"the result is a handsome young man who has been raised by middle class wolves"(?not quite sure of wording) I just thought that was funny...sounds like an interesting family-
Maybe we won't/don't unschool after all. We're "child-led", but I don't know if I could along with the stuff that the family did. We are very anti-video games, for a start (for all of us, not just our kids).
Don't be so put off by the article- I *think*that's why LillianJ started this thread-b/c the article described these folks as radical unschoolers... it's getting so some folks feel the need to differentiate even further...unschooling,radical unschooling,etc.which I guess is an ok thing- b/c unschooling can mean different things to different people-
that's why I like the title of this thread-
I like to refer to it as the T.K.L.F.F.T.O.I. thread...
I consider myself unschooling(on my good days) but I can't agree with the philosophy of "just letting go of my own expectations for my kids"- not knocking it here- just saying- I don't agree with that aspect of their thinking- but I don't think that's the absolute essence of unschooling. and the TCS line of thought, that's the TCS line of thought. That's not necessarily what you have to believe in order to unschool. I've had to ask and answer quite a few of my own questions along this line in the last 2 years also.
So I think especially if you feel like an unschooler,and consider yourself one, to me u.s'ers of all people are the ones who can and should defy neat categorizing....
Originally Posted by LeftField
YK, that article was so interesting, but it actually put me off of unschooling. I came out with the conclusion that we may not stick with unschooling after all.
It's certainly interesting, though, to see some of what that boy was able to learn without traditional formal study. The reason I posted the article was not to show what "unschooling" is, but to show that even in the most radical form of unschooling, there's still amazing learning that can take place when a child is following his own interests, and we can all learn from that. It was certainly easy to overlook some of that while reading about some of the more radical things that went on, so I think you're initiation reaction is going to be a pretty common one. Lillian
Originally Posted by Lillian J
The reason I posted the article was not to show what "unschooling" is, but to show that even in the most radical form of unschooling, there's still amazing learning that can take place when a child is following his own interests, and we can all learn from that. It was certainly easy to overlook some of that while reading about some of the more radical things that went on, so I think you're initiation reaction is going to be a pretty common one. Lillian
Originally Posted by Lillian J
It's certainly interesting, though, to see some of what that boy was able to learn without traditional formal study. The reason I posted the article was not to show what "unschooling" is, but to show that even in the most radical form of unschooling, there's still amazing learning that can take place when a child is following his own interests, and we can all learn from that. Lillian
For example, ds loves to build and follow plans for things. I bought him some Kid K'Nex (like K'Nex but bigger for younger kiddos) for Christmas last year and ridiculous me figured he wouldn't want to follow the plan book that came with it. Wrong. He was copying the objects off the side of the container - visually just figuring out from the pic the steps necessary to make the different things on the box. I quickly brought the plan book back out Now he likes to play with his sister's K'Nex which are smaller. He doesn't follow the more complex plans in the book yet, but still loves to tinker with them. He also loves building with Tinkertoys.
He also loves playing with Duplo blocks and was trying to build some things off the side of the box the other day. First he had to count how many blocks of each colour and size he needed to reproduce the picture on the bin. So right there he was doing counting, matching, classification, colour identification, and shape identification. As we were searching for the blocks I would say something like "We have 3 blocks so far and we need 4 total so how many more do we need to find?" Sometimes he would have to count it out again, but the connections were still being made, even if subtly. Then he had to use symetry and follow the pattern on the picture to re-create the item pictured. A couple of times we needed a block that wasn't in the bin and so we had to use other blocks to add up to the missing block which brought us to impromptu fractions. One I helped him with (taking three blocks to equal the length we needed of the missing block). The other time I was so proud of him because he needed a reg. rectangle and couldn't find one so he took two flat rectangles and put one on top of the other to equal the missing block! I was so proud of him for figuring it out on his own and he was proud of himself too.
I've also noticed how many times my kiddos ask me a question and I brush them off. No more of that now that I am mindful of it! I never realized how often they asked me questions!
Dd is a huge fan of books and will sometimes read for an hour after "official" bedtime at night. I'm really looking forward to being able to give her more free time for reading this year now that we are hs'ing.
I was so proud of him for figuring it out on his own and he was proud of himself too.
I think that experience of a child discovering his own ability to figure things out and learn from it is so incredibly valuable - it's delicious to watch. We tend to take that away from them when we assume they're little empty vessels waiting to be filled. I really like this little piece by a teacher:
What We Steal From Children
My six year old just barely got addition at the end of last year (he is homeschooled-relaxed eclectic) and we really didn't do much over the summer with math (a little reading). Just from playing with his brother & deciding he wanted to know now he can do 2 plus 2, 4 plus 4, etc. without counting on fingers anymore. Just from playtime with his brother over the summer (we basically did nothing this summer *G* it was great. I think all the kids needed to just do NOTHING).
I am sure I have more examples if I think enough, but those are the two most recent big things.
Today he went to the library in beetween classes (the librarian does study hall, so she is good about letting them get books if they want to read) and got one about George Washington & read the whole thing. Was telling me about it later and said he wants to learn/read more about him. (Sidenote: I am reading out loud Revolutionary War On Wednesday - Magic Treehouse - to the kids, he finished it reading to himself already because he couldn't wait t o know the ending, I think that is what prompted him to want to know more about G. W.) I am still upset the music class didn't happen, but I love that he gets that free time for himself, without the younger kids bothering him (at home if he trys to sit and read a whole book he would be distracted!) and he gets a nice break in two very full days.
We had so much stress at the school he attended the past few years & this is our comprimise (I wanted to homeschool) and so far it is working out way better. The love for learning he had when he was in Montessori preschool is coming back already.
My son (5 at the time) really wanted to learn to play games on the computer. We let him play kid games, but he was interested in going to different areas that we weren't really allowing him to go because he couldn't read. So, he learned the word "game" and went from there. He learned to read by clicking where he wanted to go on the computer and having to figure out what it said so that he didn't have to ask us to help him.
I've taken a lot of history and geography classes, but haven't retained anything. AS soon as I see something that peaks my interest, I can learn a historical fact, but otherwise, it's all mush. It's just now (at 32) starting to make a chronilogical line in my brain and becoming understandable. I'm just NOW starting to be interested in learning history even though I've had many classes that taught me nothing.
Our children make a study of us in a way no one else ever will. If we don't act according to our values, they will know.~Starhawk New User Agreement! http://www.mothering.com/community/wiki/user-agreement
Well my kids watched Pink Floyd's The Wall last night. The movie is a complicated mix of animation and symbolism combining WWII, an overbearing mother, drug abuse, music, and a not so nice depiction of school . It was cool. We discussed the music of Pink Floyd, and looked up some stuff. Interesting.
Things my dd has pursued on her own:
She likes to invent role playing and board games. We are her game testers.
She loves to create music. She sings, plays her guitar, and writes a song nearly every night before bed.
She came running to me the other day "mom, where is the yarn?". I told her and she came running back, "mom, where are the scissors and tape?". She had gone online and figured out how to make friendship bracelets.
She designs outfits out of fabric for herself and her dolls.
She's working on making her own website. (I'll have to show her that macromedia link).
She enjoys creating her own recipes.
She's almost 10.
DS: "we are lost in the forest.What do we do?"
ME: "we yell for help??"
DS: "no no no!! we build a shelter and start a fire...like this (demonstrates building a fire). Then we go get some snakes to eat and then we go to sleep."
ME:"what do we do after that"
DS:"we walk until we aren't lost anymore"
Over the summer he was obsessed about outer space. I think he watched the Bill Nye planets video a billion times We researched online. Read a ton of books. He loved the M&D solar system floor puzzle. Now he can tell you a lot of things about the planets.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" --Leonardo Da Vinci
She's crocheting a blanket.
She was doing some pre algebra the other day. (I think that's what it was... we got some problems off of google.) She said some of it was fun, but the rest was really boring.
Ds is trying to improve his handwriting. He hates to write by hand, and will type any time he can, but he's been applying for a work and doesn't care for his penmanship. So far so good!
Embrace the learning that is happening within the things that are actually happening!
Left Field wrote:
<<"What does 2+2 equal?", a formula that many young children are taught to memorize and regurgitate, he wouldn't know what I was talking about. But if he wants to hear song 9 on the CD and he sees that it's on 7, he knows that he has two songs to get through first (he said that today in the car). >>
My ds likes to do this kind of deductive reasoning too. He also figured out how to add large numbers, he said "200+200 is 400 because 2+2 is 4" He really is having fun with numbers lately.
Cal likes paper airplanes and a few weeks ago I found this fabulous little book in a thrift store called Paper Jets. It had patterns you photo copy and cut out and glue, color, etc. We worked together (he needed help since it involved using a very sharp art knife) and made this:
My oldest is ten and she is an animal LOVEH!! She also loves to create. We recently had some tree stumps taken out of our yard and she dug around after and found some pretty good clay. She worked with it and made some little hide out huts for our baby garter snakes. Both kids had fun with this and I even got my hands dirty!
Here's a pic of her stuff laid out to dry:
I haven't read others, but will when I'm done.
Some examples that stand out how my children have learned something just because they were interested in learning about it:
DS15 has always (even while still in ps) been interested in war/military history and weaponry, and has always searched out information (even reading encyclopedias as leisure reading) on that topic.
He's also a big lover of golf, and a huge fan of T. Woods. He has searched out lots of information on golf and golfers.
I still chuckle over his library book selections. One of my favorite, which shows how eclectic his learning desires are, was a while back. He had 32 books; the selection was from Hitler, small engine repair, golf, football history, Sophia Loren (sp), silent films, Calvin and hobs, super hero comics, ancient weaponry, and solar electric toys.
This year has been the year to learn 16th century England, which also leads to all over 16th century history. He joined the cast of our state Ren faire, and it being a faire that tries to focus on education-entertainment, he needed to research his character and other aspects of Elizabethan history. Needless to say, I've learned a lot along the way as well. The younger 2 also joined in on the learning, and it became a family affair. Not only did we all have a blast with this, but we all had a blast while learning. I can't imagine having had to work around a work schedule, school schedule or even a school at home schedule and get all that we had to do done without going insane. My hats off to all that did do it, I'd not have done so well.
DD9, when she was just over 6 was looking over my shoulder as I was looking at a picture of a caterpillar that was being discussed on a message board. She said, "Oh no, you don't want to touch that one, it stings you and it hurts". It was a "white caterpillar" and it does have that very effect. I asked how she knew this and she replied, "I read it in one of my bug books".
She wished to learn how to play the piano. Well, we can't afford a piano or lessons, so I got her an inexpensive keyboard and found an online free lesson plan and she taught herself how to play and read music from that. Sure she won't be a concert pianist, but she enjoys playing music.
She taught herself how to read because she wanted to know how to. I went to read with her D|ck and Jane one day when she was 5, and she picked up the book and read it to me as if she'd been reading all along, even the harder words she read smoothly and understood what was going on. She then, in turn taught herself how to read cursive...then later how to write. All because she wanted to know how to do it. She's now teaching herself how to write in cursive, because she wants to.
She's also searching out ways to improve her spelling, all because she wants to be able to spell better.
This is also the child that at age 5 put the tv on closed caption, just so she could read the sub-titles. She also puts dvd's on different lang. modes so she can watch them in another lang.
She teaches herself math concepts, just for giggles and kicks. I'm always in search of interesting and child friendly math concept reading materials for her, since she learns best by reading or watching and copying.
For longer than the past year, she's been into the brain. This child will go on and on about the brain. The other day, we were out in the heat all day, and I wasn't feeling too "with it" on the way home. She goes on how my cerebellum affects balance and on and on about the brain and why I'm feeling the way I'm feeling because such and such affected my brain in this such and such way. She has asked to see a real live brain, I've yet figured out how to accomplish this one.
There's a lot more on her, but I'll move on.
DS5 isn't reading, yet, but that hasn't stopped him from learning about things he wants to know about. He LOVES dinosaurs, has since infant hood, it seems. He may not be out there reciting the different dinosaurs and their purposes, but he knows about them and enjoys learning about them. He also enjoys and has searched out information on various topics, I can't think of off the top of my head...oh yea space stuff. He's, on his own, learned mental math. I'm not sure how or when this happened; he just the other day came up to me as said 4 and 6 is 10. Later on he was asking for something, and I said he could have 5, and he said that he wanted more. SO I said he can have 10 more after lunch. Without hardly any hesitation he said, "Then I get 15 total, OK!". Somewhere along the way he's learned how to tell time on the digital clock and he's now trying to learn on a reg. clock. He also said that he wishes to learn to read this year, so we'll see how that goes. He also likes to measure things and loves things about Knights.
OK, there really is so much more, but I'll stop for now.
Have you tried contacting a nearby college or university? All the anatomy labs I've ever been in have had a brain or two for students to observe. You might try giving a call and seeing if someone who has access would give you daughter a tour. I've had some great professors who probably would have loved to show your daughter around.
I need to get my rump in gear and call around, it seems. thanks for the motivation.
The pp's kids learning to knit made me realize how much dd9 has learned this year. Because of our involvement with the Ren faire, she. and I, have learned how to crochet (nun’s work), use a knitting doll, basic weaving, spinning (she’s begging for a spinning wheel…which I want as well), leather working (basic stuff), sewing by hand, beading by hand and rag doll making. She is always working on creating something with yarn, or fabric.
Right now I’m learning basic clothes drafting and hat making, for which she wants to learn as well. Once I know what I’m doing, I’ll pass on the information to her and she can draft her own things (for her toys). I also learned how to knit this year as well as machine embroider and sewing clothes, not just basic stuff either.
DS15 collects sports cards…and works out their value.
The kids are always inventing things to play with or use. I guess I never thought how valuable allowing their inventive juices to flow really was. I mean I knew, but never gave it much thought beyond the creative learning.
LeftField your ds might find Space Rummy fun, the kids love that game.
SunRayeMomi we have chickens, which are raptors and a lot of fun to say we have dinos in our yard. DS5 has been obsessed with dinos since infanthood.
Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013. If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!
I can't think of just one thing, or maybe I misunderstand the question?
I can't think of just one thing, or maybe I misunderstand the question?
So, I guess they do a bit of both...some things we learn on our own, and sometimes we need an assist. Gardening is kind of hit or miss. Somethings grow better than others in our soil and climate, no matter what the gardening books say etc.
DD started reading Sherlock Holmes as part of the library reading program which lead her to read the Mary Russell novels by Laurie King. After reading A Monsterous Regiment of Women she became intrigued wih theology and feminism and got some books out of the library about that.
After hearing Nathaniel Greene mentioned briefly in a Percy Jackson novel she found an article about him in Smithsonian Magazine and then looked him up on Wikipedia.
This has been going on for awhile but DD started making wands from instructions on hogwarts summer coorespondance school group and has become very adept at tree ID because of it.
DS can now identify many medieval weapons from playing Age of Empires and can tell what the *castle age* actual was.
We've all learned a lot of geography looking up where the cheerleading teams in the USA and UK come from and where the competitions will be as well as a lot about muscles from watching and helping DD cheer.