Do you think most people unschool b/c of the philosophy or b/c of the child? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 50 Old 11-01-2005, 05:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
Hey, I just found this forum. Are there many unschoolers here? We are radical unschoolers from birth. You know AP, CC, TCS, radical unschooling, consensual living. Are there others? It is totally a philosophy of respect and freedom, imo.

Pat
I'm pretty new to MDC as well. I don't know what consensual living is but have been AP, CC, rad unschool, 2nd birth UP/UC/DFB, etc, always open to more rad ideas that fit my philosophy. I knew I would unschool from the first time I heard the term.

My dd was 6 months old and I was at an AP meeting which was, by the way, the same crowd I'd seen at LLL meetings and was to run into later at HS meetings.

I didn't start reading about the philosophy for years because it seemed clear from what I was told by this person that you didn't have to do it any certain way. But once I did, I was clearly born to unschool. John Holt is just so right on. Like Alfie Kohn - when I read, it's just like they're reading my mind and parts of it I hadn't accessed yet.

Anyway, another whole reason unschooling resonates with me that hasn't come up a lot is that I and my older daughter are HSPs (Highly Sensitive People). I've explored being an HSP a lot and find that among HSPs, I am still alone in a crowd. Nearly 20% of the population is HS but most HSPs are introverted. I'm an extrovert. So while I fit in well with a lot of non-HS people because of my extroversion, the HS part of me has great difficulty with subleties that are lost on everyone else or with (over) reacting. This is something my daughter and I have in common. It made the whole school experience so painful for me and something I wanted to spare her. I am clear now that I have a non-HS daughter that she'd do just fine in school. I am not saying I intend to put her there but I do wonder exactly what the original poster wondered except related to AP; do most parents come to AP because either one or both parents are HS or they have a HS (or sometimes called "high need" but not exactly the same thing) baby?

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#32 of 50 Old 11-01-2005, 07:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EllenSandoval
I'm pretty new to MDC as well. I don't know what consensual living is but have been AP, CC, rad unschool, 2nd birth UP/UC/DFB, etc, always open to more rad ideas that fit my philosophy. I knew I would unschool from the first time I heard the term.
Hey, what is DFB? Consensual living is a term to describe living by consent, specifically I saw it applied by Jan Fortune Wood, autonomous educator advocate who writes regularly in the Life Learning magazine. (Which I highly recommend for all unschoolers. It has many btdt type "success stories" that just demonstrate that learning happens all the time. I especially think it is excellent to share with schoolish family who believe that learning only happens when externally generated or when measurable results are evident. The stories are about individuals of all ages learning all the time as a byproduct of living.)

Jan Fortune Wood has a wonderful web site about "parenting with consent" and I believe a book of the same name. She is my guru. She has four children, mostly grown all autodidactic learners. We specifically flew from NC to see her speak at the Rethinking Education conference in May of '04. She is inspirational about living consensually. Without coercion, but more, with mutally agreeable solutions. She embraces TCS, but with a more self-effacing attitude of fallibility than the site portrays, imo.

[quote]Anyway, another whole reason unschooling resonates with me that hasn't come up a lot is that I and my older daughter are HSPs (Highly Sensitive People). I've explored being an HSP a lot and find that among HSPs, I am still alone in a crowd. Nearly 20% of the population is HS but most HSPs are introverted. I'm an extrovert.[/auote]

Both my husband and son are Highly Sensitive! Are you familiar with the Shine With Unschooling site? You would probably love it. I am an extrovert. They are both introverts. I am the antithesis of highly sensitive. Maybe this is actually a learned coping mechanism, as the more I embrace about my true nature, the more sensitive I become. Or maybe, I just have a bit less jadded cynacism with age.

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<snip> do most parents come to AP because either one or both parents are HS or they have a HS (or sometimes called "high need" but not exactly the same thing) baby?
An interesting thought. Perhaps, most unschoolers come to unschooling because of "failed" schooling experiences either of their own or of their child. And unschooling allows for the needs of the individual. I find that many unschoolers just are non-conventional regarding authority and it suits that need for autonomy, for which neither school nor curriculum allows. Sort of a puzzle piece that fits together. We would have just tried to jam our square peg into the conventional round hole with ultimate frustration until we were too pissed to bother anymore; and found homeschooling and done it our way. Fortunately, life has been more joyful by just choosing to do it our way in the first place; and finding a non-conventional path that is becoming more well worn by those who did the square peg routine before us.

Thank goodness for the ole timer unschoolers but don't they really like being THE conventional non-conventional gurus?

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#33 of 50 Old 11-01-2005, 07:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
I find that many unschoolers just are non-conventional regarding authority and it suits that need for autonomy, for which neither school nor curriculum allows. Sort of a puzzle piece that fits together. We would have just tried to jam our square peg into the conventional round hole with ultimate frustration until we were too pissed to bother anymore; and found homeschooling and done it our way.
That would be us.

Although, I once spoke with a mom online who believed in a child-directed life, EXCEPT for the child's education. She was a homeschooler. A few years after our first encounter, she turned up on an unschooling board. So, apparently, the same place can be reached from either start.

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#34 of 50 Old 11-01-2005, 07:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
Hey, what is DFB?
http://diaperfreebaby.org/ - From the website: DiaperFreeBaby is a network of free support groups promoting a natural approach to responding to babies' elimination needs. This practice is followed worldwide and is known as Elimination Communication, Natural Infant Hygiene, and Infant Potty Training. The process involves observing one's baby's signs and signals, providing cue sounds and elimination-place associations, and can be done with or without any diaper use.

There is an EC forum here.



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Originally Posted by scubamama
Consensual living is a term to describe living by consent, specifically I saw it applied by Jan Fortune Wood, autonomous educator advocate who writes regularly in the Life Learning magazine. <snip> The stories are about individuals of all ages learning all the time as a byproduct of living.)
Thanks for the tip. I will add this to my ever growing list of things to look into! http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ply&p=4038365#

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Originally Posted by scubamama
Both my husband and son are Highly Sensitive! Are you familiar with the Shine With Unschooling site?
Yeah. I moderated the hspbook yahoo group for a long time and then started up the hscbook group for parents of HSCs. The woman who did the Shine site joined us for a while in the early days and had some amazing wisdom to share. I grew away from the hscbook group because it was too mainstream for me! I still own the group but I didn't find my tribe there. I tried creating an HSC AP unschool yahoo group but I haven't made it very public so it doesn't have a lot of members. And then I second-guessed myself on that; is there or isn't there a need for that group? So it's shelved for now while my mind chews on this question!


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Originally Posted by scubamama
I am an extrovert. They are both introverts. I am the antithesis of highly sensitive. Maybe this is actually a learned coping mechanism, as the more I embrace about my true nature, the more sensitive I become. Or maybe, I just have a bit less jadded cynacism with age.
How'd you hook up with such a HS guy? Or maybe you are HS? Who knows? Well, I guess you do. When I take the test for each daughter, my attitude feels so totally different; for my HS daughter, I am so YES! YES! And when I have my other daughter in mind, I'm scratching my head, wondering who they're talking about and how anyone could answer yes to those questions. So weird. My dh is not HS but he is generally a sensitive guy.



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Originally Posted by scubamama
An interesting thought. Perhaps, most unschoolers come to unschooling because of "failed" schooling experiences either of their own or of their child.

I don't think so. Just like I've known APers who came to it purely because they were raised that way themselves. Sure, I came to it because my upbringing was very different in a lot of negative ways. But many people are happy with their school experiences and still want to unschool. Maybe because things are different now or the appeal of the freedom of unschooling; we can go anywhere at any time and no one has authority over us to not keep our kids out of classes. I can think of so many reasons to unschool and each one at the time seems so huge that in and of itself, it could be a deciding factor.


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Originally Posted by scubamama
And unschooling allows for the needs of the individual. I find that many unschoolers just are non-conventional regarding authority and it suits that need for autonomy, for which neither school nor curriculum allows.

I never thought this was true of myself but apparently I have been much mistaken. I am a rule follower by nature but I like rules to have good reasons that are obvious, make sense, are useful, etc. I resent rules for rules' sake. Well thanks for getting me to actually begin a dialog about unschooling. I have been doing it solo for 6 years but it's time to start chatting a bit more about it and staying on track. I do maintain an unschooling blog but I'm talking to myself there!

Ellen

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#35 of 50 Old 11-01-2005, 07:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Joan
That would be us.

Although, I once spoke with a mom online who believed in a child-directed life, EXCEPT for the child's education. She was a homeschooler. A few years after our first encounter, she turned up on an unschooling board. So, apparently, the same place can be reached from either start.
Not to start a flame war, but there are some differences of opinion about how child-directed some "unschoolers" allow their children's academics to develop. I have often heard people post that they are 'unschoolers, except for math, and reading'.

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#36 of 50 Old 11-01-2005, 07:52 PM
 
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I've got a problem with your question; there are unschooled children who demand a lot of structure in their homeschooling, but are still technically "unschooled" because the choice of structure is entirely theirs. Just like an AP family who has a child sleeping in a crib because they can't stand to have a person touching them at night is still AP, because they're doing what the child wants, yk? Are you including such children in your definition of "unschooling," or only those with limited/no structure?
This is what I was thinking as I read the question. Dd is only 2, but I'm strongly leaning toward homeschooling, and I think there's a difference between "philosophy" and "method". I believe in the "philosophy" of unschooling and that there are many methods that can be used to unschool. Dd may enjoy doing workbooks and having a somewhat structured curriculum or she may not. Either way, we'd still be unschooling as we'd be following her lead, kwim?
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#37 of 50 Old 11-01-2005, 08:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EllenSandoval
http://diaperfreebaby.org/ - From the website: DiaperFreeBaby <snip>There is an EC forum here.

Hmm...I know about EC. So, what is UC? I was thinking UC was EC. Now I am confused about what UC actually is?

[quote}Yeah. I moderated the hspbook yahoo group for a long time and then started up the hscbook group for parents of HSCs. The woman who did the Shine site joined us for a while in the early days and had some amazing wisdom to share. I grew away from the hscbook group because it was too mainstream for me! I still own the group but I didn't find my tribe there. I tried creating an HSC AP unschool yahoo group but I haven't made it very public so it doesn't have a lot of members. And then I second-guessed myself on that; is there or isn't there a need for that group? So it's shelved for now while my mind chews on this question!
Do check out the Shine group! It is extemely child centered. And not just AP for babies, iykwim. : It has about 500 members+. It is extremely positive and highly sensitive. NO MAINSTREAMERS. Only Radical Unschoolers. It is the salve for my childhood wounds. Anne is a fountain of love. (unless you intentionally disregard your child, then uh oh.)

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How'd you hook up with such a HS guy? Or maybe you are HS? Who knows? Well, I guess you do.
The million dollar question. We fell in love at first sight. I was in high school. My palms are sweating just remembering and my heart still races when I think about it. And he treated me better than anyone ever had and I knew I would spend my life with him. We have been together since 1979. But, boy I am tough on him as an extrovert. Took me until about 3 years ago to understand THAT is why he doesn't like parties and lots of people.... duh. Anyway, I have learned more about him from the Shine group than about ds. To dh's great relief.

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<snip> I can think of so many reasons to unschool and each one at the time seems so huge that in and of itself, it could be a deciding factor.
I totally agree. It is ideal for me and ds. Dh is still on the fence about non-conventional anything, , poor guy, married Mrs. Non-conventional. Life is exciting (torture) with me.


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I never thought this was true of myself but apparently I have been much mistaken. I am a rule follower by nature but I like rules to have good reasons that are obvious, make sense, are useful, etc. I resent rules for rules' sake. Well thanks for getting me to actually begin a dialog about unschooling. I have been doing it solo for 6 years but it's time to start chatting a bit more about it and staying on track. I do maintain an unschooling blog but I'm talking to myself there!

Ellen
Wow, I am so not a rule follower. Never. Nope. Nada. Guess, I just think too much of other alternatives than "the rules" dictate. So, I can't find too many rules that are useful. Anarchist tendencies. Don't get me started on politics.

Solo for 6 years sounds hard!! Maybe I like to secretly follow others afterall? Come visit Always Unschooled. We love people who think.

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#38 of 50 Old 11-01-2005, 08:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Joan
Welcome! I see you found the other thread, but yeah...there are a few of us here.
We're living a tcs philosophy. There are a few others here who are as well. I agree that all these things tie in to an overall phil. of respect and freedom--I often have a hard time separating my unschooling thoughts from my general parenting thoughts when we get into discussions here about defining terms, as it's all tied together in my mind.
Is there a TCS forum on MDC? Maybe a bit kinder and gentler than the "Official TCS" web site? Geezz...talk about dictating how not to dictate to children. : We practice it but I am shy to mention it because of the tomatoes that everyone throws.

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#39 of 50 Old 11-01-2005, 08:46 PM
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I believe in the "philosophy" of unschooling and that there are many methods that can be used to unschool. Dd may enjoy doing workbooks and having a somewhat structured curriculum or she may not. Either way, we'd still be unschooling as we'd be following her lead, kwim?
I don't think being unstructured is what defines unschooling. I'm written before about Rain's theatrical endeavors, and at times we've been really tightly structured - to the minute - in order to get her to all of her rehearsals and performances, and me to my work, and then to fit in classes, pet care, and social stuff.

Still, I think it's too easy for parents to interpret children's desires as wanting a "structured curriculum" when really there are many other things that would fill the child's need. CityMomx3's recent thread about her daughter asking for structure illustrated this well.

Sometimes, what children are looking for is *knowledge* about what to expect in their day, rather than wanting *direction* in their day. Rain liked (and still liked) to hear the "Plan for the Day" every evening, and she figured out calendars when she was really young because she liked being able to know what was coming up. We put whatever we needed to schedule on the calendar, from "dance class" to "play Midnight Party tonight". The things is, we both made the calendar, and we agreed on what was on it.

Other times, the way a parent responds to a child can be shaped by her preconceived ideas about education and learning, and those in turn can shape the child's education. I find it more useful to ask in these situations, rather than tell. Almost every kid tells a parent, at one time or another, "I want to learn to read." One parent will respond by purchasing Hooked on Phonics, or 100 Easy Lessons, and begin working through them with the child. The child may not really want to do all of these things... but he may also enjoy the undivided time with mom, or he may pick up on mom's pleasure in his growing reading skills... so he does them, fairly agreeably. Mom thinks the child is "asking for" structured reading lessons, and so continues.

Some children, of course, will decide this is all a pile of hooey and decide to read later, but a good percentage will continue on... not because they really want to read so much, but because this whole process has no been set into motion. And most 3 year olds will learn to read, with enough instruction. They may now be fluent, but they'll be able to read. If Mom knows only one paradigm for learning things, and thinks this is clearly natural and right, and even "unschooling". Later, when child wants to know other things, she'll use the same techniques. At some point, what the child wanted will cease to be the impetus behind the whole process, and the mother will decide that unschooling didn't work for her child, because he preferred "structured learning".

Another parent (especially one who has unschooled for a while) might respond to, "I want to learn to read" with, "Okay, what do you want to read?" If asked, she'll tell the child what a certain book or word says, and maybe offer to write a few words on cards for the child to have. She might talk about some basic letter sounds - "Words that start with 's' begin like this: /s/" - and give some examples. She'd talk about it with the child for as long as he seemed interested, and that would be it. The next time he brought it up - an hour later, 3 years later - she'd ask some more, and they'd talk some more.

She would be equally attentive if the child asked "Where does paprika come from?" or "How do you make brownies?"

Rain had workbooks and some 'reading' computer games when she was little, and she used them, sometimes... she preferred to mess up on the games rather than to play them the right way (she still plays games this way), but it wasn't anti-unschooling to get them... as long as they're not treated like something special, something "better" to do with her time than play playmobil or ride her bike. They're just there...

One thing to remember is that most of us were schooled... and so we tend to think of learning and schooling as being related. Even people who learned a lot outside of school (which isn't unschooling; all schooled kids learn some things outside of school) tend to have a school-mindset about the 3R's, at very least, and often about other things. We're having to guard against this, because we're programmed to think this way. Our kids also get these messages... kids who have been in school or schooled at home have to deal with them, of course, but other kids get them from the media, from friends, from books, and from family... and as primary caregivers, parents are often the primary conduit.

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#40 of 50 Old 11-01-2005, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by scubamama
Is there a TCS forum on MDC?
Nope... but these was a good TCS thread in Gentle Discipline not too long ago, and a few of us posted good stuff there http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=345390

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#41 of 50 Old 11-01-2005, 09:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EllenSandoval

Anyway, another whole reason unschooling resonates with me that hasn't come up a lot is that I and my older daughter are HSPs (Highly Sensitive People). I've explored being an HSP a lot and find that among HSPs, I am still alone in a crowd. Nearly 20% of the population is HS but most HSPs are introverted. I'm an extrovert. So while I fit in well with a lot of non-HS people because of my extroversion, the HS part of me has great difficulty with subleties that are lost on everyone else or with (over) reacting. This is something my daughter and I have in common. It made the whole school experience so painful for me and something I wanted to spare her. I am clear now that I have a non-HS daughter that she'd do just fine in school. I am not saying I intend to put her there but I do wonder exactly what the original poster wondered except related to AP; do most parents come to AP because either one or both parents are HS or they have a HS (or sometimes called "high need" but not exactly the same thing) baby?
My ds is a HSC - extrovert. I'm an HSP myself.

I started a thread below on home educating the HSC. We unschool from birth as well, and love it.

Here's the thread:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=357689

There's also a 'Mothering your HSC' thread in the Finding Your Tribe forum.
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#42 of 50 Old 11-01-2005, 10:44 PM
 
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Thanks for the links to the TCS threads. I won't go beat the dead horse.

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#43 of 50 Old 11-02-2005, 12:01 PM
 
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I dont unschool (yet), but have been particularly influenced by John Holt's "How Children Learn" and to a lesser degree some of his other titles too. Holt maintains that human nature is to learn. Period. You just couldnt stop learning if you tried! So the idea that kids (or people) would just sit idle and 'do nothing' is unfounded. Remember that kids learn by just living and even playing. Even when we appear to be 'doing nothing' are we not many times mentally doing something? Even daydreaming can be productive. Of course, watching un-educational tv can probably be considered 'doing nothing'!

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#44 of 50 Old 11-02-2005, 12:16 PM
 
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Of course, watching un-educational tv can probably be considered 'doing nothing'!
Not to be contrary, but what might be abjectly "un-educational tv"? I believe we learn from all experiences. However, we might prefer not to have some experiences. I find our son just turns off shows that he doesn't find interesting. If a tv show *were* interesting to him, it apparently has something "educational" about it, ie. some information gain to *him*.

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#45 of 50 Old 11-02-2005, 12:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
Do check out the Shine group! It is extemely child centered. And not just AP for babies, iykwim. : It has about 500 members+. It is extremely positive and highly sensitive. NO MAINSTREAMERS. Only Radical Unschoolers. It is the salve for my childhood wounds. Anne is a fountain of love. (unless you intentionally disregard your child, then uh oh.)
Removing my original post to avoid getting flamed.

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#46 of 50 Old 11-03-2005, 12:27 AM
 
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My ds is almost 2 and I plan on homeschooling him. I thought I had my husband convinced, now I'm not sure if he was convinced or just tired of arguing with me about it. I will have to say that I will unschool probably partly because I hated school. I went to school through 7 grade and then started homeschooling with my stepmom. I loved learning but would totally clam up when it came to anyone trying to teach me anything, even in roundabout ways. My mom would take us to museums and such and try to sneak in lessons and it was like my ears stopped up or something. I hated learning and I'm sure it was because of school. I have always liked to learn things just not because someone wanted me to During the high school years that I homeschooled I did absolutely nothing. My mom even told the college I was dual enrolling at that I had dropped out of high school to try to get back at me for not doing any school work. It didn't work, I just moved out, and kept going to college for a short time anyway. It was just a distraction because I had to go ahead and get my GED so I could stay enrolled and I had to start paying for my classes. Anyway, to make a long story short, I love learning now, I think I always have, I just can't take anyone telling me what to do. I can see the same trait in my ds. He will do just about anything if you can convince him that it was his idea to start with. If he thinks you're trying to push him into to anything (including things like changing his diaper) he's not going to have any part of it. Unschooling is definately right for him.

Believe me, there are many times that I dream of getting rid of him for a whole school day. Ahh the peace, ahhh the quiet! However, I feel certain that he would hate it, and I know I would not be able to even talk to the teachers civilly if we had a problem. I still can't get along well with authority people. I can tell them without even knowing who they are because of how they talk. (Especially teachers, police, and preachers) They just make my hackles stand up.

I hope all this makes sense, it's pretty late for me I have to sneak in computer time after ds falls asleep If he catches me on the PC there is hell to pay :-\
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#47 of 50 Old 11-03-2005, 11:39 PM
 
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Thanks for the welcome. I am trying to just find my way around MDC still. And find what is most interesting. I am active on the yahoogroup AlwaysUnschooled the Unschooling list for children always unschooled. Basically, younger than age 8 ish. It has some 600 members now and is quite active.

Pat
Welcome to MDC Pat! I'm actually on the AlwaysUnschooled list and have found your insight quite helpful and enlightening!

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#48 of 50 Old 11-04-2005, 03:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LeftField
This is like a chicken and egg question. Do you think that most unschoolers go this route primarily b/c of the philosophy itself, and that the philosophy confers those traits to the kids? Or do you think that most choose unschooling, whether overtly or sub-consciously, because their kids already possess those traits to some degree?
Good question. Well, I sort of think of my kids as leading me by the hand toward new philosphies. If I didn't have the kids I do, I might not have been reading in the "right" places, KWIM? OTOH, I am the kind of person who seeks out unconventional ideas to "try on," so it is hard to say.

I have always been a stubbornly independent learner, even within the institutional framework of school that was imposed on me. So I assumed from the start, even before I thought about schooling options, that my kids would want and need lots of independence in learning.

My DH has always been a proponent of non-coerciveness in adult-child relationships, even before we had any notion that there were parents who consciously strove for this (TCS), so that was firmly a part of his philosophy to start with. It was only in seeing how my children developed and responded to this and other more power-laden types of relating that I was swayed toward non-coerciveness.

But I think that my kids are at an advantage, having grown up unschooled from birth. I think kids who have never been to school are free to fully develop traits that would have been stifled by institutional school. Unschooled kids have the time and support and freedom to (for example) do higher math or read chapter books or work on game strategy all day long even if their peers are not "learning it in school yet." So I think unschooling is a very rich medium for kids to develop their innate strengths.

So I wouldn't say it changes kids in a certain way, but I would say that SCHOOL (and coercive learning) changes kids in a certain way, and unschooling allows them to develop normally (normal being different for each individual). As far as whether the philosophy came first, I think DH and I were well-suited to unschooling from the start, but didn't consciously choose it for our family until we surveyed all our educational options to find the best fit for our kids.

BTW, I think that unschooling for us is really a larger life philosophy. Like some others here, my family fits a profile: we strive for non-coerciveness, our last birth was UC, child-led weaning (while recognizing that nursing is a two-person relationship), unschool in the more pure sense (i.e., no imposed educational expectations at all - I don't consider this radical though, LOL), and in other ways have removed ourselves from the mainstream. These things all kind of grew from each other, though...unschooling grew from some earlier choices and later choices grew from our unschooling.

Hope I haven't rambled too much. I would LOVE to see a non-coercive parenting support thread or forum here at MDC.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#49 of 50 Old 11-04-2005, 04:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LeftField
Ok, now I'm really going on a tangent...Dh, who only recently accepted unschooling and who was never a huge hs advocate, actually said that he felt K-12 was filler time. After we both concluded that we used nothing from K-12 in our career, save some basic skills that would have developed anyway, I asked, "So why do you think we spent all those years in school? What were we doing?" He thought about it and said, "Well, it was just a way to pass childhood. It was something for people to do with us while we waited to grow up."
Here's my tangent

The last sentence quoted above really reflects how I feel about institutionalized schooling. We're leaning toward unschooling for our DD who is only 2-1/2 right now, but I feel like we're already kind of doing it. There's so many fascinating things in the world that kids miss out on when forced to sit at a desk with their hands folded nicely in compliance.

I personally don't think I would've liked being homeschooled by my parents because my dad was an alcoholic so there were all those issues, but when I look back at my K-12 experience, I really see how completely stifled I was.

For example, in public school, I was rewarded for not rocking the boat -- or even "talking out" while in 2nd grade. (My teacher kept track of infractions on each student's desk and on the board.) Each week the kids got a new check-off list for her to mark on. I never had a new one because I was so "good." I didn't talk. I was always polite. I was always a "good girl." :Puke

The last week of school, I finally got P.O'd at another kid who kept bugging me with a question about our assignment and I finally just told him to leave me alone. The teacher came over scowling at me and snarled about how she was so disappointed in me because she'd had students go through a whole year without any talk-outs. It felt very humiliating. I mean, really, we're talking about 8-yr. olds here!

I can think of several examples of how I was molded to be more compliant, non-thinking, etc. while in shcool (intellectually and socially). I never learned how to learn, but I got good grades. I was always good at test-taking. I don't remember much of anything from the subjects though.

And I did go to college and I have a BA. Even though I had much more freedom there, I still didn't learn a whole lot. I just went because that was what I was supposed to do. I a'm glad I went to college, but I think if I'd been unschooled, I wouldn've learned a lot more.

I have learned soooooo much more since I've been out of school!

So this is kind of a rant now, but I feel like the proverbial system failed me and the "Leave No Child Behind" stuff is just scary. More standardized testing? How does that help anyone?

Anyway, sorry if I got so long-winded about my childhood experiences here.

I noticed some mention of HSP - yup - that's me. I think DD is more extroverted than I am, but she still seems to really hold back in larger groups and activities. She really opens up and shines in groups of 2-3 other kids. We go to a toddler group and she loves the free time explorations. She interacts just fine with the other kids (as expected for her dev. age). She HATES circle time for the most part. Today she actually did participate in a parachute play where they were shaking it to bounce leaves on it. But she doesn't like to participate in the little songs and other group activities. She's rather read a book or go off and do her own thing.

So in conclusion (yes, finally!) I think she'd do OK in public school, but I don't think she'd really get to grow. And if she's interested in a subject then we go with it and she's open to me "teaching" - and learning - with her. (That's what I really look forward to with unschooling!)

So I am reading and exploring more and more about homeschool - esp. unschooling.

Thanks for the great thread.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#50 of 50 Old 11-04-2005, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amyamanda
So I wouldn't say it changes kids in a certain way, but I would say that SCHOOL (and coercive learning) changes kids in a certain way, and unschooling allows them to develop normally (normal being different for each individual).
What a great way of looking at it! This reminds me of people who say that breastmilk is "best", when really it's just the default, and artificial baby milks are inferior substitutes. Unschooling is the null, the natural choice. Schooling is changing what's occuring naturally, and interfering with that natural process.

Dar

 
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