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#1 of 10 Old 12-27-2002, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My eldest dd E is 11 1/2 and my little one J is 2 3/4. I am at a loss at what method of home schooling will work for us. With J it's easy, she has no barriers and no blocks, she plays and learns with joy everyday. It is my eldest I worry for. I am so tired of sitting at the computer every night for hours reading that this method is best or that one doesn't work. I have read so many books, unschooling, Charlotte Mason, Steiner, Holt etc and the more I read the more questions I get- no answers. It is really getting to me, I end up crying about this as it is to do with my children and their childhood and their future!!

I am questionning whether it was right to home educate. E has been out of school for 3 1/2 yrs now and has dropped nearly all that she learnt in school- she used to write loads and do beautiful drawings, now if she does any of it, they are token pieces and she only writes a tiny amount. She hates maths, and dh doesn't think it's enough for her to know eg measuring cooking ingredients and managing her money. It's like she has rebelled against learning, and anything I offer her she doesn't want.

She doesn't want to go to school because they will "make her work" and she spends her time sewing, watching the Amanda Show, playing 'The Sims' for hours at a time and listening to her music.

My husband is getting frustrated with the whole situation, and I can't give him any answers. He has said to her 'but what if you want to go to university' (in 7 yrs!)He feels we need to push her past her boundaries otherwise she'll grow up having learnt very little to make it out there. Ans he doesn't want her playing 'The Sims' for hours during 'school hours'.

We spoke about unschooling, he said we could try for 3 months, but there's still that pressure to achieve.

It saddens me to see that when children are young learning happens naturally through play, but when they are older it seems to go (with E at least) It's like we tell them you can play till your 11 then you have to sit down and work, can a child/tween/teen learn all they need through play? And what if they don't want to??

Any ideas where I can go from here? It just seems life is passing us by.......


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#2 of 10 Old 12-27-2002, 11:52 PM
 
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Hmmm...Maybe if you just found a method that worked it would all come together. Here is my two cents anyway!

We are very AP, but are not child-centered. There is a great book on it called The Continuum Concept. Basicly, I believe your children are hard-wired to look to you for guidance. So if they are looking at you and you are just looking back at them, you are in trouble. (IMHO!) This is not to say I do not respect my child or nurse on cue. This is just saying that I do not sit on the floor and play cars all day~ I do what I need to do and my ds and dd (admittedly only 3 and 1) happily follow me along, wanting to be a part of my world whether it is laundary or gardening or whatever!!

This is how I plan to homeschool. I am going to buy Sonlight Curriculum. This company is really big on learning just by reading great (non-text) books that are interesting and thought provoking. I am going to try to unschool for the most part, but then read these great books aloud as family time...because my children love books and I assume will want to listen to me read to them, like they do now. Then I am getting Miquon Math (from Sonlight) because *I* think it looks like fun, and if they want to do it with me, more power to them!

Maybe I am being simplistic, but this is working great for us so far. The kids are learning by leaps and bounds, just by following me around and reading good books! and maybe it could work great for you, too.
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#3 of 10 Old 12-28-2002, 01:19 AM
 
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Knowing your child's personality, likes and dislikes- do you think she really would be able to be successful in a traditional school setting? What have you been doing/using the last year with her? Have you tried setting up a routine or schedule for the day with her daily work? Is it time to take a vacation from TV and computer and try some new things- if she likes role playing maybe some theatre/plays or sewing maybe she would like to take a class somewhere in designing or home decorating to jumpstart some goal setting, it is easy to flounder if you don't have some goals for the year.
I would like to help, her age is one that I think is very hard- I have found it can be easy to blame homeschooling when a child is kind of in a rut or if I make unrealistic expectations.
My older kids get to do a lot of selecting their own curriculum based on the things they want to learn, not unschooling but relaxed and since they have ownership or take charge of things and type up their plans for the month/year, they are more likely to want to do these things- I hope that makes sense. If she is a creative person and likes the arts, drawing etc.. I would suggest her making some goals for the New Year, from 5 year- 2 year- 1 year- 2 months-- give her a journal for 2003 and some neat pens and help her to make time to sit down and write out, maybe you can write out your own together. Both my older kids and I are renewing our CPR cards, we have some books listed we want to read, one kids wants to make a webpage, another plan a bigger garden this year.
Please post again~
Mary
mom to homeschooled ds14, ds9, ds5, dd3 yrs
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#4 of 10 Old 12-28-2002, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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PerfectLove: The bit about her looking at me, me looking at her is SO true!!!- really does sum it up, and may be where we are going wrong. I like the sound of how you intend to do it. We live in the UK and things like Miquon Math and Sonlight just aren't available here

I am trying to work out what I want for my dd's- do I want them to learn between 9 till 3 on school days or see ones whole life as an education? I have read 'For The Childrens Sake' which is based on Charlotte Mason and love the idea of poetry reading, looking at artists work, reading non-text books etc- I just feel when I started to do this with her she was sulky and was not interested (but reading poetry in the evening with us all around she loved- that was probably due to I wanted to read it as I love poetry, she joined in with us- and maybe the fact that school hours were over so I must have been doing this because I wanted to rather than to get her to learn).

Any good stories your 3 yr old loves?? Might read them to my youngest. I also need to get my youngest entertained so I can sit and read to E. this is hard.

Vanna's Mom (being British I always try to type in 'mum' first- but love how 'mom' sounds )
She has been to school and is very under confident, school would cripple her- it isn't an option I really want for her. The last yr has really been letting her do whatever she wants to, as I just didn't know what else to do. I haven't set up a schedule though have considered it, have asked her sometimes what she would like to do and usually she sticks with things she knows really well and is comfortable with like History and cooking things ( her history knowledge is so broad and vast, she reads adult history stories in bed). But she feels she doesn't know what else she would like to do as it is hard for her to do 'new' stuff.

We tried unit studies on things that interested her, but she lost interest very quickly especially if any writing was invovled. I do like the sound of her doing a plan though- she has an 'academic' diary that her school friend has and could write stuff in there. Theatre would be good as we have some new puppets- maybe write some plays out for us to do??? Sewing I could show her how to use the machine (she normally hand sews) I agree about a break from the TV though, I have been weaning them off the past few days.

I lived my school days with timetables and as an adult I need some goals in my life or I don't feel I'm going anywhere, I like to look forward to achieving something I am working for. Thank you so much, you have given me some positive things to think about xxx

Amanda

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#5 of 10 Old 12-28-2002, 06:01 PM
 
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Amanda, we've been hsing for 18 months now, and every single one of those months has been different in terms of structure and approach, lol. I consider myself an unschooler, but have learned that ds doesn't always say in words what he wants or needs.

What we're doing now is a little bit of everything. I've discovered this year that ds likes doing a bit of formal structured work (but not a LOT, lol), he eventually told me that he likes to have something to look at at the end of the day, something he's accomplished. I like Charlotte Mason a lot, but only use a few of her ideas. The best one so far for us is to break up the mechanical part of writing (the handwriting part) and the idea process. We do a few minutes of dictation every day (I read a sentence or two from the Hobbit, and he writes it down, I help with punctuation for now, but he has to figure out spelling himself.) Creative writing is all dictated to me, because if he has to figure out what he wants to say, AND how to get it on paper, he just gives up instantly.

I've yet to find a math program I like, so we use a combination of workbooks from the book store, and intersting books, like How Math Works (I think it's British, you might be able to find it easily, it's a great book, worth looking for.)

Ds hated unit studies, or anything sustained like that, he lost interest instantly, and would complain that I was ruining the subject for him, lol.

I've found that a very flexible timetable is absolutely essential for us. We do "school work" for 1 hour, between 4 and 7, and have scheduled time for field trips, groups, errands and such. Too much free time is as bad as too little! LOL

Ali
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#6 of 10 Old 12-28-2002, 06:56 PM
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Fun-Books has Miquon math, as well as lots of other cool stuff, and they'll happily ship to England: http://www.fun-books.com/ordering.htm#Foreign It's run by an unschooling family, and Billy has always been happy to answer any questions I had.

My daughter will be ten in a couple of weeks, and we unschool.It works well for us. I think part of it is because Rain only went to kindie , so she didn't have as much "school-think" to shuck off. I also think it's important that an unschooling - or homeschooling - family value learning for everyone in the family. Rain sees me becoming interested in things and learning about them; she comes with me sometimes and sometimes I share tidbits that I think she'd be interested in, and sometimes she takes up one of my interests as well (and vice versa). So, what are your passions, what museums or exhibits have you been to because you wanted to see them lately, what books do you read for you? I also offer things I think she'd be interested in - not things I think she "needs to learn" but things I think she'd enjoy, and she does learn. We went with a group of theater friends (all adults, but since she's into theater and I do set painting and stuff, it's really her group) and saw a show on Woody Guthrie, and she had lots of questuions afterwards about the dust bowl and the Depression... but that's not wht we went.

Good luck!

Dar



 
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#7 of 10 Old 01-17-2003, 02:16 PM
 
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For any sonlight supplies go to www.sonlight.com, they formed to service missionaireis in far off places, so I am sure that England would be a piece of cake. We do Sonlight also and love it. the Language arts is all based on the reading they are doing anyway. Also try out Dinah Zikes at www.dinahzikes.com She has some fabulous ideas for how to incorporate all subjects into one presentation of one topic of study and some great ways to compile the info and its very creative, something your daughter might really get into.

I just started homeschooling this year after pulling my ds out of kindergarten after only amonth. He really seems to take his cues from me, we read ALL THE TIME, but I love to read and I am always wanting to do something. He also just loves doing whatever I am doing. Admittedly sometimes our reading centers around Star Wars or Harry Potter, but even those can lead to great discussions about good vs evil, how to treat people, etc. (Dad is in military so I imagine talk of good v evil will be a hot topic soon). Alot is just trial and error. Don't give up!!! The women on this thread are a wealth of knowledge, experience and support!!

As for the younger ds, who is 20 months old, I have bought him some coloring books or preschool books that look sort of like his brothers and he joins right in, luckily he is content to do whatever big brother is doing. I do count my blessings.

Best to you all!!!
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#8 of 10 Old 01-17-2003, 07:50 PM
 
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Well, I just love the Calvert curriculum, which I know can be purchased and/or enrolled in by anyone anywhere. Their math curriculum can be purchased separately, and they have other individual courses. We don't do everything in it, but it does provide some excellent outlines. I personally don't care for phrases such as, "how much math does my child need if they're not going to be a mathmetician?" I ask, how will your child be able to choose to be a mathmetician if they don't have to learn a certain amount of math? So I agree with the husband on that one. I think math is especially important because it's *true,* and once understood, is a very beautiful thing.

Anyway not everyone is a fan of compelling a child to do certain things they may not be interested in or enjoy, but I think the beauty of homeschooling is that level of compulsory work can be tailored by the parent. Having a boxed curriculum has lent an air of outside authority that has been useful in the transition from school to home. Just as one kind of school is not for everyone, neither is one kind of homeschooling.
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#9 of 10 Old 01-18-2003, 01:03 AM
 
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Hi, the only thing I can really input here, is about the music and Sims. I have a 11 year old son that just loveeeesssss his ps2 and computer. We have had to make a firm, not bendable for any reason rule. You can not play the video game, computer (even if its educational!), or watch tv until I see kids step off the bus from school in our neighborhood. I found he would rush, rush, rush his homework to play his 'toys'. So I took the toys away, and voila, he has to read, do legos, etc. Hope that helps.
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#10 of 10 Old 01-19-2003, 01:14 AM
 
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to determine what and were strengths and weakness are
and what might work ...
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