Classical, Unschool, combination of the two?? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#31 of 58 Old 05-16-2012, 09:24 PM
 
SweetSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfarthing
Posts: 4,987
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeidiYarrowMom View Post

  I think you can absolutely do some unschooling, say with science, history, art while having a specific curriculum for math and spelling. 

 

Good luck!

This just sounds a little funny to me, though I'm pretty sure I know what you mean.  You mean, child-led, exploratory, not outcome-oriented?  You mean that the parent trusts the child in these areas to make their own decisions, their own way, in their own time?  I can understand it in that context, it's just the usage of the term "unschooling" in this manner seems out of place to me.  And "having a specific curriculum" means, then in contrast, chosen by the parent, with specific times for practice, a specified work load and goals for particular accomplishments?  (Unschoolers like Miranda's kids use curriculi, but make their own choice to use them, and choose which ones, themselves-- without parental expectations or goals.  Sorry, moominmamma, for borrowing you for my example!)

 

In the end, what is wrong with accepting a few labels that have become part of the greater HSing vocabulary?  Granted, they are not iron-clad, set-in-stone definitions, but they have a really useful range.  "Eclectic" and "relaxed" homeschooling are really nice, useful words for that in-between spectrum, where some degree of education and lifestyle is child-led, others are parent-led to varying degrees.  They have been in use for a long time within the HSing community, and are not cop-outs or concessions.  They are for parents who like to do a little of this and that, depending on what goals they have, what expectations, what works, what doesn't.  Inspiration comes from across the spectrum, and each family can look wildly different.  The *same* family can look wildly different over time!  

 

When you use those terms, HSing people nod knowingly and *understand you* without needing specifics, though they might be curious what exactly you do and how and what has changed over the years, what works now, what ended up not working.  

 

Same for the term "unschooling".  Using this word, you conjure up another spectrum where people understand that at least where education is concerned, the child is directing the flow of his own learning and making it happen themselves as much as possible. Many people who claim they are eclectic are, for all intents and purposes, unschooling, so it is an unbroken continuum all the way to the most radical unschoolers.  (BTW, I have not yet known any unschoolers who haven't let it leak into non-academic family life *at all*.  It just seems a natural extension of the philosophy.)

 

And though I understand what is meant, "do some unschooling" and phrases like it doesn't really make much sense, at least to this USing parent.  I imagine Waldorf parents might also cringe at "do some Waldorf".  

 

Yes, it is more a spectrum that a hard and fast book of rules, but some things, like this, seem definitely out of range.


Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
SweetSilver is offline  
#32 of 58 Old 05-16-2012, 09:32 PM
 
sparkle16's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I've been homeschooling for 3 years now, I combine waldorf and unschooling, here's how I do it: I have wood/natural toys, water color paint, beeswax crayons, main lesson books, basically lots of waldorf school materials, good quality reading books- the classics like beatix potter, heidi, a little princess, narnia, etc. but I don't do formal lessons. The stuff is available, and they go to it when they want. I supplement what they do at home with trips to the library, dance class,bike riding, hiking, play dates and t-ball. They do have set bedtimes, no t.v./computer -except for the rare movie, and are expected to help with chores around the house. That said, my oldest dd, who's grade 2 age, went from a non-reader in September to reading novels within a few months. Most of the time they learn thru playing.

sparkle16 is offline  
#33 of 58 Old 05-17-2012, 03:44 AM
 
foreverinbluejeans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Tucson
Posts: 1,508
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

As I understand it unschooling is child-centered and child-driven. From what I remember from reading John Holt children probably aren't ready to be "taught" until they are around 12 before they are ready for any formal classes or learning from books. A child that is in 2nd grade wouldn't need books or learning plans. What the child would need is a home that is rich learning environment and at least one adult around that is available for the child to do things with the child and to take advantage of what might be called teachable moments. If the child asks where milk comes from then that is an opportunity for all kinds of learning to take place if the child is really interested. It takes a lot of faith to unschool your children through high school and hope you won't get in trouble with the state and that they will be able to handle college. I unschooled my 3 sons.


: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons

foreverinbluejeans is offline  
#34 of 58 Old 05-17-2012, 07:27 AM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,597
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post

From what I remember from reading John Holt children probably aren't ready to be "taught" until they are around 12 before they are ready for any formal classes or learning from books. 

 

That's certainly not anything I remember Holt writing. He wrote a lot about the power of natural, unstructured learning. And he wrote about children he had observed who had chosen not to partake of formal learning until adolescence and then rapidly "caught up" thanks to the efficiency afforded by maturity, motivation and prior informal learning. So he would have said that many children don't gravitate to formal learning until adolescence, and we should trust their inclinations about their readiness. He spoke a lot about the damage that could be inadvertently caused by the imposition of the agendas of adults. But I don't recall him making statements about the inadvisability of learning from books or classes prior to age 12 for children who are keen on that sort of learning ... that seems really odd to me, because I know he was good friends with and an ardent supporter of families like Nancy Wallace's, where the kids were very precocious in some areas and doing quite high-level learning from books and through structured work with mentors long before age 12.

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#35 of 58 Old 05-17-2012, 09:20 AM
 
Luckiestgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 393
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 

That's certainly not anything I remember Holt writing.

 

I wonder if this poster might be thinking of Raymond and Dorothy Moore, who wrote Better Late than Early.  The Moores place the average age of readiness for academic learning between the ages of 8 and 10.

 

One thing to note about John Holt: his views evolved significantly over his lifetime.  By the time he wrote such works as Instead of Education, he was thoroughly anti-school (S-chool, actually, as in the compulsory sense, distinguished from s-chools that a learner chooses to attend for the purpose of learning specific skills, like a language, or ballet, or whatever).  The Holt who wrote How Children Learn and How Children Fail was much less at odds with parents directing learning activities.  In his later books, he often critiques his early ideas, saying things to the effect of, "I don't know why I thought they wouldn't figure that out, in their own time, in a better way." 

 

So maybe I'm suggesting that anyone still exploring homeschooling philosophies, and attracted at any level to Holt's ideas, might want to read some of his later work in addition to his earlier books. 

Luckiestgirl is offline  
#36 of 58 Old 05-17-2012, 10:34 AM
 
SweetSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfarthing
Posts: 4,987
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckiestgirl View Post

 

The Holt who wrote How Children Learn and How Children Fail was much less at odds with parents directing learning activities.  In his later books, he often critiques his early ideas, saying things to the effect of, "I don't know why I thought they wouldn't figure that out, in their own time, in a better way." 

 

So maybe I'm suggesting that anyone still exploring homeschooling philosophies, and attracted at any level to Holt's ideas, might want to read some of his later work in addition to his earlier books. 

Those earlier books were written, I think, when he still had hope for a reformed education system, something he later abandoned quite vocally.  I am no Holt expert.  My library has very limited selections from his books.  I do know that he eschewed coerced, compulsory learning (as opposed to the compulsory learning to achieve a chosen end-- like boring scales practices in a chosen musical education, or required classes for a chosen degree--the s-chool/ S-chool difference that was mentioned.)


Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
SweetSilver is offline  
#37 of 58 Old 05-17-2012, 12:04 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,597
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)

I just got out "Learning All the Time" by John Holt and skimmed through to refresh my memory. This was the book he was writing at the time of his death. The over-arching ideas in the book seem to be "There's no hurry, it's never too late to learn, and children learn incredible amounts with little direct teaching." His five-word thesis is "Teaching does not make learning." Instead he says that "Learners create learning." And he does not say anywhere I can see that one should not start formal learning before adolescence. He says merely that there is no precious window of learning that will be missed if you do not start when children are young -- and there are significant risks with leading formal learning too vigorously on the learner's behalf at any age. (He fleshes this latter idea out in more detail in "Never Too Late," his book about learning the cello as an adult.)

 

But it's important to recognize on the semantic issue that Holt was not trying to define unschooling as distinct from homeschooling. For him unschooling was a synonym for what we now call homeschooling: it just meant learning outside of school, regardless of the style or approach. Obviously he favoured an approach that was highly child-centred, based in family life, play, community and imagination. But the word unschooling to him simply meant learning without going to school. 

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#38 of 58 Old 05-17-2012, 06:20 PM
 
OTMomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,460
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We started out unschooling kindergarten, but found it just didn't work for our family. My dd felt that unschooling meant I was a slave to her educational needs, and I had to be willing to put that ahead of my own needs..... It was destructive for us. I also realized that I did have educational goals for my kids that I was not willing to let go of. So my version of eclectic homeschooling has actually very gradually moved from unschooling to a more classical education style. Each year we have added one or two formal sit down subjects, and done a child led, relaxed approach to the others. This year for 4th grade, we did spelling and grammar for the first time, adding those to our math and Story of the World history and handwriting. We did a huge amount for science, which was a combo of a science curriculum dd chose and various activities she chose. I also chose a few classic books to read aloud to her, and she was free to read all she wanted.

Just sharing one more way....

Peace,
dejagerw likes this.

Laura, Mama to Mya 7/02, Ian 6/07 and Anna 8/09
OTMomma is offline  
#39 of 58 Old 05-19-2012, 09:03 AM
 
Maria Van's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I got super excited at this thread, and then it wasn't what I thought it was at all... My son is 2 so we haven't started worrying too much about all this yet, but I'm currently considering trying to find a way to meld public school and homeschooling, that's what I thought we were discussing :( I have no idea if it will work or not or how receptive my school district will be when the time comes, but I thought it would be nice to give my son the experience of public school without forcing him to sit in a classroom for 8 hours 5 days a week. I'd love to be able to just allow him to wake up at his own pace, bring him in for a portion of the day a few days a week so that he has interaction with other kids in the community and then bring him home to actually learn about life. Has anyone considered this idea at all? I am very curious if anyone has attempted to approach a district with something like this, and if so what kind of response was received.

Maria Van is offline  
#40 of 58 Old 05-19-2012, 10:45 AM
 
onatightrope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria Van View Post

I got super excited at this thread, and then it wasn't what I thought it was at all... My son is 2 so we haven't started worrying too much about all this yet, but I'm currently considering trying to find a way to meld public school and homeschooling, that's what I thought we were discussing :( I have no idea if it will work or not or how receptive my school district will be when the time comes, but I thought it would be nice to give my son the experience of public school without forcing him to sit in a classroom for 8 hours 5 days a week. I'd love to be able to just allow him to wake up at his own pace, bring him in for a portion of the day a few days a week so that he has interaction with other kids in the community and then bring him home to actually learn about life. Has anyone considered this idea at all? I am very curious if anyone has attempted to approach a district with something like this, and if so what kind of response was received.

 

The tricky thing about what you're describing is that all the other kids in the school would be there to learn, not socialize, and having your child there part-time for only social reasons could be disruptive.  If your goal is for your child to interact with other kids in the community, I would look for non-school settings like dance classes or sports teams.  

 

Having said that, I think you could approach your local school to ask if your homeschooled child could participate in the elementary school orchestra or art classes, or some other specific activity in the school, but you would need to send your child with the expectation that he would participate in the activities and do any homework.  Otherwise, it's unfair to the teacher.  

onatightrope is offline  
#41 of 58 Old 05-19-2012, 12:07 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,597
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria Van View Post

I'd love to be able to just allow him to wake up at his own pace, bring him in for a portion of the day a few days a week so that he has interaction with other kids in the community and then bring him home to actually learn about life. Has anyone considered this idea at all?

 

Two of my kids have attended school part-time on a long-term basis, and one has tried it short-term. We have a very supportive, receptive school, which is definitely a requirement! Overall we've discovered that it has not worked at all well for the kids or the school at the K-7 level. At the secondary (high school) level, it has worked very well. Why? Well, because so much of what goes on at the K-7 level is about creating a cohesive classroom identity. The kids are just learning to separate from home and family and to make social connections with other children and authority-figure adults. The social relationships within the classroom, the sense of belonging, the idea of being part of a class that has built and shared a common culture and body of experiences, that's what makes up a good classroom. And the kid who attends only part of the time ends up with missing pieces of the puzzle, and is an outsider looking in even when he's there. Also, much of the learning, at least at our school, is cross-curricular. That means that learning isn't broken up into subjects, and that projects and activities flow into each other in ways which aren't scheduled out and separated. The field trip about salmon spawning is part of the science unit on life cycles, and inspires the print-making art projects depicting roe and ripples and combining the colours of the dying salmon, and the poetry the kids work on during the leftover time following math is intended to use some of the art and science vocabulary words, and the spelling word wall springs from all that vocabulary. To have a kid drop in for an hour on Tuesday morning can be really difficult and disruptive, because he won't have the painting to work on attaching to a salmon poem, and might not know what the vocabulary means or have the spelling skills to use the words, or have been present when the teacher introduced the art technique from which the whole project is derived, etc. etc.

 

At the high school level the rotating class assignments (rather than the tight "Mr. Hollander's 2nd grade class identity) and the separation of work into specific subjects means that it is very easy for a student to attend for just certain classes and get a fairly complete experience in those subjects. 

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#42 of 58 Old 05-19-2012, 07:54 PM
 
Maria Van's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I know it will be tricky, and my wording probably isn't ideal, but I don't mean that he would only go to socialize, just that you have to be realistic about how much learning he would actually do when he isn't there all the time. Mostly I feel like for good or bad the majority of kids go to public school so knowing how to interact with your peers who aren't necessarily nice and maybe don't share your interests or values in life is something that I think can only truly be learned in that kind of setting. Its not that I think exclusively homeschooled kids don't have social skills, they probably have better social skills, but they probably don't have to deal with things like bullies, which is why most of us want to homeschool in the first place. My feeling though is that no exposure to that sort of peer group could leave a kid somewhat disadvantaged as an adult if he chooses to work in say, some giant business conglomerate. I hope my son chooses better things for his life, but thats for him to decide not me. At the same time I realize the limitations that even the best teachers and school districts have simply due to the fact that they have entire classrooms of kids to accomodate. My husband works as a freelancer and I am a yoga instructor so we have pretty flexible schedules and I'd like to be able to use that to our advantage and spend a nice sunny day at the park learning about nature or working in the garden instead of having him cooped up learning math problems and memorizing state capitals. I have no idea if I will be able to make this work or not, I imagine even if I can get the district on board when the time comes that i'll still have to follow a homeschool curriculum, I just thought for a brief moment that I wasn't the only crazy momma out there with this thought and maybe someone would be able to point me in the right direction! :)

Maria Van is offline  
#43 of 58 Old 05-19-2012, 08:07 PM
 
Maria Van's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Miranda,

Thanks for the info! Its nice to know that others have at least considered this idea. I completely understand what you're saying about the difference between highschool and elementary school, though where i live junior high (6-8) is run much like highschool with the subjects broken down. And I don't intend to just take him for an hour, I hope to settle into some sort of routine (for example right now he wakes up between 7:30 and 8am so if that were to remain than the plan would be something like mon, wed, fri he goes from 10am-2pm and if there were an event like a field trip we would determine his attendance based on his personal interest level) obviously I would have to keep up on what they are doing in the class at home so that he would be able to follow what is going on, and generally, even if subjects flow together with a certain topic, the same subjects are likely to be covered from 10-2 every day so there would be a sense of cohesion. There is the concern of how the other kids react to his coming and going, but thats a hurdle we can't cross until its in front of us, and in the end if he wanted to attend school full time or be home schooled full time I would probably accomadate him either way. It ultimately about what learning environment is best for him, but I am one of those ecclectic individuals who likes to take bits and pieces of things and mash them together. My sister is an elementary school teacher and she just looks at me like i'm a nut case when I say these things to her, lol. I appreciate the insight, I have lots to research in the next 3 years!

Maria Van is offline  
#44 of 58 Old 05-20-2012, 10:11 AM
 
Just1More's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are some private schools and homeschooling co-ops who do that sort of thing. One where we live has a set curriculum they follow, but the majority is done at home. The kids only go to the actual school on Tuesday and Thursday. This particular school is accredited,.so the parents don't have to do any reporting to the state.

"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

Just1More is offline  
#45 of 58 Old 05-20-2012, 06:02 PM
 
Tjej's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: a beautiful place
Posts: 1,580
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Maria Van -

 

I can see how a schedule like that could be nice for you (and might in theory be nice for your child, but in actuality?), but I have a really hard time seeing how that would work well for a teacher or their class.  It would be quite disruptive, IMO.  Did you go to school?  I did and some kid getting to come late and leave early and coming every other day would cause all sorts of disruption to the routine and rhythm of things.  The child would be confused about what was going on much of the time, because they would miss half the stuff.  It would be a significant burden for the teacher, IMO.

 

We are part of a group with homeschooling where my DD goes to a class once a week from 9-12.  I think something like that might offer you what you are looking for in a school experience.  Or there are lots of other co-op or class type options.

 

I don't mean to discourage you from finding something neat and flexible that would work well for you and your child, but to encourage you to consider what you are asking for from the other side.  And how you might get your desires/needs met in a way that works well for everyone.

 

Tjej

 

ETA: As far as your child then being allowed to decide if they wanted to attend school full time - FWIW, around here full day K is fairly new and parents and kids are sort-of given the option to do half day.  The child just ends up feeling like they are missing out, so even if they are tired they want to stay for lunch/recess (the fun playing parts) and the bit after that too.

Tjej is offline  
#46 of 58 Old 05-20-2012, 06:45 PM
 
onatightrope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Maria, I agree with Tjej, a child coming late and leaving early would be hard on the class, the teacher, and probably your child too. Coming in late and leaving early could be really miserable for a kid.   Have you ever walked into a meeting late?  It's embarrassing, and it can take a while to figure out what they're talking about, even if you aren't supposed to be learning any fundamentally new concepts, like kids often are in school.  I would also set him apart as different, which could easily effect his social standing in the class.  From the teacher's perspective, It would be a lot of work for the teacher to provide to you all her lesson plans and assignments for the time your child isn't in school, and that would be time and effort she would be taking away from the kids who are more fully her responsibility.  Even if she only spent an hour a week putting together the package for your child (and I think that's a low estimate), that would have to be done outside of the normal school day and it would be a significant burden to put on her because you prefer that your child keep an unusual schedule.  It would stink for her to be putting together your kid's package instead of researching how to help Janet progress with her reading.  

 

I think you might be better off researching alternative schools and homeschool coops.

onatightrope is offline  
#47 of 58 Old 05-20-2012, 07:50 PM
 
pammysue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Mountains of S. California
Posts: 1,541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria Van View Post

Mostly I feel like for good or bad the majority of kids go to public school so knowing how to interact with your peers who aren't necessarily nice and maybe don't share your interests or values in life is something that I think can only truly be learned in that kind of setting. Its not that I think exclusively home-schooled kids don't have social skills, they probably have better social skills, but they probably don't have to deal with things like bullies, which is why most of us want to home-school in the first place. My feeling though is that no exposure to that sort of peer group could leave a kid somewhat disadvantaged as an adult if he chooses to work in say, some giant business conglomerate. I hope my son chooses better things for his life, but thats for him to decide not me. 

 

I totally understand what you are saying and I agree that our children need to be exposed to all kinds of people so they can learn to live in a social world. I disagree though that public school is the best or only place to learn these lessons. There are lots of ways home-schooled children can learn them in an environment where your values are being taught.

 

For examples, as D'S1 gets older he is more independent at the park and will go off on his own to play with the other children. There are plenty of times just at the park for a few hours to teach him about bullies, making your own choices, etc. I watch him and the other children play, very rarely interfering, and then can have quick conversations with him guiding him in his playing and what to say in different situations. So, when he comes over for a drink of water or just to check in, I might ask "what are you guys playing?" or other casual non-leading questions and give him a little bit of guidance for when he goes back to playing. . Then we talk about it again on the way home, in a casual way. I have seen it work already because now he will ask other children to play with him which he wouldn't do last summer. The great thing is I can talk to him about these things "in real time" while they are still fresh in his mind and I know our families values are being conveyed.

 

I think that if you are out and about a lot and as your DS really starts socializing you'll find he has plenty of experiences with all types of people where he can learn these things. 


Pamstillheart.gif Cliffguitar.gif Malachi 5/08 bouncy.gif   Judah 5/10 jog.gif  Eden 8/12 babygirl.gif Asher 8/12 babyboy.gif

 
 You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me. ~CS Lewis

pammysue is offline  
#48 of 58 Old 05-20-2012, 07:56 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,597
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)

Yes, arriving late for a meeting is very much what it would be like; that's what I was trying to explain above. And certainly at our local public school the same subjects are not taught at roughly the same times each day. In fact the teachers do a lot of on-the-fly shuffling of activities, re-ordering their lesson plan based on the energy in the classroom and the kids' interests. They often linger longer, or start sooner, on some areas that catch the kids' attentions, or suddenly switch to a brainstorming session for the community greening project, or some PE outside, if the kids are wiggly and unengaged. It's very fluid. My dd just spent a week attending school during a special arts festival, and as much as the teachers bent over backwards to include her in everything, there were loads of times when she was definitely left out. She's friends with most of the kids, she's a resilient kid, and it was just for a week, so it wasn't a big deal. But if she was trying to be a part-time member of class over the long term it would have been difficult. She ended up having to read a book yet again, or pull out something of her own while the other kids glazed their clay pots, or did more work on their haiku paintings from art class on Tuesday, or wrote in their journals about a visit to the nursing home that she had missed.

 

The other major issue is that to us the benefit of homeschooling is that ability to move at your own pace through skills and material. But in my family at least this seems to lead to an inevitable difficulty with fit at school. What do you do with a kid who is doing division with fractions and decimals in a class full of 3rd graders who are doing speed drill on the multiplication facts? What do you do when the 4/5 class is reading Stuart Little for a novel study and your kid read it three years ago and re-read it last year? Again, these issues are most problematic at the K-6 level where there are no advanced courses, a lot of learning work is still the closed-ended fill-in-the-blank type, and there's no opportunity to move up a couple of grade levels in areas of strength.

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#49 of 58 Old 05-20-2012, 08:20 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,597
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria Van View Post

Mostly I feel like for good or bad the majority of kids go to public school so knowing how to interact with your peers who aren't necessarily nice and maybe don't share your interests or values in life is something that I think can only truly be learned in that kind of setting.

 

You're saying that because most kids go to school, the only way to learn to interact with not-nice people is in school? That only follows if all the not-nice people are in school, and if they are never anywhere except school. My kids have encountered not-nice behaviour at martial arts, music camp, homeschoolers' indoor rock-climbing class, at the park and the community playground, at the passport office, in the grocery store, at the community garden. Sometimes it's subtle, sometimes it's overt, sometimes it's physical, sometimes it's inadvertent, sometimes it's systematic, sometimes it's simple ignorance. Sometimes it's in adults, sometimes in agemates, sometimes in older kids. They've encountered people with radically different values and cultural backgrounds more often at homeschooling meet-ups than amongst their school-attending friends.

 

The difference is that because they're homeschooled there's adult support available if they struggle to cope with whatever a situation throws their way. If one of my kids comes to me and explains that they're confused or hurt by something that's going on, I can validate those feelings and suggest tools and points of view they can use to deal with conflict, misunderstanding or whatever. These encounters end up being opportunities for growth in resilience and interpersonal skills and not situations of ongoing stress. 

 

Years ago, long before I was even considering homeschooling my own kids, a very wise teacher friend made an observation to me about the homeschoolers she'd had enter her classroom over the years. "They're all different," she said, "because their families, and their reasons for homeschooling, are all so different. But the one thing they all have is that they know who they are. They really know who they are. That's worth so much. The dirt just rolls off them."

 

I don't know whether that's indeed true of all homeschoolers, though I think it's very true of my kids. But I do believe that the best way to raise kids to be strong and resilient in the face of adversity (whether of the social kind or otherwise) is to help them be secure. If you want a plant to be strong enough to endure strong winds, you don't set it to grow in front of a fan ... you give it good deep soil make sure it grows strong roots. 

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#50 of 58 Old 05-21-2012, 09:47 AM
 
3littlelambs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 123
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

really enjoying this thread. thank you all for your thoughts and insights!

3littlelambs is offline  
#51 of 58 Old 05-21-2012, 09:47 PM
Dar
 
Dar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 11,448
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post


Years ago, long before I was even considering homeschooling my own kids, a very wise teacher friend made an observation to me about the homeschoolers she'd had enter her classroom over the years. "They're all different," she said, "because their families, and their reasons for homeschooling, are all so different. But the one thing they all have is that they know who they are. They really know who they are. That's worth so much. The dirt just rolls off them."

Interesting. Rain and I have talked some about bullying this summer, and she really has a hard time understanding how kids would be so devastated by school bullying. She's not trying to be unkind or unfeeling - it's more that she can't really wrap her head around caring so much about what some other kids think of you. She says she's never been bullied, although when she was 11-12 or so there was some online nastiness stuff - some from her towards others, and some from others towards her. She doesn't see it as having been a big deal - at least, for her it wasn't.

Although... I dropped her off yesterday for a week of training at the camp where she'll be working this summer and also worked last summer, and since the van wasn't there she ran in to check to be sure this was the right time and then came back to get her bags... she when she came back she said to me, "I forgot something! I'm very popular at camp!" smile.gif Apparently everyone had already been waiting inside and her appearance was greeted with a good deal of excitement and hugs... and none of the other counselors (mostly 18-25) are former homeschoolers.

 
fambedsingle1.gifSingle mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler earth.gif


  

Dar is offline  
#52 of 58 Old 05-22-2012, 10:06 AM
 
3littlelambs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 123
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 

 

 

Years ago, long before I was even considering homeschooling my own kids, a very wise teacher friend made an observation to me about the homeschoolers she'd had enter her classroom over the years. "They're all different," she said, "because their families, and their reasons for homeschooling, are all so different. But the one thing they all have is that they know who they are. They really know who they are. That's worth so much. The dirt just rolls off them."

 

I don't know whether that's indeed true of all homeschoolers, though I think it's very true of my kids. But I do believe that the best way to raise kids to be strong and resilient in the face of adversity (whether of the social kind or otherwise) is to help them be secure. If you want a plant to be strong enough to endure strong winds, you don't set it to grow in front of a fan ... you give it good deep soil make sure it grows strong roots. 

 

Miranda

I think this IS true of HSers. My DH was HS'd his entire education (save university) and he often remarks when he meets a person with a lot of individuality or rather a strong sense of himself/herself, "I wonder if he was HS'd?" and he'll often point out people whom he knows were HS'd and how he attributes that to their uniqueness. I think it's b/c they didn't have the "follow the herd" mentality that PS teaches and were able to develop in their own sense of self with confidence. Before I really understood the social benefits of HSing, I would often see my DH's sense of self and social skills as being strong "in spite of" HSing b/c I didn't fully understand the issue. Now I know that it is actually "because" of HSing that he is the way that he is. 

3littlelambs is offline  
#53 of 58 Old 05-22-2012, 03:24 PM
 
onatightrope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post


Years ago, long before I was even considering homeschooling my own kids, a very wise teacher friend made an observation to me about the homeschoolers she'd had enter her classroom over the years. "They're all different," she said, "because their families, and their reasons for homeschooling, are all so different. But the one thing they all have is that they know who they are. They really know who they are. That's worth so much. The dirt just rolls off them."

Interesting. Rain and I have talked some about bullying this summer, and she really has a hard time understanding how kids would be so devastated by school bullying. She's not trying to be unkind or unfeeling - it's more that she can't really wrap her head around caring so much about what some other kids think of you. She says she's never been bullied, although when she was 11-12 or so there was some online nastiness stuff - some from her towards others, and some from others towards her. She doesn't see it as having been a big deal - at least, for her it wasn't.
 

 

We briefly had some kids living in our neighborhood who had a pretty rough home life, and they could be mean.  My daughter was playing with them once, and they tried to be very mean to her (she described what they did-- it wasn't physical abuse, but it was pretty appalling), and when I talked to her later, she was completely bewildered by their behavior-- not hurt at all, just perplexed that they would have chosen to behave that way.  I think that part of the difference with homeschooling is that if someone isn't nice to you, you don't have to play with them, and kids realize that.  It deprives bullies of a lot of their power, and means that they see the downside of being mean-- if they aren't nice they will be alone.  Bullies in school can't be avoided the same way they can outside of school, both in homeschooling and in the adult world, and that makes the problem of bullying much worse for school kids than the rest of us.

 

Having said all that, we have had to deal with not-nice people both in the homeschooling world and in the world in general, and have also had to deal with situations where everyone meant well, but feelings were still hurt.  If you had to go to school to find that, then no one would need to know how to deal with it as an adult.  It would be like the skill of opening those little cartons of milk.  

onatightrope is offline  
#54 of 58 Old 05-22-2012, 08:05 PM
 
littlest birds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: a dream-filled fixer-upper
Posts: 2,952
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Regarding social skills learned in school:  Just because kids are present with certain "kinds" of people does not mean they are learning any useful coping skills from the experience. There are a lot of kids who deal very poorly with bullies and not-nice people in the school setting and even if they are having a terrible experience they are still left to their own devices if the basic school rules about physical behavior are being followed.  What do they learn and what don't they learn?  Every child is different but:

 

This often leaves them entering puberty and their most insecure emotional years with a sense of fear and insecurity that can lead to serious self-destructive behaviors and misery.  It's probably not the leading cause of such problems but it's a contributor for certain.  I think being tossed in with not-nice people in a poorly monitored setting with mandatory attendance is dangerous for some kids at a very vulnerable time in their lives.    

 

One of the social skills schools promote most effectively is the "conform to a group to feel safe from the other groups" and there are good and bad things to be said about this skill but as far as I can tell most homeschoolers do well enough with that when they have a reason and a lot of other people seem to do too well. 

 

In my experience by 4th grade and then through high school, kids in public school acquire a LOT of social anxiety.  They are too often afraid of at least some of the other kids, have a tendency to fear and resent authority, feel insecure about themselves, and are focused way too much on their peers' opinions.  As adults many will turn out to still have those same social deficits.  CAUSED by the school setting.  I think it is an unsafe environment in ways we don't always think about.  There are too few adults and too many people all together and the social life part of it is controlled almost entirely by children way too soon.  As long as you show up for class and follow enough rules, the kids have free rein to treat each other in any way they come up with.  Very "sink-or-swim" and for every glowing social success there are many half-drowned. 

 

It may sound like I hate public school, but I don't, and we have good schools in our community.  Most kids do all right.  There are good things happening and good things to participate in and good friendships made.  But I find it amazing that people talk about socialization and can't see the rest of this.  There are some major distortions of the relationships and perceptions of peers+authority+self in the school setting and those distortions have permanent effects.  Those effects aren't all negative and it's not the end of the world to face those things but some of it just seeps into who we are and doesn't help us at all...  There is probably no one identifiable "ideal" educational setting, but the social benefits of school are too often overrated, and their weaknesses rarely well-acknowledged. 

 

The lucky kids learn positive skills from dealing with mean people, while others learn how to be mean themselves or how to be miserable.

raelize likes this.

ME&treehugger.gifHE... loving our: wild.gifdd(18) ~~violin.gifds(13) read.gifdd(13)~~ peace.gifdd(10)
 
 

littlest birds is offline  
#55 of 58 Old 05-24-2012, 06:30 AM
 
Qalliope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by onatightrope View Post
I think that part of the difference with homeschooling is that if someone isn't nice to you, you don't have to play with them, and kids realize that.  It deprives bullies of a lot of their power, and means that they see the downside of being mean-- if they aren't nice they will be alone.  Bullies in school can't be avoided the same way they can outside of school, both in homeschooling and in the adult world, and that makes the problem of bullying much worse for school kids than the rest of us.

 



That's it exactly. It is not that it is hard to tolerate a person who is mean  or dislikes you for no obvious reason.  But being trapped with a verbally or physically abusive person day after day will wear you down. Additionally, if a bully has enough physical or social power, others will be afraid to socialize with you for fear of becoming a target, leaving you extremely isolated.

Qalliope is offline  
#56 of 58 Old 05-29-2012, 11:10 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 27,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria Van View Post

I know it will be tricky, and my wording probably isn't ideal, but I don't mean that he would only go to socialize, just that you have to be realistic about how much learning he would actually do when he isn't there all the time. Mostly I feel like for good or bad the majority of kids go to public school so knowing how to interact with your peers who aren't necessarily nice and maybe don't share your interests or values in life is something that I think can only truly be learned in that kind of setting. Its not that I think exclusively homeschooled kids don't have social skills, they probably have better social skills, but they probably don't have to deal with things like bullies, which is why most of us want to homeschool in the first place. My feeling though is that no exposure to that sort of peer group could leave a kid somewhat disadvantaged as an adult if he chooses to work in say, some giant business conglomerate.

 

Could you expand on what you mean by the bolded part? As written, it makes no sense to me at all. It's the kind of thing I hear a lot from people who are vehemently opposed to homeschooling, but I don't get where it comes from, or what people mean by it.

 

I will say that I went through public school. I then went on to do a variety of work, mostly clerical, for small businesses (but two of those small businesses were local branches, of a sort, for much larger corporations). I also temped for a while. I never encountered anything in the workplace that even remotely resembled the social environment in school. I did run across a bit of bullying - a couple of clients, and one boss. But, it wasn't anything like what I was subjected to in school, and if it had been, I'd have left! And, I've never once worked in an environment where all my colleagues and clients, except my boss, were the same age as me. What we call "peers" in the school system has little or nothing to do with the concept of "peer" in any other context. (Can you imagine selecting trial jurors solely by birthdate?)

 

I will say that my kids get lots of exposure to other kids who "aren't necessarily nice". They have lots of neighbourhood friends, and lots of other neighbourhood kids who aren't really friends, but are still out there on the playground. They don't need to go to a classroom for that.

SweetSilver likes this.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

Storm Bride is offline  
#57 of 58 Old 06-01-2012, 08:52 AM
 
minuway's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Don't worry too much about a label - just take what you like from both approaches. We would never be considered unschoolers by our friends who are hard core unschoolers (because we use Singapore Math, Real Science 4 Kids, Explode the Code, etc), but compared to our hard core classical friends we "lean to unschooling."  :) We use a classical outline (especially taking into consideration the various stages of the trivium), and The Well Trained Mind is the backbone of our academic plan, but also include lots of interest led learning, and I think ends up looking more like a Charlotte Mason approach. I also have one extremely gifted child, and she sets the tone for her siblings because EVERYTHING is interesting to her and she always want to know MORE MORE MORE. Their dad insists on a certain baseline of math and science, but they always go beyond. I do a lot of Montessori and Waldorf inspired things, especially with little ones. Don't commit to one approach if you are inspired by lots - look at how to incorporate good things. That's the reason I homeschool - customization! 


Catherine
classical soprano wife to a physics professor, mom to four kids 7 yrs and younger

Trying to balance Dad's science and math obsession with mom's love of arts and literature - blogging at a runcible life.

minuway is offline  
#58 of 58 Old 06-01-2012, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
berkeleyp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,037
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Wow, this thread has covered so much ground and has been so interesting to me reading through.    I think one of the best parts about homeschooling is the freedom to do what works for every family and also that in my view, all homeschoolers have more in common than not, even if they subscribe to vastly different approaches/philosophies.  We all make a choice which is a radical departure from public or private school settings by removing our children from an institution and instead taking charge of their "education" at home.  Even a household that does a focused school style curriculum is really WAY different than a school covering the same topics.  

 

I personally have been fascinated in the way people learn for my whole life and was always imagining ways that school could be better as I sat bored in class.   I think it is very unhelpful to draw a lot of boundary lines between classical, charlotte mason, unschool, etc.  I understand that there are core philosophies at work but I hate having to choose a box and get into it or not be allowed to use its vocabulary.  

 

Most home-schoolers are tailoring education to their own children to at least some degree.  Most are providing their kids more free time than they would have if they went to school and probably more "real life" experiences as well.   All of this, to me is in line with the writings of John Gatto who mostly criticized the public ed system as a whole from what I've read.    It seems that separating ourselves into boxes is not really useful.  We are already a minority.  I think it is much more interesting to have a legitimate discussion of the different pros/cons of different philosophies than to dogmatically accept one over others.  I guess that makes me eclectic but what I hope to be is a Homeschooler more than a Classical Homeschooler or an Unschooler or whatever.  Does that make sense?   

 

I relish the idea of a thoughtful discussion about how children learn and how to encourage that to happen and I don't believe there are really right and wrong paths but simply different paths to a similar end.  

 

I find that I identify with the philosophy of Classical Homeschooling and Unschooling almost equally.  From what I have read, both have the same goal of creating lifelong learners who are able to learn things as needed and THINK, a skill not overly valued in ps.  I realize that the two go about achieving this goal differently and wonder what can be drawn from each.  

 

In my own quest to set out homeschooling my kids starting this fall, I am enjoying the many choices I have but also feeling overwhelmed.  My Kathy Duffy quiz  (I think you have to have the book btw) yielded a high result in unschooling but I just can't do it 100%.  I (and my dh) want to use a math curriculum so I will insist that my dd does some math most days, which she will probably enjoy and wiz through.  She has already expressed a desire to learn cursive so I bought her a workbook that she can work through.  I bought a copy of The Story of the World I and think it seems like a nice spring board for looking at history.   My thought is to read one chapter at a time and get supplemental books at the library.  That said, if she isn't interested, we'll toss it out or skip ahead.  I also plan to read, read, read and also create a homeschool journal that my daughter will write in and illustrate as an exercise in writing, english, spelling, handwriting, self reflection, etc.  I also plan to keep screen time to a minimum and make sure there is plenty of unstructured time as well.    What do other people use as a guide in homeschooling?  

 

I'm not married to any particular approach at the moment and hope that I never am.  BUT I want to start with some structure for my own sanity. 

berkeleyp is offline  
Reply

Tags
Unschooling , Learning Resources , Education , Homeschooling

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off