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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering homeschooling, plan to try over the summer. Then I read there is something called unschooling. Can someone tell me the difference or direct me to a book that would tell me.<br><br>
I am just beginning my research and am not even sure that I will continue once Sept rolls around, but I do think both my sons could benefit from it.<br><br>
Thank you inadvance for any info
 

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If you search this forum there are lots of threads on unschooling. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Basically, unschooling is a philosophy of homeschooling. Unschoolers don't require that their children do any academic learning ("schooling") - reading, studying the American Revolution, adding fractions, whatever. It's more then not using a traditional curriculum - a parent who orally quizzes a child on math facts when the child would prefer to be out playing fairies isn't unschooling, but an unschooling parent might offer a child an alegebra textbook if the child said she wanted to learn algebra. It's about who is making the educational decisions - the parent or the child.<br><br>
Unschoolers are often far above or far below traditionally schooled kids in various academic skills. Often they find their passion and immerse themselves in it.<br><br>
Unschooling parents model lifelong learning, tell their children about events or resources they think the child might want, answer questions, and generally help their child as he creates his path, to the degree that he wants help.<br><br>
Dar
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dar. Very interesting, and sound very freeing for the child. My question is how would a child who is unschooled then say apply to college if that is what they want? I think homeschoolers take tests at different levels right? Therefore telling what "grade" they are in, how would you do that with a child that was unschooled?
 

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There are others here who are much more knowledgeable than I on this topic, and I'm sure they'll come along shortly, but I'll take a shot:<br><br>
Unschoolers have gotten into all of the big name Ivy League schools, and hundreds of other colleges/universities as well. There are a variety of ways in which unschoolers choose to ready themselves for college admission including (but not limited to) using textbooks, and finding adults to help them gain the prerequisite knowledge they will need to apply to the colleges of their choice. Many unschoolers are immersed in fields of study in the arts, sciences, agriculture, business, computers, engineering, etc. and often are able to parlay these real life experiences into a unique portfolio which admissions officers are impressed by.<br><br>
A woman named Cafi Cohen has a website and has published books on the very subject of homeschoolers and unschoolers getting into college. I don't remember the website name, but if you type "Cafi Cohen Homeschool" into google, it will come up.<br><br>
As far as testing at different levels, that depends upon which state you live in. In California, the state where I live, there are no required tests for homeschoolers ever. In New York, and Pennsylvania, for example, there are required tests at 3 or 4 different grade levels.<br><br>
What state do you live in?<br><br>
Laura <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Also, a lot of unschoolers I know have started taking classes that interest them at the community college level as teens or preteens, so when they want to attend a 4 yr college they already have a college transcript.<br><br>
And even in states that require testing of homeschoolers, there are very different rules regarding the tests. Some just require that the test be given at certain intervals, but not that the scores be shown to anyone in authority. Some require scores be submiited, but there's no penalty for low scores. Only a few have tetsing laws with actual "teeth"... and one can always so things like have your child "skip" whatever grades the state requires testing during, or enrolling with an unschooling-friendly umbrella school like Clonlara, so your child, according to state, becomes a private school student and not a homeschooler.<br><br>
Wes Beach has some good stuff to say on the subject, too.<br><br>
Dar
 

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Read anything by John Holt and you will know what unschooling is.<br><br>
Basically, it is an unstructured learning experience for a child; their natural instincts for knowledge are satisfied by using the world as a classroom. No curriculum needed.<br><br>
I believe it is a term that was invented by his educational movement.<br><br>
In his books, he makes a distinction between a "school" and a "School"; one term describes a building and the other term describes a frame of mind in which learning takes place.<br><br>
It has been years since I read his books, and do not recall all of the particulars, but that is the gist of his writing. He wrote many, many books and he was very innovative in his thinking and stance on public education.<br><br>
Sudbury schools can be described as a "structured unschooling" School.
 

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We don't unschool, we do 'ecclectic' schooling which means whatever we want but we have some structure. We have lots of friends who unschool though (and their kids are as bright as any) and here in Oregon, which requires testing in the third, fifth, eighth and eleventh (I think) alot of the unschoolers we know just don't register their kids with the local ESD. So basically, they don't exist as far as the state is concerned. So they skip the testing alltogether. There aren't alot of consequences for neglecting to register here and testing isn't really enforced, although that may change now...it seems the legislature is flirting with some new homeschooling restrictions. One thing I would mention--at risk of being totally flamed here--is that it seems to me that not all children thrive with unschooling. Many do, but some do not. I often hear from unschoolers that unschooling is the <span style="color:#008000;">only</span> way for children to learn, and I just don't think that's true. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: Check out as many different styles as possible, and don't be afraid to switch gears half way through the school year if you find something that works. There's a book I really liked...I think it was called "A Patchwork of Days" or something like that. It was 'a day in the life of' like 30 families who all schooled differently. I found it to be very helpful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks ladies I am going to look in to the books that you recommended. I live in Nh btw. I will also look into their laws. I am involved with the theater and alot of the kids the perform are homeschoolers, so I am sure I can get info from their parents as well. Thanks for all the wonderful info
 

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I'm in Nh also (see user name-duh)<br>
Anyway my babe is still very young but unschooling is the life we've chosen to give him.<br>
Nh does require a show of progress each year, but it doesn't have to be a standard test, you can do a portfolio. That's what we plan to do.<br>
Go to unschooling.com, there is lots to read and ponder there, articles and message boards. That will also help give you an idea of the philosophy behind it and examples of real peoples lives, as well as ways to deal with state requirements.<br>
HTH<br>
-Sarah
 

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Hi there! I am totally brand new to these forums, but I thought I would jump right in.<br><br>
My family unschools. The children are 10, and almost 13. I agree with how unschooling has already been described. It's nice to hear other families thoughts. For us, unschooling is a learner-led approach as opposed to teacher/adult directed. My children have no mandatory lessons, grades, schedules, or assignments. We are in Oregon, and so we take the required tests in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10 (daughter tested last year, and both children will test next year) We do not agree with testing, but we do so to keep the state from getting any further into our business lol. The children have the choice to study for the test or not. Last year my daughter scanned the type of material that would be on her test, and then had nothing else to do with it until her test date. The scores do not matter to us.<br><br>
Unschooling teens can get a GED at the age of 16, and then go on to a community college. This is what both of mine plan to do. Many colleges are embracing homeschoolers/unschoolers with open arms these days. In fact, in my area the community college will admit junior and high students for classes on occasion and depending on the instructor. Children are so open to new things and they are naturally curious. As unschoolers, we believe that learning happens naturally because of the built-in human desire to know more. We don't seperate things into "educational" or "not educational". Life is learning is life <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Kristi <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Hi UnschoolnMa,<br><br>
Welcome to MDC! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Welcome.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="welcome"><br><br>
I have heard that the GED can be seen as a stigma since it is often associated with the concept of hgh school "dropout." I don't personally believe in the concept of dropout, but I was wondering if you'd heard this, or if the GED is a requirement for community college in Oregon if you haven't received a high school diploma?<br><br>
Laura <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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My mom has a GED, and she has felt discriminated over it. I've also heard that there is a branch of the military (Marines?) that won't accept a GED. However, they do accept a homeschool 'diploma' as do most employers. The moms I know with college age kids tend to do diplomas at home, and often keep transcripts as well.
 

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I have a GED, but I also have a BA so it never seems to matter...<br><br>
In California, kids can take the California High School Profiency Exam, which is equal to a diploma in every way (until the GED). I know many hsers who've taken it, and none who've taken the GED.<br><br>
That said, usually there's no reason to take either. To apply to colleges, you can make your own homeschool diploma and portfolio (or grades, if you prefer) and take the ACT or SAT. Or you can go the community college route - maybe Oregon is different, but in both California and Arizona there's no minimum age to take the classes, you just need the "school" to sign off that the child is able to benefit from the classes, and a GED is not necessary at all. Many traditional high school students also take classes at the community colleges.<br><br>
Dar
 

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<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>Openskyheart</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hi UnschoolnMa,<br><br>
Welcome to MDC! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Welcome.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="welcome"><br><br>
I have heard that the GED can be seen as a stigma since it is often associated with the concept of hgh school "dropout." I don't personally believe in the concept of dropout, but I was wondering if you'd heard this, or if the GED is a requirement for community college in Oregon if you haven't received a high school diploma?<br><br>
Laura <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Well I had a reply all typed out and it vanished on me! Thanks for the welcome. In Oregon I do believe that a GED or diploma is required most colleges (I know our local community college requires it) We told the kids that they could get a diploma from us, or they could do the GED. They say they will go for the GED, but who knows what might happen later.<br><br>
I got my GED when I was 17 (I think?) I never heard any disparaging remarks over it. But yes, I have heard some other folks say they were regarded as drop outs for having one. How silly. I helped my kids drop out of elementary school, LOL.
 

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Here's one cc in Oregon that clearly accepts all sorts of folks without a GED or diploma:<br><a href="https://web.cocc.edu/application/index.html" target="_blank">https://web.cocc.edu/application/index.html</a><br><br>
Sometimes, when you get an inconvenient answer, it helps to ask someone else, or ask differently. If Rain follows through on her plan to start classes the fall she's 13 (free dance classes! yeah!) I'll say she's a high school student, even though age-wise she'd be an 8th grader. She skipped a grade, yeah, that's it...<br><br>
dar
 

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Cool Dar,<br><br>
I'd had some trouble pulling up COCC's website a bit, but did talk to someone. It's wonderful that they accept those without a GED or a diploma. The more colleges that do that the better! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Kristi
 

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Thanks <b>Dar</b> and <b>Kristi</b>!<br><br>
I'm a "drop out" too! YAY for us drop outs! I took the California High School Proficiency Exam at the end of my Junior year. I attended my Senior year, uh...kinda.<br><br>
Anyway, I have a Master's degree, so the high school graduation/drop out question is moot in my case as well. Now that we've been having this conversation, I do remember my high school counselor recommending that I take the CHSP Exam rather than the GED because the CHSP tested to a higher standard and didn't have the stigma of the GED. Whatever.<br><br><b>Dar</b> said:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">That said, usually there's no reason to take either. To apply to colleges, you can make your own homeschool diploma and portfolio (or grades, if you prefer) and take the ACT or SAT. Or you can go the community college route - maybe Oregon is different, but in both California and Arizona there's no minimum age to take the classes, you just need the "school" to sign off that the child is able to benefit from the classes, and a GED is not necessary at all. Many traditional high school students also take classes at the community colleges.</td>
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Thanks for confirming this information. I hope to steer my kids in the no test direction if they want to go to college. Of course, if they have a burning desire to take the CHSP Exam, or GED, well...O.K. LOL!<br><br><br><b>Kristi</b> said:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I got my GED when I was 17 (I think?) I never heard any disparaging remarks over it. But yes, I have heard some other folks say they were regarded as drop outs for having one. How silly. I helped my kids drop out of elementary school, LOL.</td>
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Silly indeed. My kids dropped out of elementary school too - each during their respective 2nd grade years. YAY for dropping out of school, and dropping into a joyful and creative life.<br><br>
And I know I'm ramblin' on (as usual!), but I just wanted to say to <b>Dar</b> - thank you for respectfully describing your unschooling life month after month, year after year on this list. The unschoolers on this list (and I would name all of them, but I don't want to inadvertantly leave anyone out) more than anywhere else have been such a fantastic influence on me. I thank you, and my children thank you.<br><br>
Love,<br>
Laura <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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