Any unschoolers out there? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 12-11-2001, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm an unschooling wannabe! My ds is only 19 mos old right now, but friends and family are already asking about school, and I really think unschooling is the way I want to go. Any suggestions on books, resources, places to find other unschoolers (either IRL or online) would be most appreciated. Thanks!
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#2 of 19 Old 12-12-2001, 12:34 AM
 
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ROFL! Isn't it amazing how early relatives get concerned? There are several unschoolers who hang out here, and many relaxed homeschoolers. Check out unschooling.com

The writers for you are John Holt and John Taylor Gatto. Enjoy!
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#3 of 19 Old 12-12-2001, 01:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I'll check out those authors and the website.

Yes, my SIL was astonished when I told her we hadn't started looking at kindergartens yet. Apparently, if you want to get into a "good" school, you have to get your child on a waiting list by the time he's 2! I told her school isn't compulsory in our state until age 7, and she totally lost it. I got this whole lecture about how far behind he was going to be if I didn't get him in preschool, blah, blah, blah. I hate it for my ILs--it must really pain them to have their only grandchild/nephew being raised by such a radical!
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#4 of 19 Old 12-12-2001, 11:49 AM
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Here is a link you might find helpful.

http://learninfreedom.org

I started researching this stuff several years ago for friends who have kids. My step daughter's father and I have been together for a year, and she just turned 4, so my research has become more serious and focused. I am so glad to have a head start getting familiar with what's out there!

Unschooling has always sounded good to me, in theory, but I don't know enough about it to know if it will work for our DD yet.
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#5 of 19 Old 12-12-2001, 01:42 PM
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Hi - we're unschoolers. My oldest is 6, and we're having a really great time with it.

I found other homeschoolers/unschoolers in our area by searching the web - punching in keywords that included our city and state. I actually ended up meeting two other very relaxed homeschooling moms - in the same neighborhood!! as me. Now we get together once a week with the kids - 7 of them total - and play and do crafts, etc. We're also starting to get together one other day a week to do baking together. Its great! Finding like minded people in your community is a great way to start. Don't give up either, it took us close to a year to find like minded folks, (I'm not religious at all and there are a lot of Christian homeschoolers).

Mothering actually put out a book of essays years ago about homeschooling that I like. And I second Linda's suggestions of Holt and Gatto - his book "Dumbing Us Down" was the deciding factor in my decision to homeschool.

Good luck!

Handmade dress shop owner and mama of five - our littlest just born in December! ♥

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#6 of 19 Old 12-12-2001, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Kel! The religion angle is one main thing I've been concerned about. All the homeschoolers I've met so far are very Christian and most do lessons using a Christian curriculum that incorporates the Bible into evertything from social studies to math. Also, their motivations seem different from mine--they seem to want to keep their kids out of public school to protect them from being exposed to things like evolution, homosexuality, drugs, etc.

I got into kind of a discussion with one mom that I've gotten to be pretty good friends with, and she started trying to talk me out of unschooling, which turned me off, since I've always been respectful of her choices and kept my mouth shut even when I disagreed. Anyway, the religion thing is always a problem, since there is literally a huge church on every street corner in my town and it seems that everyone is involved in a church to one degree or another. Even when another mom and I seem to have so much in common, we inevitably disagree about religion. This isn't really a problem for me, since I'm happy to just not talk about it and focus the friendship on commonalities, but the Christians I've met seem to have this thing about converting people and not hanging out with heathens like me
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#7 of 19 Old 12-12-2001, 04:41 PM
 
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I think part of it depends on where you live and how well connected you are. We lived in a small town in rural Ontario for a while and I really did not fit in with the other homeschoolers for all the reasons you listed. Yet, just an hour away in Ottawa, there were tons of cool homeschoolers! Now we live in Tucson and there a zillions of homeschoolers, of all religions and styles.

I'm pagan, but there are some very nice Christians who homeschool and hang out on this board, so I want to stick up for them Just because someone is a Christian doesn't mean that they are narrow minded.

There are so many homeschooling groups now and most cities have either an inclusive or unschooling group. If your town doesn't, you could always start one. There is a very cool group here in Tucson that has families from most every religion. Most of the families are very relaxed or unschool. Some Christian families come because they don't fit in at the christian groups.
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#8 of 19 Old 12-12-2001, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Linda in Arizona
I'm pagan, but there are some very nice Christians who homeschool and hang out on this board, so I want to stick up for them Just because someone is a Christian doesn't mean that they are narrow minded.
No doubt. Notice I said "the Christians I've met"--I wasn't trying to make blanket statements about all Christans. Please forgive, I didn't mean to step on toes the first time I posted on this board! I have just met some really close-minded people lately. I mean, one woman literally stopped returning my calls after I made a comment one day that I didn't understand why creationism and evolution had to be mutually exclusive. But that's probably a discussion for another board...........
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#9 of 19 Old 12-12-2001, 09:05 PM
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We're a mixture - unschooling and public schooling. My eldest three are in public school but my youngest three are at home. I love it though I'm constantly reevaluating my decision to unschool them - having to convince myself that we are do well with unschooling. Often wishing I had the guts to pull the other three out and keep them at home too. We're likely the only unschoolers in the country - well, perhaps there are some who just don't go to school but don't really get much in the way of learning at home. Just living life and learning what comes their way. But that's what unschooling is all about isn't it! I guess for some of us more comes our way than others. Or we pull more into our way.

~Cynthia

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#10 of 19 Old 12-12-2001, 09:20 PM
 
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Just wanted to recommend The Unschooling Handbook. When I read this book I became really excited about unschooling and knew it was right for my family! After about a year of quietly talking about my decision with a few other people, I started finding unschoolers all over the place. I am going to try to start a regular support group in the spring. Even if you just find one other person, it really helps deal with the doubts... Best of luck with your decision.
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#11 of 19 Old 12-12-2001, 09:35 PM
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I have that book - it's great! I also adore Grace LLewellyn's Teenage Liberation Handbook. Fantastic stuff! I wish I had read that book when I was a teen!

~Cynthia

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#12 of 19 Old 12-13-2001, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Thanks for all the great suggestions! In 2002, I hope to get serious about doing some reading, and you guys have given me a good list to get started with. Thanks!
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#13 of 19 Old 12-18-2001, 09:45 PM
 
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Well, I sort of consider us an "unschooling family", tho' we are rather eclectic in approach(DS likes some degree of structure, such as assignments in math/English, regular "field trips", etc, whereas mostly we just go about life, go places, do stuff, and encourage his interests. So we DO do some schooling type stuff, but by request
I "started" a homeschooling group here sev. mths back, but of course, most we have met via it are "homeschoolers"(and most religious), not Unschoolers.(The unschooling group near us is not very near us; too much driving, etc.) And I continue to have the nagging suspicion that most who responded desire a more structured group( whereas I had in mind more of a social network yet to see where that goes.
Sometimes I doubt our choice, but mostly I realize it is the best for us(in all ways, incl. "academically"). And as the kids get older, they will be allowed to choose to "go to school" or not. But until they reach more maturity/ability to rationally deal with the many issues out there, we wil not be just "throwing them out there". Kim
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#14 of 19 Old 12-20-2001, 09:06 PM
 
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what is un-schooling?

never heard of it and not sure from what i read here

thanks
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#15 of 19 Old 12-21-2001, 03:43 AM
 
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Check out www.unschooling.com

this will answer your questions
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#16 of 19 Old 02-05-2006, 09:54 PM
 
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I just now came across this thread. Have you seen this other one? Lots of info in there too.

unschooling.

EDITED TO ADD: Whoops! That turned out to be a very old thread - like 4 years old? I don't know how it happened to be toward the top of my list. Oh, well...
Lillian
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#17 of 19 Old 02-05-2006, 10:48 PM
 
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Well, how interesting! And how cool to read these old posts! I was all ready to just post a little: Here!

I wonder how it went for her? Her child would be of school age now. I hope she sees this and posts!! No matter what decision turned out to be best for her family.
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#18 of 19 Old 02-06-2006, 01:33 AM
 
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We are an unschooling family to our youngest.The two older go to private school,(they are from previous marriage and Dad pays for it...) The youngest is an unusual little guy and fits perfectly with unschool. What other way can you go to the Ren Faire,make cookies,build paper dragons,walk in the woods,look for bugs under rocks,and still call it "school"? We love it and I think ds will be something wonderful someday because we let him be who he is,and didn't make him conform to what school tried to make him. I just joined up with our local HS group and they seem very nice,however they asked me if I went to church....hmmmm.And they asked about my curriculum. Well we'll see how that goes,lol! wonder if they will understand if I even try to explain that one to them.....
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#19 of 19 Old 02-06-2006, 03:41 PM
 
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We're unschoolers...two boys 9 and almost 5. To the Christians who say that unschooling is unchristian, I answer with "how is letting your child grow up to be who GOD made him unchristian?" There are many Christian Unschoolers out there and even have Christian Unschooling books. Personally I don't need to classify it any further than unschooling.

Here are some other resources:

unschooling-resources@yahoogroups.com
www.livefreelearnfree.com
Trust the Children by Anna Kealoha
Good LUck!! Sus
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