I am no longer a supporter of unschooling :( (BIG vent, dont read if ur going to be offended) - Page 16 - Mothering Forums
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#451 of 455 Old 09-18-2010, 03:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ReadingMama View Post
Right. And no one has cause for complaint about a thread discussing the downsides or negative personal experiences with USing here because it is appropriate for non-unschoolers and former USers to post here as well.
Agreed. If they stick to personal experiences.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#452 of 455 Old 09-18-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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With all due respect, I was a high school teacher in a relatively affluent school district in NJ in 2007. One of my sophomore boys could not read. He had been in-district his whole life with educated parents who were engaged with their kids lives (more than the norm in this district) and an older sister who was successful in school. I was a business and computers teacher--not a core subject. The student was pretty quiet--by no means a trouble maker who might have been blown off to just being capable but disengaged or disinterested.

Why was I the first person to find this??
I had a teacher in, I think 6th grade, who told us at the start of the year that she was going to make sure we all read out loud to her at some point during the first month or so of classes because of people who needed help slipping through the cracks. And we should talk to her ASAP if we couldn't read and needed help. I have no idea if any classmate did go to her in those first weeks, but by the time they were reading out loud everyone could even if it was slow and stilted.

It's really too bad the kid you helped didn't have a teacher who made sure everyone could read in 6th grade. He would've been old enough to have developed enough to learn to read if he hadn't been previously, and would've had that much more time to develop proficiency.
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#453 of 455 Old 09-18-2010, 03:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
Unschoolers often give the same advice over and over, and part of that advice is to not evaluate, but just wait and trust. For many people (maybe even most people) that advice works out just fine.

But for some people, it doesn't. For some kids unschooling really isn't going to work out for a variety of reasons, including learning disabilities or changes in family circumstances that force them into formal schooling.

My point, and I'm saying this as nicely as I know how, is that unschoolers could really learn from the experiences of former unschoolers and temper their comments to those seeking support. Some times what you are saying isn't going to be true for the person you are talking to.

I'm not angry. I don't want my money back, but I feel strongly that by shooting down the voices of those of us for whom unschooling didn't work out, you are being less that totally honest with others.

I don't hang out on unschooling boards, and very seldom visit the homeschool board. I spend most of my time on the special needs board. But if you value learning from a variety of sources, why not let former unschoolers be one of those sources?

Please tell moms that their child *might* have an undiagnosed LD and giving it more time could just make it harder for the child.

If you are giving advice and support, don't you want to be accurate? And if we never come back and say how things turned out for our kids, how can you be?
I love everything about this post.

I believe in unschooling too. But only when it's presented as a spectrum, and as an option rather than the only choice for parents who trust and respect their kids.

I talked to my 10yo son about the topic of this thread yesterday. He said he loves unschooling, but that he's glad I got him the help he needed to learn to read because reading is now his favorite thing to do.

He didn't want to learn how to read because it was too hard. Testing showed visual processing issues and eye muscle problems. We did vision therapy and worked with sight words. Two years after learning to read, he tests 5 grade levels ahead in reading and he is proud of that. It makes up for his continuing difficulties with writing, spelling, and math. Most importantly, reading has opened up his world and brought him joy.

Although he resisted reading initially, he says he's glad that I insisted. And this outcome helps him to trust me more about other skills that I encourage him to work on.

Book-lovin', relaxed homeschoolin', dog snugglin' mom of the best kid EVER!  AND...waiting for baby #2, due 5/9/14!  stork-boy.gif

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#454 of 455 Old 09-18-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ReadingMama View Post
He didn't want to learn how to read because it was too hard. Testing showed visual processing issues and eye muscle problems. We did vision therapy and worked with sight words. Two years after learning to read, he tests 5 grade levels ahead in reading and he is proud of that. It makes up for his continuing difficulties with writing, spelling, and math. Most importantly, reading has opened up his world and brought him joy.

Although he resisted reading initially, he says he's glad that I insisted. And this outcome helps him to trust me more about other skills that I encourage him to work on.
Thank you for this post. It is very encouraging. This is almost exactly DS1's situation. He's in vision therapy now. I feel it is necessary to insist that he do these things now that are hard for him and that he would rather not do, so that he will even have the option to do them by choice later; instead of not being able to do them at all because of problems that were not addressed. The work he is doing is really hard, but I am trusting my parental instincts that it is worthwhile and necessary even if he doesn't really want to do it. I do feel it is my responsibility to provide the external motivation that he needs to get it done.

When people feel that unschooling works well for their child, I would never argue with that, because they know their kid best. I know without a doubt that for basic 3Rs skills, our DS1 would not have acquired them without parental insistence and professional help.

I was intrigued by unschooling early on but after a brief exploration decided it wasn't a fit for me. That was before we knew about his vision and processing problems. When I first began more structured and parent-led work with him, I admit I felt a little guilty and wondered if I was making a mistake and if I was going to "ruin the fun of learning" for him. But now I am glad we were on a more traditional path because my internal pressure to "get him reading" is part of what led to his diagnosis. Someday he will have the option of reading for fun, or some other motivation of his own, because he will be able to do it. Right now it is still too hard to be fun for him, but I have faith that this will eventually change.

I came back to add - I'm not saying that he would not have been diagnosed if we were unschooling - but I know it would have been quite a bit later. When I first started noticing reading problems, I was told more than once (not necessarily by people at MDC) "Maybe he is just not ready. Wait a while." I think that if I had been in an unschooling frame of mind, I might have just backed off reading and writing until he showed more desire to do it. I am not sure how long I might have waited before I decided that in his case, readiness wasn't what was missing.

IMO the greatest thing about homeschooling is that we can always adapt our approach to what works for our children, even for each individual child. The OP of this thread can switch to a more structured approach. Someone who has been very structured and wants to loosen up a little can choose to do it in a more relaxed way for a while or permanently. What homeschooling looks like for a family can change as often as it needs to change. And that's wonderful.

DS1 March 2003DS2 Sept 2005,
and 3 , in our happy secular
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#455 of 455 Old 09-18-2010, 07:31 PM
 
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I'm closing this thread, because it has run its course.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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