demographics of unschooling - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: If you identify yourself as an unschooler, where do you live?
In the inner-city. 20 23.26%
In the suburbs. 32 37.21%
In a small town or in the country. 32 37.21%
Wherever our RV or houseboat takes us. 2 2.33%
Voters: 86. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 54 Old 06-30-2008, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just curious if unschoolers are more likely to live in one type of neighborhood than another. I hardly ever meet any unschooly-leaning folks in my inner-city neighborhood, though I do meet lots of homeschoolers.

This issue's very pertinent to me, as our social life is pretty much limited to what's in walking-distance. We're without a car during the day while dh works, and as his job's an hour away (the only decent-paying job he's been able to land thus far), it's not practical to drive him to work and keep the car on any kind of regular basis. So while there are unschooling groups in our larger metro area, there aren't any nearby.

I may post a flyer at the library or something, just to put some feelers out, though.

Susan -- married WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005), who started out unschooling and have now embarked on the public school adventure.
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#2 of 54 Old 06-30-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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In the suburbs....living with my mother.

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#3 of 54 Old 06-30-2008, 10:47 PM
 
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We're in the suburbs with good bus service to anywhere in the city. So far I'm finding that dd isn't interested in much outside-the-home stuff though - she spent 10 years in school and is enjoying the freedom to sleep in and not have to be anywhere at any certain time.
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#4 of 54 Old 06-30-2008, 11:03 PM
 
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We're in a smallish city. There are plenty of home schoolers around here. The flyer at the library is a great idea. You should get some good contact there too. Also if your state has a main homeschooling website (mine is Washington Homeschool Organization), you may be able to contact with folks that way as well.
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#5 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 09:41 AM
 
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I'm out in the country on a small farm.

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#6 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 10:12 AM
 
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In the suburbs....living with my mother.
Me, too.

But it is an inner ring 'burb so we have access to the city and buses. Dh has the car at work, too, but it is only half an hour each way. So if we want to spend an extra 2 hours driving him so we can have the car and drive someplace else, we can though it is not an attractive option. There are little areas of the city with an unschool presence but they aren't easily accessible to us and there isn't much in our immediate area.

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#7 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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And you think the inner city folks are not hsing because?
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#8 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 11:03 AM
 
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I hardly ever meet any unschooly-leaning folks in my inner-city neighborhood, though I do meet lots of homeschoolers.
We're in the suburbs. While I know a bunch of unschooling familes, none are in my neighborhood. Or town. Or county, now that I think about it. lol. Until recently, there were no other hsers of any stripe in our town.

With unschoolers being a minority within a minority, I would think it unusual to find a bunch of unschoolers in one neighborhood--unless it was planned that way, yk?

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#9 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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And you think the inner city folks are not hsing because?
I didn't read any post saying that inner city folks aren't homeschooling -- I actually said I meet quite a few homeschoolers in my own inner city neighborhood. Homeschooling is pretty common here. I just hardly ever meet unschoolers -- not even in our neighborhood Christian homeschooling group (and it's the only neighborhood homeschooling group).

I am friends with one mom who unschools academically, but they're extremely busy -- both parents are going to college, and they're a large family with kids very close in age, therefore don't seem to feel the need we do to get together for playdates ... they have plenty of excitement right under their own roof.

Of course, educational philosophies don't need to mesh for kids to enjoy playing together. But sometimes I have experienced negative attitudes because I'm not punitive in my discipline (even the academically unschooling family I know believes in spanking and other punishments) ... it'd be nice to have at least one family to hang out with who "understood."

I don't have enough data to speculate as to "why" unschooling might be more common in one neighborhood than another ... and I'm not even sure that it is. I just thought it would be interesting to open up a discussion.

Susan -- married WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005), who started out unschooling and have now embarked on the public school adventure.
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#10 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 11:32 AM
 
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I think unschoolers are incredibly diverse, and most of the ones I have known/know, live in or very near cities.

You may live in an area where familes are wroking 2 and 3 jobs to make ends meet. I think you shared before that you live in an ethnically diverse area with newly arrived folks, so it could be they don't have the luxury of hsing at this time. They might also be thinking that school is a way to help their children learn English etc.

I think putting up flyers is a thought. If you have any LLL or API groups near you, or in the closet city near you, it might be worth a call to them to see if anyone in those groups knows of a hsing group. We have a hsing group , and while it's not labled 'unschooling', there are many of us in the group. We are a diverse group of folks, but that has worked out well. The children don't tend to care what their parents' philosophy is, they just want to play together. (As long as folks are respectful and kind, of course).
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#11 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 11:33 AM
 
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Yeah, we hang out with people who have similar parenting styles more than people who are homeschooling or unschooling.

Some areas of this city seem to attract the crunchier crowd but sometimes they are very controlling about things like food, tv, and video games. And some of the homeschoolers seem to be homeschooling so they can be controlling their kids' education and friends. I feel like the homeschoolers can be found in the lousier school districts where people are hesitant to send their kids to school but can't afford private school, the crunchy areas, and near the University (which attracts educated people into an iffy school district). But I'm just guessing and stereotyping.

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#12 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 11:44 AM
 
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[QUOTE=4evermom;11594993]Yeah, we hang out with people who have similar parenting styles more than people who are homeschooling or unschooling.

Some areas of this city seem to attract the crunchier crowd but sometimes they are very controlling about things like food, tv, and video games. And some of the homeschoolers seem to be homeschooling so they can be controlling their kids' education and friends.

QUOTE]

I've actually had far more difficulty with the crunchies crowd than with the regular hsing crowd because of this. There is something less upsetting to me about a relaxed parent who is upfront about wanting the kid to 'do math' and talks a bit of Saxon at times, than with someone who says they are unschooling but is controlling every move their kid takes at the hser picnic.

"Rainbow! I told you! *Get away from those Sun Chips! We brought our own seaweed crackers!" and , "I am not going to tell you again! Put down that stick! No GUNS!! Make it a lovely sword!" over and over and over and over again.
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#13 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The children don't tend to care what their parents' philosophy is, they just want to play together. (As long as folks are respectful and kind, of course).
Right, the children don't care. I just thought it'd be fun to have at least a few likeminded friends in walking distance.

Susan -- married WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005), who started out unschooling and have now embarked on the public school adventure.
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#14 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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"Rainbow! I told you! *Get away from those Sun Chips! We brought our own seaweed crackers!" and , "I am not going to tell you again! Put down that stick! No GUNS!! Make it a lovely sword!" over and over and over and over again.
Well, I haven't met anyone like that around here -- though I'm not sure how our neighborhood Christian homeschooling friends would feel about us if they knew we love Harry Potter.

Susan -- married WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005), who started out unschooling and have now embarked on the public school adventure.
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#15 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 11:48 AM
 
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Right, the children don't care. I just thought it'd be fun to have at least a few likeminded friends in walking distance.
Of course it would. Maybe there are some very cool/relaxed school folks near you? You might not be able to have the kids play during a school day, but maybe after school or in the summer?

I would give LLL a call if there is one near you. You might meet friends of friends of LLL people. Maybe you could meet someone just a city bus ride away?
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#16 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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And some of the homeschoolers seem to be homeschooling so they can be controlling their kids' education and friends. I feel like the homeschoolers can be found in the lousier school districts where people are hesitant to send their kids to school but can't afford private school, the crunchy areas, and near the University (which attracts educated people into an iffy school district). But I'm just guessing and stereotyping.
Well, our local school district does have lots of problems. I see what you mean about the control thing, too. That seems pretty true in a lot of cases.

Susan -- married WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005), who started out unschooling and have now embarked on the public school adventure.
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#17 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 11:54 AM
 
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Well, I haven't met anyone like that around here -- though I'm not sure how our neighborhood Christian homeschooling friends would feel about us if they knew we love Harry Potter.

Where do you live? If it's a big city, there has to be more diversity than this.

Plus, not *all* Christian hsing families don't allow harry potter, and even those who don't might be non spankers or whatever. We have Christians in our hsing group and I just don't have the same experiences. FI, one family is uber -Catholic, but they host the best/friendliest pizza- making parties in their home. God talk doesn't come up, and I rather enjoy her Virgin Mary statues.
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#18 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There probably is more diversity. I just need to put those flyers out.

Susan -- married WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005), who started out unschooling and have now embarked on the public school adventure.
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#19 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 12:08 PM
 
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[QUOTE=mammal_mama;11594885]I
I am friends with one mom who unschools academically, but they're extremely busy -- both parents are going to college, and they're a large family with kids very close in age, therefore don't seem to feel the need we do to get together for playdates ... they have plenty of excitement right under their own roof.

QUOTE]

Maybe you could have a couple of the kids over to your place when the parents are in class? I know that doesn't give you a social outlet, but the kids might enjoy it.

My dds also hang out together and often have no need of other hsing friends, but I do have friends with kids who do (want friends lol) . Whenever I remember, or they call us, I tell them to come over, or to drop the kids off and go do errands. But days and weeks can go by without me inviting their kids over if they don't make contact with me. Is that making sense? lol What I am saying is 'call her'. I know that always gets me saying "Well, come on over!"
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#20 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe you could have a couple of the kids over to your place when the parents are in class? I know that doesn't give you a social outlet, but the kids might enjoy it.

My dds also hang out together and often have no need of other hsing friends, but I do have friends with kids who do (want friends lol) . Whenever I remember, or they call us, I tell them to come over, or to drop the kids off and go do errands. But days and weeks can go by without me inviting their kids over if they don't make contact with me. Is that making sense? lol What I am saying is 'call her'. I know that always gets me saying "Well, come on over!"
Yes, I probably just do need to call her again.

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#21 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 12:12 PM
 
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There probably is more diversity. I just need to put those flyers out.
And call LLL. I met a lot good folks thought that group.

Gently I offer this: Don't limit yourself to what you think is your own kind, kwim? You won't know the heart of a person until you get to know them. Everyone is on their own journey and that is ok. We can learn from the journies of others, and perhaps find a friend in unlikely places.
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#22 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And call LLL. I met a lot good folks thought that group.
I have been involved in LLL here before -- the nearest one is a half-hour's drive away, though, and it's just not practical for us to use any more gas than necessary at the moment.

Quote:
Gently I offer this: Don't limit yourself to what you think is your own kind, kwim? You won't know the heart of a person until you get to know them. Everyone is on their own journey and that is ok. We can learn from the journies of others, and perhaps find a friend in unlikely places.
Oh, I definitely don't limit myself. We have schooling friends, as well as homeschooling friends -- and I'd never try to just associate with others "just like us" (as if there were any such thing!). I just thought it'd be fun to have a few friends, or at least one, nearby who didn't believe in spanking or coercing their kids. I'm sure they wouldn't be "just like me" in every other way -- they just might be more understanding of my parenting style.

I enjoy diversity -- I just don't enjoy being the only person I talk to in real life, who is striving to parent without punishment or coercion.

Susan -- married WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005), who started out unschooling and have now embarked on the public school adventure.
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#23 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 12:41 PM
 
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"Rainbow! I told you! *Get away from those Sun Chips! We brought our own seaweed crackers!" and , "I am not going to tell you again! Put down that stick! No GUNS!! Make it a lovely sword!" over and over and over and over again.
You know of what I speak.

We also do better with families where my ds is not the oldest and not the only boy. We run into the "no weapons" families who have not dealt with a child who is passionate about toy guns and they think ds is an evil influence. I know not all boys love them, but so many do, and the ones who have no children over the age of 3 can be judgmental about the common behaviors of 5 and 6 yos.

Because ds is an only child, we have to do quite a bit of work arranging things. People with bigger families will meet us but they need us to take the initiative and name a time and place. I wish it were otherwise and people with bigger families weren't so darn content with their own company , but that is just how it is.

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#24 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 01:05 PM
 
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I think you'll find that there is no one group who unschools - I've met radical hippie types and hyper religious types who unschool. I think the flyer thing is a good idea.
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#25 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 01:35 PM
 
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None of the poll choices really fit. I live in a big city that is very diverse: there are farms, small inner-city neighborhoods, suburbs, developments...all within walking distance of each other.

My HSing co-op is even more diverse.
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#26 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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We live in a large city.

We live in a neighborhood, not like, downtown, but the neighborhood of houses is within the city, and all sorts of awesome things to do less than 15 minutes away, by car.
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#27 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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I have been involved in LLL here before -- the nearest one is a half-hour's drive away, though, and it's just not practical for us to use any more gas than necessary at the moment.




I enjoy diversity -- I just don't enjoy being the only person I talk to in real life, who is striving to parent without punishment or coercion.

I didn't mean attend LLL meetings...I mean call them and see if anyone knows anyoe who knows anyone in your area.

Although if I didn't know anyone IRL who respected their child, I would be making that 30 minute drive to LLL once a month, every month in search of a friend and friends for my kid, because that would be no way for us to live.
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#28 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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None of the poll choices really fit. I live in a big city that is very diverse: there are farms, small inner-city neighborhoods, suburbs, developments...all within walking distance of each other.

My HSing co-op is even more diverse.
Yeah, I couldn't vote as nothing fit us, either. We live in a town near a huge city.
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#29 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 02:19 PM
 
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I voted for the rv/houseboat thing, though we have neither - atm we live out of our backpacks. we travel a lot and live a semi-nomadic lifestyle, wandering along the hippie trail through the 3rd world but sometimes we live in a small hand-made stone and wood cottage in a rainforest.

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#30 of 54 Old 07-01-2008, 02:44 PM
 
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We are closest to the suburb category I suppose, but not quite. I'd prefer to live even closer to "town" than we do now, but it's not so bad that we can't walk around quite a bit. I'd love to be able to walk out my door and have the stores, library, park, and etc right there. Dh would hate it though.

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