Unschooling Support Thread - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#121 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 10:08 AM
 
LeftField's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Land of well-adjusted weird people
Posts: 2,528
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWine View Post
There really are kids who have an interest in "schooly" things. To ignore that interest, or to claim that those who follow those interests MUST be pushing the kids simply because the kid is young...this accusation annoys me. Why not take the posters at their word? Some of us have early readers/little kids who LIKE to do workbooks, etc....along with all the other hands-on stuff they do every single day.
I promised I would withdraw from this debate but I did want to answer this so as to leave no doubt. I'm not talking about precocious children. I have two precocious children. The oldest one, in particular, knew the letter sounds of all uppercase at 19 months and had his first independent academic interest (bones) at age 2. I completely understand about the precocious child and I am in no way implying that they are pushed. I have been accused of the very same thing before, that I was pushing my child.

I was talking about the numerous posts here that go something like, "My child has started learning letters (or pointed to the word "stop"). How can I teach her to read?" The step between letter recognition and actual reading is HUGE and also dependent on individual development. I see a lot of posts asking how to turn toddlers into readers based on some letter recognition and a few sight words (which is nothing close to actual reading). That's what I was talking about. I am not talking about precocious children who pull the parents to go in their direction. I was talking about people who have a personal goal of teaching their toddlers to read; it seems important to the parent. In my very limited experience, if a young child is meant to read, they are going to do most of the work and discovery themselves anyway. I see a lot of posts asking which curriculum and methods can be employed to turn a toddler into a reader, which in my mind, is usually not related to naturally precocious children manifesting their own strong interests. I guess I wonder why a child can't just manifest an early skill and let that be it, until the child is ready to push forward? Why must we strive to turn it into something? That's what I see a lot of. Child A manifests some skill and parent wants to know how to turn that into something else.

Ok, withdrawing again.I just wanted to answer this and make it clear that I am not poo-pooing precocious children or early self-taught readers.

Congrats, Rain, on the SAT scores! That's awesome!
LeftField is offline  
#122 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 10:36 AM
 
LionTigerBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Northern California
Posts: 6,690
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Okay so, back to the unschooling support aspect of this thread . . .

I would love to hear more stories of older kids who have been unschooled all their lives and are "successful", or in other words, have the tools they need to lead wonderful, enjoyable lives. Reading these kinds of stories is very confidence-building.

I wish we had a subforum because there are so many other things I would like to ask about but I don't want to hijack or further confuse this thread.

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

LionTigerBear is offline  
#123 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 10:42 AM
 
UUMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 9,777
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionTigerBear View Post


I wish we had a subforum because there are so many other things I would like to ask about but I don't want to hijack or further confuse this thread.
Start a new thread with your most pressing question as the header.
UUMom is offline  
#124 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 10:58 AM
 
Citymomx3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 624
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
But if I remember correctly, your daughter has been unschooling for maybe a year? And prior to that was in school, right? I don't think you can necessarily know what she would have thought of workbooks and formal academic work had they not been such a big part of her life during those early years... by the time you brought her home, how much schoolthink had she absorbed? How did those experiences shape her choices?
dar
Well she's been home a little over 2 years, but her love of workbooks started at 2 years-old - no school influence. From 2-4 y/o she brought them over to me almost every day. Then when she started preschool at 4 y/o, of course, she wouldn't pick one up again. Then 4 yrs later when we started homeschooling, I didn't ask anything of her and we just enjoyed our days (except for a very short experiment with Charlotte Mason). She did feel the need for academic work, but would print out things and use educational websites. Then after a few months, while in the bookstore, she gravitated toward the workbook section and selected a couple of colorful, fun ones and a big activity book for 8 y/os. She's 10 now and still enjoys them. It's just a fun puzzle book to her. In school, workbooks were horrid, boring, vile things tied to expectations, demands, frustration, and humiliation.

When I first read about unschooling, I knew that kind of educational freedom would be perfect for dd. I hoped that she would successfully deschool and maybe become who she was before ever setting foot in a school building - a child full of curiosity, dreams, motivation, and living carefree. She knows she was like this at 3, 4, and 5. She loved life and wanted that again. And it was easier now that she was home. She knew what she loved when she was little and she remembered that workbooks were actually fun and that's how it started up again. And she would bring them over to me to do with her like she did at 3 y/o. She wanted to get back in the mindset of what life was like before school. She was only 8 and not far removed from it.

I have not seen her school experience shape her choices at all - her initial thoughts on education, yes, but only for a few months after starting homeschooling. It looks to me as if she just wanted to start her education all over and put all that school stuff behind her. And it's not just wishful thinking on my part, lol. She really is that kind of kid. Now my oldest dd (13) is full of school mindset and all her choices are based on her school experiences, but that's another story.

Angela

 

DD(20) Hair Stylist in Manhattan

DD(17) Dancer at the (real) Fame school

DS(13) Martial artist & experiential homeschooler

Citymomx3 is offline  
#125 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 11:00 AM
 
anne+arun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Also appreciated seeing all the unschoolers come out of the woodwork in response to this thread. I only kept a cursory eye on this section of the forum because of the curriculum focus here. I read a lot of stuff here but for my unschooling fix i tend to rely on yahoo groups like "AlwaysLearning" or "AlwaysUnschooled". Also found my way to the consensual living list via a thread in the gentle discipline section for which i am grateful.

We are radical unschoolers of our dd 5yrs old and ds 10months old.

For people asking about definitions of unschooling, RU etc if you are interested you can see an attempt at pinning some terms down at http://theparentingpit.com/about/quick-definitions/

cheers,
arun

_____________________________________________

| anne + arun |
http://www.theparentingpit.com
anne+arun is offline  
#126 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 11:11 AM
 
KaraBoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Alb-uh-kirk-ee
Posts: 4,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I see nothing wrong with children liking "schooly" things. But, as an unschooling parent, I feel it's my responsibility to bring up ways to aid my child in her search for knowledge by bringing her attention to "nonschooly" things as well. I don't just say, "well, there are workbooks for that" and off we go. I say, "there are workbooks* or we could do this or we could do that or we can look for other options." I want to show her there is life that is totally unconnected to school and all it's "schooly" things. There's a big big world out there.

When you take school out of the equation, you open yourself to other ways of learning. That's all I'm trying to say.

Perhaps I'm not being clear. I'm not the most eloquent person on these boards. Can anyone say this better? Anyone? Bueller? (Ugh. and see there, trying to be cute, I made a reference to a movie about skipping school. LOL)

*actually, she didn't even know workbooks existed until last year! I mentioned upthread that we have some for learning Japanese writing.
KaraBoo is offline  
#127 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 11:27 AM
 
monkey's mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,359
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Clear to me, KaraBoo.

I'm enjoying watching my 5 yr. old making all kinds of connections--like seeing the Mona Lisa with a cartoon character's face, showing him a picture of the real Mona Lisa in an art book, and then seeing references all over the place, and going, "Hey! That's the Mona Lisa!" Lots and lots of things like that--mostly inspired by cartoons.
monkey's mom is offline  
#128 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 11:29 AM
 
zeldamomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan View Post

Dd has been into WWII lately. We're listening to The Diary of Anne Frank and we just got "1940's House" from Netflix, but she's been reading a lot on her own about it too.
I just got a link to this in my email, and thought your dd might be interested:
http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teac...216friday.html

It's about papers which record how Anne Frank's tried to bring his family to the US or Cuba.

ZM
zeldamomma is offline  
#129 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 11:35 AM
 
UUMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 9,777
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I guess I can't wrap my head around when or why or how all 'schooly' things became bad.

OK, grades suck, lies suck, copying things ten million times (I will not talk in class, I will not talk in class) sucks, shame sucks, long spelling lists suck, worksheets with 50 of the same addition problems suck, boring crap sucks...but yk, is a piece of paper in and of itself sucky? A box of math manips (schools use them)? Bad? Is a poster of a map schooly-bad, or not bad? What about a poster of upper and lower case letters? Pencils? Chalkboards? Lotto games? Lined paper? :
UUMom is offline  
#130 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 12:13 PM
 
monkey's mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,359
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I guess I can't wrap my head around when or why or how all 'schooly' things became bad.
Is anyone here saying that? I'm not getting that at all.
monkey's mom is offline  
#131 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 12:22 PM
 
nancy926's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: where we always need more bookcases
Posts: 2,472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I love lots of schooly things! Maps, puzzles, pencils, paper, books....

What I don't love about "school" is the idea that being age X means you need to learn Y during the month of March, and then move on to something else.

That is the main reason we are, erm, not sending our kids to school. (See how she deftly avoids the home/unschooling conundrum!) That, and the grades, I-am-just-memorizing-this-to-please-someone-else thing.

Part of the cool thing about learning at home is that you can figure out what works best for each kid. If they like workbooks, more power to them. If they'd rather draw letters in the dirt outside inbetween basketball games, rock on.

DD has been on a writing-letters roll for a week now. Last night I dictated a shopping list to her. She kept asking for more words to write.

And yesterday she started cutting things out with scissors. She would draw something and then cut it out. Some of the things were even recognizable! And they were all colored blue, because she loves Blue's Clues now. She likes trying to guess what the clues refer to. We've started playing 20 questions with her, and she loves that too. She's learning all about categorization and logic...but she doesn't know it, LOL. She just thinks it's fun.

That's my favorite part of learning at home - learning is almost always FUN. (the first hour or two of ice skating wasn't all that fun for her, but she's better at it now and loves it - so that's why I say "almost always".) I want my kids to love learning their entire lives and to see learning as an adventure and, as Dar said, like a Christmas stocking full of opportunity.

Congrats to Rain on those SAT scores, btw!! I loved taking the SAT...to me it was one big puzzle to solve...LOL.

A writer/runner/thinker/wife with two daughters (11/02 and 8/05), one dog, three cats, seven fish, and a partridge in a pear tree... in Vermont.
nancy926 is offline  
#132 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 12:39 PM
 
UUMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 9,777
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
Is anyone here saying that? I'm not getting that at all.
I'm getting that, but that's ok. I'm not mad or anything.
UUMom is offline  
#133 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 12:40 PM
 
shaywyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,907
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
but yk, is a piece of paper in and of itself sucky? A box of math manips (schools use them)? Bad? Is a poster of a map schooly-bad, or not bad? What about a poster of upper and lower case letters? Pencils? Chalkboards? Lotto games? Lined paper? :
Those are all great items. Like some pps above stated, it is about intent. If my dd expresses an interest in something, I work with her to find materials to support her interest. That may very well be a poster of cursive letters so she can refer to it easily because she wants to learn cursive. Chalkboards are fun! (ours is very small) The large world wall map and our globe are two of our favorite items. Often times, the supporting materials she needs may not look very schooly, but many times they do.
shaywyn is offline  
#134 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 12:45 PM
 
patty_g's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: In the Land of the Pharoahs
Posts: 762
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OK. So. I have a question. This is probably more of a parenting question than an "unschooling" question but, anyway, here goes. DS tends to be very self-conscious. If he just doesn't want to do an activity (Martial Arts, sports, etc), then fine, we don't force him. But recently he wanted to play soccer. So I found a "class" and signed him up for a 6-week course. He was going and having a lot of fun until the last 2 weeks. Then he started saying he didn't want to sign up for the next session. I asked him why, and he said it was because they were doing things that he couldn't "do very well" or were "too hard". Here's my problem: He was having fun. I want him to know that you can do things that you enjoy, even if you don't do them perfectly or even well. I also want him to understand that if you don't do something really well at first, practice can make you do them better. Basically, I guess I don't want him to just quit at the first sign of difficulty.

So, I won't force him to continue but I am encouraging him to understand the concept of practicing making things easier AND doing things just for the sake of having fun and not to be perfect at it.

Any suggestions?
patty_g is offline  
#135 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 12:52 PM
 
erin a's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: canada
Posts: 240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OK, finally got through reading all that....
from Canada!
Right now my kids are outside making 'igloos' with the neighbour boy (neighbour boy came over and rang the doorbell at 7am this morning, said he didn't have school today and was bored and didn't know what to do - could DS play?: )..... so anyways I have time to type!
I don't know where we fit on the spectrum of unschoolers but I certainly follow the kids' lead for learning. We do not 'do school' for x number of hours per day, we do not do tests, we do not do spelling sheets, etc. We DO have some mathy-type workbooks and a history curriculum: . The kids know where they are and sometimes they pull them out and ask to do them (more so the history, I think they like the colouring pages) but it's certainly not a required thing. We spend a lot of time reading books throughout the day, trips to the library, lots of drawing (DH is an artist) and right now tobagganing.
Neither of our kids have ever been to school. Sometimes DS will ask about school just bc he wants to know what it's like there. DD has no desire to go. She goes to a music class for an hour a week (which she absolutely loves) but yesterday told me it gets boring sometimes bc "Ms W says everybody do ___ and then everybody has to do it - it's like copying mom, everyone has to do the same thing all the time!" Yup, she's got it...
Right now DS's obsessions are his guitar (there is constant music playing) and reading all the Hardy Boys books. He wants to be a carpenter when he starts working which is hard for me bc I don't know the first thing about woodworking but he's gotten a few books out of the library and we've managed to build a workbench in the basement that he's thrilled with and can use for his tinkering.
DD spends most of her day drawing and painting, looking at books, playing with her dolls or pet rats and stringing buttons onto thread to make necklaces. This year she's gone from wanting to be a boy when she grows up to soaking up anything pink or princess!
Well, that's us.... just thought I'd introduce ourselves.
erin a is offline  
#136 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 01:05 PM
Dar
 
Dar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 11,448
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm not saying that schooly things are bad. I am saying that schooly things are the way most of us were educated, so it is natural for us to think in terms of schooly things when a child shows an interest in learning something, and that we should actively seek out other tools that may serve us equally well. There is the idea, for example, that if a child says he wants to read, we should get him some reading curricula. We probably wouldn't do this with a child who wanted to learn to, say, cook, even though there are cooking curricula out there. We might instead take him into the kitchen and say, "Okay, what do you want to learn to cook first?" Eventually a cooking curricula might be valuable, but it wouldn't be the way you'd teach your 4 year old to scramble an egg. Reading can work the same way. Being in schools has taught many people that these tools are necessary - phonics programs, flash cards, math workbooks. In many cases they aren't, and, especially when given to a young child, they can send the message that this is what learning is about... and really, it's learning that's generally artificial and distanced from the concrete reality being studied. Not that that's always a bad thing... but I think it's a thing to be aware of.

Rain actually had some flash cards last year - she was taking voice lessons and trying to learning to sight read music, so she would quiz herself on the notes and some of the symbols. There's nothing wrong with that. But in that case, she was attempting to sing stuff and running into problems and realized that memorizing this stuff would help her reach that goal, so we bought the cards. It came from her, and was directly related to her goal. I never even held the cards in my hand. They were a tool she used the way she wanted to to further her own goals.

I think the real question is more about whether the child is following the curriculum or the curriculum is following the child....

Dar

 
fambedsingle1.gifSingle mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler earth.gif


  

Dar is offline  
#137 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 01:13 PM
 
AngelBee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Brighton, MN
Posts: 20,762
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Dar...your post actually made me cry! :

Congrats Rain!

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

AngelBee is offline  
#138 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 01:32 PM
 
AngelBee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Brighton, MN
Posts: 20,762
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by patty_g View Post
OK. So. I have a question. This is probably more of a parenting question than an "unschooling" question but, anyway, here goes. DS tends to be very self-conscious. If he just doesn't want to do an activity (Martial Arts, sports, etc), then fine, we don't force him. But recently he wanted to play soccer. So I found a "class" and signed him up for a 6-week course. He was going and having a lot of fun until the last 2 weeks. Then he started saying he didn't want to sign up for the next session. I asked him why, and he said it was because they were doing things that he couldn't "do very well" or were "too hard". Here's my problem: He was having fun. I want him to know that you can do things that you enjoy, even if you don't do them perfectly or even well. I also want him to understand that if you don't do something really well at first, practice can make you do them better. Basically, I guess I don't want him to just quit at the first sign of difficulty.

So, I won't force him to continue but I am encouraging him to understand the concept of practicing making things easier AND doing things just for the sake of having fun and not to be perfect at it.

Any suggestions?
: Having similar situation with Abigail (5)

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

AngelBee is offline  
#139 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 02:54 PM
 
KaraBoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Alb-uh-kirk-ee
Posts: 4,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I'm not saying that schooly things are bad. I am saying that schooly things are the way most of us were educated, so it is natural for us to think in terms of schooly things when a child shows an interest in learning something, and that we should actively seek out other tools that may serve us equally well.

THIS is what I was trying to say. Thank you, Dar! I am "actively seeking out other tools." Perfect!
KaraBoo is offline  
#140 of 174 Old 02-16-2007, 06:48 PM
 
2much2luv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Like I'd tell you.
Posts: 6,660
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't have time to read the whole thread just now, but I wanted to jump in. Maybe I'll have time to skim it later tonight.

My husband and I are unschooling our three daughters; Serra 6.5, Hero 5 and Eden 3. I had been calling our 'system" eclectic because we do have some workbooks and educational materials in the house, and also because I had been toying with the idea of starting a curriculum in some subjects for my oldest, who will be 7 this summer. More and more I see unschooling working for us so I've come to a "why mess with perfection" conclusion and decided we will continue to be 100% child led.

So happy to see this thread and looking forward to getting to know you all.
Beth
2much2luv is offline  
#141 of 174 Old 02-17-2007, 01:59 AM
 
momnloveit's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: South Utah County
Posts: 428
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm really glad to find this thread, especially the posts about what is working for you right now. I am a wanna-be unschooler, and I think in many ways I am and unschooler, but lately I've been feeling myself being sucked into the school at home mentality. We have a really great homeschooling support group here that is full of families that I adore, but I don't really know anyone who unschools. Nearly everyone uses Saxon Math and at LEAST requires a certain amount of reading, writing, and math from their kids. They are great families with great kids, so it is hard to avoid going in that direction even though my heart is with unschooling. It would just be really great to know someone IRL that I could call when I'm having a "my kid is behind meltdown" kind of a day.
My oldest attendend Kindergarten and hs'd 1st grade independently working in the books I got from the school. When he started melting down at the mention of schoolwork, I told him to put the books away and we deschooled for a year. I noticed a huge change in him as he approached his 8th birthday. He moped about the house more and separated himself from the play of the other kids. He sought out adult company more and his relationship changed with his siblings from an equal to more of a leader/facilitator. None of these things were alarming to me. I just noticed that he was growing up. I also had a few signs that he needed some mental stimulation. My solution was to get up with him each morning before the other kids and have "study time" together. For the most part, it has been a great experience for both of us and he misses it if we skip a day. My concern is that I find myself getting into the keeping up mentality and the ego soothing of having my kid do something academic every day. "sigh" I decided after reading this thread that I am going to give this time back to him and do what HE wants, no strings attached. And I'm going to quit worrying that his almost 7yo brother needs to dig into academics. How do you get rid of the nagging voice?

Here's what is working for us:
Other than the few morning chores I require, my kids have been playing all day. The greatest thing is that in the past few months, my 2yo has been joining in and they are all so cute together. One thing I rarely do is interrupt my kids if they are all playing happily together. I totally trust that that experience is chalk-full of learning and growth. My girls 4 and 2 have been playing littlest petshops a lot. All of the kids are really into stuffed animals and beanie babies. My boys 8 and 6 will pore over the Lego magazine for hours at a time. My oldest read his first chapter book silently this week: The Littles. He couldn't stand going on to the next chapter without coming to tell me about it. I told him he didn't have to stop if he wanted to keep going and he said, "But I'm so excited to tell you about it because it is so cool!" He was so excited to check out another of the series and get started on it today. We also love reading the Magic Tree House books together. We always put a little picture of the book on our map and one on our timeline in relative places. My 4yo dd is having a little burst of learning how to write. She begs me to do school with her all the time. She has had lots of fun with some books I got at the dollar store that are write on wipe off. She is also getting better and better at dressing herself and doing her chores herself so we have more time to enjoy together. We also have lots of fun playing dollhouse and babies. She's been asking me for months when I'm going to have a baby, and she got really mad last month when she noticed I was on my period Thankfully, we won't be having that problem this month! My 2yo is totally in the cutest phase right now. I just watch her and smile and laugh. She's so full of cute little sentences and ideas! She's way into learning her colors right now, so I got out a couple of color games we have. She'll come ask me a few times a day to play "bears on chairs" or "flip flop faces" She also takes care of her babies and pets in the most adorable manner. We have an awesome creative dance teacher here. Currently my 4yo is taking a class and was encouraged to choreograph her own number that she performed a few times over the holidays. My oldest son is also taking her movement class for boys and they are working on a really cute fireman dance! He also loves to cook and cooks lunch for us almost every day. My 6yo helps in the kitchen a lot and helps and plays with the girls a lot. He has an amazing imagination and can entertain himself so well that he just disappears. I have to remind myself to step into his world every once in awhile so we don't lose touch. He is a great artist, and has had lots of fun with some art books and videos we've checked out. Dh is reading the Narnia series to the kids and they love it. While I was sick, I read Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on their Toes and found them very entertaining and inspirational. I also read The Scarlet Pimpernell and started A Tale of Two Cities. Now I'm curious about French History. We use the Five in a Row program and have a great time with it. We just use it as a guide for great books and fun ideas that go along with the books. It is sort of a make sure you don't ignore the kids tool for me. We've done some totally great stuff, and nobody is ever required to participate.
Sorry so long! Thanks for reading. I've really needed this.

I can't wait to read about more positive experiences you've all had with unschooling. It is just the kind of support I need right now.
momnloveit is offline  
#142 of 174 Old 02-17-2007, 02:14 AM
 
TigerTail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: I'm finally here!
Posts: 9,368
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hey, my guys are like little super-absorbant sponges; they have plenty of energy for play, games, & any amount of worksheets I felt like throwing their way (were I so inclined). These boys love to learn. I don't sweat that by 'choosing' materials for them, in this big wide, wonderful interesting world, it's more or less unschooling than someone else.

To me, it's unschooling, because if they said they were bored with something and wanted to go do something else, they're free to do that. I'm just a facilitator. If I wanted to get all anal & worry about whether what I'm doing with them qualifies for one label or another, I might as well buy (or write) a curriculum. There's mindful, & there's micromindful. They'll keep me on track, if I start throwing boring or stupid stuff in their paths.
TigerTail is offline  
#143 of 174 Old 02-17-2007, 02:39 AM
 
Kidzaplenty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Writing my Happily Ever After
Posts: 16,983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
Kidzaplenty is offline  
#144 of 174 Old 02-17-2007, 08:25 AM
 
LionTigerBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Northern California
Posts: 6,690
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerTail View Post
They'll keep me on track, if I start throwing boring or stupid stuff in their paths.
I like this thought, thanks.

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

LionTigerBear is offline  
#145 of 174 Old 02-18-2007, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
Ruthla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 47,873
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
I'm starting to get the "am I doing enough?" woes regarding homeschooling dd. She's been reading a ton of historical fiction (her choice) but hasn't been doing any writing or math or current events or science.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
Ruthla is offline  
#146 of 174 Old 02-18-2007, 09:52 PM
 
UUMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 9,777
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I'm starting to get the "am I doing enough?" woes regarding homeschooling dd. She's been reading a ton of historical fiction (her choice) but hasn't been doing any writing or math or current events or science.
I just had this conversation with a friend. I started a thread about it.
UUMom is offline  
#147 of 174 Old 02-19-2007, 12:47 AM
 
WuWei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the moment
Posts: 11,492
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
:


Pat

I have a blog.
WuWei is offline  
#148 of 174 Old 02-19-2007, 01:19 AM
 
TigerTail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: I'm finally here!
Posts: 9,368
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ruth, I think it's one of the strengths of unschooling. CS Lewis always said if he'd had to pass algebra he'd have never gotten to university. Being able to specialize is a plus.

Maybe your daughter will write historical fiction & bring history alive for thousands! Maybe she will become a great historian. Maybe she will just bury herself in historical fiction for awhile & start getting a good overview to begin a lifetime of learning (not to mention a spectacular vocabulary! )

I know that I have been immersing myself in history since grade school & for nearly four decades, every week has full of stunning revelations; more things click into place. Gaining background & understanding the personalities on the stage of history is so much more important than just memorizing lists of kings & queens & dates of battles.

Understanding the tsars and WW1 & the influenza pandemic and why our children are here, now- knowing what Waterloo was besides an ABBA song & why it happened & what it would've been like to be there (when everyone was bemoaning Saddam's execution, all I could think of was Napoleon's escape from Elba & how many people wouldn't have suffered & died there)...

It's like a puzzle, the pieces keep coming together and filling in the blank spots you didn't even know existed. This is WONDERFUL. Let her read! There will be time to grab enough algebra & science to pass what she needs to pass if she chooses. Be proud!
TigerTail is offline  
#149 of 174 Old 02-19-2007, 02:01 AM
 
lauraess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: creamery, pa
Posts: 4,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by patty_g View Post
OK. So. I have a question. This is probably more of a parenting question than an "unschooling" question but, anyway, here goes. DS tends to be very self-conscious. If he just doesn't want to do an activity (Martial Arts, sports, etc), then fine, we don't force him. But recently he wanted to play soccer. So I found a "class" and signed him up for a 6-week course. He was going and having a lot of fun until the last 2 weeks. Then he started saying he didn't want to sign up for the next session. I asked him why, and he said it was because they were doing things that he couldn't "do very well" or were "too hard". Here's my problem: He was having fun. I want him to know that you can do things that you enjoy, even if you don't do them perfectly or even well. I also want him to understand that if you don't do something really well at first, practice can make you do them better. Basically, I guess I don't want him to just quit at the first sign of difficulty.

So, I won't force him to continue but I am encouraging him to understand the concept of practicing making things easier AND doing things just for the sake of having fun and not to be perfect at it.

Any suggestions?
This is almost what we have with our almost 9 yr old son. Except I can not get him to join anything. I suggest, he says 'no'. He will give me reasons sometimes but from a few words he has offered it's basically a confidence issue and he is afraid of not being good enough. I was the same way. I do not know what --- if anything, I can do.

sorry i cant be of more help but hey, You're not alone -Angelbee and I are wondering too.
lauraess is offline  
#150 of 174 Old 02-19-2007, 11:03 AM
 
WuWei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the moment
Posts: 11,492
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraess View Post
This is almost what we have with our almost 9 yr old son. Except I can not get him to join anything. I suggest, he says 'no'. He will give me reasons sometimes but from a few words he has offered it's basically a confidence issue and he is afraid of not being good enough. I was the same way. I do not know what --- if anything, I can do.

sorry i cant be of more help but hey, You're not alone -Angelbee and I are wondering too.
Could your children be highly sensitive, especially to other's emotional agenda of performance based "success"? In environments where the focus is competition, rather than joy, perhaps, your children do not enjoy the negative feedback they and others receive from well-meaning mentors and coaches. (ie. 'You need to focus on the ball.' 'Toward the goal, no turn around, the other way, toward the GOAL!' 'Ok, you all missed the ball, you need to keep your EYES ON THE BALL!') This type of feedback for a highly sensitive child is perceived as excruciating criticism, although it is part and parcel of team playing. My highly sensitive dh and ds shine in environments where they are not exposed to other's emotional angst, even toward a positive goal, especially when there is "constructive criticism" experienced. Their emotional barometer is such an asset in interpersonal relationships; but is a liability when others are upset. And I have learned "upset" is a much lower degree of emotional angst for them, than for me.

Basically, it sounds like an *environmental* issue, not a characteristic liability, imo.

Pat

I have a blog.
WuWei is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off