Unschooling Support Thread - Page 6 - Mothering Forums

Old 02-19-2007, 02:58 PM

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 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.
Ruthla, I wouldn't worry. With unschooling there is nothing to "do" really. You have things available for her, and she will choose what is right for right now.

My daughter went through a phase from approximately the age of 9 through 14 where she wanted only to read.....so we're talking 5 full years of doing nothing but reading. She too loved historical fiction (as do I) and read day in and day out. And then, when she turned 14 she decided she was ready for community college and began taking classes. And here she is, 18 years old and almost has her degree. And what's funny is that math was not a problem in college...she just began with the entry level course and learned it, then worked her way up.

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Old 02-19-2007, 03:28 PM

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I'm having fun watching my 5 1/2 yo live and learn. He has been enjoying manipulating numbers in his head. Mostly he is doing addition and simple multiplication, although he certainly understands subtraction. A couple month ago, he went from adding 2 numbers together to 3 and more numbers. Sometimes he asks me what some numbers add up to such as 2+4+8=. Then he might tell me a different combination of numbers that comes to the same total, thinking if that equaled 14, then 2+4+6+2=14 also. Sometimes he comes up with the wrong answer but his thinking process is right and he usually self corrects.

He is learning to read by playing video games . He has quite a list of sight words like game, start, fire, and tank . He has become more interested in having me read books to him, as well.

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Old 02-19-2007, 09:34 PM

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Hey, I don't know if you all are aware of the Peace Activism message board ai makoto. http://www.aimakoto.org/phpBB2/ It is a public board with *only* an unschooling/deschooling forum. No school-at-home discussions have been hosted there. It is not a Sandra, et al site. Nor is it an HEM site, where "everything is unschooling". Also it is open for respectful debate and in depth discussions of the nuances and practical applications of the unschooling "living is learning" philosophy.

Pat

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Old 02-19-2007, 10:03 PM

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 Originally Posted by patty_g 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?
Our 5.5 year old does not like to perform and we accept that. And he's also a homebody. He tried martial arts but that evening got a stomach bug and associates MA with puking. We did soccer and he had fun at practice but it took him a bit to enjoy game days. Now he's playing basketball and he's having loads of fun.

He told us he didn't like one of the soccer coaches and the times he didn't want to do soccer were the times that coach was there. He really likes the basketball coach.

Isaac is also one that doesn't like to do something unless he feels confident enough that he's really good. He had reservations about basketball because he thought he wasn't going to be good enough. We are very fortunate that he has a coach he likes and the focus is having fun and learning the rules.

I wish I could be more help, but we felt similar until we hit on bball.
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Old 02-19-2007, 11:22 PM

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 Originally Posted by mama in the forest Ruthla, I wouldn't worry. With unschooling there is nothing to "do" really. You have things available for her, and she will choose what is right for right now. My daughter went through a phase from approximately the age of 9 through 14 where she wanted only to read.....so we're talking 5 full years of doing nothing but reading. She too loved historical fiction (as do I) and read day in and day out. And then, when she turned 14 she decided she was ready for community college and began taking classes. And here she is, 18 years old and almost has her degree. And what's funny is that math was not a problem in college...she just began with the entry level course and learned it, then worked her way up.
I am glad to hear about your dd's success! -really inspiring and validating. -and wow, i cant imagine going to community college at 14.
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:26 PM

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Would members of your unschooling family get a kick out of sending and receiving postcards from other unschooling families around the world?! That is the purpose of this new group -- to unite unschooling families from across the globe through tangible tokens of Joy delivered right to the mailbox! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/unscho...roundtheworld/

We have unschoolers from New Zealand to South Africa, from Austria to the US who are participating. Just add yourself to the database and start sending postcards, as many and as often as *you* choose!

Pat

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Old 08-23-2007, 06:17 AM

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im glad to have found this thread. ive learned a lot ang might consider unschooling.
Old 08-23-2007, 06:45 AM

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 Originally Posted by Ruthla 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.
Ohh my Dd likes historical fiction too! She went through a phase where she read a lot of those "diary" type fiction books. We loved one about the Oregon Trail, but I can't recall the name just now. She also read many American Girl stories.

Do you guys watch TV or get the newspaper or online news? We get a lot of our current events that way. We also get some of those things from the monologues of late night TV shows, oddly enough.

"What is he talking about? What did Guiliani say?"
"They are banning bottled water?? Where?"

My kids don't ever "do" science. I suppose it comes up some on it's own occasionally though. We had a discussion about cheese and mold via an unpleasant discovery at lunch. Surely that must count for something.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
Embrace the learning that is happening within the things that are actually happening!
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:27 AM

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I feel like we are moving away from unschooling here, : because we are now going to be taking several classes. My DS wants to take a science class, (OK, one of his heroes is Bill Nye) but he is also going to take a kindergarten experience class, we visited once with a friend (it was snack and story time and now he wants to go for the snack and story) and a class about Knights/dragons/castles that he heard about. Granted, each class is only 1 hour a week, but I can envision a day he may want to go to a full time school. : I know its less than if he went to full time Kindergarten, but I don't like having our week so scheduled already!!!!
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Old 08-24-2007, 12:52 PM

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OH!Am I glad to find this thread!I was just browsing thru the forum, and was feeling super claustrophobic after about 3 threads!YIKES!!!It's like a bunch of independant private schools out there!I thought I was a homeschooler,but I'm pretty sure now I'm an unschooler.We just like to learn! So glad I found you!

:::
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Old 08-24-2007, 01:09 PM

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 Originally Posted by nini2033a I feel like we are moving away from unschooling here, : because we are now going to be taking several classes...
It seems to me that your son's being able to pursue his interest in whatever classes he's interested in actually is part of the unschooling experience - he's following his interests and expanding his world. Same as if he were tucking into books for that same number of hours, or playing piano for that same number of hours, or outside looking for worms...

I do sympathize with your concern that he might decide he wants to go to full time school, but I also think he probably enjoys being more in control of his time to be able to pick and choose like that. - Lillian
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Old 08-24-2007, 02:44 PM

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Audma,
Welcome! Part of the unschooling thing is that you don't have to "fit" in the other definitions. You learn thru day to day life and what the kids interests are...Some of the periods we have gone thru include the present anything medival period, the Bill Nye and his Science rules the universe period, the all things Pokemon period which was characterized with leaps in phonics, and the all things cuttable period when he mastered scissor skills.
In fact, we are taking some classes this fall, but they are all things that he has picked that deal with his interests,( the kindergarten experience class deals with his interest in snack & story time~ after a visit he absolutely wants to try that one)
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Old 08-24-2007, 03:09 PM

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I haven't had time to read all the posts in this thread (lots of pages!!) but I'm perusing them as I have time...

I'm Mary, family-schooling mama to 3 lovelies.

Nic is 8, creative, brilliant, gifted monkey diagnosed with ADHD -- devoted to becoming a robotics engineer -- deeply interested in animals and understanding/protecting ecosystems.

Theo is 4, wonderful, creative learner...seems to absorb everything from just being around all of us. Tactile guy, loves clay and paint. Learned colors, numbers, shapes, alphabet, numbers while none of us were paying attention to whether or not he was learning anything.

Whingari is 8 months. Fascinating to watch, fascinated by her big brothers...

We've used many types of books, curricula, ideas, experiments over the last couple years.
Unschooling is what feels right for me and these particular children. Nic always loves learning when no one is getting in his way or placing limits on his imagination. I blog about this journey here: http://attachlings.blogspot.com/

We live in Indianapolis, Indiana, which is a great homeschooling area, many resources, quite a few groups. Indiana is a 'good' homeschooling state, in my opinion, because you don't have to ask permission or approval and you don't have to jump through any bureaucratic hoops to continue doing so.

So we can learn as we live and watch our children thrive.

Mary

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Old 08-24-2007, 06:50 PM

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I just bumped the more recent unschooling thread.

nini, I agree with Lillian--just taking classes doesn't mean one isn't an unschooler. My kids have taken bunches of classes--but it's not because I've assigned them, or "made" them go, it's because THEY have decided it's something they want to do.

Single Mom to 3 (12, 17 & 21)   and .

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Old 08-24-2007, 10:23 PM

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 Originally Posted by SagMom --but it's not because I've assigned them, or "made" them go, it's because THEY have decided it's something they want to do.
I know, but I am afraid it is just the beginning and he will want to eventually go to public full time....
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:22 PM

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I am curious what you do when your child asks you to help them learn something you yourself do not know. For example, my math education doesn't go past elementary school due to a bunch of bad math teachers. If my daughter was asking about place values, I don't even know what that is. I would be concerned that I was sending her out into the workforce ill-equipped. Frankly a lot of good jobs in the sciences and technological fields require a very firm grasp of mathematics. What if you can't "get" the subject yourself?
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:16 PM

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 Originally Posted by Veronica C. I am curious what you do when your child asks you to help them learn something you yourself do not know. For example, my math education doesn't go past elementary school due to a bunch of bad math teachers. If my daughter was asking about place values, I don't even know what that is. I would be concerned that I was sending her out into the workforce ill-equipped. Frankly a lot of good jobs in the sciences and technological fields require a very firm grasp of mathematics. What if you can't "get" the subject yourself?
I don't feel I have to be my children's only teacher. If they wanted to go beyond my level (of skill or interest) in any subject, I would help them learn how to learn - find a textbook, a teacher, an apprenticeship, or whatever works for the subject. To learn a foreign language for example, I might help a kid pick a textbook with tapes, find a native speaker to practice with, rent movies in the language, travel to the country (well, maybe...); whatever we could think of.

Math is an easy subject to find self-paced, self-taught texts, so I imagine any motivated student could work to whatever level they desire. Those science and technology jobs you mention often require a college degree or other formal training. If an unschooled child is interested in a field like that, it is up to them to meet the entrance requirements (with all the support and encouragement from parents) - the main difference is that the motivation is internal.

Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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Old 08-27-2007, 05:31 PM

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 Originally Posted by Veronica C. I am curious what you do when your child asks you to help them learn something you yourself do not know.
What do YOU do when YOU want to learn something?

I might find myself a teacher, or a website, book, video, kit, class, etc. in order to learn something that I want to learn. It's no different for my kids.

Single Mom to 3 (12, 17 & 21)   and .

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Old 08-27-2007, 11:40 PM

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There are lots of great materials through which they can learn all sort of math on their own - and maybe even with a parent's participation learning right alongside. And there's lots of time for it. Here's an interesting article on how little time it can take:
Just Do the Math!

When my son was ready to take the SAT for college applications, he just got a bunch of good materials, a tutor for a short time to help with specific algebra concepts he wanted to figure out, and got on with learning what he needed - and he did well.

You might find some fun ideas in this page of annotated math links for getting more comfortable with math: Go Figure! One of the fun things about homeschooling is having a chance to find the enjoyment in some of the things you might have missed back in your own school days. Lillian
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:26 AM

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my 3.5 yo DD begged me to go to school...so....it was hard but we decided to try it out. She started today.

1/2 day, Tuesdays only. ONE-HALF day a week! 3 hours! And she gets to think she's "in school". Cute huh? Do I have to change my siggy line?

Liora. Best way to reach me is FACEBOOK, search for "LioraP2". Jewish and Frum In Beijing, Mom of Three (mother of 3: #1 was vaccine injured at age 2m later dx with PDD-NOS, healed in 3 years with biomed. #2 unvaxed and healthy boy. #3 unvaxed amazing girl with Down syndrome using Targeted Nutritional Intervention (TNI) since infancy)
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:50 AM

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I have been reading through the posts in this thread and, while looking for a particular quote, I ran across this one by Winnie the Pooh and it just kind of reminded me of the support/theory unschoolers might want.

"You can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count.”

Have a great "school year"!

--Victoria
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:47 AM

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*
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Old 08-28-2007, 12:15 PM

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 Originally Posted by vrweaver "You can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count.”

Cute. But it's funny to me that he didn't say "Wednesday." - Lillian
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:29 PM

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Just wanted to check in and say hi to everyone. I have been in the middle of a move and have not had much time on the computer. Still am unpacking and have tons to do, so there is little time now to sit and chat. But just wanted to touch in with all my tribes.

So, I am still around, just not very vocal at this moment.

I am so glad that we are unschooling now though. It is so easy to unschool when you are moving, and so much easier than if we had to unpack all the school books to school them.

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.
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