I don't like the term "unschooling" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know....it rubs me the wrong way. :

I am not sure what would be a "better" term but unschooling always seems to have an "uninvolved parent" connotation by those who are who are not unschoolers or who are wondering if they are unschoolers.

I wonder if that is because "unschooling" can mean sooooooo many different things.

Hmmm......I don't know. Just thinking out loud I guess.

What do you think?

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#2 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 05:02 PM
 
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Child led learning.
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#3 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 05:06 PM
 
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I don't like "unschooling" either because it seems negative to me - stating what it's not instead of what it is.

I also don't like child-led learning because it sounds like the parent is left out of the equation.

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#4 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 05:09 PM
 
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life learners?
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#5 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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I like it because it is negative. I like that it means "not school." I'm kinda a downer though in general.

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#6 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 05:13 PM
 
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Parent-supported natural learning? Hmm. Not very catchy!

Learning & growing & changing everyday!
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#7 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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I think the correct term really depends on how it's being used (duh right ) But seriously, I've known of some unschoolers who really are just that - kids can do and eat anything they want and parents are totally uninvolved in setting up scenarios for learning etc.

Then I've seen child-led learning where the parents set up learning activities for the kids based on the child's current interests, which is kind of where I'm at - but which a lot of people would never call unschooling because I'm involved in helping her to learn.

Life long learners is a good broad phrase I think - it can cover a wide variety of learning styles.
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#8 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 05:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
I like it because it is negative. I like that it means "not school." I'm kinda a downer though in general.


I agree. I was first very attracted to it specifically because it meant NOT SCHOOL. But now that I've seen how negatively people (especially on this board) react to it, I don't like it as much.

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#9 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 05:18 PM
 
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Then I've seen child-led learning where the parents set up learning activities for the kids based on the child's current interests, which is kind of where I'm at - but which a lot of people would never call unschooling because I'm involved in helping her to learn.
Really? For some people involvement negates unschooling? Crazy!

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#10 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 05:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
I like it because it is negative. I like that it means "not school." I'm kinda a downer though in general.
totally lol.

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#11 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 05:26 PM
 
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I don't like "unschooling" either because it seems negative to me - stating what it's not instead of what it is.
Same here.

"Life Learners" is more accurate, but still seems cumbersome to me. I'd rather not have to explain it at all--if I were queen of the world, life learning would be the default and others would have to specify, "We school."

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#12 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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I think the correct term really depends on how it's being used (duh right ) But seriously, I've known of some unschoolers who really are just that - kids can do and eat anything they want and parents are totally uninvolved in setting up scenarios for learning etc.

Then I've seen child-led learning where the parents set up learning activities for the kids based on the child's current interests, which is kind of where I'm at - but which a lot of people would never call unschooling because I'm involved in helping her to learn.

Life long learners is a good broad phrase I think - it can cover a wide variety of learning styles.
my kids can pretty much do and eat anything they want, and i don't set up activities 'for learning' but i'm completely involved with my kids.

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#13 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 05:48 PM
 
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Here are some:

Life Learners

Organic Learners

Natural Learners

Low-Key-Learning-All-the-Time Learners

Focused-Intense-Passionate Learners

Passion-led Learners

I never say we are unschoolers. I think it sounds too much like non-schoolers which sounds like not schooling which to most ears sounds like not learning which sounds like WTF are you doing--you're educationally negligent, you freak!!

I just always say we're low key and the kids learn all year round...people can connect the dots of that any way they want--they assume lessons and tests at the kitchen table, or they assume field trips and cooking with Mom.

I don't like the term "unschooling" either.

But we do unschool and we love it! :

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#14 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 05:50 PM
 
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Just thinking about my own situations, especially with IL's. I just call it Homeschooling, and then I don't really get into it too much. Honestly, they don't have the kind of open-mindedness to "get it" anyway.
But for people who really care and want to know, couldn't we call it "School Free" or how 'bout "non-institutionalized learning" lol ?

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#15 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 06:30 PM
 
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Ooo, I like non-institutionalized learning!
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#16 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 06:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
I like it because it is negative. I like that it means "not school." I'm kinda a downer though in general.
Me, too!~
I use the term to describe it sometimes to those who ask (mostly in my HS'ing circles where the term is used), but I generally refer to what we do as life learning, or learning what we desire or are passionate about at the moment...

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#17 of 98 Old 08-11-2008, 10:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lauradbg View Post
I never say we are unschoolers. I think it sounds too much like non-schoolers which sounds like not schooling which to most ears sounds like not learning which sounds like WTF are you doing--you're educationally negligent, you freak!!
: Laura you're a riot.

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#18 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 12:17 AM
 
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I try really hard not to label what we do...unless someone asks specifically, I generally don't give alot of details. I can never tell what sort of label will get what sort of reaction from folks...it's just easier to be covert...is there a covert smilie?!

R
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#19 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 12:53 AM
 
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See, I love to be subversive and to make people raise their eyebrows, so saying we don't do school is usually a bag of laughs for me. Because I really don't care what they think, generally. I guess I thrive on conflict.

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#20 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 01:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
I am not sure what would be a "better" term but unschooling always seems to have an "uninvolved parent" connotation by those who are who are not unschoolers or who are wondering if they are unschoolers.

I wonder if that is because "unschooling" can mean sooooooo many different things.
I think all those things would come up regardless of what it were to be called. They'd all just transfer right over. Lillian
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#21 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 01:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think all those things would come up regardless of what it were to be called. They'd all just transfer right over. Lillian
True

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#22 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 01:57 AM
 
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I like unschooling. I mean....do "regular" homeschoolers keep wanting to come up with a different term because they arent home all the time? Yet on unschooling boards it comes up all the time. Not only do i like the term unschooling, i like the term RADICAL unschooling, cuz it makes me feel all, well, radical.

The term i've been using alot lately is Mindful Parenting. It applies to our lives much more than attachment parenting, and now that my son is in school, we arent *technically* unschoolers....and yet, nothing about my actual parenting or our daily lives has changed that much. All the "radical" parts of radical unschooling (yknow, the chores/food/bedtime issues) is what really defines our unschooling i think, and that level of freedom existed in our home before my son was "school aged", while he was in school, when he stopped going and started unschooling, and now that he's back in school.

My neighbor across the street kept saying "so....you onschool? Can you explain this onschooling to me??" I was like "UNschooling. UN....as in NOT schooling. We dont do school. At all. Ever. "


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#23 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 10:31 AM
 
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I only ever define us as unschoolers when it's necessary to let people know where we're coming from - like on the homeschooling message boards, or when I want to get a reaction from people.

Ya, I'm immature like that.

When i want to REALLY get a reaction from people I tell them "Oh, we don't do school".

Other than that I just say we're homeschoolers. I think the only people that care about the specifics are you...and other homeschoolers when you're shooting ideas around.
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#24 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 11:02 AM
 
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I only ever define us as unschoolers when it's necessary to let people know where we're coming from - like on the homeschooling message boards, or when I want to get a reaction from people. .
Thats something i forgot to mention! If the lady at the grocery store asked my son "out of school today" we didnt say we're UNschoolers...she'd have no idea what we were talking about. We just said homeschoolers. If it was a more in depth conversation, i would explain that there is a type/philosophy of homeschooling called unschooling in which the parent is not the teacher, you dont use curriculum, blahblahblah.


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#25 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 12:07 PM
 
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I never used the term "unschooling" outside of occasional discussions with unschoolers, and I didn't tend to think about it. I don't think my other unschooling friends tended to think about it much either. It was just what we did, and we thought of ourselves as homeschoolers - we simply told people we homeschooled. If asked about it, I did discuss the way we operated and the fact that my son largely taught himself - that was something people could easily understand. We were out and around a whole of people, and we never had any reason to label ourselves at all. - Lillian
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#26 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 12:11 PM
 
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I agree, I am also one who doesn't like the term "unschooling".
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#27 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 12:38 PM
 
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I usually just say homeschooling. But then if I'm asked about what curriculum I'm using and how we structure our day. Then I feel like I need to say that we're unschoolers. I didn't think unschooling sounded negative. But people's reactions make me realize that they don't understand that term. They think it means we're not teaching our kids anything. So, I'll likely just say we don't use a formal curriculum. We may use a curriculum in the future and I do think an unschooler can develop a curriculum that works for them. But learning from the world around us is working great right now. My oldest child is only kindy age though so it's so natural to not touch a textbook right now.
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#28 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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I never really liked it either for the same reason as the OP. It always had some kind of Orwellian baggage to me

I REALLY dislike 'Child led learning'..it just seems so frivolous or neglectful to me.

We attempted a Sudbury model for a year or so and it became total mayhem and Lord Of The Flies;which was NOT what we expected nor was it good for our introverted kids.

I am more the type who likes to do what is right for our family but I don't care about what the choices of other families are.

I DEFINATELY do not think home or unschooling is right for everyone and would never presume to know what was.

I just want to have the liberty to do what is right for us.

I generally say we 'Homeschool' to get off the hook with certain folks. Rarely do I get a follow up question -unless someone wants to know what curriculum we use. Then I say we are eclectic.
Unless I am talking to other home/un schooling parents that understand the lingo and they get that we unschool.
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#29 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 03:18 PM
 
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I usually just say homeschooling. But then if I'm asked about what curriculum I'm using and how we structure our day. Then I feel like I need to say that we're unschoolers.
I'm curious why that is. Why not just explain that you don't use curriculum and then say what it is that you do instead? Just a question - I'm not trying to debate - I'm just wondering. Lillian
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#30 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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Autonomous education/learning is more common here and it is not considered particularly odd within home-edding groups.

Autonomous doesn't really trip off the tongue but I like Roget's entry for autonomy and its synonyms:

Quote:
Main entry freedom
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: The condition of being politically free.
Synonyms: independence, independency, liberty, self-government, sovereignty
In the UK we are legally free to educate our children (a) to their age, ability and aptitude, and (b) to any special educational needs he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise. We are not legally obliged to produce reports or be inspected either so there is a great deal of freedom in law.

Unschooling seems more negative if you consider it alongside untidy, unheplful, unhappy etc and although I don't use it in conversation, I don't mind it.
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