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.......
Amanda , UK Mum, married to airline pilot Dave . Mum to Emily (20), Jasmine (11) and Theo (7):
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.
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~
mom to homeschooled ds14, ds9, ds5, dd3 yrs
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 , UK Mum, married to airline pilot Dave . Mum to Emily (20), Jasmine (11) and Theo (7):
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
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.
Single mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler
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!!!
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.