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Thread: Unschooling

  1. #11
    unscannable Tigerlily's Avatar
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    well said. i've spent too much time and negative emotions, fussing at our daughter in regards to math, because her teacher has a stick up her ass. my daughter is zoning out in math because she doesn't want to learn it. the teacher is likely frustrated because she is being ignored (lol) and whining to me about it. i was going to have a neighbor who is a tutor stop by and work with "binks" but my husband flipped out because he thinks that's ridiculous and that they teacher needs to do her job properly. so yeah you're right, just look at all the time and energy that's been wasted fussing over math.

    i also hate homework. my take on it is that if the kids aren't "getting it" at school, then the teacher needs to work on her delivery. it makes no sense to me that they want to drill what they're learning into their brains, but then some kids get over three months off in the summer? btw our kids go to year round school (school 9 weeks then 3 weeks off) which i like. in any case i don't care how much math they try to cram down our kids throats, if they don't like math, it won't matter.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member ObeyBunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloudblue View Post
    What do you think about unschooling?
    I heard about the topic on good morning america and researched it a bit.

    So what are your opinions about it?, its very interesting. Hell, I would like to go to one of these subury schools for a day or two myself...
    If you're thinking about homeschool, then by all means, go out and try it. If you're not sure if you can teach your kids and you're worried that a teacher employed in a regular school would be able to do a better job, then try homeschooling (unschooling) your kids during summer vacation. See how receptive they are, see how well you teach.

    Benefits:
    1. You know exactly how they got that -D in (---subject name---)
      -
    2. You can teach the skills that you think are important (like programming/ gardening/ analyzing the talking points of a televised debate), and make only passing mentions at some of the fluffy/ bullshit subjects that kids are being forced to take (like music and literature[which don’t help your kid much in the future])
      -
    3. Your kids are not likely to pick up bad language from their peers
      -
    4. You can change your curriculum to go as fast or slow as you want.
      -
    5. You can take the time to teach each subject- no rushing though all of them at once like in regular school. Your kid may read at a 8th grade level but write essays at a 5th grade level.



    One way you can get some decent information about any subject you’re interested in is to find a professional who works in that field and ask them if your kid could interview that person. (Want to know all about gardening? Write a letter to a farmer and ask if your kid can ask some questions.)


    In all honesty, I'm a avid supporter of Homeschooling. You could probobly tell, couldn't you?
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    A: "Distilled liquor"

    Q: "If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?"
    A: "Between a starving prostitute and a steak sandwich."

    Q:How would a mathematician capture an elephant?
    A:He would build a cage, step inside, and rename his new location as "outside."

  3. #13
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloudblue View Post
    What do you think about unschooling?
    With the invention of the printing press in 1440 came the dream of universal literacy. And this was achieved by universal compulsory schooling.

    But with the invention of the electric telegraph in 1840, followed by the radio, the telephone, the television and now the internet came the dream of the school-without-walls. For children learn to use the radio, the telephone, the television and the internet naturally at home without needing to go to school.

    However with the school-without-walls we also get the brothel-without-walls and the jihad-without-walls.

    The walls have come down and everything is up for grabs. Where it will end up, who knows?

  4. #14
    One day and the next Rainne's Avatar
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    I find you learn more about social interaction (ex: making friends, networking, how to act in an organized institution, clubs, team sports), than actual content.
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  5. #15
    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almost rosey View Post
    well said. i've spent too much time and negative emotions, fussing at our daughter in regards to math, because her teacher has a stick up her ass. my daughter is zoning out in math because she doesn't want to learn it. the teacher is likely frustrated because she is being ignored (lol) and whining to me about it. i was going to have a neighbor who is a tutor stop by and work with "binks" but my husband flipped out because he thinks that's ridiculous and that they teacher needs to do her job properly. so yeah you're right, just look at all the time and energy that's been wasted fussing over math.
    I'm sorry to hear that. It's unfortunate that your situation is far too common. Your daughter and her teacher are likely doing the best they know how with the limited tools and time available to them in the classroom. What are her problem areas specifically?

    Quote Originally Posted by almost rosey View Post
    i also hate homework. my take on it is that if the kids aren't "getting it" at school, then the teacher needs to work on her delivery. it makes no sense to me that they want to drill what they're learning into their brains, but then some kids get over three months off in the summer? btw our kids go to year round school (school 9 weeks then 3 weeks off) which i like. in any case i don't care how much math they try to cram down our kids throats, if they don't like math, it won't matter.
    I fully agree with the bolded.

    The most basic mathematical concepts taught in schools can be learned in just a few minutes a day. The average student doesn't need 15-years in school plus nightly homework in order to learn high school level computations. My biggest issue with homework is that it distracts so many children from their natural desire to accumulate and apply knowledge, often causes distress within families, and hasn't been shown to be of much benefit. For the children who find school difficult, homework is essentially working overtime without pay, and it's no wonder that they feel frustrated. Who wants to work overtime without appreciation and compensation for their efforts? Parents often feel angry and exhausted after getting out from work and having to come home to argue with their children about a multitude of assignments which are soon to be due. And of course, many teachers also find homework to be an exhausting and unpleasant part of their jobs. Barring any negative emotions associated with the learning process, most subject matter taught in schools can be learned in half the amount of years that is taken to teach it, and, the information much better retained by focusing on the concepts as they present themselves outside of the box which is school. The newly available time could be spent helping to foster emotional intelligence and a development of responsibility to community and self by allowing them to actively engage and participate in their world.
    There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.

  6. #16
    Member Kymlee's Avatar
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    this is very interesting. I am not a parent, yet, but I never really thought much about schooling. I think that personally, I learned so much more about life from just living it, versus the actual education. I think the only qualm I would have would be the fact that the child isn't getting interaction with other children, and isn't learning how to deal with different personality dynamics. This is very important to social growth and being adaptable to one's surroundings. Also, the fact is that basic schooling is necessary for one to "succeed" in life, as in, you need a high school diploma or GED to get most jobs. Not that I agree that this is right, but it is the way the world is.

    So aside from those two inconveniences, I would probably say Yay to Unschooling. It sounds like a much better alternative, and would allow a child to develop and make their own choices in life, not the ones society tells us we must make... Anyone have any suggestions about the two cons I mentioned?

    Thanks for posting this topic, I'm actually very interested in this idea (which is totally new to me btw, never heard of it until today)

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  7. #17
    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    Kymlee, in my experience, unschooling children have far better socialization experiences than schooled children. Rather than be limited to the rather odd single aged classroom environment, they have the opportunity to interact with people of a variety of ages throughout the day. Many people decide to unschool exactly because they realize how inevitable and necessary socialization is. They believe that too many schools offer the bare minimum in adequate and positive socialization, and that they can support more diverse, positive, real life experiences without the often negative socialization that occurs in schools; negative socialization which frequently distracts from learning.

    On the other hand, I don't know too many fully unschooled children. The decision to unschool can feel risky and occasionally unnerving. As a result, I know a good deal of homeschooled children, but unschoolers are much harder to find. I can't imagine unschooling in an environment that wasn't rich with human and environmental resources. Our son attends bi-weekly swimming lessons and plays baseball with the little league team. We live in a tightly knit family oriented neighborhood, so he has lots of friends nearby of many ages that he plays with throughout the day. Right now he's at the park with one of his best friends, and they're playing their little hearts out.

    Most reputable universities have made it possible, and relatively easy, for homeschoolers(including unschoolers) to get into school. It's often the case that homeschooled and unschooled children perform better in higher education than their schooled peers, perhaps feeling more responsible for their education and less vulnerable to peer pressure.
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  8. #18
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charmed Justice View Post
    The most basic mathematical concepts taught in schools can be learned in just a few minutes a day.
    I agree with this, emphatically, and feel like this about all the school subjects.

    Unschooling is tricky though, because it's unlikely your child will spend a few minutes every day accumulating and practicing all the math principles they would learn if they did. If they did do this every day, it's doubtful they'd be unschooling.

    So what you have is a child who unschools is a child who can be very mature and life skilled in many areas that school children are not, but who might lag behind in areas that need more rote learning, memorization, or applied principles that layer one on top of another, like math or grammar or history, etc. If your child is going to continue in an analogous lifestyle they are brought up with; i.e. not going to university or pursuing a highly intellectual career where these skills might be needed, or where the lack of these skills isn't noticed, then more power to that child to have a life of personal expression and self autonomy.

    However, if the child IS going to enter the system either regarding university or some sort of highly specialized field, then they will be at a disadvantage in those subjects, and it will be incumbent on them to 'catch up,' which, by that time, can be not only stressful, but nearly impossible if you are talking about years of missed education. Personally, I don't think it's worth the gamble to my child to do that, because who knows what path a child's life will take, and making that decision for them can have serious consequences.

    I started out uncshooling my oldest child, and really didn't get serious with his education until he was around 5th or 6th grade. By then it was hard to make him commit to schoolwork, mainly math, because he had been basically free to learn whatever he wanted, which didn't include daily math. When he started junior college at 16, he was deficient in math, which affected his self-esteem quite a bit for a while. He had to take a fairly remedial course for him, considering he was in the upper percentiles for reading and writing. We just all thought he wasn't that smart at math. Come to find out, now that he's 'caught up' in math, he's actually quite gifted in it, and it's very easy for him, compared to other students. We had made a false assumption--all of us, including him--all those years we let him slide by, thinking comprehensive math skills were not worth fighting over or doing every day. He is not happy that he went through that, and now prefers to have had a more traditional education, especially as it regards schoolwork and accountability.

    I think unschooling works for a while, then as a child grows, he needs to spend more and more time building an educational foundation. For example, spending a few minutes with a 5 year old talking about letters, a bit longer in 1st grade incorporating numbers, and so one until they are schooling a few hours per day in the middle school/high school years.
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  9. #19
    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    You raise legitimate concerns for any family considering unschooling. In fact, many of the issues you've brought up are arguments against homeschooling in general. There's always a lingering question of whether or not children are getting enough when they are beyond the confines of school or the schooled approach.

    I started out uncshooling my oldest child, and really didn't get serious with his education until he was around 5th or 6th grade.
    The unschoolers I know are obsessed with the concept of education. They take it quite seriously; and in fact, most have dedicated their lives to ensuring that their children get a diversity of exposure and the widest range of information that they can integrate and apply into their lives, and those around them, as healthy, motivated, and resourceful people. In unschooling, learning is living and living is learning. It's quite a serious undertaking for everyone involved. Unschoolers live and breath education as a natural part of life.

    He is not happy that he went through that, and now prefers to have had a more traditional education, especially as it regards schoolwork and accountability.
    Indeed, an unschooled child is not promised a life or an environment free from the every day stresses and challenges of being human and growing into greatness. Ultimately, I think responding to the needs of the learner to be more important than sticking to any particular method of (un)schooling. It sounds like he's benefiting from things as they are now, which is awesome!

    The idea of "falling behind" and "catching up" academically is rather foreign to unschooling, as learning is not approached as a competition or race to be won. That is not to say that an unschooled child is in the dark about the competitive environment around them, just simply that they are not required to respond to the nature of said environment in regards to their learning. At the same time, many unschooled children enjoy academic competition, and make a point to participate in win-lose activities. Unschooling families will look very different from one another, as each family is responding to the needs of the members. What prompted your decision to school your son after having unschooled him for most of his youth?



    I think unschooling works for a while, then as a child grows, he needs to spend more and more time building an educational foundation. For example, spending a few minutes with a 5 year old talking about letters, a bit longer in 1st grade incorporating numbers, and so one until they are schooling a few hours per day in the middle school/high school years.
    My son and I spend all day long talking about letters, numbers, shapes, sizes, quantities, and whatnot. We don't necessarily sit down at a table and do those things though, and there's no pressure or requirement that we do them either. It's simply inevitable. For example, when I'm driving, he reads the signs for me("math" and "reading"); when we cook, he measures the quantities("math" and "reading" with a bit of "home ec"); when he plays video games, he has to read the prompts and recognize the total points that he's earned("math" and "reading"); when we go to the store, he brings his own money that he's decided to save("socialization", "accountability", "responsibility"), determines what he can buy by looking at the prices("math" and "responsible decision making"), and pays for his goods at the register("socialization" and "math"). We do those types of things throughout the day. He couldn't tell you what to term it because it's just everyday fun as far as he's concerned, and it is. Every other day, he eagerly assigns himself "homework" out of a curriculum book that we picked out at The School Box. As far as he's concerned, the activities, which are labeled by "grade level", are just games-and they are.

    Some parents practice neglect and call it unschooling. They feed their children a diet of water and wheatgrass, expect next to nothing of anyone or anything, and then appear on shows like Wife Swap. Fortunately, I've never met those types.


    Schooling may or may not prepare a child for what they need to know in order to contribute to society and live a fulfilled life. Many people obtain a high school diploma, college degree, and thousands of dollars in debt, only to later discover that they're interested in becoming something that they've never considered until after the fact. At that point, if they seriously want to obtain their new found goals, they must start at the bottom and work their way up. How many of us know people who have graduated from college and never used their degree? It's quite common. You've always gotta start somewhere. A strong will and spirit combined with confident resourcefulness will carry those of even average intelligence towards their goals and missions if they have the courage to go after their calling. The philosophical idea behind unschooling is learning is an endless and inevitable process; and, that information is best retained, applied, and respected when the learner is expected to take primary responsibility for what he/she knows and desires to know. I definitely don't believe unschooling to be a good fit for every family, but for many, it is indeed the best and most satisfying way to go.
    There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.

  10. #20
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    Parents adore their children, but school teachers don't adore their pupils, anymore than the peer group adore their peers.

    So home schooling is more about adoration than education.

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