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Discussion Starter #1
much of what we do is "textbook unschooling" if you will and part of it is whatever we come up with. workbook-type activity takes about 2-3 hours / week.<br><br>
so to the avg person IRL we look like<br><br>
- we are lazy<br>
- doing nothing<br>
- dd is not "growing up"<br>
- no sense of time . (takes a long time, does not do things "on time")<br>
-- dd cannot "fight back" in the playground<br>
-- dd is in pajamas all day<br>
-- we as parents aren't concerned about her future - career prospects etc<br><br>
now maybe i spend too much time on mdc or hanging with other unschoolers where above are not considered problems, but i am finding of late that i dont have much response to this and it is making me feel a little insecure. "They don't understand" only goes so far as a defense. "You may think we are doing nothing, we think all that homework is a waste of time" is going on the offense, which I am not good at.<br><br>
Are we doing nothing - probably more often than others. Is that okay? I don't know. Sometimes I get envious of kids who are already doing this or that. I also wonder if dd would enjoy going to school and if I should give her the chance to try it/ but then what?<br><br>
partly i feel insecure because i don't have time to do all the wonderful projects that other hs'ers seem to do, and feel lucky that we manage to be able to homeschool at all given me & dh's work schedules, rather than leaning on school as a day-care service. but just barely ... does not leave much time for lots of creative family activity. (we are working on improving this)
 

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I think doubts are a normal part of parenting. My own dc went to ps for a while and I was plagued with doubts during that experience, when we first came home we were eclectic but still more SAH and I had doubts. We leaned into unschooling, still had doubts. Now we are pretty much radically unschooling and guess what- I still have doubts. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I finally realized that I can't make my parenting decisions based on fear. Especially fear of the unknown future. All I can do is parent the child in front of me. If I see a happy, healthy, flourishing child then I know I'm on the right track <i>for now.</i> Right now is all we really have anyway, kwim? Do I still worry about the future? Of course, that's what parents do! The difference is that now I'm not ruled by that worry.
 

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I too think that some of this depends on the age of your child.<br><br>
My children are nearly 11 and 7 and firmly 3. We've been unschooling almost exclusively for all that time since the eldest was old enough to think about school. (Except for when my fears took over and I tried one curriculum or another.)<br><br>
And even then it has only been in the last 4 months or so that I've started to relax into this. For me what has helped is to become more deeply immersed in radical unschooling.<br><br>
Sandra Dodd's <a href="http://sandradodd.com/" target="_blank">site</a> and <a href="http://sandradodd.com/bigbook/" target="_blank">book</a> have helped immensely, as have her yahoo group <a href="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AlwaysLearning/" target="_blank">Always Learning</a>.<br><br>
Before I took this step I couldn't really comprehend or consider a radical unschooling family life. I just wasn't able to see something that far outside of my own experience.<br><br>
But delving into these things in this way have helped me to shift my perspective and expectations. I am becoming far clearer on what I believe and why and I am becoming more articulate about it (though I won't pretend that this post is... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> )
 

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Discussion Starter #5
hmm... does one have to go RU in order to relax into U? I am not up with (or is it down with) some of the core RU tenets though I sort of keep them in mind.<br><br>
dd is 6 - almost 7. let me create a signature.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cheery</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15390252"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">hmm... does one have to go RU in order to relax into U? I am not up with (or is it down with) some of the core RU tenets though I sort of keep them in mind.<br><br>
dd is 6 - almost 7. let me create a signature.</div>
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Dunno.<br>
I can only speak for me and my process. I couldn't relax, really relax, into unschooling because all my parenting decisions that were controlling were fear-based. Until I could start to unravel that dynamic, and understand where it was coming from, I didn't have a chance of relaxing.<br><br>
RU is pretty different from what I thought it was from the *outside* looking in, btw.<br><br>
And please remember that RU (much like AP) is NOT a checklist that you must conform to or the RU-police will come and take away your ability to explore. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
You don't have to follow any *tenets* or go farther than you are comfortable. It is a process; and for me an evolution.<br><br>
Saying *yes* more is at the core, IMHO.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cheery</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15389366"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">- we are lazy<br>
- doing nothing<br>
- dd is not "growing up"<br>
- no sense of time . (takes a long time, does not do things "on time")<br>
-- dd cannot "fight back" in the playground<br>
-- dd is in pajamas all day<br>
-- we as parents aren't concerned about her future - career prospects etc</div>
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I think "lazy" is a term others apply to those who have crafted a free and relaxed life without stress, from those who are too afraid to consider doing such a thing.<br><br>
That and "doing nothing" are from people who can't appreciate the benefits of just being in the present and can't see the learning in so many things kids do that we don't value.<br><br>
As for growing, there is oodles of developmental research that show that children NEED play time to grow and develop properly. And AFAIC the more the better.<br><br>
It is NORMAL for children to have no sense of time. It's adults who rush through lives, overscheduling and overworking. Children live in the present, and it's a gift we adults could really do well to find more of in our own lives.<br><br>
As for playground politics, IMNSHO they are warped, unnatural manifestations of socialization gone wrong because of peer-segregation and very low adult:child ratios. I well remember how it felt to be in that melee and I'm greatful as heck my kids don't have to go through it. Confidence and knowing oneself are the best defense against bullies and cowards alike.<br><br>
I can't comment on the pajamas, except that it's pretty easy to just get her to dress in the a.m. hours in case folks pop by unannounced.<br><br>
The last point is due to the ridiculous propaganda that parents have swallowed from the media that if your child doesn't go to college they are doomed to a life of manual labour and misery. Not every child can go to college. Not every child should go to college. There are many successful people who never went to college. And your definition of successful may not be the same as others'. Some equate it with a high-paying job with bragging rights. I would much rather my kids be happy and fulfilled.<br><br>
See, you just need to hang around with like-minded people more. ;-)<br><br>
PS - we are not what you would call RU; it's a great journey but not a necessary part of unschooling IMO
 

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it might be helpful for you to record what your DD does and has accomplished thus far. just keeping a record of what she does and the progress. have your DP do one too, and combine it. add artwork or other awesome things, and voila! a scrap book of her accomplishments. and, it looks very educational.<br><br>
working on a family rhythm makes a world of difference for us. we work split schedules and also are busy folks. our son is younger than your DD, but we feel that homeschooling/unschooling is better for our son. I would rather him learn in the world. and, he's good at it.<br><br>
so, we keep a rhythm where he has certain opportunities, but we also have opportunities. it helps. i pulled it from waldorf and it works well for us. we have PJ days (specific days where no one gets dressed), which allows that sense of rest and relaxation that the PJs bring.<br><br>
And, not to make light of you in any way-- the primary verse to cure or prevent the plague: "ring around the roses, pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes we all fall down!" traditionally, to ward off the black death, but i think it can ward off doubts too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> and, it's fun.
 

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I have heard unschooling described as a spectrum. We are not on the RU end of the spectrum (though we are in some areas.)<br><br>
When we took the first batch of kids to Disneyland at ages 8 and 10, we rode an Indiana Jones ride. They asked, "Who's Indiana Jones?" We said, "You know, Indiana Jones and the Arc of the Covenant." They said, "What's the Arc of the Covenant?" We said, "You know, where Moses put the 10 commandments." Guess what? They said, "Who is Moses and what are the 10 commandments?"<br><br>
We realized at that point that we had never really talked with them about some (or any) of the Christian mythology that is important to many Americans. So, we watched the movie The Ten Commandments to give them a basic idea of what all this was.<br><br>
My point in telling this story is I think there are some subjects that are core to our culture. Things that society expects people to know. Like, what is the US Constitution. What was the civil war. Etc. I'm not sure if we'll get across to some of those conversations in the course of our daily conversations. (Okay, those are biggies, I'm sure we will.) So I want to make sure I keep tabs on what my kids are and are not being exposed to.<br><br>
So, my solution is to have gotten the Living is Learning Guides by Nancy Plent. (More about these in a minute.) They give me the chance to see what some public school districts expect of kids. I can take it or leave it whether I want to introduce the kids to these skills, but it at least gives me a chance to evaluate where my kids are compared to mainstream expectations.<br><br>
So, I know that kindergarteners are expected to know how to sort as a math skill and first graders should know how to count by 2s and 5s. My son could sort at 2. He's now 4 and can count by 2s to 10. We're doing okay. (I actually have been reading a lot about delayed education in Europe AND I don't believe preschoolers should have academic instruction even if they will be schooled. He has just picked up these skills in our normal interactions.)<br><br>
I agree with zoebird that it might help if you took inventory of what your daughter has accomplished. For me these guides are the answer. They may not be for you. Here is information from the website:<br><br><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>
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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Reading Peter Gray's articles may help.<br><a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn" target="_blank">http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn</a>
 

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lOts of good feedback already OP, and PIglet pointed out how your kid is just like every other kid, but you're being viewed under a lense because you're 'different' therefore you are the cause of her ______ (being a perfectly normal kid I guess? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> ).<br><br>
I'll echo all of the above. We live your life AND we never do workbooks or curriculum. My kids wake up and we put on videos while I surf. Then we fritter the day away doing whatever comes up/interests us, or chores/errands I HAVE to do. And my kids are fabulous, and sure can tell time yet still are not 'on time' (what child is ON time?).<br><br><br>
But another thought I have, and this may or not ring true for yo, is that I (maybe you?) am too kind and thoughtful to retaliate against such criticisms from others. So, if someone said to me that I cared nothing for my kids future, I don't want the grinchy feeling I'd get if said 'and have you thought of how being stuck in school all day for 13 years is ruining YOUR kid's life?". I'm not a retaliater (my new word). and i'm not at all judging those who do fight back.<br><br>
but I find that sweeping statements are made all the time about my kids and how some aspect of their nature, that is suddenly seen as 'bad' (shness, atachment to me, distrust of other adults they don't know) is all because of my wierd, risky choice to home(un)school them.<br><br>
Whenever people ask me if I do a curriculum my reply is a big smile and "Well, why would I keep them out of school only to replicate school at home?". And if pressed "Life does not happen IN school, it happens in the hours when you're NOT in school."<br><br>
I've never had any retorts or arguments after those. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Stay strong mama.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
fun story, SundayCrepes. I have looked at the standards for my state and use it to write up the stuff I submit to our county for the review.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div style="font-style:italic;">You don't have to follow any *tenets* or go farther than you are comfortable. It is a process; and for me an evolution.</div>
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yeah, what i mean is - RU says do not worry if your kid is not doing x or y. for the most part i am with the program. but i do worry, for example, that dd does not write (much) and cannot write neatly to save her life. but on the other hand I keep in mind the RU view and therefore maybe not worry *as much* (at least not aloud).<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Saying *yes* more is at the core, IMHO.</td>
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yes, i remind myself of this often. so often when i look back at things that did not go well, i see where i missed the chance to say yes and if only i had things could have gone in a different direction.<br><br>
thanks Piglet & WCM for reassurance and thanks zoebird for reminding me of ring around the roses <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br>
NellieKatz, that is a great link. I had read one of the articles before but did not know about his other articles.
 
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