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Unschooling? (I'm confused)

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Based on what I have read in various places, and heard from various people....."unschooling" is basically homeschooling without structure.  No workbooks, assignments, tests etc.  It also is a child-driven method (from my understanding).  Meaning that the student picks and choses what they want to learn and when, and how, with little to no parental guidance. 

Is this a correct understanding of unschooling? 

by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:56 PM
Replies (11-20):
KickButtMama
by Shannon on Jan. 27, 2013 at 9:58 AM

I dislike the term Unschooling because it most often conjures the idea of Non-schooling. We instead do Cild-Led Learning. 

You can read exactly what that means at my blog post - http://kickbuttcrazylapbooks.blogspot.com/2012/04/defining-our-homeschool.html?m=1

 Home Educators Toolbox  / Articles / Kicbuttmama's Crazy Lapbooks / Kickbuttmama's Home Education
Albert Einstein -- 
   "Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid." 

MommyTo5Boys
by New Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Wow! that is awesome, got room for a NY'er down there, I hate NY's laws!! 

Quoting usmom3:

Not in all states! Here in Texas we don't have to do any testing or reporting to anyone ever!

Quoting MommyTo5Boys:

But don't they still have to take yearly tests from the school district to prove that they are learning and you are teaching them? I know that is how it is here in NY anyway.





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MommyTo5Boys
by New Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Do the kids still earn a high school diploma then, or how does that work?

Quoting usmom3:

Not in all states! Here in Texas we don't have to do any testing or reporting to anyone ever!

Quoting MommyTo5Boys:

But don't they still have to take yearly tests from the school district to prove that they are learning and you are teaching them? I know that is how it is here in NY anyway.



elzingah36
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 10:21 AM
The same in Michigan as well(no yearly testing or reporting).

Quoting usmom3:

Not in all states! Here in Texas we don't have to do any testing or reporting to anyone ever!



Quoting MommyTo5Boys:

But don't they still have to take yearly tests from the school district to prove that they are learning and you are teaching them? I know that is how it is here in NY anyway.


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rsrangel
by Bronze Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 10:35 AM



Quoting KickButtMama:

I dislike the term Unschooling because it most often conjures the idea of Non-schooling. We instead do Cild-Led Learning. 

You can read exactly what that means at my blog post - http://kickbuttcrazylapbooks.blogspot.com/2012/04/defining-our-homeschool.html?m=1

I agree that I think that is what many people think when they hear unschooling, especially if anyone saw that episode of wife swap a few years ago....that was the first time I heard of the term "unschooling" and naively thought that's what it was.  As far as child-led, I LOVE following my kid's lead when they show interest in something.  I had no plans of teaching my preschooler to tell time yet, but he kept asking about it so I taught him.  We are also starting to learn about the solar system because my boys have all taken interest in it.  But last night on this post I asked if people who follow strictly child-led learning think it  will ever be a problem if they decide to go to college.  Will they have all the math skills needed for college level courses, etc?  Do those who consider themselves "unschoolers" plan on using this approach through the high school years?  I don't ask these questions out of judgement, I'm just curious about how the whole process works. 


HarrisonMD
by Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 10:46 AM

I'm so glad someone finally put a definition to "unschooling" and I love the way you guys have explained it! I've been trying to figure out a way to "structure" our days as we get more and more into it, but I'm also realizing that DD does better when she gives me the leads...now sometimes I can set out an activity and she'll be interested in it, but it's 50/50 whether or not she'll throw a fit b/c it's something new to her and she doesn't understand...we've been working on fine motor skills and I've been trying to get her interested in stringing beads....she throws a complete fit and so for now, I've dropped the activity.  But she will come up to me and want to do certain activities and so I try to accomadate her in her "lessons"...Mommy is so sneaky that way! But you know I'm realizing in a sense, "unschooling" is not much different from a Montessori style of learning and I like that idea alot...I don't really have a room to teach in for now, so laying out different activities for the kids with a theme, skill or lesson in mind is a great way for them to learn and I think DH will appreciate that too! Thanks ladies for the tips!

mem82
by Platinum Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 11:30 AM
I know an unschooler who went to College. She brushed up On math during the application process. She scored at Algebra level going in, which is what most public school kids enter at, too. Her Social Science and Language was awesome and she tested out of them.

Quoting rsrangel:




Quoting KickButtMama:

I dislike the term Unschooling because it most often conjures the idea of Non-schooling. We instead do Cild-Led Learning. 

You can read exactly what that means at my blog post - http://kickbuttcrazylapbooks.blogspot.com/2012/04/defining-our-homeschool.html?m=1

I agree that I think that is what many people think when they hear unschooling, especially if anyone saw that episode of wife swap a few years ago....that was the first time I heard of the term "unschooling" and naively thought that's what it was.  As far as child-led, I LOVE following my kid's lead when they show interest in something.  I had no plans of teaching my preschooler to tell time yet, but he kept asking about it so I taught him.  We are also starting to learn about the solar system because my boys have all taken interest in it.  But last night on this post I asked if people who follow strictly child-led learning think it  will ever be a problem if they decide to go to college.  Will they have all the math skills needed for college level courses, etc?  Do those who consider themselves "unschoolers" plan on using this approach through the high school years?  I don't ask these questions out of judgement, I'm just curious about how the whole process works. 



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usmom3
by BJ on Jan. 27, 2013 at 12:39 PM
1 mom liked this
It is up to the parents to determine when their child is ready to graduate when that time comes they can buy a diploma from Texas Homeschool Coalition or from HLDA.
As far as room for you in Texas there is plenty.


Quoting MommyTo5Boys:

Do the kids still earn a high school diploma then, or how does that work?

Quoting usmom3:

Not in all states! Here in Texas we don't have to do any testing or reporting to anyone ever!



Quoting MommyTo5Boys:

But don't they still have to take yearly tests from the school district to prove that they are learning and you are teaching them? I know that is how it is here in NY anyway.



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usmom3
by BJ on Jan. 27, 2013 at 12:43 PM
I have unschooled my oldest through high school, he has no interest in collage so we are looking in to apprentice ships for him. As far as my younger 2 go if they want to go to collage they will pursue the knowledge needed for that when the time comes. I don't worry about that because we are a ways away from that for them.

Quoting rsrangel:

I have an interest in unschooling as you have explained it, and do incorporate it in some ways, but I also have fears about it. Do you think they may have a problem if they decide to go to college? Will you unschool in high school too?




Quoting usmom3:

 We don't teach in the way you are thinking. When I would play with them when they where young we would count the blocks & sort them in to colors as part of our play. When ever we see a train we count the train cars (this is how they learned to count to 100). Cooking has been how they have learned fractions. My 9y/o DD has taught herself how to skip count. We explained to her how skip counting is like multiplications, she now knows how to do that too.



For writing my daughter wants to leave notes for me so she had to learn to write so she could. I would write down what she wanted to put & she would copy it, that's how she learned.



For us everything is learned as part of life & needs being met. As they grow they find things they want/need to know to accomplish a goal they have for themselves, we are here to help them learn those things when the time comes. It is all about what they want to learn not what I think they should learn.



The most important thing they are learning is to know how to learn on their own! When they have all the skills needed to pursue knowledge they will never need an instructor/teacher to help them!



Quoting KrissyKC:



So, if your child actually doesn't want to learn math for a long period of time... do you just not teach math??



Or are there SOME basic subjects that you kinda teach them anyway... like math, basic reading and writing...?



 



 


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KickButtMama
by Shannon on Jan. 27, 2013 at 2:15 PM

The point of our child led technique is helping the kids learn 3 things: 1) where their interests lay (by far the smallest, as with this technique I believe nurtures an insatiable curiosity about All learning) 2) where to find information. We don't rely on a text book, so my children are used to ferreting out information from a vast variety of source materials 3) (most important to me) HOW to acquire and retain information, essentially how their minds work. This is different for everyone. By not limiting our curriculum to a specific type of learning, my kids will absorb information in whatever way suits them. This is closer to learning in college. It's been my experience that while a class might be heavy on text or lecture 99% of the learning is on the shoulders of the student. I've never, personally, understood why PS education is so vastly different from college education. It seems like they are not preparing kids to be seekers of knowledge but instead rely on memorization. So, I believe child-led does this better.

weve been child led for nearly a decade. My eldest will be 12 this year. He is doing college & Highschool level work - purely on his own initiative. So I see no reason to change things.

Quoting rsrangel:



Quoting KickButtMama:

I dislike the term Unschooling because it most often conjures the idea of Non-schooling. We instead do Cild-Led Learning. 

You can read exactly what that means at my blog post - http://kickbuttcrazylapbooks.blogspot.com/2012/04/defining-our-homeschool.html?m=1

I agree that I think that is what many people think when they hear unschooling, especially if anyone saw that episode of wife swap a few years ago....that was the first time I heard of the term "unschooling" and naively thought that's what it was.  As far as child-led, I LOVE following my kid's lead when they show interest in something.  I had no plans of teaching my preschooler to tell time yet, but he kept asking about it so I taught him.  We are also starting to learn about the solar system because my boys have all taken interest in it.  But last night on this post I asked if people who follow strictly child-led learning think it  will ever be a problem if they decide to go to college.  Will they have all the math skills needed for college level courses, etc?  Do those who consider themselves "unschoolers" plan on using this approach through the high school years?  I don't ask these questions out of judgement, I'm just curious about how the whole process works. 



 Home Educators Toolbox  / Articles / Kicbuttmama's Crazy Lapbooks / Kickbuttmama's Home Education
Albert Einstein -- 
   "Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid." 

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