unschooling vs. working w/charter?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 04-19-2003, 04:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have a 4.5 yr old (our first) that I have always wanted to "unschool". I am curious about the charter schools though.....and mostly because I realize that I would enjoy and benefit from the money it would supply. (!) The truth is, taht w/o additional money, I don't think we can swing those extra th ings that I would like for her--like dance classes, etc. and have found a charter school that would give us money we could use towards that.

HOWEVER, I am not sure htat I really would like it (working w/a charter....) I am not big on answering to someone, though I wouldn't mind support/help dealing w/dd's education. I wouldn't mind a little bit of work on my part, if I was happy w/what we were receiving...<sigh> I'm really confused/conflicted on this. I guess because idealogically my dh and I agree that she doesn't need a lot of "instruction" or formality at this point. anyone else navigate through this? Mostly I guess I feel she has what she "needs" (a supportive family who helps her investigate what she likes and does stuff w/her, ie library, outings, etc.) but not all that I'd *want* her to have. Any advice welcome!

oh, also, we were considering doing something like oak meadow or live education as a cirriculum, though not to really "follow" as much as give me ideas/keep me inspired. It also seems to be somewhat earth spirituality related, which I would like to include more in her life. again, any feedback/experiences welcome.
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#2 of 11 Old 04-19-2003, 03:48 PM
 
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Well, since she is only 4 1/2; you have plenty of time to decide. Kindergarten is not mandatory in California. Have you ever checked out www.californiahomeschool.net ? They have an e-mail list through Yahoo that discusses this topic quite often. I do believe there is a link on their start page to the list.
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#3 of 11 Old 04-20-2003, 03:02 AM
 
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Well, I'm biased, but I say unschool. Have you read through the archives at unschooling.com? They are very informative and inspiring to me, however they send some running the other way. It would be a good place to check out whether unschooling is truly for you.

Also, I have bookshelves filled with craft and idea books, including some waldorfy books. I have not heard of anything so amazing in Oak Meadow's curriculum that I can't find in my craft books. I suggest acquiring books about things you think are beautiful and things you love to do instead of getting a curriculum.

BTW, I don't understand what you mean by charter school. Here charter schools are like public-funded private schools.
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#4 of 11 Old 04-20-2003, 03:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the replies.
Hydrangea, here this charter school would have dd enrolled as a student, but would receive money to buy cirriculum, art supplies, dance lessons, piano lessons etc. The thing is taht we cannot *afford* to buy craft books, send her to any kind of lessons, unless we do it this way. This is why I am tempted sicne I would (and she would as well) love to take some classes, etc. I would also like to be inspired by some cirriculum possibly or just find fun activities to do, KWIM? Basically it would just be nice to have some funds to put towards her education/life.

I have always known I would unschool (at least to start) and dh believes in it very much as well.

thanks mamas.
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#5 of 11 Old 04-20-2003, 06:00 AM
 
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Um....you can unschool WITH a charter. You just have to find the right one to work with you. I know plenty of unschoolers who use charters.
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#6 of 11 Old 04-20-2003, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I know. That is what I am planning on doing. That is what my question was....if people had found this easy to do or too hard.

From my research, it sounds like it will be possible. I just need to do a little more research re: if there are lots of approved vendors for lessons etc. I think we are going to give it a shot if after working through the application process, if we are still interested. Thanks.
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#7 of 11 Old 04-21-2003, 03:47 AM
 
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Are there any websites for homeschooling charters?
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#8 of 11 Old 04-21-2003, 11:43 PM
 
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My son is just 5 and we haven't made a decison yet either, but from what I've heard from families in charters, it's very important not only to choose your charter carefully, but choose your "facilitator" carefully -- Interview them, see if you can get someone open to an unschooling aproach -- some faciltators are former classroom teachers and very set in their ideas of what schooling should look like, others are more felexible. Basically the facilitor has to log what your child has learned each month, so if your using an unschooling approach they have to be willing to do a little more work -- translate what your child is doing into language that will satisfy the schools requirements. Some ways parents show their childs progress is through photos of activites, lists of books read, portfolios of projects completed, of if you're into keeping a journal you could submit a narrative account of what your child does on "typical days"
good luck
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#9 of 11 Old 04-22-2003, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The one I am maybe going to work w/ is Eagle's Peak
here is the web site www.eaglespeak.org
I am sure there are more though....
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#10 of 11 Old 04-22-2003, 08:35 PM
 
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Thanks indigolilybear for that web site, if you find any more I would really appreciate if you'd post them.

DS 12 DS 9 DD 6
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#11 of 11 Old 04-22-2003, 11:21 PM
 
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I saw the subject line and thought...a-ha! Someone else grappling with this decision...then I realized it was you...lol The financial incentives are just so enticing. As you know, we're in the same boat as you...DS wants to take some classes and we just don't have the funds.

I also heard that Julian Charter School may be worth checking out.

http://www.juliancharterschool.org/

See you tomorrow
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