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#61 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 12:51 PM
 
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Well, you have to have higher maths to get into college, so do the unschooled kids go to school then?
If an unschooler chooses to go to college, she will, with the support of her parent/guardian, take the appropriate steps to ensure her ability to get in to college. Unschooling doesn't mean deliberately not learning anything; it means that the child directs the learning.

Many unschooled children go to college, yes. Some do not, and choose instead to go into the workforce, or develop a talent, or start a family, et cetera.

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But calculus/algebra/trigonometry/physics requirements for college or for a job aren't just concepts, when they must be demonstrated on paper they are also skills, specific and discrete. That's where the problem might be, I guess.
Again, if the child chooses college or a job that requires these skills, the child will then take the appropriate measures to learn those concepts in such a way that can be demonstrated on paper.


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I don't disagree with you, and appreciate the school-marmish lesson!
Ha! That may be the first time I've been called school-marmish! Unschooling definitely looks a little odd from the outside (I'm not implying that you think it's odd, but many do), and that's totally understandable. However, for many families, it is a concept that fits their children very well - children who may be more free-spirited; who may be seekers of more esoteric knowledge; or who simply do not choose to conform to a more rigid type of learning. That's not to say it's right for everyone, or that there's anything wrong about more traditional ways of learning (and children who learn better in a more traditional setting are no less creative, interesting, et cetera). It's really all about finding the method and approach that suits each child and their family.
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#62 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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Well, you have to have higher maths to get into college, so do the unschooled kids go to school then?
Not necessarily. My daughter (who is in college) had never had any formal math courses when she enrolled. She actually took her first math class in college.

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But calculus/algebra/trigonometry/physics requirements for college or for a job aren't just concepts, when they must be demonstrated on paper they are also skills, specific and discrete. That's where the problem might be, I guess.
I'm not sure what you mean by this, but again, requirements differ between colleges, and every unschooled child who *WANTS* to study these concepts & learn these things will do them. I don't see a problem.

A gentle reminder - this is a support thread. I know you have questions, and those could probably be addressed by doing a search or by posting a new thread geared toward information or debate.

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#63 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 01:33 PM
 
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I found the cutest thing yesterday! The kids had been playing outside & I hadn't seen them in awhile, so I took a look around and found them under the deck playing some kind of retail store game! They had giant leaves, flowers, twigs, just all kinds of stuff they'd picked up off the land as "goods", and they were using pebbles as money. I thought it was so funny & cute!

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#64 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 01:46 PM
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Additionally, algebra and other math concepts do not have to be "deliberately" learned, but is instead knowledge gained through practical application in the course of completing a task.
I don't think this is generally true for higher math, or for a lot of higher math. I think people can intuit a basic understanding of algebra through daily life - if I earn $138 a week, how many weeks do I need to work in order to earn $1700? - but the symbology and rules of formal mathematics are a different story, and unless you either deliberately learn them or re-discover the last two thousand years of mathematics on your own, I'm not seeing how you'll learn it.

When Rain decided to learn some higher math for the SAT, she had great thinking skills but didn't know the basic "language" of higher math, and she did set out to deliberately learn it. Someone who started college at a community college or other college that didn't require a certain test score might very well be able to avoid intentionally learning higher math until college, and of course many happy and functional adults couldn't find a cosine if their lives depended on it, anyway.

After a 6 month hiatus, Rain wants to start studying SAT math again, so we'll see how it goes. She's dancing a lot this summer, too - all ballet this time. And she's learnig Arabic with me, just for fun.

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#65 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 01:52 PM
 
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I don't think this is generally true for higher math, or for a lot of higher math. I think people can intuit a basic understanding of algebra through daily life - if I earn $138 a week, how many weeks do I need to work in order to earn $1700? - but the symbology and rules of formal mathematics are a different story, and unless you either deliberately learn them or re-discover the last two thousand years of mathematics on your own, I'm not seeing how you'll learn it.

When Rain decided to learn some higher math for the SAT, she had great thinking skills but didn't know the basic "language" of higher math, and she did set out to deliberately learn it. Someone who started college at a community college or other college that didn't require a certain test score might very well be able to avoid intentionally learning higher math until college, and of course many happy and functional adults couldn't find a cosine if their lives depended on it, anyway.

After a 6 month hiatus, Rain wants to start studying SAT math again, so we'll see how it goes. She's dancing a lot this summer, too - all ballet this time. And she's learnig Arabic with me, just for fun.

Dar
Oh, I definitely agree - as I mentioned in my other post, if a child chooses to learn more complex math, they will take the steps necessary to do so.

How cool about the Arabic!
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#66 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 01:53 PM
 
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Well, a child will learn algebra if it becomes necessary in his or her life to know algebra. Additionally, algebra and other math concepts do not have to be "deliberately" learned, but is instead knowledge gained through practical application in the course of completing a task. Learning is not something that has to take place in a black and white way, and information is undoubtedly more meaningful when it is gained in the process of doing something that matters to the person doing the learning.
I *hated* algebra in school, failed badly, had to go to summer school 2 summers running, teachers just kept telling me to drop out of math, I just wasn't good at it.

As an adult, I bought into this and avoided anything mathematical, managed to avoid anything math or real science while doing my degree. Later on, I took a construction electrical course, and algebra is absolutely necessary to any electrical or electronic work. You have to use algebra to work out how much current is going to be used, how much wire you need. If you don't get the calculations right, at best you'd be wasting money in materials, or fail to meet building codes. At worst you risk killing yourself by underestimating the voltage of the current.

Suddenly, when I absolutely had to know algebra in order to keep myself safe, and when the calculations were telling me something concrete (if I wind up with an answer that I need 20,000 feet of copper wiring to install a bathroom, I know I've done something wrong ), suddenly algebra made total sense and became incredibly easy to learn.

I remember asking my high school math teachers "but what does "x" mean? What is this telling me?" and they would just tell me that I asked stupid questions, I obviously didn't understand the material and should just drop the course. What I wanted, what I needed was some concrete examples to wrap my head around. Because I couldn't instantly grasp the theory of algebra, without any real world applications, and the narrow way it was taught in my school, I was "stupid" and should just give up.

Most people don't learn by memorizing theory, then learning to use it. It's other way around, and that's how unschooling works. We need to know something, so we learn it. I think it's a dirty little secret of public schooling that advanced math and sciences are needed just as much, if not more, in working-class trade jobs as they are in university level research and study. I've learning far more about math and science through hobbies and work than I ever did in school. In fact, my experience in this trades course (when ds was struggling in grade 2) was a huge influence on me taking the plunge to unschool. Everything that I thought I knew about myself, educationally, from school, that I'm "good" at words and "bad" at math/logic/sciences, I've abandoned as an adult.
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#67 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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Sorry about the double posts, I had to respond to the math stuff before I finished reading the thread , how math is taught in school is huge pet peeve of mine

We've been having a great few days here. I have a lot of time off work this month (though a little stressed about the money I'm not making), and ds and I have been able to really reconnect and hang out a lot. Plus the house is no longer a danger to small children and pets , now that I've finally done a bit of housecleaning.

Ds has been playing a GameCube game called Fire Emblem quite obsessively lately, and finally beat the game the other day. He was a bit bummed out, thought, that he had nothing else to do in the game, he's a huge strategy game fan, so he decided to write up his own strategy game to play with his friends, and has spent hours so far writing up the basic character set, weapons and attacks, and working out weighting ratios to develop the scoring system (how much weight to give to an individual attack or weapon, based on dice rolls.)

We went for a long walk along the river bank, we haven't been down to the river yet since the spring ice break up, and we didn't realize how high the river still is. It's flooded over the banks in a few areas, and the riverwalk system, a nice paved with large open areas and steps that follow the river for a few miles, has been flooded. There go our plans to walk the length of the riverwalk. What we did, though, was to watch the tiny eco-system that is flourishing in the very shallow water of the large steps area behind the legislative building. This is one of the best fishing spots in the city, and lots of big fish live around here (catfish, pike), but their too big to get over the paved lip and into the 2 inches of water covering this area, so there were lots of schools of minnows and other tiny fish, water boatmen stalking small insects, and other tiny animal life, usually not very visible in this river, since it's so murky and has so many predators.

Walking back, ds discovered a bunch of different bugs, it's been raining like crazy here, very unusual for summer in Winnipeg, and there are way more creepy crawlers around than we usually have, so we hunted around some dead logs and between paving stones. Ds pointed out to me the difference between aphids and mites, and what lady bug larvae look like (not at all like lady bugs!) I'm a city girl, but, before his latest obsession with religion and poliitics, ds was a huge animal buff for years, and knew what all the bugs, fish, spiders were saw were, and could identify a lot of animal tracks in the mud.

My brother and his wife are in town this week, and we all went out for sushi the other night, discovered the best sushi restaurant I have ever been to, and bro was really impressed with how much ds knew about Japanese food (he loooooves sushi), how comfortable he was with chopsticks, and how willing he is to try new things (ds's all time favorite food is octopus.)

Oh, and as for the socialization thing , ds had his first football practice over the weekend, ds is huuuuge for his age (6' tall and 300 rather solid pounds), by the end of the 2 hour practice the other kids were chanting his name and patting him on the head and shoulder pads. He didn't seem to isolated It's so nice for him to finally have a place where his size is actually an asset and people are happy for it. He doesn't really fit in to anything anymore, quite literally, most public places, he doesn't fit into seats and his knees come up to his chin when he sits down. He always kind of looks like a clown in one of those tiny little cars with their knees sticking out the window, and I feel for him, not fitting into the world, literally. Even when he did things like martial arts, wrestling and boxing, his size was a problem because there were no other kids anywhere near his size, and often even the instructor was too small to spar with him. Football seems to have been made for him, though. It combines a need for pure strength and size, with the sort of strategy stuff he loves so much (his wrestling and boxing coaches have all commented that he has a lot of talent in this area, that he really thinks through what his opponent will likely do and can adjust his reaction to them on the fly), plus he gets to be around other boys for whom running into hard things at full force is a fun way to spend the afternoon .

I love his coach, too, he's the dad of ds's best friend from elementary school, the friend is on the team too, and the coach's philosophy is so great. One of the offensive line coaches apparently at one point told ds to "go out and hate that guy" and the head coach came over and, nicely, corrected this coach and talked to ds about how great it is that he's so strong and powerful, because it will bring up the play of the whole team, and that he didn't need to make anything personal, but to go as hard as he could, because the defensive players need to learn how to stand up to someone like him, and how he's a great asset to the team. This makes much more sense to ds than "hating" someone, he assumes that anyone playing football loves to hit, and get hit, as much as he does. I love this coach!
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#68 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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Can I jump in? My dd Sophie just turned 5. I've always planned to homeschool her. About a year ago I started to pay attention to the unschooling threads here. I really like the idea of child led learning but didn't feel like my dd would get to a point of asking to be taught. Well it's finally happening. She's super interested in birds, dinosaurs and leaves right now. She's asked for a field guide to identify birds so we checked one out from the library. Now she keeps hollering at me when she sees a robin, blue jay or cardinal. I'm actually thinking that this will work out well for her.

Do you ever encourage your child to learn something? Sophie has a set of BOB books that she likes to read. She won't attempt to read anything else though. I want to encourage and support her in trying to expand her reading skills but I don't want to push and I also don't want her to become discouraged.
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#69 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 02:38 PM
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When Rain decided to learn some higher math for the SAT, she had great thinking skills but didn't know the basic "language" of higher math, and she did set out to deliberately learn it. Someone who started college at a community college or other college that didn't require a certain test score might very well be able to avoid intentionally learning higher math until college, and of course many happy and functional adults couldn't find a cosine if their lives depended on it, anyway.

Thank you! You said it much better than I! And yes, I don't know of a 4-year college that doesn't require maths.

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A gentle reminder - this is a support thread. I know you have questions, and those could probably be addressed by doing a search or by posting a new thread geared toward information or debate.



Anyway, those of you who have been helpful, thanks, but clearly I and my questions are not welcome, so I'm out.
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#70 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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When Rain decided to learn some higher math for the SAT, she had great thinking skills but didn't know the basic "language" of higher math, and she did set out to deliberately learn it. Someone who started college at a community college or other college that didn't require a certain test score might very well be able to avoid intentionally learning higher math until college, and of course many happy and functional adults couldn't find a cosine if their lives depended on it, anyway.

Thank you! You said it much better than I! And yes, I don't know of a 4-year college that doesn't require maths.
I'm afraid I still don't understand what you are implying - unschooled children can and do learn higher math concepts, both traditionally and non-traditionally. If an unschooler chooses to go to college, he takes the appropriate steps to make himself ready to do so. I don't know what, exactly, you mean by not knowing a four-year-institution that doesn't require math - when have you seen someone say that their unschooler expects to get into college without understanding what that entails?
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#71 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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Anyway, those of you who have been helpful, thanks, but clearly I and my questions are not welcome, so I'm out.
Mama, you don't have to be out. I didn't meant it that way. I just meant that unschoolers need a place for support. We take a lot of heat for our choices sometimes, and that's why this thread was began. When we have to defend or even explain our choices repeatedly, within a *support* thread especially, it gets very tiresome.

You are more than welcome here! Who am I to say othewise? I'm nobody, but someone who wants a supportive thread. And here we are, once again, debating. Yuck. Maybe I need a break too.

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#72 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 04:13 PM
 
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Don't feel too bad mamanosbest. Last month's support thread got derailed into a TV/media debate, which morphed into a gun play debate- I guess it's hard to support each other for so long without a debate breaking out somewhere!

The simple answer is that a child who wants to go to college will make an effort to learn what he or she needs to know in order to get there. Structured learning is still "unschooling" if the child requests the structure and helps to set it up.

Some kids learn more "formal mathmatics" even without being formal about it- such as opening up the math textbook and learning a chapter when the mood strikes her, or doing an online quiz game that asks math questions. Heck, earlier today I was doing Quizzies on DD's webkinz account, and she looked over my shoulder as I answered math questions, and introduced some of the "language of math" that way.

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#73 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 05:38 PM
 
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Owl pellets...that was the lesson today at our fave park. There are tons of them and I stepped on one, rolled my foot a bit, and out came the remains...DS was enthralled! I was icked out .

I am not too worried about math with the kids. Of course, they're 4 and 2...

mamanosbest, you're questions are welcome...but this thread is usually more of a "check out what we're up to", "hey, good idea," "we should try that," kind of thread. it easily gets confused when a major topic comes up. i'd recommend asking in a new thread directed at unschoolers to get a better handle on it.

happy day, all!

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#74 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 08:31 PM
 
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We had a trip to the library today, my faaaavorite! We watched some people playing chess for a little while, then picked too many books and movies to fit in our tote bag! Ds asked me to help him pick some books with easy words so he can try to read himself. Then he went to help my mom with some gardening while i cooked dinner. Now he's watching a Charlie Brown movie and drawing pictures of Godzilla. Later he's going to pick some recipes from the vegetarian kids' cookbook he picked out, and help me make the grocery list. A simple but fun day. Yay!

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#75 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 10:28 PM
 
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They had giant leaves, flowers, twigs, just all kinds of stuff they'd picked up off the land as "goods", and they were using pebbles as money.
I love this! Do your kids make "stew" also? All my kids did that--the 7 yr old still does and I remember doing it as a kid.

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She's super interested in birds, dinosaurs and leaves right now. She's asked for a field guide to identify birds so we checked one out from the library. Now she keeps hollering at me when she sees a robin, blue jay or cardinal. I'm actually thinking that this will work out well for her.
Sounds like it's working out just great!

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Originally Posted by sweetfeet
Do you ever encourage your child to learn something? Sophie has a set of BOB books that she likes to read. She won't attempt to read anything else though. I want to encourage and support her in trying to expand her reading skills but I don't want to push and I also don't want her to become discouraged.
I support whatever my kids are interested in. If my dc liked reading Bob books, then I'd support that and I'd respect her lack of interest in reading other things. I've looked at Bob books, and honestly, I can't believe they'd hold anyone's interest for all that long! She will doubtless become bored with them, and look for other things to read eventually. I'd bet that right now, her interest in these books is because she's working out some rules of reading for herself and needs the familiarity of the books to do so. She's sure to expand her reading skills when she's ready.

A vent:
So, there's this woman I know who ALWAYS asks me the same questions about hsing every time I see her. I just saw her and she added a new question. She asked me if my 16 y/o "minds" being hsed. She said, "Does he mind being home all the time and never seeing any other kids?" I was soooo tempted to say something snarky like, "No, he loves living in the closet under the stairs where we keep him" but I was afraid she might believe that! :
Some people!

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#76 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 11:17 PM
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I love this! Do your kids make "stew" also? All my kids did that--the 7 yr old still does and I remember doing it as a kid.
Rain used to call it making "potions"... and this was before Harry Potter.

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#77 of 226 Old 06-06-2007, 11:58 PM
 
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And it didn't stop with Mortal Combat. Ren and Stimpy marathons even found a place in their portfolios (of course they didn't actually spell out that's what it was...I think they said it was fine arts instruction.
Love it!! I'd gladly list CSI as a science spring board for one.

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#78 of 226 Old 06-07-2007, 12:04 AM
 
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Rain used to call it making "potions"... and this was before Harry Potter.

dar

Oh yes that was my Dd as well! She'd mix water, milk, flour, corn starch, dirt, salt, garlic powder and cocoa to see "what's gonna happen mom?".

Today was mellow. Dd took off for a couple of hours to see a friend. I did some cleaning that I'd been putting off, and then made baked potatoes and salad. Now they are all watching Norbit and then I will join them for "Happily Never After". I made brownies two nights in a row. mmmmm

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#79 of 226 Old 06-07-2007, 10:13 AM
 
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love this! Do your kids make "stew" also? All my kids did that--the 7 yr old still does and I remember doing it as a kid
Yes! So cute!

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I was soooo tempted to say something snarky like, "No, he loves living in the closet under the stairs where we keep him" but I was afraid she might believe that
That would have been so funny!

The woman who asked you that question reminded me of my grandmother. She's dead now, but she used to ask me that question whenever we would talk.

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It's so nice for him to finally have a place where his size is actually an asset and people are happy for it. He doesn't really fit in to anything anymore, quite literally, most public places, he doesn't fit into seats and his knees come up to his chin when he sits down. He always kind of looks like a clown in one of those tiny little cars with their knees sticking out the window, and I feel for him, not fitting into the world, literally.
Mama, how'd you grow such a nice tall young man?! That must be so neat to see him getting all grown up like that. My boys are still young so I'm excited about what they will be like as they get older.

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#80 of 226 Old 06-07-2007, 11:23 AM
 
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Right now, my unschooler is running off to do some research on Islam (anyone have any good links for kids?) - later, he'll probably bang away on his guitar some more - we gave him an electric guitar for his birthday last week. So far, he's enjoying just getting to make noise with it, we'll see if he really puts the effort into learning to play the thing. Then he'll likely watch some anime, draw a comic, and walk down to the park to swing.
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#81 of 226 Old 06-07-2007, 11:35 AM
 
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Isn't warm weather a happy balm? My kids are just full of life and happily going from swimming to playing in the backyard to playing games to drawing to building a ramp for their bikes to playing cars and trucks in the dirt under the maple tree to watching a dvd to going to the library to taking a walk to the Dairy Queen.........

I love being a mama!
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#82 of 226 Old 06-07-2007, 11:39 AM
 
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This is going to seem like a no-brainer to you guys, but I really need some unschooling reassurance here. My oldest son just turned 6 and my youngest son is 3 1/2. This past year was our first year of legal homeschooling. I should also add that my kids are strongly self-motivated (Moominmama had a great phrase about autonomous learners) and their personality traits are what led me to unschooling. Dh and I are very academic; unschooling has been a learning process for both of us! My oldest, in particular, is very head-strong and very driven to learn what he wants to. Unschooling was the most respectful way of homeschooling him. And he learns SO much.

Anyway...my request for reassurance. Ds1 just started reading about 6 months ago. He had pre-reading skills down much earlier but he just lacked the interest and need to go the next step. 6 months ago, he went from sounding out "cat" to reading words that go defy phonetical rules. He's learned to read organically without instruction. In the beginning, we gave him some help but it became quickly apparent that he was figuring it out in his own way. Once or twice, I've tried to explain a phonetical rule and it just doesn't gel with him, yet he reads words that use that rule and violate that rule. He's just figuring it out in his own way and whatever he's doing, it's really working for him. I have no idea what he can read, although the rare glimpses I've gotten have led me to believe that he can read quite a lot. I don't know if he even realizes he's doing it sometimes.

Sorry, here's the request for reassurance part. He's always loved being read to, since he was a baby. He absolutely *loves* books but he never reads. He can read but he doesn't seem to enjoy it. The other day, after a trip to the bookstore, I casually told him that if he ever wanted to practice reading, that I'd be happy to help him. At one time, he enjoyed working through the Adventures of Little Bear with me. He said, "No, I don't want to read." and I said, "That's fine. It's whatever you want to do. I just wanted to let you know that if you changed your mind and you want some help, you can ask me." He went on to say that he preferred to "mostly play", which I completely understand. I said that dh felt the same way when he was a boy but that when he grew older, he started to enjoy reading (dh reads every night). Then, my son said that he was never going to read, not even as an adult. He loves being *read to*, but he has no interest in doing it himself at the moment, to the point where he's declared he's never going to do it.

Now, I realize that he's 6 years old. And I realize that most 6 year olds would rather "mostly play". I'm fine with that. My kids play all day. That's great! I guess I'm confused as to why he enjoys being read to so much but doesn't enjoy reading for pleasure. Although...I suppose there's a work element involved at the moment and he doesn't want to do that right now. But he has such varied interests in non-fictional things that it seems like reading would be liberating. He's always poring over books on dinosaurs, human anatomy and volcanoes...actually, he could very well be reading them but I assumed he's looking at the pictures. I guess I just want reassurance that his current feelings only reflect the mind of a 6 year old child and do not necessarily reflect a future attitude towards reading. I mean, my husband, who devours books at an insane rate, hated reading in school because he hated the obligation part of it. We are a book-loving family so at some point of readiness, he will change his mind about reading, won't he?

Again, it probably sounds like a no-brainer to you guys but as we're really new to the whole thing, I was looking for some reassurance and BTDT. Thanks.
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#83 of 226 Old 06-07-2007, 12:00 PM
 
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LeftField ,your ds already has the tools to read,he just doesn't need to yet! He is perfectly happy looking at books and being read to. His environment sounds conducive to a healthy,happy reading life. Trust him to know when.

I have an 8 yr. old ds that *can* read but still wants me to read everything for him. So I do. No big deal. I never push him. I know that he will read when he wants to.

Also,remember that reading for you *is* a no-brainer. Reading to comprehend for a six year old is quite another matter.

Just relax about it and keep enjoying!
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#84 of 226 Old 06-07-2007, 12:33 PM
 
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Hi LeftField, my ds was totally the same way at 6, and I suspect a lot of kids go through this phase. Like Oldermamato5 said, reading to comprehend is a much harder task than just sounding stuff out. It takes a lot of co-ordination between the eyes and different parts of the brain to accomplish, and that development takes time, and every kid is different.

For ds, he could read at about a grade 9 level in grade one, but didn't have the experience yet to understand the context of a lot of what he was reading, so, while he could read it out fluidly, and understand most of what he read, he missed a lot of the subtler stuff that made it enjoyable.

For ds, it was when he wanted to read stuff that I wasn't willing to, or didn't always have the time to read aloud to him that gave him the impetus to read. Mostly it was Calvin and Hobbes collections, a video game called Zelda, and Nintendo Power magazine. While I was willing to read to him everyday for hours from whatever he wanted, after about the 60th time of reading the same 200page Calvin and Hobbes book, I drew the line.

With the video game, there were long text passages and he couldn't move forward until he'd read them. If I was busy at the time, he'd have to wait to play until I could help. That was probably the main thing pushing him, he wanted to get back to his game quickly, so he learned to get the important information out of the text pretty quickly.

He still enjoyed to be read aloud to for a few years after that, but by the time he was about 9 or so, I'd read the first chapter of a book, he'd enjoy it, so take it off to his room and read the whole thing while I wasn't looking
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#85 of 226 Old 06-07-2007, 09:38 PM
 
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OH, most definitely yes, mama, he's just saying that right now. I know you know this, but I'll just say it outloud: he will absolutely learn to fully read..he will do it. When and how much are the only variable that are unknown.

And I hear what you're saying. There are only a few thing in life I love more than reading. Reading is such a passion for me. I began reading very early in life and never stopped. I read for pleasure and will forgo household responsibilities for a good book any day!

But naturally, I have some children who are *not* this way. My almost 10 year old cannot fully read yet, and cares nothing for it. He knows lots of words, and can put together sentences when he looks at a book, and he has a kick ass vocabulary. In fact, just this afternoon he told me that he wasn't going to succumb to my way of washing the dishes, that he would do it his own way. How in the heck does he know what succumb means?

He will read when he's ready. He may never enjoy books like I do, but it's ok. It's ok for him to be him.

Now, I have a couple of daughters that DO love reading...and I'm glad. But no more so than I'm glad that my son loves to make fires and fix things around the house.

Do you have The Unschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith? She has an interesting chapter about reading and writing that I just recently re-read. It's fun to read what other unschooling children are experiencing in the reading area.

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#86 of 226 Old 06-07-2007, 10:18 PM
 
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Thank you!! I really needed to hear those things from someone. If I mentioned it to anyone IRL, there would be some weird concern. He is totally free to learn on his own schedule but the benchmark seems to be children who receive instruction/nudging/parental expectations. I'm not disparaging the latter, but it's just not our style and yet I feel like we're alone in this style. I really need to meet up with our local homeschool group more next year because there is a core unschooling contingency. Most of my homeschool friends do school at home. I think I need to meet some new people who do it our way too.

Thank you again. I really appreciate the reassurance!
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#87 of 226 Old 06-07-2007, 10:42 PM
 
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Okay, I have a little dilemma,
for those ignorant and uncool folk who dont closely follow the life and times of the (in)famous Mama Majikfaerie ; we've just moved to a new country (australia) and are searching for a homely-home somewhere in the bush where we can live happily, me and dh can work from home (need internet connection), and DD can be part of a local unschooling/ hsing group with other "crunchy" families...

Well, we're in the rainbow region of Oz, an area populated by hippies, new-agers and ferals, its chocka-block with organic farms, sustainable communities, eco-villages, rainbow people, rainforest, more organic stuff... even the rednecks are into crystals and reiki.

We found a PERFECT place; a small acreage, with 3 dwellings on it, 200 fruit trees, a salt-water swimming pool, a sweet-water spring on tap, electricity and phone connected with possiblity to connect ADSL, gas cooking and hot water set up, AND the other two dwellings house single mothers with children around DD's age!!! not only that, its CHEAP RENT!!!!

Even better, one of the single mothers turns out to be an old friend of mine, and her 5 1/2 yo dd became instant best friends with my dd, AND (get this); the mama (who is a WAHM with a ring sling business) has a dream of starting a homeschooling group with as many local kids as she can!

Sounds like a dream too good to be true right?


so here's my problem:
DH and I are actually bordering on "anti-school", in the sence that we dont want to do traditional home-schooling (where it becomes "schhol-at-home"). But it seems that this mama IS planning on it - she has just bought a gorgeous antique school-desk (the kind with space for 2 kids to sit on a bench, with attached table that lifts up and the bench also lifts up so the kids can kneel to pray - no, she's not xtian, just that the bench is THAT old!)

We really have a problem with how this woman treats her daughter; she is really into the praise/ reward thing, and we are really NOT, and she uses all the same conditional manipulations that we really dont like (you know, "if you dont do as I say, then you cant do X" kinda stuff).

We are really wanting to have a more radical unschooling environment, and we are committed to unconditional parenting (in a simialr way to Kohn's principles), and uninhindered living. But this mama, tho really crunchy and into AP, isnt doing any of that stuff.

I'm just not sure I want to move in with this kind of environment, and I dont really want to try to convert her... I dont really mind how she raises her daughter, but it looks like our DDs will be spending a LOT of time together, and the woman is already planning how we will do shared lessons...

any ideas?

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#88 of 226 Old 06-07-2007, 11:00 PM
 
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Have you tried talking to her about NOT wanting to do shared lessons? That you want to utilize a different educational style and you'd rather keep "lessons" separate?

You're not going to find anyplace to live that's completely perfect. I think it will be good for both girls to learn to respect each other's family's differences.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#89 of 226 Old 06-07-2007, 11:34 PM
 
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Wow. I"d sure like to be living next to you in this wonderfully free and alive place!

I second Ruthla in sharing with the other mama how *you* have come to *unschool* your dd. That you want your dd to play and share but not in a constricted sort of way. It sounds like maybe she has a leader type personality so you'll probably need to say something to let her know right away that your styles differ.
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#90 of 226 Old 06-08-2007, 12:03 AM
 
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I am a Ambitious woman HSing my 7 year old and 5 year old with little 3 year old right along side us. We are happy that Summer is here it kind of takes the stress of having to Meet any goals I think up in my head. I have reserved adventure, animal raising, and swimming for the next few weeks so the pressure to "learn" is off. I just found 10 or so good books on tape at the thrift store for us to listen to. New books to keep us busy for 2 weeks. Baby Bunnies to find homes for, and a new 14 week old pup to teach some manners to. I am also hoping to get my home diaper/carrier/herbal buis moving a bit.
I am looking to buy a Oak meadow 2nd grade curriculum or even 1st and 3rd if anyone has one.

Kiya- Mama to 3 growing Son's. Waldorf joy.gifDoula  hug.gif  Making Recycled Woolens and Trainers every spare moment.
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