Can you explain unschooing to me? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 07-11-2008, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What is unschooling to you? I don't think I completely understand.
Is it just about education? If your child has an interest in something so you gather books on that? Do you try and incorporate learning experiences into their everyday life or do you just let them learn through their own experiences?
Is it a way of life? If they want ice-cream they have ice-cream. If they want to stay up late they stay up late? Or is it different for everyone? I would like to be more clear in the definition. We are very relaxed and I find that my children are constantly learning even when not teaching.
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#2 of 4 Old 07-11-2008, 02:15 PM
 
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Here's a thread that has links to quite a few good threads about unschooling, including suggestions for articles and books: So, tell me about unschooling

You asked
"Is it just about education? If your child has an interest in something so you gather books on that? Do you try and incorporate learning experiences into their everyday life or do you just let them learn through their own experiences?
Is it a way of life? If they want ice-cream they have ice-cream. If they want to stay up late they stay up late? Or is it different for everyone? I would like to be more clear in the definition. We are very relaxed and I find that my children are constantly learning even when not teaching."
It's different for different people. To some it's a whole lifestyle that touches all factors, but to some it's mostly about education. The thing is that there just tends to be a relationship between a style of education that respects a child's feelings about what and how he learns to the broader issues that affect the rest of life. Like anything else, that all runs across a wider spectrum than a lot of people realize - I've known unschoolers of all kinds. The end of the spectrum where the most choice is given to the children would fall within what people often refer to as "radical unschooling." Lillian
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#3 of 4 Old 07-11-2008, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Lillian!
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#4 of 4 Old 07-13-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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For us, it is a balance between what the kids want and what we as parents want. I do lots of background things (like looking up our state's curriculum guides online), but then let dd choose what she wants to learn about. I then try to work in things that apply to what a typical kid her age would be learning. Sometimes she chooses to work out of workbooks, but I don't make her do it.

I let her chose mostly what she wants to eat, but that is really more about her problems with eating than it is our unschooling philosophy. We do have a rule that you have to balance healthy foods and treat foods, but that's it.

Bedtimes are fairly consistent. I need down time at night. So dd goes in her room about 8:30, she often is still up at 10, but she stays in her room on her bed reading and listening to music. Ds is just a toddler, but I put him down around 8ish. Dh works late so I have a couple hours alone every night, which I really need.
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