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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My kids are in school for 6.5 hours/day about 200 days/year. It's about 1250 hours a year inc instruction, breaks etc.<br><br>
The rest of the time I'm with them I feel we follow an unschooling model. We let our kids' interests lead them [and us]. We cook, play board games, hang out, they interact in the wider community, we go to the library, on holidays etc.<br><br>
Is there an issue for unschoolers who do it full time with people like me feeling I can do it part-time?
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The rest of the time I'm with them I feel we follow an unschooling model. We let our kids' interests lead them [and us]. We cook, play board games, hang out, they interact in the wider community, we go to the library, on holidays etc.</td>
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Isn't this just called "life" or "parenting"? I do all this (many families do!), but we don't unschool, since unschooled kids don't go to school. And mine does, just like yours do.
 

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Yes. It's like if you said, "When we aren't in church- we are practicing atheists."<br><br>
My question is... do you accept unschooling philosophies with respect to a child's *innate* desire to learn, grow and explore? It seems not because they are in school (which is fine- I'm just saying.) So when they walk out of school- you think that becomes unschooling? Why isn't it just living? You think if a child accidentally learns something or does something for himself without being prompted by a schoolteacher- that it's some sort of miracle that happened because of your "following an unschool model" ? Why does it have to be labeled at all?<br><br>
Rhetorical question: If you don't tell them they are being unschooled... how can they possibly hope to learn anything?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bits and bobs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15436338"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My kids are in school for 6.5 hours/day about 200 days/year. It's about 1250 hours a year inc instruction, breaks etc.<br><br>
The rest of the time I'm with them I feel we follow an unschooling model. We let our kids' interests lead them [and us]. We cook, play board games, hang out, they interact in the wider community, we go to the library, on holidays etc.</div>
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Every family I know who uses a school does this. *I* wouldn't call them unschoolers, but there aren't any unschooling police who are going to swoop down on you if you say you unschool. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><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;">Is there an issue for unschoolers who do it full time with people like me feeling I can do it part-time?</td>
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There is a huge variation in <i>how</i> people unschool, but I've never known anyone who says they unschool while sending their kids to school. I think it changes the definition of the word, which makes communicating more difficult. To me, it's like someone saying they are vegetarian. A basic, generally-accepted definition of that is that they don't eat meat. If the person were to go on to explain that they DO eat meat, daily, except for weekends and during the summer, well, that causes a bit of confusion, yk?<br><br>
Why not just say your kids go to school and that they do what they like when they're not at school?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
"do you accept unschooling philosophies with respect to a child's *innate* desire to learn, grow and explore? It seems not because they are in school"<br><br>
Yes I see that.<br><br>
They still have a huge desire to learn and want to be at school because of all that they learn, do and explore.<br><br>
Yes what I do is what everyone does outside of school -it is unstructured living and experiencing and learning that my children's desires drive. That also defines unschooling whether it's part or full time.<br><br>
People can work part or full time, why not unschool part-time [and in fact it would be way more unschooling than formal schooling]<br><br>
"If you don't tell them they are being unschooled... how can they possibly hope to learn anything?"<br><br>
...because they learn regardless of whether I use the word unschooling or not. Did you mean something else, I'm not sure!<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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What I was getting at, is that (and please- I don't presume to speak for all unschoolers) is that the term unschooling is a word that we use to explain what is is we do in the absence of traditional schooling, to people who tend to see/quantify things in terms of traditional schooling. We don't actually unschool, we just use that word to mollify people who think that you have to "do something" ... if not school... what then?<br><br>
If I was to travel with my children to a remote place in the rain forest and try to explain to the natives that we are "unschooling" they would not have any idea what I was talking about because the concept of the "schooling" that we are not doing... is unknown to them.... but living and learning and nurturing your children within your family, environment and social group is so normal, so innate- it goes without saying... it needs no label.<br><br>
I'm curious why you desire to use this label that really means nothing. To me it seems to show that you really don't get the fundamental ideas behind this thing we don't do that we call unschooling.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bits and bobs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15436578"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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People can work part or full time, why not unschool part-time</div>
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One aspect of unschooling is freedom of choice. Kids who have to go to school and are compelled to engage in all the activities assigned to them in school, do not have that freedom.<br><br>
I don't think it's an issue of TIME--it wouldn't change my answer if a child went to school for 6 hours a day or 2 hours a day or 2 hours a week. It stops being unschooling when the child has to follow someone else's directives on what, when and how to learn.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SagMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15436663"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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I don't think it's an issue of TIME--it wouldn't change my answer if a child went to school for 6 hours a day or 2 hours a day or 2 hours a week. It stops being unschooling when the child has to follow someone else's directives on what, when and how to learn.</div>
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Playing devils advocate here: what if a child chooses to go to school - and could choose to leave? Taking it further - what if a child could choose whether to do the assignments or not?<br><br>
There seem to be a number of HSers (including USers) who do choose to go to school at one point or another. Often it is just for a year or so to see what it is like.<br><br>
As USing is a philosophy as much as it is anything else, I do think it is reasonable to say "Our family are USers, however John has chosen to go to school at the moment".<br><br>
I do not think children being <i>sent</i> to school (whether they would choose it or not) and allowed to follow interests when at home is USing.
 

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Do your children have a choice to be in school or not? If one of them came to you and said they didn't want to go any more, they wanted to learn by unschooling full time, would you say OK? Because if it's truly <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><b>their</b></span> choice to be in school, then yes I would say you could call yourself an unschooler.<br><br>
But if they've always been in school and/or don't know they have a say in the matter, then their being in school isn't really their "choice" is it? It's more like they have no idea there could be another way. I don't see how there can be such a thing as part time unschooling. It's a philosophy about living and learning, more so than a "method" that you can apply here and there. It's like saying we practice AP in our free time, but during these set hours we use "traditional" or mainstream discipline methods.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kathymuggle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15436807"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Playing devils advocate here: what if a child chooses to go to school - and could choose to leave? Taking it further - what if a child could choose whether to do the assignments or not?</div>
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I think choosing to leave is called "cutting" and not doing assignments is called "failing" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
But seriously, I have friends who unschooled who have kids who have chosen to go to school--sometimes short-term, other times not. It's a grey area to me, in that the philosophy is the same--the kids wanted to try it out, the parents were supportive, the kids retained their freedom of choice, etc.<br><br>
But, I still wouldn't call it unschooling. Maybe "schooling by choice" or something.
 

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OP, I guess the underlying question is why do you want to call your non-school time unschooling?<br><br>
It sounds like you do child-directed extracurricular activities. Why not just say that?
 

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I just have to say, I have been chuckling all morning about a t-shirt slogan that came into my mind that really tickles my funny bone for it's obscure inside joke:<br><br>
"Unschooling: You will never catch <b><i>me</i></b> doing it!"<br><br>
OK... here is another point to ponder- (and I'm still clarifying that I do not represent all unschoolers nor do I want to sound critical of your decision to have your children in school- I am not pushing an agenda here!)... but there is a mode of thought that's pretty common- that traditional schooling is counter productive in the grand scheme of things... that the method (not the actual information) can harm a child's intellectual growth. For example- teaching the belief that only teaching experts know best, or using rewards/grades for motivation reduces the desire to learn for the joy of learning itself... that cursed question, "Will this be on the test?"<br>
So, the act of simply walking out the door of the school building does not suddenly free children from all the indoctrination of traditional schooling. In fact- there is a word for this situation in homeschool circles as there is often a long period of time that children and parents need in order to overcome the learned school attitudes- it's called "deschooling" and it doesn't happen during the course of a schoolbus ride home.<br><br><a href="http://www.sandradodd.com/deschooling" target="_blank">http://www.sandradodd.com/deschooling</a><br><br>
There have been a few analogies tossed out... what if we considered vaxing? The time invested in vaccinating your kids- is next to nothing... but when your children are not actually being vaccinated- are you a non-vaxing family? or is the effect of the small amount of time vaccinating still present?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bits and bobs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15436578"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">People can work part or full time, why not unschool part-time [and in fact it would be way more unschooling than formal schooling]</div>
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But someone who has a job is not unemployed on her days off. Why does it matter to you whether the term applies to you?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kathymuggle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15436807"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Playing devils advocate here: what if a child chooses to go to school - and could choose to leave? Taking it further - what if a child could choose whether to do the assignments or not?</div>
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This is actually one of the reasons I realized unschooling was the best fit for our family. I could not imagine making my child complete assignments or telling her she couldn't skip school.<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;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Sarah</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15437007"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">"Unschooling: You will never catch <b><i>me</i></b> doing it!"</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SagMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15436417"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">To me, it's like someone saying they are vegetarian. A basic, generally-accepted definition of that is that they don't eat meat.</div>
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Overheard in the cafeteria line in high school "I'll just have the chicken because I'm vegetarian." And I've been offered chicken because I'm vegetarian. And had people tell me that they thought it was vegans who don't eat meat.<br><br>
In fact, the popularity of vegetarianism leading to all kinds of people wanting the label without the lifestyle, has been a real PITA.<br><br>
Bits and bobs, you aren't unschooling. Period. That doesn't make you a bad person, that doesn't mean you need to change your life, it's just a simple matter of fact.<br><br>
ETA: My friend has 3 kids. As she describes it, her eldest has chosen to go to high school, her 10 year old is unschooling, and her youngest is a toddler. (rant#2, "homeschooling" a toddler, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/censored.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="censored">: society.)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sapphire_chan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15437143"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Overheard in the cafeteria line in high school "I'll just have the chicken because I'm vegetarian." And I've been offered chicken because I'm vegetarian. And had people tell me that they thought it was vegans who don't eat meat.<br><br>
In fact, the popularity of vegetarianism leading to all kinds of people wanting the label without the lifestyle, has been a real PITA.<br><br>
Bits and bobs, you aren't unschooling. Period. That doesn't make you a bad person, that doesn't mean you need to change your life, it's just a simple matter of fact.</div>
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This.<br><br>
I think that wanting the label while still having kids in school is just evidence of misunderstanding what unschooling is. It isn't simply baking and going to the library. It is a deep-seeded belief that learning can not be imposed and when it is attempted to do so it infringes upon ALL learning, not just the learning taking place in that moment.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Bits and bobs, you aren't unschooling. Period. That doesn't make you a bad person, that doesn't mean you need to change your life, it's just a simple matter of fact.</td>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I agree, there's no way you are really an unschooler. I mean, sure some "unschooled" kids do take classes when they decide to - and I would still label them unschoolers if that's what they preferred (though really, does it matter what they are called/seen as?).<br><br>
But, going to school full-time (or even part-time in the case of half-day kindergarten), is not unschooling. That's schooling. I happen to believe in unschooling, and there was a time when I considered us as unschoolers (my DD was homeschooled - but without a curriculum for this period of time). But, my kids are now in a Montessori program, which is as close to an unschool-y philosophy as we can get, IMO (besides democratic/sudbury/free-schools, which we don't have here), and they are free to do what they please and follow their interests when they are home - including playing video games and sleeping in <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> - but that still doesn't make them "unschoolers". That's just how we parent. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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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>bits and bobs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15436338"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My kids are in school for 6.5 hours/day about 200 days/year. It's about 1250 hours a year inc instruction, breaks etc.<br><br>
The rest of the time I'm with them I feel we follow an unschooling model. We let our kids' interests lead them [and us]. We cook, play board games, hang out, they interact in the wider community, we go to the library, on holidays etc.<br><br>
Is there an issue for unschoolers who do it full time with people like me feeling I can do it part-time?</div>
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I'm not an unschooler, but it would certainly raise an eyebrow with me if you called yourself an unschooler because you cook, play, hang out, leave the house, go to the library, and go on vacations. I think that's what normal families do, whether they unschool or not. I agree that it's like the vegetarian situation mentioned above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
"It stops being unschooling when the child has to follow someone else's directives on what, when and how to learn."<br><br>
Does it depend on the activity then? If an unschooled child was heavily into gymnastics by their own choice and was training in a class 4+ hours/day because they harboured desires to compete and then the rest of them time was their own time, would they still be conosdered unschooling? That gymnastics training is being conducted by by an expert who would be telling them what to do.<br><br>
Interesting to read all the replies, thanks.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bits and bobs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15438195"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">"It stops being unschooling when the child has to follow someone else's directives on what, when and how to learn."<br><br>
Does it depend on the activity then? If an unschooled child was heavily into gymnastics by their own choice and was training in a class 4+ hours/day because they harboured desires to compete and then the rest of them time was their own time, would they still be conosdered unschooling? That gymnastics training is being conducted by by an expert who would be telling them what to do.<br><br>
Interesting to read all the replies, thanks.</div>
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Note that the other poster said it stops being unschooling when a child <i>has to</i> follow someone else's directives. Unschoolers can definitely utilize schools and teachers....but they <b>choose to</b> (not <i>have to</i>).<br><br>
Unschooling is not about shunning teachers, books, and classrooms. It's about understanding that those are some of the ways people learn, and having the freedom to choose how to learn. For instance, you can learn about woodworking from a book, video, instructor, or explore and figure it out on your own. All are valid ways to learn; unschoolers get to <span style="text-decoration:underline;">pick</span> how they want to do it.
 
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