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#1 of 14 Old 03-16-2009, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh and I are seriously, seriously thinking of pulling some of the kids out at the end of the year. We've been toying with the idea of homeschooling for about 4 years now, off and on, but we're at a point where we're looking more at the "how to" more so than the "should we?".

But, we're having a hard time de-programming (for lack of a better word) ourselves. We're very much still in the "authority" mindset. Not when it comes to overall parenting, but with schooling. Letting them decide what to learn? (for example) Seems so......I dont know how to explain it, but hard to do, yk?

I've heard of people suggesting letting kids "unwind" after you pull them out, but how do I do that? How do I unwind myself?

Thanks for getting this far.
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#2 of 14 Old 03-16-2009, 03:42 PM
 
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Here's some input on decompression/deschooling. If you follow the links, you'll find some thought provoking ideas that can help.

You're actually touching on two different issues. One is the decompression period, but another is letting them decide what to learn. During a decompression period, you should be prepared for the possibility that they won't actually care to learn anything - or at least not anything that's recognizable to you as "learning." You could see a lot of just plain old fooling around, daydreaming, doing things they didn't have time to do before, being couch potatoes, whatever... But it's not as if nothing is going on inside of them, and it's not as if it's time wasted - it's actually a very good investment of time.

I'll borrow here from a "getting started" article I wrote for our state homeschooling organization's website:
One fairly universal dynamic is the need for a decompression period after leaving school. The intensity of the need for decompression time is usually in direct proportion to the time that was spent in school and to whether or not (or to what degree) it was a difficult experience. Time allowed for the mysterious but necessary process of finding one's own rhythm is as legitimate and useful as formal academic study might be at this point. A child who suddenly has the opportunity to think for himself, learn in his own way, and work out his own schedule might appear as if he is not "doing" much, but this phase gradually evolves into more active interests and activities. The pot will generally come to a boil faster when it isn't watched with restless anticipation.

This can be a special and delicate time for your family—a time for getting to know and trust in one another in a new way—and it's a time to relish. This is a great time to relax and read to the family, take walks and field trips, bake and do crafts, and leisurely pursue special interests—all those wonderful things there was no time for earlier. You will find rich opportunities for learning everywhere! A wonderful aspect of homeschooling is the opportunity to actively pursue your own interests in a personalized way; time tends to reveal more and more possibilities for learning many unexpected things through those interests.
You're just asking about a decompression period, not about "unschooling," but reading some about unschooling might really help you through the decompression period, even if you're going to be doing a more structured and tradition sort of program afterward. So that involves the idea you mentioned of letting them decide what to learn. The idea of letting them decide what to learn isn't quite what it sounds. It wouldn't have to mean just bringing them home and standing back to see what they're going to come up with. Unschooling families are often some of the most active homeschoolers around, and many of the things they're doing are ideas a parent has come up with.

Here's some good reading:
Articles about learning
Misconceptions about unschooling
list of top resources to learn about unschooling

The very best source of information for "getting it right" will be your children - they're the only ones who know what it's like to be inside those minds. If they're happy and positive in the relationship, and if they're curious and interested in learning, it's pretty likely that it's going very well - you'll be able to tell more once you get adjusted. You might need to step back and re-examine your own idea of what "learning" is, because they might be moving in directions that don't seem to you like things they would be studying in a classroom, but it doesn't mean they aren't learning or that they won't be learning certain skills eventually. If you keep checking back on how they're feeling, what they're saying, how they're thriving, it will be so much more clear than if you try to make determinations without their input.

You might also peruse my (non-commercial) website for helpful articles - see the link in my sig line.

Have fun! - Lillian

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#3 of 14 Old 03-16-2009, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post
Here's some input on decompression/deschooling. If you follow the links, you'll find some thought provoking ideas that can help.

You're actually touching on two different issues. One is the decompression period, but another is letting them decide what to learn. During a decompression period, you should be prepared for the possibility that they won't actually care to learn anything - or at least not anything that's recognizable to you as "learning." You could see a lot of just plain old fooling around, daydreaming, doing things they didn't have time to do before, being couch potatoes, whatever... But it's not as if nothing is going on inside of them, and it's not as if it's time wasted - it's actually a very good investment of time.
That makes sense, and I'm okay with that, in my heart. In my control freak head, its another story.
I'll borrow here from a "getting started" article I wrote for our state homeschooling organization's website:
One fairly universal dynamic is the need for a decompression period after leaving school. The intensity of the need for decompression time is usually in direct proportion to the time that was spent in school and to whether or not (or to what degree) it was a difficult experience. Time allowed for the mysterious but necessary process of finding one's own rhythm is as legitimate and useful as formal academic study might be at this point. A child who suddenly has the opportunity to think for himself, learn in his own way, and work out his own schedule might appear as if he is not "doing" much, but this phase gradually evolves into more active interests and activities. The pot will generally come to a boil faster when it isn't watched with restless anticipation.
Wow! See, this all makes sense for my kids. I know how much better off they are when let be, to go at their own pace, its just *me*. I think I trust them to do fine, excel, actually, when they are free to blossom as they should, I just dont trust myself. Trust myself to actually let go, or let go too much, etc. Like, I'm still trying to be in control of it all. Does that make any sense? lol


This can be a special and delicate time for your family—a time for getting to know and trust in one another in a new way—and it's a time to relish. This is a great time to relax and read to the family, take walks and field trips, bake and do crafts, and leisurely pursue special interests—all those wonderful things there was no time for earlier. You will find rich opportunities for learning everywhere! A wonderful aspect of homeschooling is the opportunity to actively pursue your own interests in a personalized way; time tends to reveal more and more possibilities for learning many unexpected things through those interests.
I love that! This is what I want to do. I've grown up with such a respect/obey authority figures mentality (in school and out) that I'm having hard time letting it go. I've gotten much better. I used to be of the mind that "school comes first! you have to be coughing up a lung to miss it!" but now I'm more along the lines of, "meh, whatever." I almost think that PS is just adding to what I teach them, lol. But then I battle with being the "perfect student/parent of student". Argh. I just need help,

You're just asking about a decompression period, not about "unschooling," but reading some about unschooling might really help you through the decompression period, even if you're going to be doing a more structured and tradition sort of program afterward. So that involves the idea you mentioned of letting them decide what to learn. The idea of letting them decide what to learn isn't quite what it sounds. It wouldn't have to mean just bringing them home and standing back to see what they're going to come up with. Unschooling families are often some of the most active homeschoolers around, and many of the things they're doing are ideas a parent has come up with.

Here's some good reading:
Articles about learning
Misconceptions about unschooling
list of top resources to learn about unschooling

The very best source of information for "getting it right" will be your children - they're the only ones who know what it's like to be inside those minds. If they're happy and positive in the relationship, and if they're curious and interested in learning, it's pretty likely that it's going very well - you'll be able to tell more once you get adjusted. You might need to step back and re-examine your own idea of what "learning" is, because they might be moving in directions that don't seem to you like things they would be studying in a classroom, but it doesn't mean they aren't learning or that they won't be learning certain skills eventually. If you keep checking back on how they're feeling, what they're saying, how they're thriving, it will be so much more clear than if you try to make determinations without their input.

You're very, very right. I DO need to re-examine what learning means to me. And then what learning means to the kids. And what I've taught them about learning, good and bad. I fear alot of it may be bad.


You might also peruse my (non-commercial) website for helpful articles - see the link in my sig line.

Have fun! - Lillian

Thank you so very, very much for taking the time to reply. I will absolutely check out your site. I've got a few books on my nitestand right now as well. Hence the question. They are really staring to make my mind work like it hasnt worked in a while. (like, 6 years ago when I first found mdc, lol)
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#4 of 14 Old 03-16-2009, 04:33 PM
 
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I've got a few books on my nitestand right now as well. Hence the question. They are really staring to make my mind work like it hasnt worked in a while. (like, 6 years ago when I first found mdc, lol)
There was one book on my shelf when I started homeschooling that I kept putting off - because, quite frankly, I found the title a put off ... It was I Learn Better by Teaching Myself, by Agnes Leistico. Then, one day my 8 yr. old son walked through the living room and mentioned something that made my head spin - I had no idea where he'd picked up information about it, and this kind of thing was happening so much that his dad and I had both been amazed at how much he seemed to be learning out of thin air. It was something he clearly knew a lot about, and had been thinking about. I walked over to the bookshelf at that point and pulled the book out. I stood there in the kitchen reading - I read the book that day, and laughed out loud at myself. The author had experienced many of the same things we had been experiencing, and I could have saved us all some aggravation if I'd read it sooner, because she was a little further up the path in her journey. I've heard a couple of unschoolers complain that it isn't really an unschooling book, but it doesn't claim to be, and nobody ever said it was - it's just what it is, and it's very helpful for someone just starting out.

I've loved all of David Albert's books too. Lillian

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#5 of 14 Old 03-16-2009, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! I now have David Albert's books on hold at the library for me.
Unfortunately, they dont carry the one by Agnes Leistico.

I'm currently reading John Holt's Teach Your Own and The Homeschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith. I have a few more, can think of them right now, ones about homeschooling on tight budget, lol. But I'm finding lots of info. And my brain hurts a little.
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#6 of 14 Old 03-16-2009, 04:49 PM
 
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you should read the book Dumbing us Down

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#7 of 14 Old 03-16-2009, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did have Dumbing us Down. I only got a few pages into it when some stupid virus hit our house and then it had to go back. But, I'll take it out again. I like to read.
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#8 of 14 Old 03-16-2009, 05:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Shenjall View Post
Thank you! I now have David Albert's books on hold at the library for me.

Unfortunately, they dont carry the one by Agnes Leistico.
Although you can get hers for 12 cents-I-said-12 cents (plus postage and handling) through Amazon.

Quote:
I'm currently reading John Holt's Teach Your Own and The Homeschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith. I have a few more, can think of them right now, ones about homeschooling on tight budget, lol. But I'm finding lots of info. And my brain hurts a little.
The thing about reading a lot of these kinds of books is that some little thought will often come wafting through your mind when you're thinking about your own situation, and will help to ease your mind. After Griffith wrote that book, by the way, she felt she needed to give more space to her own philosophy, so she wrote The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's Classroom, and many years later Viral Learning: Reflections on the Homeschooling Life. It reflects on how she, along with a few of her friends ( )came to homeschooling, how it affected them and their view of the world, and how those changes may spark changes around them.

Okay, back to work here... Lillian
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#9 of 14 Old 03-16-2009, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ah! See, even though I havent started homeschooling yet, I *do* feel my view of the world is changing. And being the control freak that I am, do not like it.
Seriously? 12 cents? I think I may have to look at that link again...
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#10 of 14 Old 03-16-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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Read the history about hs'ing.Read about when people really were thought of as the flakes and screwballs just for entertaining the idea. In the beginning it wasn't an acceptable idea, there weren't the resources there are now.
http://www.holtgws.com/
Humans are born to learn.......if you don't let "professionals" get in the way
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#11 of 14 Old 04-02-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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Lillian, Agnes Leistico is a good friend of mine. She was a true pioneer in homeschooling, and all our friends thought she was nuts at the time. We just couldn't understand why anyone would want to homeschool, and there were all the usual cliches that go along with it. What was worse was that she was "unschooling." We knew her children were smart, but how would they ever make it in the world with no teaching? What about socialization skills? Well, they turned out to be three of the nicest, most intelligent young people you could ever hope to meet. They are successful and well-adjusted.

 

The final joke was on me, because my husband and I are now homeschooling two of our 11 grandchildren. My son has homeschooled his two oldest daughters, although all three of his girls are now in public school. My youngest daughter is homeschooling her oldest. We turned into a multi-generational, homeschooling family. My husband was a high school and community college teacher for over 35 years, so we have a good picture of both sides of the educational coin.

 

Not long after Agnes wrote her book, I intereviewed her for an article I wrote on homeschooling for Home School Magazine. I think the seeds were planted in my brain that day. I began to understand how a child could not only get an education at home, but truly thrive under those conditions. It led to years of research that I have done on the subject. It was something I had to learn all by myself.

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#12 of 14 Old 04-02-2011, 03:03 PM
 
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Pat, your post made me smile.  I'm in the middle of frantic errands and have no business being online right now, but I'm glad I did take a break and sign on. Please pass my thanks on to Agnes.  wink1.gif  Lillian

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#13 of 14 Old 04-04-2011, 05:46 PM
 
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It was something I had to learn all by myself.

I just had to smile at this sentence.  orngbiggrin.gif 
Isn't that the crux of learning?  Until you're truly ready, no matter who wants to teach you, it's not going to fully click.  smile.gif
 

 


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#14 of 14 Old 04-09-2011, 09:20 PM
 
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You didn't mention unschooling at all in your OP.  Unschooling is one option and it sounds like that is what you are describing as homeschooling...but it's not the only way to homeschool and not everyone who homeschools gives up their "authority" mindset.  I personally have no plans to give up mine !  Our sons learn best when I set up the structure for them and set some expectations, so that is what I will continue to do.  If you want to homeschool but are not comfortable with the "unschooling" concept there is nothing wrong with a more structured approach. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenjall View Post

Dh and I are seriously, seriously thinking of pulling some of the kids out at the end of the year. We've been toying with the idea of homeschooling for about 4 years now, off and on, but we're at a point where we're looking more at the "how to" more so than the "should we?".

But, we're having a hard time de-programming (for lack of a better word) ourselves. We're very much still in the "authority" mindset. Not when it comes to overall parenting, but with schooling. Letting them decide what to learn? (for example) Seems so......I dont know how to explain it, but hard to do, yk?

I've heard of people suggesting letting kids "unwind" after you pull them out, but how do I do that? How do I unwind myself?

Thanks for getting this far.


 


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and 3 , in our happy secular
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