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#61 of 71 Old 07-29-2003, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by resigned
So is that how you "unschool" your kid? By saying: "We can't debate or discuss the topic you're interested in because you didn't ask the right question."
No one said this. However, since you're the one complaining that the topic you're interested in isn't being discussed, perhaps it would behoove you to ask a question or otherwise define that topic, since I for one have no idea what it is. Apparently it's not any of the things you've actually asked about in your other posts.

We're real people here, not just words on a computer screen. We've spent time and energy trying to meet your needs, and all I've heard from you is criticism. You ask what "real children" do, and then complain about "endless anecdotes". You seem to want to see yourself as a victim here, but you're unwilling to look at your own actions. I've explained how your posts have confused me (and apparently many of us) about what you're actually looking for. If you're not getting what you want, perhaps you need to look at how you're asking. If there's some aspect of unschooling that you want to debate, please start a thread defining exactly what you want to debate instead of expecting people to read your mind.

OTOH, I've really enjoyed a lot of this thread, and reading about all of these cool unschooling lives...

Dar

 
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#62 of 71 Old 07-29-2003, 10:43 PM
 
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Resigned,

If you don't want personal anecdotes, I don't think you want this forum. Most of us come here for just that, the personal, real life stories about the topics that are being discussed. I do not own this list, and I am not telling you to leave, I just don't think you will be very satisfied with most of the responses to your queries. I too am a newcomer, and I believe your question has gotten me to reply more on these boards than any other. I just wish you were more forthcoming with what you want to get out of the original question. So I have some questions for you. What does unschooling mean to you? Do you see it as different than homeschooling? Do you feel your original question was answered? I really would like to see your responses here.

Take Care,
Erika

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"I am learning all the time, the tombstone will be my diploma"- Eartha Kitt
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#63 of 71 Old 07-30-2003, 07:51 AM
 
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Originally posted by resigned
So is that how you "unschool" your kid? By saying: "We can't debate or discuss the topic you're interested in because you didn't ask the right question."
Many people have spent a lot of time and have put a great deal of thought into answering your questions here. You seem upset because you're not getting the type of conversation you wanted and it's been suggested that you might hold some responsibility in that regard and that you might rectify the situation by rephrasing your questions.[/B][/QUOTE]


Quote:
Originally posted by resigned
Again, I wonder, if you practice unschooling with your kid, don't you want to also practice the same philosophy in other areas of your life?
I think it's been explained repeatedly on this thread that unschooling is a philosophy that extends to all areas of our lives--it's an idea that's been detailed in those personal anecdotes you dislike so much.

Quote:
Originally posted by resigned
If my type of "debate" is not welcome here, that should be stated clearly and directly.
There are many people at MDC who enjoy a good debate. While this thread began as a discussion of issues, it's deteriorated into a discussion of the discussion. Which is unfortunate because it had great possibility.

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#64 of 71 Old 07-30-2003, 11:28 AM
 
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Back to the original topic:
Quote:
could someone briefly explain "unschooling"?
Here is an explaination of unschooling from Fun Books:

" Unschooling can mean many things to many people - it is more a way of life than just an educational approach. You can find information about unschooling at www.unschooling.org and unschooling.com" Also: "To produce life-long learners, we need to show our children that learning is not just something that they get graded on or that only happens during certain hours of the day or certain times of the year. We need to help them hang on to the natural joy of learning that every child is born with, to help them see that learning new things is fun, and to help them realize that learning can take place anywhere and at anytime."

Here is a quote from Anne Sullivan: "I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. Whereas, if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less showily. Let him go and come freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself, instead of sitting indoors at a little round table, while a sweet-voiced teacher suggests that he build a stone wall with his wooden blocks, or make a rainbow out of strips of coloured paper, or plant straw trees in bead flower-pots. Such teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of, before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experience." -- Anne Sullivan


Quote:
Perhaps I might clarify the question a bit more. That is, how and what do children learn in the process of "unschooling"? Specifically, what types of activities (such as cooking, shopping, or reading Shakespeare, as already mentioned) do you do during the day?
They learn all the same things that "schooled" children learn, just in different ways.

During a day "unschooling" children have numerous activities, such as cooking, shopping, and reading Shakespeare, as already mentioned. Also, spelling, writing, arithmitic, computers, science experiments, nature explorations, physical fittness, historical and current events discussions, debates, woodworking, art and dance, crafts, interior design, animal husbandry, childcare, anatomy, biology, geography, higher math principles, grammer, etc. The list goes on and on.
Quote:
Does a parent put a child on a path to certain activities, like theater? How does a child become aware of a subject like theater or Roman history or whatever in the course of their learning?
A parent may suggest a certian path or activity to a child, or a child my express an interest in something he or she has seen, read, or heard of from someone else. There are endless ways that a child may become aware of a subject like theater (attending a play or movie for example) or Roman history (hearing someone talk about it, the history channel, pbs, or reading a book for example.)

I hope this answers your questions in a way that is more agreeable to you.

Peace,
~b
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#65 of 71 Old 07-30-2003, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I prefer not to single people out, but it seems to be the norm here.
Therefore........

Dar,
I have never complained that the topic wasn't being discussed the way I wanted. In fact, I said SEVERAL times that I appreciate all the responses. I also am not criticizing anyone. I have, however, said that I am thinking "critically" about this topic. Different thing altogether. I have been VERY careful NEVER to say anyone is wrong or single out anyone in particular to attack or offend. And I have been very careful to use "we" when saying things like "we should not be self-righteous". I was implying ME as much as anyone else here. In my last few posts I resorted to saying YOU rather than WE precisely because I had been singled out REPEATEDLY and, I think, quite unfairly. I also never asked for stories about "real children" although I can see how you may have interpreted it like that. Your personal anecdotes just aren't very user-friendly for me (so I will, therefore, go elsewhere). You seem to want everyone to think of you as THE EXPERT. Unfortunately, I get bored reading endless self-indulgence. THAT is a criticism, and a personal one, which I have carefully avoided up to this point. Thus, I'll leave the board to you.

But thank you, Barbara and others, for taking the time to write a thoughtful response.
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#66 of 71 Old 07-30-2003, 09:32 PM
 
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First, I've always thought it was nice, and respectful to address someone personally, especially when answering their question. I try to always do so in my posts. I also had believed that giving a personal story, or experience was much more polite than "THIS is what unschoolers do," for example. Especially when it comes to unschooling, as it is vastly differant for each family, and each unschooler. It is customary, here at mothering, to tell a little about yourself. We all give personal stories, and most people enjoy that. Personally, I would much rather hear someone telling me how something has worked in real life, than something they've read, for example.
In the rules of this discusion board it states that it is devoted to discussing "real life" and "real children," and that it is just that, a discusion board.
Quote:
"The MotheringDotCommune discussion boards..." and, "Our discussions on the boards are about the real world of mothering..."
I believe that is why you have gotten so many unwanted personal stories.
Being a discusion forum, it is expected that one would specify that a friendly debate is what you are seeking, as opposed to asking for a brief explaination. I believe this is where the confusion came in, I know it was for me.


Thirdly, I love you Dar! I love your posts, and I thought everything you said was well written and very thoughtful. Maybe it's just me, but I have always thought you to be quite the expert on unschooling as you are the most "radical" unschooler I know. I consider an expert not to be someone who has researched something, but someone who has lived it.

Fourthly, I have greatly enjoyed hearing everyone's experienes, and have learned so much about everyone (well, almost everyone.) I would have loved to hear from you, resigned, and what your interests are. I was hopping to hear why you were asking about unschooling, if you had children you were considering unschooling, or if it was just something that interested you. I'm kind of sad that you will not talk about yourself. That's usually what I expect from this board, but than, you are new here.
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#67 of 71 Old 07-30-2003, 10:06 PM
 
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Dar,

I have to agree with Lunar Forest that I really enjoy and apreciate your contributions to this forum. Your real life examples and your willingness to share them with strangers has been an inspiration to me to tell my own stories and share some of them here. Many thanks go out to all of you here who bring forth questions and replies, I have learned so much from all of you. And you know what, I have learned alot about myself in reading my own responses! Sometimes seeing your thoughts in print make you appreciate your own point of view even more. Please keep posting everyone (especially the newbies!), I for one would not know what I would do without this forum!

Take Care,
Erika

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail..."
"I am learning all the time, the tombstone will be my diploma"- Eartha Kitt
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#68 of 71 Old 07-31-2003, 02:13 AM
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It sounds like resigned has left the building, but if she (or he) is still here, I'll second what Erika and Lunar Forest said - addressing someone personally is pretty standard on boards and lists, as a way to specifically address questions and points that a person wrote. It's not intended as a singling out or an attack, but as a way to clarify to whom my comments are being addressed. I actually find statements like "We should not be self-righteous" to be really annoying, because I don't have any inkling about what prompted them or to whom they are addressed. I prefer that people be direct, and use "I" statements about how other posts affected them.

I'm not sure how I feel about being an "expert" unschooler. It's something I've done for a while and I feel comfortable with where I'm at with it, at least 99% of the time. I've spent time with a lot of other people who are doing it, and heard about their issues and how they chose to address them. For me, the same is true of breastfeeding, FWIW. I grok the concept, and I have first-hand experience. Maybe that's what makes someone an expert, I don't know. I used disposables diapers for Rain and if I had another baby and wanted to know about cloth, I'd generally respect the opinions of someone who'd done it and felt comfortable doing it, and who had hung out with other cloth diapering folks for a while, rather than someone who was also pregnant and planning to use cloth, or someone who had read up on the history of diapering. So in that sense I'm an expert, and Barbara is definitely an expert, and Miranda, and Lunar Forest *was* unschooled, so that's being an expert in a way I can never be! OTOH, being an expert doesn't mean you now it all, and being new to something doesn't mean you don't have meaningful ideas to contribute - I think it's more about having background.

Personally, I love reading people's personal stories. Some questions can really only be answered anecdotally, like, "How does a child become interested in reading?" or "airplane mechanics" or "Shakespeare". Every story is different, and it's only by looking at the multitude of different stories that I, at least, really get a sense for how unschooling really works. I like writing about Rain, and I think she's pretty wonderful, so maybe my stories are self-indulgent in a way, although if I didn't think there was another purpose to telling them I'd restrain myself.

And thank you to Erika, and Lunar Forest, and everyone who said such nice things about my posts - it means a lot to me.

Dar

 
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#69 of 71 Old 07-31-2003, 02:20 AM
 
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Wow, too bad how this thread has deteriorated. Resigned, if you're still reading, I have to say that while your questions were wonderfully thought-provoking, parts of your posts appear condescending and disingenuous.

One example: you say that

Quote:
I have been very careful to use "we" when saying things like "we should not be self-righteous". I was implying ME as much as anyone else here.
But you wrote earlier in the thread:

Quote:
I strongly disagree with the idea that unschooling (or any type of homeschooling) is a lifestyle. I've read this idea and heard it in almost every discussion or article I've read recently about homeschooling. To me, learning at home or with a family member outside of any formalized education system is not a "lifestyle"--as if it were similar to one's penchant for new shoes and handbags and a night out at the latest club. A lifestyle is not always a life-long committment to knowledge (self-knowledge, academic knowledge, whatever). We must think more specifically about what makes learning in unconventional ways particularly different than other forms of education and ways of life. To use the language of a "lifestyle" is to put learning on par with other forms of entertainment and amusement that capitalism fosters as a means to distract people and condition them as indifferent, careless consumers.
Given the context of that paragraph, in which you are explaining why you disagree with something everyone else in the discussion agrees with, and then say that we need to think about it, it is reasonable to assume that "we" means "you all" rather than "all of us."

Trying to slip that sort of thing past under the guise of sincere academic discussion is really annoying; so it's really pointless to make out that the problem is with the "closedness" of the people here when your approach almost guarantees that they will be put off.

Think about it.

(And, I think the responses were generally far more patient and tolerant than *I* would have been. Good thing I didn't get to this thread earlier! I probly woulda got in trouble!)
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#70 of 71 Old 07-31-2003, 11:40 PM
 
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I've just been keeping my mouth shut, as I'm not sure it's worth it to argue with someone who keeps changing the rules.

I just want to say though that I have enjoyed learning more about some of the individuals who've been posting on this thread, and I agree that when it comes to unschooling, anecdotes are the only real way to explain it.
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#71 of 71 Old 08-01-2003, 08:38 AM
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I'd like to say thank you to all of you who responded the OP's initiation of discussion and continued to offer thoughtful, knowledgable, entertaining and fan-dam-tastic personal, anectodatal experience to the pot and remained respectful and open to even more discussion through the entire three pages.



~Cynthia

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