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#1 of 57 Old 05-20-2007, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Because it rules. I found this while surfing at urbandictionary.com:

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1. Unschooler 11 up, 3 down

A very cool person who does not go to school. But no, not a homeschooler. They live and learn, living in the world, not wasting years learning about it. Not stupid, sheltered farmers, but very cool, easygoing, awesome people.

Who is that intelligent, good-looking, charismatic guy standing over there?
Must be an unschooler.


tags: world-schooler, life-learner, nbtscer, independant, rebel
by J'yn NYC May 18, 2006 email it

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#2 of 57 Old 05-20-2007, 08:01 AM
 
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I find it insulting. My husband grew up on a farm, and his parents are neither stupid nor sheltered. We have friends who are farmers, and again -- neither stupid nor sheltered.

Is it necessary to insult everything else but unschooling while promoting unschooling? I hope not. These types of statements are arrogant and elitist.
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#3 of 57 Old 05-20-2007, 08:57 AM
 
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Aww, I liked it! I thought it was funny, clearly meant to be tongue-in-cheek and bust the common myths about homeschooling and unschooling.

(and I grew up on a farm, too!)

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#4 of 57 Old 05-20-2007, 08:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Attila the Honey View Post
Aww, I liked it! I thought it was funny, clearly meant to be tongue-in-cheek and bust the common myths about homeschooling and unschooling.

(and I grew up on a farm, too!)
Yeah that. I look at it as a humorous way to challenge the assumptions that people have about unschooling.
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#5 of 57 Old 05-20-2007, 10:33 AM
 
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I admit, I chuckled. However, after a bit, I realized I didn't like it. It doesn't say anything. It's based on the premis of mocking others, and I don't think we need to do that.

Maybe instead of farmers, we can think stupid rednecks, or ignorant <insert racial slur> and see if it still seems funny.

It's common for fundamentals of anything to down everyone else in order to lift themselves up, and try to show superiority, and that never works for me. If your cause can't exist without condeming or making fun of others, you don't have a leg to stand on. I think unschoolers need to rise above this. We shouldn't stoop low to try and make a point.

And PS-- I know I'm a fool to post this.
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#6 of 57 Old 05-20-2007, 10:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Attila the Honey View Post
Aww, I liked it! I thought it was funny, clearly meant to be tongue-in-cheek and bust the common myths about homeschooling and unschooling.

(and I grew up on a farm, too!)
:

I grew up on a farm also
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#7 of 57 Old 05-20-2007, 11:40 AM
 
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Honestly, for me it's not the farm thang (I just bought a farm! lol) so much. It's the fact that putdowns and insults should not have to be a part of something so fantastic.

Mockery of others shouldn’t shadow of all the fabulous things that are happening as we rethink and reinvent what learning and growth can be.

The sooner we dump the condescending piece, the better off we'll be. Humor is one thing-- and making fun of our selves is another! It's good to be able to laugh at oneself at times. (I am all for that) That's all good.
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#8 of 57 Old 05-20-2007, 04:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
It's common for fundamentals of anything to down everyone else in order to lift themselves up, and try to show superiority, and that never works for me. If your cause can't exist without condeming or making fun of others, you don't have a leg to stand on. I think unschoolers need to rise above this. We shouldn't stoop low to try and make a point.
Thank you. All too often I see posts/read comments by radical unschoolers that put down everybody else. There is definitely a sense that their way is THE right way, and that everyone else has got it wrong.

This gets old fast.
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#9 of 57 Old 05-20-2007, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow. Sorry guys. I never thought it would upset anyone. I apologize for offending anyone, but it is supposed to be tongue in check, IMO.

To be honest I just saw it as a jab at all the assumptions people make about unschoolers & homeschoolers in general rather than a jab at farmers or any other person or lifestyle. People often incorrectly assume that home/unschoolers are socially inept, totally naieve, and rather ignorant. I think the entry was focusing on how wrong that is rather than meaning to suggest that farmers (or anyone else) are any of those things. Using sarcasm or the like to highlight how dumb something is... etc.

I never insult someone for choosing something besides unschooling. It's a great big world and options are good.

Anyway, it gave Ds and I a good chuckle.

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#10 of 57 Old 05-20-2007, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by RedWine View Post
Thank you. All too often I see posts/read comments by radical unschoolers that put down everybody else. There is definitely a sense that their way is THE right way, and that everyone else has got it wrong.

This gets old fast.
I hope you didn't get that from me.

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#11 of 57 Old 05-20-2007, 08:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
I hope you didn't get that from me.
I didn't get that from you per se, but I did feel that way from the quote you posted.
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#12 of 57 Old 05-20-2007, 08:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
It's common for fundamentals of anything to down everyone else in order to lift themselves up, and try to show superiority, and that never works for me. If your cause can't exist without condeming or making fun of others, you don't have a leg to stand on.

I think that quote is one of the most wonderful things I have ever read and I agree wholeheartedly.

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#13 of 57 Old 05-20-2007, 09:05 PM
 
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Unschoolma-- I wasn't actually offended-- not that I am currently a real farmer-- and not that I am not uncool. I really am uncool. lol. I did chuckle, and it *is* a clever entry.

I just don't think mocking is going to get us where we need to go.

I *do* like it when we laugh at ourselves, however. That is funny!
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#14 of 57 Old 05-20-2007, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
Unschoolma-- I wasn't actually offended-- not that I am currently a real farmer-- and not that I am not uncool. I really am uncool. lol. I did chuckle, and it *is* a clever entry.

I just don't think mocking is going to get us where we need to go.

I *do* like it when we laugh at ourselves, however. That is funny!

I guess I'm not seeing the mocking. To me, if that entry is mocking anything it's the attitude that unschoolers are totally socially inept. It's mocking bad stereotypes by using/quoting/stealing one. I think I can say I am all for that kind of mocking.

LOL, no worries about being uncool though! You've got good company... (me!) :

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#15 of 57 Old 05-20-2007, 09:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post

I guess I'm not seeing the mocking. To me, if that entry is mocking anything it's the attitude that unschoolers are totally socially inept. It's mocking bad stereotypes by using/quoting/stealing one. I think I can say I am all for that kind of mocking.
Right, that's how I took it as well.

Plus, this part

Who is that intelligent, good-looking, charismatic guy standing over there?
Must be an unschooler.


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#16 of 57 Old 05-21-2007, 07:36 AM
 
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"But no, not a homeschooler. We live and learn, learning in the real world, not wasting years learning about it."

How does this not imply that unschooling is THE way to go? After all, homeschoolers (not unschoolers) are wasting years of their life...:

This is another part that comes across as arrogant and insulting to any method of homeschooling that isn't unschooling.
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#17 of 57 Old 05-21-2007, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by RedWine View Post
How does this not imply that unschooling is THE way to go? After all, homeschoolers (not unschoolers) are wasting years of their life...:

This is another part that comes across as arrogant and insulting to any method of homeschooling that isn't unschooling.

That part, to me, was an effort to just make it clear that unschooling was different than homeschooling. Many people (outside of the home education community) don't know that, IME. It's so interesting to me that we all understand this so differently. lol

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#18 of 57 Old 05-21-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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Okay, here's my take on it:

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A very cool person who does not go to school.
Good so far.

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But no, not a homeschooler.
Yep. It's one of my fundamental gripes about us not having our own forum. The word "homeschool" implies that school is done at home because it contains both the words "school" and the word "home". We do not do school at home. Therefore we are not homeschoolers. I always appreciate hearing others make that distinction.

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They live and learn, living in the world, not wasting years learning about it.
In other words:

a) I could waste years ostensibly learning about the world without actually being in it and without actually learning much at all.

b) As an unschooler, that isn't going to happen.

Now, given these two statements (which represent the original quoted statement,) it does not follow that

c) I believe all educational styles outside of unschooling are a waste of time.

In fact, a) and b) are true for me, but not c). I understand very well that other methods of schooling are not a waste of time given the goals that those methods seek to achieve. Those goals are not my goals, so it would be a waste of time for me, but logically not necessarily for others.

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Not stupid, sheltered farmers, but very cool, easygoing, awesome people.
I aspire to be a farmer, and my FIL is a farmer (and we're field workers) and I don't take offense simply because it's not saying that farmers are stupid and sheltered, or even perpetuating a stereotype of farmers as stupid and sheltered. It's saying that the stereotype of unschoolers as anti-intellectual, isolationist, luddite, etc., is wrong. It's like saying, "I'm not a stupid girl." That doesn't mean that I think all girls are stupid, or even that any girls are stupid, just that I'm a girl and I'm not stupid.

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Who is that intelligent, good-looking, charismatic guy standing over there? Must be an unschooler.
Cute.
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#19 of 57 Old 05-21-2007, 04:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RedWine View Post
"But no, not a homeschooler. We live and learn, learning in the real world, not wasting years learning about it."

How does this not imply that unschooling is THE way to go? After all, homeschoolers (not unschoolers) are wasting years of their life...:

This is another part that comes across as arrogant and insulting to any method of homeschooling that isn't unschooling.
I totally take it this way too.
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#20 of 57 Old 05-21-2007, 05:29 PM
 
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This seems to be an excellent example of how people can read the exact same thing and have completely different interpretations of it!

I read it the same way UnschoolnMa did - that it was dispelling myths of homeschooled children, not putting down farmers. But after reading the posts and then rereading it, I can see how someone might read it that way.

I guess this is why I don't get easily offended on message boards - things can be interpreted in so many different ways, that it's practically impossible to know the intent of the author. It's entirely possible that the author of that quote does live on a farm and is tired of hearing about how they must be sheltered if they don't go to school, and stupid if they don't use a strict curriculum.
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#21 of 57 Old 05-21-2007, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
It's saying that the stereotype of unschoolers as anti-intellectual, isolationist, luddite, etc., is wrong. It's like saying, "I'm not a stupid girl." That doesn't mean that I think all girls are stupid, or even that any girls are stupid, just that I'm a girl and I'm not stupid.

Yes, that's what I was trying (and failing) to say!

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#22 of 57 Old 05-21-2007, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This seems to be an excellent example of how people can read the exact same thing and have completely different interpretations of it!
This thread has been fascinating in that way.

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#23 of 57 Old 05-21-2007, 08:04 PM
 
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My honest opinion is that it sounds like a 13 year old wrote it. :

I also felt as though it was very anti-intellectual and it probably isn't going to convince anyone outside of the unschooling community that unschooling is a wonderful way to learn. I think that, at worst, it will reinforce some negative myths about unschooling, particularly with the very poor writing style. Before anyone proof-reads my post in an attempt to point out my grammatical errors, I want to say that at least I use complete sentences. :

Anyway, I, personally, would rewrite the middle section as follows:
"They learn from living in the real world, rather than spending years studying it."
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#24 of 57 Old 05-21-2007, 08:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
It's saying that the stereotype of unschoolers as anti-intellectual, isolationist, luddite, etc., is wrong.
In my very humble opinion, it's reinforcing the myth of unschoolers being anti-intellectual. It's very poorly written. Aside from the issue of the sentence fragments and the limited vocabulary (i.e. adjectives: cool, awesome), there are probably several ways of expressing that unschoolers are not necessarily limited to a life of simple trade work. I swear it sounds (to me) like a 13 year old wrote it. I think it does more harm than good. I would like to hear from someone who has changed their negative perception of unschooling from reading this definition.
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#25 of 57 Old 05-21-2007, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually it could totally have been a 13 year old that wrote it. LOL That website is pretty popular with many age groups, but I think it has an especially devoted youth following.

Also something just came to me.

Sometimes things are funny or silly, and for me, that's okay. It doesn't have to be eloquent, deep, or completely grammatically correct for me to enjoy it or get something out of it.

I've known people that can't get past error or the like to see/appreciate humor or some other element. No judgement from me, we are who we are I guess, but I think that might be the case here somewhat. It's just a difference in style maybe. Or I am totally wrong and just , but I've got time to kill before dinner so why not.

Also, I seriously doubt it was intended to change much of anything. That's not really the purpose of that website as I understand it. I think it's just a fun thing and perhaps a convienent place to sound off about issues and share an opinion.

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#26 of 57 Old 05-21-2007, 08:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
This seems to be an excellent example of how people can read the exact same thing and have completely different interpretations of it!

... It's entirely possible that the author of that quote does live on a farm and is tired of hearing about how they must be sheltered if they don't go to school, and stupid if they don't use a strict curriculum.
Interesting take. Thanks for posting that.
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#27 of 57 Old 05-21-2007, 08:53 PM
 
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This thread has been fascinating in that way.
It most certainly has!

I own a farm and was raised on one as well, and I do not take offense at that quote. My neighbor, who is also a farmer, would most definitely not take offense at it either...though he drives his tractor with a bottle of bourbon at the helm, so I don't know how clear headed he is.

Quote:
In my very humble opinion, it's reinforcing the myth of unschoolers being anti-intellectual.
See, that's the great thing ~ as an unschooler I am not interested in whether or not an individual or even society at large believes my children are being raised in an intellectual environment, or even whether or not their education is worthy of fostering intellect. I guess that makes me anti-intellectual though!

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#28 of 57 Old 05-21-2007, 09:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
In other words:

a) I could waste years ostensibly learning about the world without actually being in it and without actually learning much at all.

b) As an unschooler, that isn't going to happen.

I don't understand how unschooling guarantees worldly knowledge. Maybe I'm taking the statement too literally, but it's because I don't have unlimited funds to travel the world that I, as the parent, make a point to provide this knowledge through books. Sure, DS can spend all his time outside, without anyone telling him what is worth knowing and what isn't, and he would certainly learn alot about our small city, but the world?? I don't see how that's possible. It seems like with unschooling, the quality of the education still is dependent upon the child's environment and the amount of effort put forth by the parents. The child is still being taught, though certainly in a more subtle and child-friendly way than you see in a school. It seems like unschooling parents are denying their natural role as teacher by saying their kids are 100% in responsible for their own education. I feel like some credit is owed to the parent for all the time spent reading aloud, explaining things and answering questions, transporting kids to museums--that's teaching! To me, parenting and teaching are the same things. Even talking is a taught skill. Though it seems to arise spontaneously, it is still something babies are taught (by example) to do by their elders.

Also the philosophy of "trusting your child" to learn everything they need doesn't make sense to me, especially wrt younger kids. Parenting involves making choices for kids. When I make choices about what toys to buy, what books to read at bedtime, what activities to do, etc. I have a specific intention and that is to create a learning rich environment. I want my DS to know the story of Odysseus, so I make a point to read it to him. By the definitions I've come across on this board, my intent to impart knowledge on my DS means I wouldn't be considered an unschooler. But how can you not do this with young kids?

I am perfectly fine admitting that I don't trust my 5 yr old to learn it if the need arises. Mostly because I know how rare knowledge of Greek mythology is the imperative factor in a life-or-death situation. Of course, this is coming from the belief that there is inherent value in knowing things that don't appear very "useful" on the surface. It seems unschoolers don't see any information as more important to know than others. Is this the case? Would an unschooler be automatically opposed to say, the concept of a literary canon? Forgive me, I've been in school a loooong time so I have a really hard time wrapping my brain around that concept.

(sorry this became so long and rambling!)
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#29 of 57 Old 05-21-2007, 11:04 PM
 
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I don't understand how unschooling guarantees worldly knowledge.
That wasn't what I meant, so let me rephrase: as an unschooler I am free to devote all my learning time to living, and the world around me, and that which I choose to surround myself with specifically because it is useful or enjoyable or relevant to me. Whatever time I spend learning will therefore not be wasted time, because my learning is chosen by *me* for these most valid reasons. I do not have to waste time learning about things that I am not ready for or that are not important to me just because someone else has decided that they should be important to me.

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Maybe I'm taking the statement too literally, but it's because I don't have unlimited funds to travel the world that I, as the parent, make a point to provide this knowledge through books. Sure, DS can spend all his time outside, without anyone telling him what is worth knowing and what isn't, and he would certainly learn alot about our small city, but the world??
I'm sorry, I just don't get how you're going from "I could waste years ostensibly learning about the world without actually being in it and without actually learning much at all" to the notion that I don't think the books and other media are useful?

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It seems like with unschooling, the quality of the education still is dependent upon the child's environment and the amount of effort put forth by the parents.
Yes, because children in our society are dependent on those with the power to provide resources and opportunities.

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The child is still being taught, though certainly in a more subtle and child-friendly way than you see in a school.
There are different kinds of teaching that actually resemble each other so little that in certain situations the word "teach" becomes less appropriate than facilitate, consult, help, learn. In most schooling or homeschooling situations, the adult initiates and guides the learning process. In unschooling, the child does. They are not the same thing, at all.

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It seems like unschooling parents are denying their natural role as teacher by saying their kids are 100% in responsible for their own education.
I've never said that, although "teacher" is a loaded word so I tend not to use it to describe the information exchange that occurs between myself and others. But I do learn from many sources around me, including other people. So do my children.

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I feel like some credit is owed to the parent for all the time spent reading aloud, explaining things and answering questions, transporting kids to museums--that's teaching! To me, parenting and teaching are the same things.
This is an issue of semantics. I don't think of myself as a "teacher".

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Even talking is a taught skill. Though it seems to arise spontaneously, it is still something babies are taught (by example) to do by their elders.
If I were to go to a different culture and spend time observing the customs and learning the language by immersion and context (rather than direct instruction) I would regard that as me learning, but I wouldn't speak of the people of that culture having "taught" me. Again, semantics. In my mind, "teaching" implies something actively and consciously done to others, with expectations and methods employed.

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Also the philosophy of "trusting your child" to learn everything they need doesn't make sense to me, especially wrt younger kids. Parenting involves making choices for kids. When I make choices about what toys to buy, what books to read at bedtime, what activities to do, etc. I have a specific intention and that is to create a learning rich environment. I want my DS to know the story of Odysseus, so I make a point to read it to him. By the definitions I've come across on this board, my intent to impart knowledge on my DS means I wouldn't be considered an unschooler. But how can you not do this with young kids?
There's a difference between teaching with the expectation of improving the other person or making them into something you think they need to be made into, and sharing because you want to create a connection (bond) to yourself and your culture or sharing simply because you have reason to believe that person will appreciate it. The intent is wholly different. It is just a different mindset. I don't have to create a learning rich environment. It is already what I live. I don't have to make a point to share something special -- that which is most special is going to be so much a part of me already that the sharing of it becomes automatic. I may be thinking of a particularly beautiful passage in the Chronicles of Narnia or fascinated by the Fibonacci Sequence, or horrified by the actions of our government, and be full of it, and that fullness then overflows onto my children. The same approach can (and should) apply to anything and everything.

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I am perfectly fine admitting that I don't trust my 5 yr old to learn it if the need arises. Mostly because I know how rare knowledge of Greek mythology is the imperative factor in a life-or-death situation.
Yes, but if he's interested in it, he will. If he's not, what is the point? Why waste the time that could be spent on something that he would actually care about?

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Of course, this is coming from the belief that there is inherent value in knowing things that don't appear very "useful" on the surface. It seems unschoolers don't see any information as more important to know than others. Is this the case?
There is absolutely some information that is more important to know than other information. There is however no universally objective definition of "important", and for any given individual what is important will become known as they need it, and in some cases will only become known as they become aware of it themselves. It's important that my child learns to read if he's going to be self-sufficient in this society. But he's been aware of that for years, made aware just by living in this culture. The notion that he never would have figured it out on his own and therefore I would have to decide for him that he would have to learn it is absurd. As for those more subjectively determined things of importance, how could I possibly know what that would be for my child? I've always been capable of figuring out for myself what is important to me. Knowing that, how could I assume that my child is not?

If my parents had been in charge of my education (rather than the government) they would have felt it important that I was highly schooled in finance, conservative politics, mechanics, Hollywood's great history. My mother would have been thrilled to pieces to see me become a Hollywood agent. My father, to make my millions in business. These things matter to them. As it was, the government felt it important that I learn certain things about advanced science and math, American literature of the 20th century, and that I should be able to run a 12-minute mile and play team sports. I feel like saying to them, "how DARE you? How dare you think you know better than me what I should be doing with my life? What arrogance!" I spent all that time being bored, or straining to wake up enough to retain something of what I was "supposed" to retain, when I could have spent the time on what I was actually passionate about. I would have gone in a different direction than they wanted me to... but how much further I would have gone! (And did, once I was in control of my own education.)

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Would an unschooler be automatically opposed to say, the concept of a literary canon?
Only if it was imposed on the learner without his interest or desire.

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Forgive me, I've been in school a loooong time so I have a really hard time wrapping my brain around that concept.
No problem.
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Originally Posted by LeftField View Post
My honest opinion is that it sounds like a 13 year old wrote it. : I also felt as though it was very anti-intellectual and it probably isn't going to convince anyone outside of the unschooling community that unschooling is a wonderful way to learn.
Totally. But, um, this is urbandictionary we're talking about.
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