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Hi!<br><br>
Just want to say that I am super excited that a friend of mine lent me a book about unschooling. I can say that I have a little experience with unschooling before the age of 11, and I remember more from those times then in any of my "educational" experience. In fact, readig about it makes me realize that my public "education" has a lot to do with not havng a clue who I am, until recenly.<br><br>
So, my questions are:<br><br>
1. What are your experiences with your decision to unschool coming into contact with the law?<br>
I live in MO, and I'm prtty sure that for homeschooling, we don't have to keep account even, of what our kids are learning. But, I also know that homeschooling is constatntly under attack. How much more unschooling must be.<br>
I am also hyper analytical, and have experienced a lot of anxiety over social services. I was doing some reading a couple years ago about there being financial reasons for social services to take more children out of their homes. And read about several cases where it happened.<br>
So I am super concerned about this.<br><br><br>
and 2.<br>
Being hyper analytical, I tend to over analyze my performance as a mother. I can clearly see that unschooling, with lots of interaction from my husband and I, lots of experiences, etc etc, will be best for them. I'm just wondering if there are any other mommies out there who are super critical of themselves, who can maybe give me a little advice, share their experiences going through it, or whatever. Just some more perspective would be great <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
thanks y'all <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<span>Hi! I'm on the run, so writing fast, but I just wanted to toss in that I wouldn't be so sure that homeschooling in your area is constantly under attack - sometimes newer homeschoolers get told that by people who really haven't been in the bigger loop. Here's a page on <a href="http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/regional/Missouri.htm" target="_blank">Missouri Homeschooling</a> that has a number of different groups and resources you can check out. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Lillian</span>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bluebirdiemama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15377988"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">1. What are your experiences with your decision to unschool coming into contact with the law?</div>
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There is nothing illegal about unschooling... Now I don't go around shouting to the world that we unschool and don't do anything. For starters, it wouldn't be true. Ds is constantly learning and we interact with him as much as he wants. I just tell people we are homeschooling for the most part. No need to tell people every detail of my life in a casual conversation. I don't tell strangers in a grocery store exactly how I do laundry, either.<br><br>
We are in PA which is a higher compliance state. Ds did have to take a standardized test this year. He didn't have to sit at a desk, keep quiet, or do it all at once so it wasn't a big deal. I was able to choose which test (from a list) and he did it over the course of a week. He did fine despite never having taken a test before.<br><br>
We have to have a portfolio. That just means saving random things ds happens to do. If he writes (or dictates) a letter to his cousins, a photocopy can go into the portfolio. I pay attention to when he naturally does something that falls into an academic category and put it in the portfolio. We just need a few samples representing progress to show an evaluator (someone I choose who has a PA teaching license who writes a letter saying an appropriate education is taking place).<br><br>
In other words, ds goes about his life, living and learning, and I comply with the laws. It just means paperwork for me and less of it than any other kind of education including brick and mortar school.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bluebirdiemama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15377988"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hi!<br><br>
I live in MO, and I'm prtty sure that for homeschooling, we don't have to keep account even, of what our kids are learning. But, I also know that homeschooling is constatntly under attack. How much more unschooling must be.</div>
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I also live in Missouri, and I certainly don't feel like we're constantly under attack here, or even occasionally under attack. There was a bill a couple of years ago that included language that had some of the more conservative homeschoolers up in arms, but IMO they were making a mountain out of... well, nothing. It was kind of ridiculous, I think. I also know of one family in which homeschooling became an issue during a custody battle and some within the homeschooling community got het about about it, but really the issue had nothing to do with homeschooling - it was about a divorcing couple wanting different educational choices for their kids.<br><br>
Missouri is an easy state to unschool in.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Dar</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15379347"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I also live in Missouri, and I certainly don't feel like we're constantly under attack here, or even occasionally under attack. There was a bill a couple of years ago that included language that had some of the more conservative homeschoolers up in arms, but IMO they were making a mountain out of... well, nothing. It was kind of ridiculous, I think. I also know of one family in which homeschooling became an issue during a custody battle and some within the homeschooling community got het about about it, but really the issue had nothing to do with homeschooling - it was about a divorcing couple wanting different educational choices for their kids.<br><br>
Missouri is an easy state to unschool in.</div>
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ITA!! (about the mountains out of nothing as well <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> ) We are unschooling in MO and when I get on these boards and read about the hoops some others have to jump through I'm so thankful for where I live.
 

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I was talking about the label of "unschooling" in another forum--we were questioning who was, who wasn't, who owned the label, was there any value in the label, that sort of thing. I brought up that it comes up in conversation sometimes, and if you say you homeschool, a lot of time they think you're doing school-at-home, kids neatly lined up around the kitchen table between 8 and 12 each day (you get my drift), which you're not....bla bla bla<br><br>
My point being that one lady had a great answer if it ever comes up. She says "my son has an individualized curriculum." I was thrilled by that because I likened it to an ink blot test...you see in it what you want. Some folks (like my mother in law) will hear the word "curriculum" and feel safe & be on their way. Others will hear "individualized" and say "ooh! tell me more; that sounds cool and creative"<br><br>
Given some of the bad press unschooling has gotten lately, you may wish to adopt "homeschooling with an individualized curriculum" as your term when speaking to strangers, officials, etc. :)<br><br>
This is my first year reporting to the school district, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. I've been keeping meticulous records and saving anything and everything he's done,and he's done fantastic. But I still haven't investigated what the district is going to need from us (other than the fact that they gave us their permission and they said they look forward to hearing his progress in June of 2010). I guess I better do it soon!
 

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I have these guides to sort of see how he's doing compared to the mainstream world: <a href="http://www.fun-books.com/books/living_is_learning_guides.htm" target="_blank">http://www.fun-books.com/books/livin...ing_guides.htm</a><br><br>
The description is:<br><br>
These guides are put together by Nancy Plent, founder of the Unschoolers Network in New Jersey and a long-time homeschooler. She reviewed the scope and sequence charts and curriculum guides of dozens of schools in various states, then combined the highest standards of elements from each to create these guides. Why purchase these curriculum guides? 1) They may help you to fulfill your state's legal requirement to provide an educational plan 2) They allow you to see some of the highest standards for schools at various grade levels, just in case you are curious about what the schools expect or are anxious about what you are doing 3) They provide record-keeping space that can help organize a portfolio.<br><br>
Besides providing a checklist under each subject, Nancy offers suggestions on how to translate real-life experience into curricula goals. She also lists resources from a variety of companies. Each guide covers two or more grade levels. The first four are in comb binding, while the high school guide is in a 3-ring binder.
 

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Hi, I'm back. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I thought you might like something more specific from a fellow Missourian about what exactly is expected.<br><br>
I'm sure you've read the guidelines but do you also realize that there is no state agency that oversees homeschooling. There is also no such thing as educational neglect in Missouri. The only agency that asks for homeschooling records are family courts during custody cases and DFS during abuse investigations- but again there must be a charge other than education for DFS to investigate. That being said it only takes one phone call for them to show up so I like to have my bases coverd. The law states 1000 hours of instruction is required per year from July 1 to June 30 with 600 of those hours being in the core subjects of science, social studies, math, and communication arts. At least 400 of those 600 hours must be at the home location.<br><br>
So, what does that look like to an unschooler?<br><br>
Well, first of all 'home location' doesn't necessarily mean your house. It means the place you have determined as your 'home base'. That could be your home, family business, your parents house, an umbrella 'school', etc.<br><br>
Second of all, and more importantly, YOU get to determine how things fit into that core subject. If you spend the afternoon gardening and want to record it as two hours of science you can. But perhaps it was a community garden for city beautification in which case you want to call it social studies- that's okay too. Dance class might fall under music, arts, or physical education. Playing Scrabble is communication arts. Budgeting allowance or measuring a recipe is math. You get the idea.<br><br>
At first I really resisted the record keeping because I felt like it was interfering with my perceptions- I was always trying to fit everything into the right 'box'. But now I can see that the record keeping has really helped me to see the learning and value in everything we do.<br><br>
HTH!!
 
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