I am no longer a supporter of unschooling :( (BIG vent, dont read if ur going to be offended) - Page 7 - Mothering Forums
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#181 of 455 Old 09-14-2010, 11:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
I feel that unschoolers lie all the time when they encourage someone to not worry and say that their child will be just fine. .
How in the world is encouraging someone a lie, even if you disagree with their conclusion?
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#182 of 455 Old 09-14-2010, 11:40 PM
 
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And why is that such a necessary skill for a 9 yo who doesn't need to write his name at the top of all his worksheets and tests so the teacher can grade them? He isn't in a group situation where he needs to label his possessions. He hasn't once in his life come across a situation where he needed to write his name. It is not yet a priority. And it's a pretty narrow minded view that the only conceivable scenario for a child not writing his name is a severe learning disability.
My daughter has been in situations from the age of two where learning to spell your name is important. The story time at the library asked that the kids have name tags on and the librarian would help even the youngest write their names. With the littles, it meant she'd write their name and they'd scribble, but by 3 my daughter was trying to copy it.

It is not a necessary skill for a child to write it on top of worksheets or tests if the child is not doing those. It is a necessary skill in the long term and I do wonder why it is not a priority for him. Every child I have known has found it to be so they can tag the furniture or walls at home.

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#183 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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My daughter has been in situations from the age of two where learning to spell your name is important. The story time at the library asked that the kids have name tags on and the librarian would help even the youngest write their names.
We don't have a library in our town, so this scenario never came up for us. The first times my kids had to write their full names were when they won scholarship money in the form of cheques at the music festival and had to countersign them for deposit at the bank. They were mostly around age 9-10 at the time. My ds also had to write his name to apply for a passport when he was 12. They sometimes wrote letters and signed by writing their first names, but that was very much a child-led thing, not a situation where it was required. My kids are more than capable of writing their names, but I just thought I'd point out that it is perfectly possible for young kids to lead normal productive lives as homeschoolers and not encounter name-writing requirements very frequently, if at all.

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#184 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 12:36 AM
 
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And why is that such a necessary skill for a 9 yo who doesn't need to write his name at the top of all his worksheets and tests so the teacher can grade them? He isn't in a group situation where he needs to label his possessions. He hasn't once in his life come across a situation where he needed to write his name. It is not yet a priority. And it's a pretty narrow minded view that the only conceivable scenario for a child not writing his name is a severe learning disability.
This really, really surprises me. Your 9yo son has never made and signed a card for Grandma? Never sent a thank you note or a birthday invitation or labeled a gift "To X from Y"? Never put his name on an art project for you?

I'm curious about what gave you the impression that writing one's name on worksheets and tests are the only situations in which a child would need or want to write his name?
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#185 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 12:50 AM
 
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I'll admit I'm stuck on the spelling of the name thing. Even my 3 yo is interested in it. Just from seeing his named written elsewhere, he has asked - and tried with a pencil. I think if my DD (age 9, and in school) were still homeschooled/unschooled, I would probably have sat down and showed her even if she hadn't caught on or wanted to practice it before now. This kid loves to write intricate stories and read for days - so TBH, I can't imagine her not knowing how to spell and form the letters of her first name.

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#186 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 12:56 AM
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And why is that such a necessary skill for a 9 yo who doesn't need to write his name at the top of all his worksheets and tests so the teacher can grade them? He isn't in a group situation where he needs to label his possessions. He hasn't once in his life come across a situation where he needed to write his name. It is not yet a priority. And it's a pretty narrow minded view that the only conceivable scenario for a child not writing his name is a severe learning disability.
So he can:
- get a library card
- sign a petition or a birthday card
- write notes and letters to friends and family
- keep a diary of his private feelings
- write a story or a strategy
- sign up for community service projects or other activities that interest him
- put his name on mailing lists of organizations that do interesting work
- participate in online message boards
- label his possessions when he does enter a group situation in which that is needed: sports team, summer camp, theater production, art studio, science lab, van full of teenagers on their way to serve dinner at the soup kitchen, workplace with shared storage of things like coffee mugs and lunch bags
- endorse a check

As a parent, you could step in and write his name for him in all these situations, but he also needs to:

- Develop life skills that he will need in adulthood
- feel confident and capable when he needs to function independently of adult assistance

My dd is about the same age as your ds, and I think the world would be pretty scary for her if she couldn't write her name at this point. She would need her dad and I to help her, even outside of school, on a very frequent basis. She would feel very insecure and dependent. She wouldn't be able to express herself privately or communicate with many people she knows and loves.

4evermom, I see from your first post that your family is struggling right now, but unless your plan is that your ds will hang out in your living room playing video games and listening to your dh talk about science for his entire life, I think he would really benefit from some discussion of his interests and passions and how he can pursue those. I don't think that's incompatible with unschooling.

If he's truly incapable of writing his name and can't pick up the skill after a fairly short period (say, a month) of focused effort, you may need to consider the possibility that you are looking at a learning issue that will not simply fix itself given a little more time.
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#187 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 01:10 AM
 
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[QUOTE=aslyn;15843625]
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Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
How in the world is encouraging someone a lie, even if you disagree with their conclusion?
when an unschooler tells a person that there child will be just fine without any direct instruction, they don't have any way of knowing whether or not they are telling the truth.

Their child might do GREAT, or they might waste several years and then fall flat on their face. It really can go either way.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#188 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 01:25 AM
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Part of the definition of a lie is having the intent to deceive. If someone is saying that she thinks a kid will be fine and truly believes this, then it's not a lie.

Do you think unschoolers are intending to deceive someone (lying), or are sometimes wrong? I think these are two different things.

 
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#189 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 01:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
when an unschooler tells a person that there child will be just fine without any direct instruction, they don't have any way of knowing whether or not they are telling the truth.
Typical of this sort of advice is this sort of comment:

"You know, lots of kids just aren't ready for ___ at this age. My kid didn't learn it until he was older and then he learned without a problem. Personally I would just back off and wait until he's ready."

That's not a lie (i.e. a known falsehood, a deliberate attempt to mislead, etc.). It is a combination of anecdote, opinion and well-meaning advice. Of course a parent could be reassured into complacency when in fact there was some underlying learning problem. But it's not a lie.

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#190 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 02:31 AM
 
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as for my comments about feeling bad for someone and their child for not wanting to be together... well sorry i do. no, homeschooling does not mean you spend 24/7 with them, but you do spend alot of time with them... maybe not just YOU alone with them all staring at each other, but just the general togetherness. heck even on days we hang with other homeschoolers, we are all still together. so maybe i am totally lame or something and have no life of my own, but i actually do enjoy spending alot, if not most of my time with my kids, that is one of the many reason we do homeschool, because we like to be together. and i have a dd who is 16 and is going to school but if she wasn't i would enjoy spending alot more time with her, and i don't think that is weird. but maybe it is. and you know what? i am totally OK with being weird about being with my kids. because one day, they will be grown, move out and have their own lives and we won't be together everyday... why not relish it? that is what i am doing. rolling in the togetherness.

h
I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with this.
I want to spend all my time with my kids. My husband took my boys camping for 2 nights in the summer and I was MAD. (I had to stay home and work). I never go out without my kids except about once a year when my parents come to visit - my husband and I may skip out for a movie, a walk or dinner out just the 2 of us. It is definately not the norm around here as my other friends go out at least once a week without their kids because "they need a break from them" as they put it. If my kids can't come with me, I just don't go. I'm totally okay being branded a kid-freak. They are growing up way too fast for my liking so why would I purposefully miss out on it? It's okay for some people to want to spend all their time with their kids, just like it's okay for other people to spend time away from their kids.
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#191 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 05:47 AM
 
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So he can:
- get a library card
- sign a petition or a birthday card
- write notes and letters to friends and family
- keep a diary of his private feelings
- write a story or a strategy
- sign up for community service projects or other activities that interest him
- put his name on mailing lists of organizations that do interesting work
- participate in online message boards
- label his possessions when he does enter a group situation in which that is needed: sports team, summer camp, theater production, art studio, science lab, van full of teenagers on their way to serve dinner at the soup kitchen, workplace with shared storage of things like coffee mugs and lunch bags
- endorse a check
Most of those things aren't really relevant to a 9 year-old's life and in the OP's place I wouldn't want my child (who's the same age) to put his name on an online message board.

4evermom's son does sign cards, etc., but asks for help to spell his name. So what? You can't draw dire conclusions from that one bit of information. My son has two shortened forms (one french, one american) of his name he knows how to write, but not his full 11 letter name. He's never had the need or desire. I'm sure he'd be able to quickly learn it, he memorizes phone numbers easily, it's not the same as a kid who's been working at it for awhile and still can't do it.

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As a parent, you could step in and write his name for him in all these situations, but he also needs to:

- Develop life skills that he will need in adulthood
- feel confident and capable when he needs to function independently of adult assistance
Do you really think this child is going to enter adulthood not writing his name? My guess is he'll be doing it within a year or so. Also, a kid can do plenty of stuff that doesn't require adult assistance and still ask for help writing his name. You're taking one thing and applying it to all areas of the kid's life!

Quote:
, I see from your first post that your family is struggling right now, but unless your plan is that your ds will hang out in your living room playing video games and listening to your dh talk about science for his entire life, I think he would really benefit from some discussion of his interests and passions and how he can pursue those. I don't think that's incompatible with unschooling.
OK, admit it 4evermom, this is exactly your plan, isn't it? Or is your computer not in the living room? And your refusal to discuss your son's interests with him has been exposed now too.
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#192 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 07:23 AM
 
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Do you really think this child is going to enter adulthood not writing his name? My guess is he'll be doing it within a year or so.
I'm curious if people who don't see this as a problem right now have some age cutoff at which they would consider it a problem. For some in this thread, not doing it at 9 is an issue. For those that don't agree, when does a kid need to know to write his name? Because all those things (mostly staying home, not writing cards, etc) that are pointed to as examples as why he doesn't need to could continue well into the teenage years.

At some point there will be a "fill out this form" or "put your name on the name tag," and I can hardly imagine the anxiety in an older kid who struggles with that while everyone else around doesn't.
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#193 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 07:47 AM
 
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I'm curious if people who don't see this as a problem right now have some age cutoff at which they would consider it a problem. For some in this thread, not doing it at 9 is an issue. For those that don't agree, when does a kid need to know to write his name? Because all those things (mostly staying home, not writing cards, etc) that are pointed to as examples as why he doesn't need to could continue well into the teenage years.

At some point there will be a "fill out this form" or "put your name on the name tag," and I can hardly imagine the anxiety in an older kid who struggles with that while everyone else around doesn't.
Well I wouldn't say I have an age cutoff in mind, but I can't imagine it wouldn't at some point soon be something he would want to know how to do. Also, I would help my child if he seemed in any way bothered by it, I am not unwilling to intervene if I think it's truly for the best. In my son's case, because he has shortened 3 and 4 letter forms of his name (which are what he goes by anyway) he can write that on his box of whatever he has made at his cooking workshop, on his project at a craft class, etc. It's just been a non-issue.

I am sure if 4evermom's son was going to be in a position of needing to write his name in a setting as you describe then they would work something out. I doubt she'd just have him feel lost and anxious, though he might not feel that way at all since she said he likely could write his name but doesn't feel 100% confident he can do so without making a mistake. My son started writing his name around 4 years old (the 3 letter form) but made mistakes, sometimes mixing up the letters or reversing them, but he didn't care--some kids really care.

I think not writing one's name at 9 is a bit unusual (including my son not writing his full, legal name), even amongst unschoolers, but I don't see it as any cause for alarm when a child is otherwise bright, happy and curious and has involved adults in his life. This child also experienced a few horrid weeks of school and it's possible the name writing thing came up then and really turned him off.

In any case, it's just silly to doom this kid to a life on Mom's couch based on this one thing he has not yet perfected by age 9.
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#194 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 07:54 AM
 
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I've read this whole thread and it's kind of off on a tangent from where it was, but i just wanted to offer the OP a and tell you not to beat yourself up too much. A lot of the other boards here repeat "when you know better you do better" - that goes for everything from circumcision to schooling choices. You did what you thought was right, you realised it wasn't the best decision, you're rectifying it. The way you are handling it all will teach your DD so much about how to cope with shocks, setbacks, disappointments and massive challenges, and i think you should be proud of that.
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#195 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 07:56 AM
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And why is that such a necessary skill for a 9 yo who doesn't need to write his name at the top of all his worksheets and tests so the teacher can grade them? He isn't in a group situation where he needs to label his possessions. He hasn't once in his life come across a situation where he needed to write his name. It is not yet a priority. And it's a pretty narrow minded view that the only conceivable scenario for a child not writing his name is a severe learning disability.
Well my then 4 year old had to write her name on her residency permit when we immigrated in front of immigration officials. She also signs birthday cards and "signs" emails I sent to grandpa. She was supposed to sign her t-shirt for soccer.

Honestly, I am shocked your DS never went through a him-branded-everything phase. DD loves seeing her name and writing it on everything. I thought that was pretty universal. Signs on the door of their room telling mom to keep out? I just thought the egocentric name thing was a part of the self-identity at the age of 2, 3, 4...

OK, back to lurking.
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#196 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 09:04 AM
 
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I'm curious if people who don't see this as a problem right now have some age cutoff at which they would consider it a problem.
For *me*, the cut-off date is much younger…probably kindergarten... but, we aren’t talking about me. We are talking about 4evermom. The thing is, everyone is focusing on one small aspect of this child’s life. I’ve read many posts by 4evermom and her son is accomplished in so many other areas. He’s not at an educational plateau, ykwim? She has shared in the past about her son's reading journey & other areas of acceleration, etc. Learning to write his name independently hasn’t been a priority yet. When he’s asked how to spell it in the past, she has spelled it for him, as this was his preference. Spelling it independently was a point of frustration for her son & obviously she felt making him learn it was not worth the upset it might cause…. she explained this already in a previous post. Personally, our homeschool experience looks nothing like many posts on this forum, but I understand it isn’t supposed too... our experience is unique to our family. I am not an unschooler at all, but I don't stand in judgement against those that are (or any educational path for that matter). Unschooling is supposed to be about supporting the child as they lead and navigate through life. Although it can involve structure, textbooks, and classes – the underlying intent should always be that it is child-led. Since 4evermom clearly follows this philosophy, and her son has no interest in spelling his name yet independently, why is so shocking to everyone that he can’t? Although I am set in my ways regarding my family’s own journey, I am not weirded out when others have a path that looks nothing like ours. If 4evermom is comfortable with supporting her son, why is it so jaw-dropping to everyone else? It just has no impact on me at all.

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#197 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 09:46 AM
 
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I am not a doomsayer or a psychic..but I will say after my experiences with DD I am much more aware of where kids need to be at certain ages..Do I think our society is right in pushing the kids so hard? no, but its the world we live in and eventualy all of our kids are going to be part of it at some point. Imagine if your life completely changed in a blink of an eye. If there were a tragedy (car crashes, plane crashes, people die of unexpected causes) the first thing the police would be asking is "full name, DOB, Address, Telephone number"..would your child be able to answer these questions? This is a safety issue..a kid needs to know how to spell their name without the parent giving them the answers. I am not trying to be indelicate, really..and if they can spell it but don't care to write it fine..as long as they can because YOU NEVER KNOW. now imagine if that same child was sent to live with family and those family members may or may not subscribe to homeschooling beliefs..They be made to put the child in public school by social services because the kid is behind (yes they do this, my neighbors daughter is a social worker and kids are expected to be a given a "normal" life if they are orphaned)..could your kid cope? Or lets say your child is 18 and decides he/she is ready for freedom, do they have the neccesary skills to fill out a job application? Will that application make them look brilliant in the hiring managers eyes? If they wanted to live on their own apartment applications? Read/Comprehend a lease. Can they read/write a grocery list? Can they cook a meal from a recipie? Can they make a budget? The mantra of unschooling seems to be they will do all these things when they are ready but what if the need to do it comes before they are ready?

These are very real things we had to deal with for DD..not so extreme we didn't have a death or anything but we lost our primary source of income and could no longer afford to keep a roof over our heads, we had to move in with friends (who did NOT agree with homeschooling in any form, they liked all the kids to be gone during school hours) while we got money together to be able to stand on our own 2 feet again. We found out DD couldn't cope..she has issues that we don't know if she will ever grow up and move out, she may need to live with someone forever. Its to early to tell. But at this point in time we are preparing her for the real world..and while her handwriting is that of a preschooler she CAN write/spell her first and last name without any assistance. She wants to be a magician when she grows up, so we work with her on reading/writing/math and building things skills. In order to accomplish her goal she will have to learn a fair bit of marketing and sales as well as communications and social skills.

Linda on the move posted that she felt people lie when they say "x will catch up" I don't think people go out of their way to lie, but she's right on the idea that ONLY you know your own kids..and maybe your kid will catch up, but there are those that don't..and as parents we need to hear "well maybe if your kid isn't doing xyz they should get checked out because there MAY be a problem" and while certain skills may be not of interest to a child, the skill is still important to have as it will be needed at some point throughout their lives. As the op,myself and others have posted circumstances change, and our kids were not ready for that change. I think the key is to look at your children and ask yourself if they would be ready for a huge change..and decide from there how to make them ready because you really never know what tomorrow will bring. The problem with being the person to say "hey maybe you should look into this further" is you become the bad guy..parents are defensive, I admit I am extremely protective of my kids and I get defensive when I think someone is attacking my parenting skills. But in hindsight, I love this thread because it is bringing to light that in our decisions to say "they will learn that skill when they are ready" it may not always be true and if nothing else 1 or 2 people might think "hey, my kid might have some problems since he/she isnt doing this". My DH and I are both educated, we didn't blindly homeschool, we saw the signs..in retrospect we realize we always have, but we chose to overlook them because we are her parents and we are biased. I came to these exact forums for years researching on ways to help her..and I was empowered by stories of kids who got into harvard when they didnt read til 9 or 10, but I didn't see a whole lot of stories kids who didn't catch up.

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#198 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 10:12 AM
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Honestly, I am shocked your DS never went through a him-branded-everything phase. DD loves seeing her name and writing it on everything. I thought that was pretty universal.
Both of my boys wrote their names at what's considered to be "appropriate" ages, and neither of them did this.
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#199 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 10:16 AM
 
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Typical of this sort of advice is this sort of comment:

"You know, lots of kids just aren't ready for ___ at this age. My kid didn't learn it until he was older and then he learned without a problem. Personally I would just back off and wait until he's ready."

That's not a lie (i.e. a known falsehood, a deliberate attempt to mislead, etc.). It is a combination of anecdote, opinion and well-meaning advice. Of course a parent could be reassured into complacency when in fact there was some underlying learning problem. But it's not a lie.
I agree with this, and I think grown-ups are responsible for evaluating the advice they are given, especially when that advice comes from strangers on the internet. I agree with Linda that some people are WAY WAY to quick to assure people that all problems will disappear with time (and a self-proclaimed unschooling expert on another site comes to mind when I type this), but I don't think all unschoolers should bear the blame for that. If someone gave you bad advice, it's fine to go back and complain to that specific person about their bad advice, or even to contradict someone when you hear them giving similar advice, but don't blame people who had nothing to do with your situation.

I also believe that unschooling is a pretty radical decision (even for those of us who are nowhere near radical unschooling) and when parents decide to raise their kids so far off the beaten path, there's an obligation to be especially aware of the risks and be acting to minimize them. This is why we test our kids-- I want an outsider checking that there aren't any major gaps of which I'm unaware. I believe most unschooly families have methods of assessment, whether they are formal or casual, to gauge where their kids are, and whether any delays are due to a learning problem that requires intervention. The assessment may not be perfect, but the assessments used in schools aren't perfect either.
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#200 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bass chick View Post
I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with this.
I want to spend all my time with my kids. My husband took my boys camping for 2 nights in the summer and I was MAD. (I had to stay home and work). I never go out without my kids except about once a year when my parents come to visit - my husband and I may skip out for a movie, a walk or dinner out just the 2 of us. It is definately not the norm around here as my other friends go out at least once a week without their kids because "they need a break from them" as they put it. If my kids can't come with me, I just don't go. I'm totally okay being branded a kid-freak. They are growing up way too fast for my liking so why would I purposefully miss out on it? It's okay for some people to want to spend all their time with their kids, just like it's okay for other people to spend time away from their kids.
Me, too. I spend about all of my time with my kids. Once every few months I go out for coffee for an hour or run to Walmart by myself. We also have bedtimes but cosleep with a toddler still. Or does that not qualify me as fulltime?

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#201 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Part of the definition of a lie is having the intent to deceive. If someone is saying that she thinks a kid will be fine and truly believes this, then it's not a lie.

Do you think unschoolers are intending to deceive someone (lying), or are sometimes wrong? I think these are two different things.
I think that many unschoolers are so intent on their philosophy being *right* that they ignore evidence that it really doesn't work out for all children. I think if they actually heard what the OPer and others have said in this thread, it would temper what they say to others.

If you continue to be told the truth (that this does not work out well for all children, that it can mask LDs, that circumstances changing can be traumatic for a child, that some children have great difficulty catching up) then you at some point, it isn't just being wrong. It's lying, may be yourself first and then to others.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#202 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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Wow. For all this emphasis on reading and writing skills, it's impressive how some people read things that were never written and others don't read what has been written... I really think I write pretty clearly but please disillusion me so I can blame my schooling.

I'll just add my 2 cents to this nice post.

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Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post
Most of those things aren't really relevant to a 9 year-old's life and in the OP's place I wouldn't want my child (who's the same age) to put his name on an online message board.
My ds really hasn't come across something where he needs to sign his name.

I have actually had that thought about message boards. I'm glad my ds wasn't more adept at some things at a younger age before he understood the need for caution when sharing information with his online "friends". I remember threads with people being concerned about their young children telling strangers their complete name, address, and telephone number.

My ds did have his phone number memorized at a pretty young age simply because I let the answering machine screen our calls so he was always hearing "you have reached 123-456-7890." But he still asks me for the numbers because he doesn't like to make avoidable mistakes. So it is quite possible that he could spell his first name just fine if necessary. He has known his parents' full names as well as his own although he couldn't spell them since he was a young toddler. I think the police could have worked with that, especially since we are the only people with the names on this continent (hence, my appreciation of his not sharing with his online friends).

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Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post
4evermom's son does sign cards, etc., but asks for help to spell his name. So what? You can't draw dire conclusions from that one bit of information. My son has two shortened forms (one french, one american) of his name he knows how to write, but not his full 11 letter name. He's never had the need or desire. I'm sure he'd be able to quickly learn it, he memorizes phone numbers easily, it's not the same as a kid who's been working at it for awhile and still can't do it.
My ds could absolutely write a 3 letter nickname and his last initial. But we don't call him by a nickname so that isn't really writing his name in my book. And yes, he needs help with spelling his 18 letter name simply because he doesn't have it memorized.


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Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post
Do you really think this child is going to enter adulthood not writing his name? My guess is he'll be doing it within a year or so. Also, a kid can do plenty of stuff that doesn't require adult assistance and still ask for help writing his name. You're taking one thing and applying it to all areas of the kid's life!
Yup, I'll be surprised if he isn't confident enough to write his name without asking me "what's next?" within the next year. Or maybe he'll only be able to write his online user name!
(And then he can change his legal name to that when he turns 18 so he can finally get a library card... Oh wait, even I didn't need to write my name to get my library card. Nevermind, we're golden )

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Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post
OK, admit it 4evermom, this is exactly your plan, isn't it? Or is your computer not in the living room? And your refusal to discuss your son's interests with him has been exposed now too.

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#203 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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I'm curious if people who don't see this as a problem right now have some age cutoff at which they would consider it a problem. For some in this thread, not doing it at 9 is an issue. For those that don't agree, when does a kid need to know to write his name? Because all those things (mostly staying home, not writing cards, etc) that are pointed to as examples as why he doesn't need to could continue well into the teenage years.
A kid needs to write his name when it becomes relevant to them. DD is 8, and she hasn't had this need yet. She knows how to write her first name, but not the last name (hyphenated, 18 letters ). Telling her, "Come, learn to spell your last name," would be pretty out of context. I can't imagine a situation where she'd need it. And when she does, I'm certain that she'll master the skill easily. Why wouldn't she? And if this happens when she is a teenager? I don't see this as a problem. Not needing to write one's name is not an indicator of poor life quality. A lot depends on life style and personality.


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At some point there will be a "fill out this form" or "put your name on the name tag," and I can hardly imagine the anxiety in an older kid who struggles with that while everyone else around doesn't.
[/QUOTE]

If a child learns to write his name at an older age, this doesn't mean that the child will struggle when the need arises. Unschooled children are no raised t in a vacuum, with no parental involvement. Parents tend to talk to their children and discuss things, and help them think ahead. When my DD was taking a summer camp for the first time this summer, I envisioned an opportunity of her potentially needing to write her first name. We talked about it, she practiced for a couple of minutes to make sure her letters were sufficiently small, and she was fine. That would have been her first "need" to write her first name in an outside of the home setting. Turns out, the kids didn't have to write their names after all.

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#204 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 12:04 PM
 
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What I really think happened to the OP (since she does not seem to be coming back to clarify) is that the school is using her child to make an example to other parents to try to scare them out of homeschooling. It commonly happens here. No matter how far ahead your child is, the public schools will tell parents that the homeschooled child is years behind and must go back grade levels. I have seen kids who did Well Trained Mind and knew Latin and were put back 2-3 grade levels. This is in the Dallas Texas area. That is just what a lot of public schools do.

I really really think that this is all that happened. I bet if the OP looked at what the 3rd graders really can do, she would find her child is not behind at all and the public school is full of bigoted staff who are using her daughter to try to lash out at homeschoolers to scare others from homeschooling.
That is a really good point.
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#205 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 12:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
I think that many unschoolers are so intent on their philosophy being *right* that they ignore evidence that it really doesn't work out for all children. I think if they actually heard what the OPer and others have said in this thread, it would temper what they say to others.

If you continue to be told the truth (that this does not work out well for all children, that it can mask LDs, that circumstances changing can be traumatic for a child, that some children have great difficulty catching up) then you at some point, it isn't just being wrong. It's lying, may be yourself first and then to others.
I do not feel qualified to speak for or as an unschooler. We impliment unschooling principals but also feel free to deviate from parts of any educational/philosophical ideologies that may not truly be what we want for our children and/or what they want/need. I do wish the public school system would look at some of the wisdom and fruit that unschooling and/or homeschooling has to offer. I think we could revamp our current educational system to really foster and inculcate intellectual discourse, reasoning and research in students. I'll spare you my full opinion and thoughts on how many public school systems needs to change.

I want to add, however, that I went through the public school system and I can say that when I was in college, I definately felt lied to, deceived, and poorly educated by the public school systems I attended (K-12).
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#206 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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That is a really good point.
It's certainly not outside the realm of possibility when you take into account that my "not writing his name" ds did just fine on the 3rd grade standardized test, and he's young for his grade having just made the cut off by a few days.

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#207 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 12:37 PM
 
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And why is that such a necessary skill for a 9 yo who doesn't need to write his name at the top of all his worksheets and tests so the teacher can grade them? He isn't in a group situation where he needs to label his possessions. He hasn't once in his life come across a situation where he needed to write his name. It is not yet a priority. And it's a pretty narrow minded view that the only conceivable scenario for a child not writing his name is a severe learning disability.
A 9 year old who cannot read basic words is at a disadvantage.

Suppose they become separated from their parents in a public place? Can they read the words telephone, police, restroom? Maybe they can recognize these things by other cues, if they've been shown... but maybe not. And he might very well be called upon to write his name, in that situation.

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#208 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 12:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lisa1970
What I really think happened to the OP (since she does not seem to be coming back to clarify) is that the school is using her child to make an example to other parents to try to scare them out of homeschooling. It commonly happens here. No matter how far ahead your child is, the public schools will tell parents that the homeschooled child is years behind and must go back grade levels. I have seen kids who did Well Trained Mind and knew Latin and were put back 2-3 grade levels. This is in the Dallas Texas area. That is just what a lot of public schools do.

I really really think that this is all that happened. I bet if the OP looked at what the 3rd graders really can do, she would find her child is not behind at all and the public school is full of bigoted staff who are using her daughter to try to lash out at homeschoolers to scare others from homeschooling.
I know this might sound far fetched to some of you, but it's not. Especially in Texas. I'm sure it doesn't happen everywhere, but in places where homeschooling is not as common, or people's attitudes tend to be more conventional and less accepting, yes it can happen.

We aren't in Texas, but we live in an area where the demographics are very similar to those in Texas. I think that may be what happened to my ds, though not in such a dramatic way. They really do use it as an opportunity to tear homeschooling down.

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A 9 year old who cannot read basic words is at a disadvantage.

Suppose they become separated from their parents in a public place? Can they read the words telephone, police, restroom? Maybe they can recognize these things by other cues, if they've been shown... but maybe not. And he might very well be called upon to write his name, in that situation.
True. Reading is freedom. Illiteracy is an uncomfortable state to be in for a kid who is at an age where they are beginning to want to do lots of things for themselves. That's what I would tell my kids when they didn't want to do their reading practice. There are just too many things they cannot do independently when they can't read fluently. I would also worry about it becoming an embarrassment to them.
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#209 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 12:51 PM
 
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It's certainly not outside the realm of possibility when you take into account that my "not writing his name" ds did just fine on the 3rd grade standardized test, and he's young for his grade having just made the cut off by a few days.
My dd also took the pssas this past spring. I am pretty sure the very first thing she had to do was fill in her name, first and last.
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#210 of 455 Old 09-15-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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Suppose they become separated from their parents in a public place? Can they read the words telephone, police, restroom?
I don't know what things are like where you live, but where I live none of these things are identified by words -- rather, they're picked out almost entirely by visual recognition of symbols/icons and appearance. For good reason: a not-insignificant portion of the adult world is illiterate. I would think it highly unlikely that you could find even an illiterate 9-year-old boy who could not recognize a police car or a telephone.

At any rate I'm not sure that 4evermom's 9-year-old is not yet reading. Only that perfectionist that he is he's not willing to make mistakes writing his long full name and hasn't yet been in a situation where he's had to master this skill.

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