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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We had big plans to go with Classical Education. I always said that I was not married to the idea and that if it didn't work out, we'd try something else. I just thought it would work out.

It hasn't been that bad. It's just that these things we are learning about that dd would normally be interested in are a chore for her when they are put into a "school" context. She's not interested.

She recently learned how to use the computer and wants to be online all day at these paper doll and fashion design websites. She says she wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up. It made me think about the fact that I might fight her to make her learn all these things that are uninteresting to her and that will end up being a waste of time. We'll spend our time fighting and learning useless things (to her, anyway) instead of enjoying our extra family time that homeschooling affords and learning things to prepare her for her future as an adult.

So we decided to ditch "the plan."

But I'm having a hard time letting go and trusting. She's basically unschooling at this point. She's continuing to do her computer activities and going to the beach a lot. She's learning things, but I'm afraid that...I don't even really get what I'm afraid of. I think that I am just really controlling, and I am having a really hard time giving up that control.

I am afraid of the standardized testing that we will have to do in about two years. I have told her that she will have to take tests and that she will have to learn the things they will test for. She has agreed to that.

Any words of wisdom, personal anecdotes, or whatever would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I'm in a similar boat. When my kids were younger, they really wanted me to have a plan. It was nice. I knew what they wanted from me and we had a lot of fun together. They are getting older (8 and 9) and more and more often they have their own agenda, which is great. I've always believed in non-coercive, child led education. But it was easier to feel comfortable with that when they wanted to curl up with me and see what sort of cool things I had planned for them!

This new phase is sort of freaking me out, and I don't think it should. After all, my views on education haven't changed a bit. My kids both read avidly, write when they feel like it (spelling is still creative), and understand enough math to be the banker in Monopoly.

I've also always known in the back on my mind that this time would come. Yet, when they sit around playing Zoo Tycoon II for hours, and then stop only because they want to go swimming, I panic.

One thing that worries me is discussing this with any family members. My sis also homeschools, but she is seriously doing school at home and my extended family already thought we were a bit lax.

I also really like having a routine. I do flylady, I make list, I check things off. Relaxed homeschooling fit my temperment very well. Truly child-directed learning, on the other hand, is messy and unpredictable, and you never really know when you are done or exactly what they've learned.
 

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Is this your 7 yr. old you're talking about? If so, she's really awfully young for this kind of concern. And this is the middle of summertime - if it's as hot where you are as it is in a lot of places I know of, it's no wonder she's restricting her activities. I wouldn't expect much of anything right now - and she's probably learning a lot from those sites. This kind of reminds me of when my son discovered cartoons - not the Saturday morning TV variety, but the old Looney-Tunes and such. He was fascinated. He sat and watched one right after another after another until he satisfied his curiosity. I saw that he wasn't zoning out - he wasn't watching passively, but actually studying them and running into the other room from time to time to tell me about things he'd been observing. He was going through a whole period of learning about humor and how it worked - watching old Get Smart shows, Mary Tyler Moore, etc. - the best of TV comedy. It wasn't about being entertained - it was about actively learning about humor and humor writing. Interestingly enough, he turned out, years later, to have an amazing natural talent for humor writing. I think - and I thought at the time - that this is going to serve him well in his adult life. He's majoring in journalism, by the way, in college now.

Keep things happenin' in your lives, keep up interesting conversations about lots of other things, keep bringing in interesting materials and films, keep getting out and about, try to initiate games of all kinds - just keep the pot stirred. And if she's prepared to jump through some hoops for the tests, she'll be exposing herself to all sorts of things along the way. I guess part of the problem might be that this is such a contrast with the classical ed you'd pictured.
:

If I had it to do over again, the main change I would make would be to worry less and trust more.
Lillian
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by papayapetunia
She's learning things, but I'm afraid that...
This isn't a long term suggestion (you'd probably go nuts
: ) but this might get you over the hump (or heck, get you running screaming back to classical
)

Anyway, how about you just log what she's doing for awhile? You say she's learning things, how about you keep a little diary noting the things she's learning just to make you feel better? You can also make notes about how happy she is, how she's enjoying learning instead of however she was before, etc.

As for the standard testing in two years . . . . seriously, don't worry about it for another year and a half. It's not a school situation with 20 kids and one teacher. You don't have to hammer away at the stuff five days a week for 2 years. When the standard testing comes close, then you can start preparing for it a few months before hand or so.

Good luck
(and despite my joke I hope you continue to enjoy unschooling
)
 

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Quote:
But I'm having a hard time letting go and trusting. She's basically unschooling at this point. She's continuing to do her computer activities and going to the beach a lot. She's learning things, but I'm afraid that...I don't even really get what I'm afraid of. I think that I am just really controlling, and I am having a really hard time giving up that control.
I'm kind of in the same boat. We're unschooling right now. The kids are totally following their own interests. But with my oldest (10) I feel the urge to get us doing some math, reading and writing regularily. My oldest I worry because he is my first I guess and I always worry about each new step we do. But I am concerned that if I don't work with him on a few things then I am being a neglectful parent. I can see things he needs to work on and by not helping him along I feel would be wrong. So...that is where I am at. And it sure doesn't help to be around homeschoolers that have their whole school years planned out already. One mom I called yesterday had started their school year this week!
: They were doing latin and math for a few weeks taking a week off and the doing that for a few weeks a week off and beginning September everything until December when they'd take 3 weeks off. Totally planned out. Her kids are really smart and good kids...just makes me wonder if they are really happy and enthusiastic about all they are doing. My kids would be miserable I think. I would be too!! Anyways...I totally get how you are feeling right now. Alot of it has to be it is the full blown Back to School Season I think for me anyway....
 

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I'm a total control freak. My dh had a little "talk" w/me just last night about how I have to let the kids get into mischief in order to learn. Of course he says this the same day that my ds cut dd's hair!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for responding, everyone.

Linda on the move: I don't think my views on education have changed either. When I first wanted to homeschool, it was unschooling I was attracted to. I'm not sure what happened along the way. I guess I just got carried away...? I know what you mean about it being easier when they wanted to do the things that you wanted to do.

Lillian J: Thank you for that story about your son. That's really interesting. I know she's very young and it's early to worry about these kinds of things. I'm worried about the testing, mainly. When I was talking about that she said she wanted to be a fashion designer, it's not that I'm worried about what she wants to be when she grows up. It's just that I'm worried I will force her to learn things that are irrelevant to what she wants to do. So that's why unschooling is looking increasingly attractive to me.

ShannonCC: That is a very interesting point about the testing. It actually made me feel a lot better about the situation. I have no doubt that she can learn what she needs to know for testing in just a few weeks. Thank you for pointing that out.

momof3sweeties: I think I am also worried about being a neglectful parent. Part of that reason is that unschooling is so much easier for ME that it feels wrong.

oneotamama: Glad to know I'm not all alone in my control issues. Good luck to you!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by papayapetunia
When I first wanted to homeschool, it was unschooling I was attracted to. I'm not sure what happened along the way. I guess I just got carried away...?
Part of it for me was that my kids are very closely spaced and spend a lot of time together (it's almost like having twins) and when I didn't structure some of their time, they ended up fighting a lot. When I had fun things planned that keep them busy for part of the day, they enjoyed the things I planned and they enjoyed their free time so much more. We've never done anything intense -- very relaxed CM kinda stuff, lots of good books and open ended projects. None the less, their needs are really changing as they get older.

I don't think my problem is that I'm a control freak, but just that I'm having trouble figuring out what it is that they need from me now.

Posting on this thread helped me sort of my feelings, and I sat down with them today and asked them to help me make a list of things they want to do or learn about that they need my help to make happen. It is a very cool list and I feel more comfortable now because I can see the next step (which is to make peanut butter in the blender and find a recipe for homemade dog biscuits). It surprised me how many things they could list off the top of their heads that they had never mentioned. It's like they had already thought of stuff, but for some reason didn't think it was worth mentioning.

BTW, if anyone has experience making cheese at home, I could use some tips. It is also on their list and sounds a bit more complicated than peanut butter.
 
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