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Thread: Unschooling

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    Amazing Spambot! Cloudblue's Avatar
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    Default Unschooling

    What do you think about unschooling?
    I heard about the topic on good morning america and researched it a bit. I think its kind of weird and un-orthodox in my opinion, but some who do go through it have successful lives:
    Unschooling - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I also came arcoss something called a ¨Subury school¨, another non-traditional way of learning:
    Sudbury school - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Education: Class Dismissed | Psychology Today

    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...
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    It's interesting, but I'm against it. I think every child of reasonable intelligence needs to learn some basic facts (math, history, science, grammar) that may not fall within their range of personal interests or hands-on experience.

    I think the idea of giving children more space to learn and grow is great. I mean, I like the idea of giving children more of a choice of what they'd like to learn, and allowing more room for creativity. If I ever became a teacher I'd want to teach at an alternative school. Children can be "over schooled" or over-scheduled and over-structured IMO.

    That being said, I know in my personal experience being taught what I didn't initially have interest in has enriched my life and opened my mind. I also think it's necessary for character traits such as discipline.

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    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    I'm an unschooling parent. The experience has been great for our son and has given us the opportunity to learn so much about him that perhaps we otherwise wouldn't know. At this point, he's about one to two grade levels ahead of his peers without any formal schooling. My hope is that he continues to be intrinsically motivated as far as learning is concerned. So far, so very good.
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    Senior Member ObeyBunny's Avatar
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    If you do it, your kids will be extreemly well versed in what ever they happen to be unschooling in (studying.)

    However, your kids will either need to be self driven or you need to keep them from goofing off.

    Overall, it's a good practice. It's almost like constantly doing resurch for a paper.
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    I'm unsure about it, a lot of the arguments of Ivan Illich and educational sociologists about hidden curriculums and secondary socialisation are very good but I'm also conscious that I'm saying that as an adult who has been through the education system and not neglected.

    Its very important that a real serious self-assessmet preceeds any decision to deschool, unschool or homeschool kids, teachers, even if they are not good or demotivated or less competent generally have years of training and are teaching what has been identified as their specialism, ie maths, english, history, and surely some of that is retained, at least for a while (and in good schools refreshed). By division of labour and competence some schools are superior to homeschooling, unschooling, deschooling.

    The UK is haunted still by a lot of radical left-wing experiments which came prior to the eighties reaction which put Thatcher in power, I remember watching on documentary in which past pupils reminisced about taking years to catch up in reading, maths, even social competence (teachers prioritised teaching kids about resisting authority but also permitted the kids to build improvised cross bows and the like in wood shop, a hierarchy of thuggish kids seized control within the group of pupils itself).

    The US is different when I think of how it works, successfully, with real diverse, divergent communities, for instance the Amish, intentional communities, with their own schools and home schooling, I can see how its definitely very different. I just hope that anyone who undertakes unschooling is treating their own kids needs as paramount, competent themselves and not placing their kids at a disadvantage to satisfy their private ideologies about schools being concentration camps, brainwashers etc. (I've seen some freaky episodes of wife swap US which would make me think this happens).

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    part of me likes it a lot because i find schools too structured at times, however there are things that i believe a child needs to know about coping in the real world and having them home isn't really imo allowing them to have those experiences. also, i want our children to go to college and i'm not sure if unschooling them is going to be helpful academically. so pros and cons for me but for those who are doing this, enjoy!
    Time is a delicate mistress.

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    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almost rosey View Post
    part of me likes it a lot because i find schools too structured at times, however there are things that i believe a child needs to know about coping in the real world and having them home isn't really imo allowing them to have those experiences. also, i want our children to go to college and i'm not sure if unschooling them is going to be helpful academically. so pros and cons for me but for those who are doing this, enjoy!
    Those were some of our concerns as well, but they've been largely eliminated in the process. That's not to say that we never get anxious about anything though. Depending on what we're considering to be real about the world, homeschooling, and unschooling in particular, can offer much more in the way of positive worldly exposure than so many of our schools. It's definitely not for every family though. Many unschooling children take college courses in their pre-teens and teens, so getting into an institution of higher learning is rarely an issue for those who want to go. Many colleges require that unschoolers write a thesis or present a portfolio.
    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.

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I just can't imagine that I would have learned hardly any math if I hadn't had to. Maybe I don't understand how it works.
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    unscannable Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I just can't imagine that I would have learned hardly any math if I hadn't had to. Maybe I don't understand how it works.
    same here. if i asked my kids what they wanted to study, they'd say mario.

    also if i had the kids home with me and we went on learning trips all the time, i'd get nothing done at home. mainly because i am a disorganized mess and their school keeps me on a schedule. but again, i'm not knocking it, just not for me. i "unschooled" our son for a year because i was getting nowhere with his base school and we had fun, but he's behind in math now because we were going on too many "educational" field trips. also i hate math so it wasn't like i was chomping at the bit to teach it to him.

    edit: i'll never say never though. it's nice to have options.
    Time is a delicate mistress.

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    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    Math anxiety is very often the result of a poor fit between the teacher and the child. The majority of children who have yet to reach school age have an intense interest in quantity, time, scale, and size. Many children develop anxieties when these natural interest become subjects to be learned, and when their focus on quantity transforms into a graded competition with their peers, and/or a desire to win approval through grades and stickers from their parents and teachers.

    Math is not a subject in an unschooling home. Numbers are not extracted and isolated from the real world. I hated math growing up, but I didn't have number anxiety, nor was I averse to learning. This is what seems to be the case with far too many kids. Many children who do poorly in school crave knowledge. They want to be able to know and apply what they know; yet, they are often confused by teaching methodologies and distracted by their peers and the promise of rewards and punishments for their performance.

    Toddlers can understand that two chocolate bars are more desirable than one, or that 30-minutes is equal to one episode of Diego. I'm sure we've all heard the universal preschool demand for "Just five more minutes". They understand numbers. It's math that can confuse and frustrate, and the onslaught of homework often makes matters worse. After hours of being away from each other, so many parents and children spend their evenings fighting over homework and school rather than bonding over education and learning experiences. By the time many children are pre-teens, and sometimes before, they've come to associate learning with stress, pain, and punishment.
    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.

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