which i interpret as math.

I'd have serious concerns if my children weren't curious ......
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Old 07-14-2006, 05:56 PM
 
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I just noticed your child is not even 3 yet ..... so I'm guessing you've never had to sit through an endless barage of questions yet .... I'm sure you will....I hope you will and you'll appreciate all the more that your parents answered yours.
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Old 07-14-2006, 05:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel
To me, lack of a curriculum doesn't make you an unschooler. That's why there are terms like "eclectic homeschooling" and "relaxed homeschooling." If you set out with a plan to teach your child, say, math, I don't see the difference between handing her a textbook and handing her a fun computer math game. The point is that the parent is trying to get the child to learn math, without the child making the initial decision.
Yes, perhaps that is closer, what you're saying. I guess I wouldn't "set out" to teach her "math," ever - it's just that coincidentally, Frog Juice uses addition skills. So does scrabble. And your allowance. However, I don't think that the child has to make the initial decision either (i.e. Me: "Daughter, do you want to play Frog Juice, a fast-action card game with witches and spells? And coincidentally, has some addition?" Daughter: "NOOOOOO, ANYTHING BUT THAT!"), but it can be something the parent introduces. Which I think everyone else is saying too. And I suppose curriculum could be a part of unschooling, if the child and parent wanted to invest that much time and energy into it. But it seems at odds with unschooling to me - the artificiality and pure contrivance of many curriculums doesn't usually follow a natural pattern of learning (i.e. where one interest leads to another). I wanted so badly to learn logarithms as a nine year old, because it would help me with the then-current obsession, astrological chart-making. If I'd been unschooled...

You know, I think everyone who misunderstands unschooling would be very well served to read Guerilla Learning by Amy Silver and Grace Llewellyn; or Unschooler's Handbook by Mary Griffith. Those women explain it so well. It's a big tent. I don't think there's the tight parameters of "Who an Unschooler Is and Is Not" as what is seemingly bandied about by those who doubt unschooling. I.e. Unschoolers must never talk about division or civil rights or sounding out letters with their children, unless the child brings it up out of the blue. Unschoolers don't show their children timelines or help them make sense of their webs of learning. Unschoolers must never limit television or electronic media. Unschoolers let their kids run around all day, eating crayons, picking noses - theirs and others - and using doctoral theses as toilets. Needless to say, they spend their adult lives on welfare, as they never learned a thing useful to themselves or society. All of them do this. Every one.

Unschoolers are not the Borg. Not last time I checked at least.
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Old 07-14-2006, 05:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel
The point is that the parent is trying to get the child to learn math, without the child making the initial decision.
Let's put it in terms of spending time with your kid: if I want to hang with my 11 year old, who is in her room listening to music, do I HAVE to wait until she seeks me out or can I knock on the door and say, "Let's play Uno"? Of course, she's free to say no, and I may be disappointed, but then again, she just may say yes and now we get to spend some time together. I don't think that the point of unschooling is that the child can do only what the child thinks of and nothing else, ever, it's that if the child isn't interested in following the parent's suggestion, that's ok.

Namaste!
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Old 07-14-2006, 06:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
In math, no one ever taught me WHY a fraction was represented like this: 34/46, or WHY, to convert it to a percent, you multiplied 34/46 x X/100 (and I found out later you don't even have to do it that way : )
I can *totally* relate to this, and it's one reason I don't want the kids learning from textbooks or in a classroom environment. There is an intuitive and entirely logical understanding of the relationships between numbers. The logical part of that can be taught, but not the intuitive. The logical arises from the intuitive, so doesn't need to be taught. That's not to say that learning from teaching isn't valid, but I see it as a sticky business and something that needs to be proceeded with very carefully and sensitively in order not to lose that intuitive aspect. So what I have chosen to do with the kids is to allow their understanding of numbers to grow as organically as possible. I do show them things and share with them insights I've had, but for the most part I try to stay out of the way of their natural process. The results have been phenomenal. They amaze me every day with their insights, and even just in going along for the ride, I've had some insights of my own that have been absolutely thrilling to me.

I have to go right now, but I have thoughts as well about the rest of your post (re: structure of learning,) so I'll be back later today.
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Old 07-14-2006, 06:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
The logical arises from the intuitive, so doesn't need to be taught. That's not to say that learning from teaching isn't valid, but I see it as a sticky business and something that needs to be proceeded with very carefully and sensitively in order not to lose that intuitive aspect.
fourlittlebirds, did you ever read "The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved & Why Numbers Are Like Gossip" by Keith Devlin? It absolutely reinforces your statement, and I've observed this ohenomenon myself. It's fascinating. And it's helped me to overcome my own math phobias. :
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Old 07-14-2006, 06:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FrederickMama
I asked tons of questions as a 3 year old and my 3 year old asks more than i did ....or so it seems when you're the mom.....
But I'm pretty sure that those questions don't usually include "what are all the addition facts from 1 through 9?"
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Old 07-14-2006, 06:18 PM
 
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I want to second the props to CB. Go, CB!

Oye Yemaya oloto
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Old 07-14-2006, 06:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel
But I'm pretty sure that those questions don't usually include "what are all the addition facts from 1 through 9?"
Are you for real ...... or you just don't get it .... or you just don't want to .
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Old 07-14-2006, 06:25 PM
 
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And as i get so upset ... i apologize ..... you are arguing something you actually have no experience with.
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Old 07-14-2006, 06:31 PM
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I think what really defines unschooling isn't curriculum or lack of it... and not requiring work is just a small part of it. I think it's about not believing that you know what's best for your child, at least academically, and not having an agenda for when she learns, what she learns, or how much she learns. I share my ideas on these subjects, when asked and when they seem to fit into the conversation, but I also have complete trust in my daughter's ability to map her own educational path, as long as I'm there, helping her implement her ideas and modeling life-long learning. If I offer resources, I focus on finding things she'll enjoy doing or accomplishing, not what she "should" be doing. Sometimes she doesn't enjoy the doing so much as the result... her physical therapy exercises are really boring, but when she slacks off doing them, she starts falling more. So, she does them. I don't think she really enjoyed learning cursive, but she wanted to be able to write in cursive, so she did that, too.

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Old 07-14-2006, 06:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pookel
But I'm pretty sure that those questions don't usually include "what are all the addition facts from 1 through 9?"
So instead of discounting your opinion - I'll ask .... do you believe this is the only way you could teach your child this information? Is math so disconnected to real life in your house? Ok...that sounds snarky.... but I just don't get your viewpoint with that specific question. Math ....esp. addition and subtraction is part of every day life. Even for a 3 year old. They don't need to ask for specific facts. It can be - we start with 8 crayons - you lost 2 and now we only have 6 ..... or cookies - you can only have 2 and notice that after you eat one you have only one left and then none .... Learning opportunities are literally everywhere unless you sit in an empty room - alone.
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Old 07-14-2006, 06:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
Yes, perhaps that is closer, what you're saying. I guess I wouldn't "set out" to teach her "math," ever - it's just that coincidentally, Frog Juice uses addition skills.
I guess I place more importance on academics than to think kids should just learn whatever "coincidentally" comes up. I'm not denying that they do learn quite a bit that way ... but I still think they could learn more, and more efficiently, with more guidance than that. In many cases, at least. (My brother taught himself calculus when he was 11 just because he felt like it ... but that is just the kind of person my brother is.)

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But it seems at odds with unschooling to me - the artificiality and pure contrivance of many curriculums doesn't usually follow a natural pattern of learning (i.e. where one interest leads to another).
I agree that many curriculums are pure artificial crap, but I don't think that means that curriculums are bad in general. Have you read The Well-Trained Mind? I don't necessarily think that the entire structure of the WTM method is good (in fact, the author didn't really agree with the schedule herself, the publisher insisted on putting one in), but the first couple of chapters about the educational philosophy were mind-blowing for me. It is absolutely a natural pattern of learning. It uses history as a framework for tying in all other kinds of learning - like you're studying the Renaissance and you learn about astronomy at the same time you learn about Galileo and his dispute with the church.

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You know, I think everyone who misunderstands unschooling would be very well served to read Guerilla Learning by Amy Silver and Grace Llewellyn; or Unschooler's Handbook by Mary Griffith. Those women explain it so well.
I don't know if you're talking about me, but I have read both these books and also own The Teenage Liberation Handbook. And these are where my ideas about unschooling come from (along with several of John Holt's books, which I also own), more so than what people have told me personally on the internet.
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Old 07-14-2006, 06:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FrederickMama
Are you for real ...... or you just don't get it .... or you just don't want to .
I do get it, I am just disagreeing with it. Is that so hard to understand?
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Old 07-14-2006, 06:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FrederickMama
So instead of discounting your opinion - I'll ask .... do you believe this is the only way you could teach your child this information?
Absolutely not, but that doesn't mean it isn't the quickest and most efficient way to teach it. My parents could have just helped me to notice that two cheerios and two more cheerios totalled four cheerios, and I'm sure I would have learned math that way too, but what they actually did was make a game out of memorizing all the addition facts. My dad used to make up worksheets for me to do while my brother was in kindergarten. I liked to see how fast I could do them. No one had ever told me that learning was supposed to be boring, so why wouldn't I enjoy it?
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Old 07-14-2006, 06:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel
I do get it, I am just disagreeing with it. Is that so hard to understand?
Honestly .... it is hard for me to understand. You can disagree if you want ... i do understand that not everybody agrees with unschooling but i don't understand such a narrow view of learning - especially in regards to a 3 year old.
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Old 07-14-2006, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Yooper
On the music thing....

Would you rather have lots of children that are learning about music, enjoying it, progressing at vastly different paces, maintaining excitement, developing a lifelong appreciation for music, and keeping a door open for more serious study OR a few children that are committed to the serious study of music leaving behind many others that are not?
I would rather have lots of children who are learning about music, enjoying and progressing in the pursuit of excellence at vastly different paces through serious study. I prefer to shoot for the best of both worlds... inclusiveness and high levels of committment. I've had considerable success in achieving this -- my 'dropout rate' has been less than 10% a year, I've only ever "fired" one student/family and that for non-payment and lack of common decency, and I expect my students to practice every day and get that from almost all of them most of the time.

I do this by providing an environment / community / focus that nurture that committment. If a student is not practicing almost every day, we look at the whole picture -- everything in that student's life and head and heart that might be preventing that from happening -- and work long and hard to creatively troubleshoot together to fix things.

Miranda
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