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My friend, who homeschools/unschools, and i were having a conversation today about unschooling, particular radical.unschooling. she said that for radical.unschooling they allow the kids to decide everything, from schooling, to eating habits, to sleeping etc. Now, i know for me that we do not use this method. I believe I as their mother, i am responsible for training them, and they shouldnt be handed complete control. I do think choices are important, but also as parents, we have wisdom to.offer them, and thet also have to be considerate of others around them, they cant do what they want whenever they want to. Plus, i refuse to make five different meals because everyone wants something different.

What is your perspective?

Also, to add: i dont think that there is a one size fits all for each family, or even each child. I know many successful unschoolers. One mom was pretty radical in it, whose children started.college during their highschool years. They werr even on the level of being genius. If she hadnt let them learn in that way they may have been very frustrated and may not have excelled as theu have.
by on May. 7, 2013 at 8:56 PM
Replies (11-20):
celticdragon77
by on May. 7, 2013 at 11:07 PM

I disagree with much of the philosophy. I do not mean that as any disrespect to anyone who chooses it.

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... - Emerson  

Warning: This iPad enjoys auto correcting into jibberish. I have three kids 17, 10.5 and 9 yrs old. This mama works, homeschools, and explores life + varied interests. 

ceckyl
by Member on May. 7, 2013 at 11:09 PM
If you don't mind sharing, I'm really interested in how you have done away with a lot of rules. I need to learn to relinquish control ecause what I'm doing isn't working well for my family :(. I'm very type a.


Quoting usmom3:

 We don't fall in the category of "radical" unschoolers but we are unschoolers that have very few rules. We haven't always been that way we used to have so many rules that I think the kids where afraid to breath sometimes for fear of breaking a rule. We have learned that the more power the kids have over their lives the morethey are willing to work with us instead of against us. Our house is a lot more peaceful now that we have done this change, as well as doing away with punishment & being more on top of needs getting meet!


usmom3
by BJ on May. 7, 2013 at 11:31 PM

 Well it has been a long process & is still in the fine tuning stage. We where tired of fighting with the kids all the time over everything & the more I thought about it the more silly it seamed that we where unschooling & giving them freedom with what they learned & how they learned it yet controlled every other aspect of their lives. I hated being an authoritarian parent & constantly punishing my kids for being kids (being loud & not wanting to sit still & other things that kids do that drive most parents crazy). I started learning about peaceful parenting on Facebook groups & from websites (I can share the links to some if you are interested in them) I talked to my hubby about it (he was not on board at first he just thought we needed to be tougher on them). It really was easy to stop the rules, I just stopped enforcing the ones that we decided where not worth the fight (a tip I learned a little late with this is don't tell the kids you no longer have the rules just stop enforcing them & they will get the idea after a time). Some rules we had with our oldest where never set in place for our younger 2 (there is a 10 & 12 year age difference & we have changed a lot as parents in that time). One of those rules is making them eat all there food or even eating what we eat (they have options that they can chose to eat instead of what  was cooked but I will not cook 5 different meals so if they don't like what is cooked or the alternatives they have to be the ones to make their meal as much as they can on their own, so if my 7y/o wants a grilled cheese sandwich he has to get all the stuff out for it to be made & then we help him cook it). If you would like to know more I will have to come back & post more later.

Quoting ceckyl:

If you don't mind sharing, I'm really interested in how you have done away with a lot of rules. I need to learn to relinquish control ecause what I'm doing isn't working well for my family :(. I'm very type a.


Quoting usmom3:

 We don't fall in the category of "radical" unschoolers but we are unschoolers that have very few rules. We haven't always been that way we used to have so many rules that I think the kids where afraid to breath sometimes for fear of breaking a rule. We have learned that the more power the kids have over their lives the morethey are willing to work with us instead of against us. Our house is a lot more peaceful now that we have done this change, as well as doing away with punishment & being more on top of needs getting meet!


 

ceckyl
by Member on May. 7, 2013 at 11:50 PM
I really really am interested. I need to do this.


Quoting usmom3:

 Well it has been a long process & is still in the fine tuning stage. We where tired of fighting with the kids all the time over everything & the more I thought about it the more silly it seamed that we where unschooling & giving them freedom with what they learned & how they learned it yet controlled every other aspect of their lives. I hated being an authoritarian parent & constantly punishing my kids for being kids (being loud & not wanting to sit still & other things that kids do that drive most parents crazy). I started learning about peaceful parenting on Facebook groups & from websites (I can share the links to some if you are interested in them) I talked to my hubby about it (he was not on board at first he just thought we needed to be tougher on them). It really was easy to stop the rules, I just stopped enforcing the ones that we decided where not worth the fight (a tip I learned a little late with this is don't tell the kids you no longer have the rules just stop enforcing them & they will get the idea after a time). Some rules we had with our oldest where never set in place for our younger 2 (there is a 10 & 12 year age difference & we have changed a lot as parents in that time). One of those rules is making them eat all there food or even eating what we eat (they have options that they can chose to eat instead of what  was cooked but I will not cook 5 different meals so if they don't like what is cooked or the alternatives they have to be the ones to make their meal as much as they can on their own, so if my 7y/o wants a grilled cheese sandwich he has to get all the stuff out for it to be made & then we help him cook it). If you would like to know more I will have to come back & post more later.


Quoting ceckyl:

If you don't mind sharing, I'm really interested in how you have done away with a lot of rules. I need to learn to relinquish control ecause what I'm doing isn't working well for my family :(. I'm very type a.



Quoting usmom3:


 We don't fall in the category of "radical" unschoolers but we are unschoolers that have very few rules. We haven't always been that way we used to have so many rules that I think the kids where afraid to breath sometimes for fear of breaking a rule. We have learned that the more power the kids have over their lives the morethey are willing to work with us instead of against us. Our house is a lot more peaceful now that we have done this change, as well as doing away with punishment & being more on top of needs getting meet!



 


songbird2716
by on May. 8, 2013 at 12:15 AM
I think when people here "radical unschooling" they think free for all. And it's really not at all like that. Someone mentioned not wanting to make 5 meals....it doesn't mean giving them everything that they want when they want it. It's about giving them the freedom to choose. At mealtime I'll announce what I'm making. If they are not interested, they can make themselves whatever they are safely capable of preparing on their own (being 4 & 6 this is mostly pb&j, cereal, oatmeal, or toast).

I do not force them to brush teeth or hair (which aren't their favorite things) but I do show them pictures of what happens when you don't take care of your body. They may still protest for a day or two, but in the end they don't want to smell or get things suck in their tangled hair, or have to have oral surgery, so they listen to the suggestion.

After one or two days of trying to stay up all night they realize how cranky they've become and how unhappy the following day was, so they agree that an earlier bedtime is best (some nights that's 8, and some it's 10:30).

The point of radical unschooling (as I interpret it for my family) is to allow the kids to learn the why's of life on their own. I'd rather them understand that certain things are required in order to keep them healthy/safe/happy and not just because mom says so.

Life is the best teacher, so I try not to compete.
songbird2716
by on May. 8, 2013 at 12:18 AM
That's exactly how I feel.

Quoting Rust.n.Gears:

Unschooling means different things for different people. I am considered to be a radical unschooler by some in the community while others think I am tame.

KickButtMama
by Shannon on May. 8, 2013 at 1:05 AM

I think of the radicals as Anti-Schooling. So, no, it doesn't fly here even though we do child-led learning.

celticdragon77
by on May. 8, 2013 at 9:59 AM


I know that there have been times where I just got tired of talking to my kids about the same old things. I think most parents have this happen, and most parents try various tactics to find what will help their kids get the lesson they need to learn - or habitS needed. These things help them get through life more easily.

My youngest daughter hates to brush her hair (its very long). She won't do it unless someone is on top of her every day to say "hon, make sure you brush your hair". She might groan a bit, but she will go do it. I would love her to do it on her own, but she won't. One week I let her go without telling her anything. She ended up with knots that we had to cut out - and a lot of crying was involved. Lesson learned, right? Nope, she still would rather not brush it each day. I've had people say, cut it, she isn't taking care of it. However, she loves her long hair and I know how much long hair can mean to little girls. I choose to gently say something every day - and handle it that way. I figure it still gets done and it still is a habit being formed - just not entirely independently yet. It's a balance. I'm not going to force her to brush it, but if she were to fight about brushing it, then it would be cut. I simply would not allow anyone to disrupt everyone else's lives that way and it shows no desire to take care of the responsibility.

My son leaves laundry all over his room and bathroom floor. On a few occassions, he took the clean laundry I had just washed and that I had gave to him to put away, in with dirty laundry or shoved under his bed. I was upset that my hard work and money were disrespected. I talked to him about it a few times - he still did it. So, I took all the kids downstairs, showed them how to do laundry, and said that if I ever found an issue like that again, then that person would be responsible from here on out, of doing their own laundry. I tell you what, my kids were quick to get really good about taking care with their laundry. They now value what I do for them. My kids are getting older and help out a lot. However, I do like to have a few things that I get to do for them. However, they need to respect it, or else they need to do it themselves.  

For meals, we ALL sit down and plan them. They also help grow some foods, go to the farms to pick berries and such, go to the market... There are times when someone doesn't like dinner. I do not have money to offer "options". It is not cheap or without a time sacrifice to offer healthy foods here in my house. My kids are to start with small portions, and are welcome to more. They are to try everything - but not required to finish. 

My kids lived with their dad and his parents for about a year, while I was down in Texas helping my ill father. I had raised super healthy kids with good habits. In one year, it was ALL undone. My kids were not supervised and left to do whatever. When my kids came back to live with me, it was a delicate balance of resetting up boundaries, good habits, healthy lifestyle... It has been a year and they are doing better, though it still can be a struggle some days. The experience makes me realize JUST how important my role as parent is and how important those good habits really are. 

Not every child will take a bath if they stink, brush their hair after experiencing knots, learn important skills they need - but do not favor... There are grown ups who don't do what they need to do, despite knowing better. I certainly don't think my kids will just "live and learn". I have children that do require guidance and parenting. I can't relax parent or "not educate" that way, in good conscious. I have experience that warns me of that ideal. That warns me that balance is usually better than any "extreme" thinking. Maybe some people do respond better with a more hands off - let me learn it myself method. Though I am curious of what happens when they go to work and they are told what/how to do things, or how they handle the college / trade school environment, or deal with the law, etc. Then again, maybe they do fine. Maybe I even have it all wrong. I just personally can't bring myself to think or parent in such a manner. 

Quoting songbird2716:

I think when people here "radical unschooling" they think free for all. And it's really not at all like that. Someone mentioned not wanting to make 5 meals....it doesn't mean giving them everything that they want when they want it. It's about giving them the freedom to choose. At mealtime I'll announce what I'm making. If they are not interested, they can make themselves whatever they are safely capable of preparing on their own (being 4 & 6 this is mostly pb&j, cereal, oatmeal, or toast).

I do not force them to brush teeth or hair (which aren't their favorite things) but I do show them pictures of what happens when you don't take care of your body. They may still protest for a day or two, but in the end they don't want to smell or get things suck in their tangled hair, or have to have oral surgery, so they listen to the suggestion.

After one or two days of trying to stay up all night they realize how cranky they've become and how unhappy the following day was, so they agree that an earlier bedtime is best (some nights that's 8, and some it's 10:30).

The point of radical unschooling (as I interpret it for my family) is to allow the kids to learn the why's of life on their own. I'd rather them understand that certain things are required in order to keep them healthy/safe/happy and not just because mom says so.

Life is the best teacher, so I try not to compete.


Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... - Emerson  

Warning: This iPad enjoys auto correcting into jibberish. I have three kids 17, 10.5 and 9 yrs old. This mama works, homeschools, and explores life + varied interests. 

mem82
by Platinum Member on May. 8, 2013 at 10:06 AM

I think extreme unschooling can work but I think it is more work for the mom than even classic homeschooling. To be successful, the mom has to make her whole house a learning environment. She has to be willing to say yes to all those crafts and experiments. I think that it can be a good thing or I think it can be a beast that takes over the entire family and fails.

debramommyof4
by Silver Member on May. 8, 2013 at 10:13 AM

 I take some of the unschooling methods with education but my kids would not do well if they had a choice in how to structure their day and what to eat.  For some families I am sure it works amazing though.  I am more of an electic homeschooler though. 

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