Mothering Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,094 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am heart broken. We are unschoolers (might even be radical, but im not sure what standards would make it that). DD (8 yrs) has just informed me that she wants to do "school". I gave her the whole "the world is our school" talk
and she said,
"so and so (friend from our HS group) gets up and they work untill lunch. They get workbooks and their mom teaches them."
I think she is having a hard time putting it into words, but she is basically telling me she wants more structure.
Im sad because im an unschooler at heart but Im starting to think dd isn't.
Im thinking im going to have to start preparing a curric. (im going to make my own) and putting together a "schedule".
I really need any help and support I can get. I don't really know where to go from here.
Please help me
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,447 Posts
Tell her to pick a topic she wants to learn about and then buy or find on the internet some things that you can do with her related to that. Call it "school" and do it with her the same time every day. When that topic runs dry, pick another. I don't think you are obligated to do more than that. After all, it's your life, too.

Namaste!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,539 Posts
Maybe your daughter will be like mine. She wanted to "do school" so I obliged. Lasted about a week,


I second getting her involved. Ask her what she specifically wants. Does she really like workbooks? Does she want to study exactly what her friend is studying? Maybe she has some ideas but wants help implementing them? Or maybe she just wants things written out?

What I'm saying is do structure the unschooling way
Get her involved and let her know that it's still up to her and she can say "no" at any time. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,419 Posts
My thought is that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. I think it is a reasonable thing for her to want to learn more about structured learning programs and see if they are a good fit for her. Maybe she'd like to start with one subject and see how she likes it. Some people really enjoy methodically working through something and appreciate having someone else figure out an approach first. She may find she hates it or she may find that she would like to put in a couple of hours a day. If you believe that she's learning all the time - those two hours a day will be learning too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,576 Posts
My kids like some structure. They like Charlotte Mason style stuff better than workbook stuff.

here are some ideas:

Everyday (or 3 times a week or whatever):
1. Penmanship -- copy a sentence from a book she like VERY neatly on paper for her to copy under neath your writing. She works at making it as neat as possible and you can talk about anything interesting in the sentence -- such as it's vs its, commas, etc. Collecting these into a binder as the year wears on is fun. If she likes, you can have a "test" on Fridays when you read one of the sentences to her and she writes it without copying.

2. History. Pick a well written history book on a subject that is interesting to your DD and read her a section, and then have her summarize the section back to you while you write down what she says. This is a very powerful learning tool and beats the heck out of using a text book.

3. Math. There are zillions of programs to choose from depending on her math skills, learning style, etc.

4. Reading. If she isn't already reading well, she might enjoy working through some of the Explode the Code books. My kids liked these and actually seemed to get something out of them (I can't say that for most workbooks!). May be she would like to talk about different kinds of literature and then read samples of kinds, or do a unit study based on a good book.

Once A Week
1. Nature Study. Set aside time everyweek for working on a nature journal. An unlined spiral notebook, colored pencils, and possible a nature guide are all that are needed. If you go to a botanical garden or nature center where things have signs, you may not ever need nature guides. Just draw, journal, and date. This is super fun (I work on one, too.)

There are other things like picture study and composer study that you could also do if she like these kinds of ideas.

It is possible to give kids some structure while still letting education be open ended and non-coercive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,251 Posts
Well, buy her a few workbooks, set her alarm, tell her you love the idea of trying something new and see how it goes. She may just feel (because traditional school is, well, traditional) that she is not really doing school if she does not fit that mold.... Besides, I think some kids would enjoy more structure rather than all unschooling, just like some kids would like more unschooling and less structure. Depends on the kids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
456 Posts
Just from your message, it sounds like she's asking for two things:

a set time, and for you to "teach" her

To me anyway, unschooling doesn't mean no structure...and you are still unschooling if your child asks for some structure and you respond by doing that for her.

Maybe talk about what she wants to learn about right now, put together some things together, and share some learning time each day for a few weeks, then see how she liked it.

My own eldest son asks for much more structure than I would have on my own...and he truly likes when I teach - it can be a very bonding time. ...and maybe she'll decide she doesn't like it, but you would have explored it and tried it.

It doesn't have to be strict or to break with your comfort zone, just make it flexible where she can take a day off if she wants (or you can also).

Best wishes on your journey,

Lucie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,840 Posts
You can have structure and still be an unschooler!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,976 Posts
As others have said, what she's asking isn't incompatible with unschooling at all. Sounds like she's wanting more intellectual stimulation, more juice and structure to her time, and more direct attention from you around those things. I wouldn't worry too much about making it perfect - it may sound as if she's asking for more than she really is. It's just the form she wants to explore the world through, learn through, and be entertained through right now; and that can change as time goes along. You might consider some unit studies - that could end up being fun for you all. Here's a good article on it:
The Joy and Ease of Child Led Unit Studies

You could also find her some fun educational materials in the FUN-Books catalog.

Lillian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,094 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for your response.
You are totally right about it still being unschooling! She is leading the way and that is what unschooling is.


I love the idea of putting a curric. together with eachother. We are going to try doing that. Im not really interested in buying it. I wouldn't know what "grade/level" to buy. She is behind in math but is a great reader! She knows some stuff about nature/histoy/science ect. but Im unsure how much a 3rd. grader should know
So Im thinking buying a curric. would just put to much stress on her and I.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top