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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

"Are you keeping up with her schooling?"

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This is what my dad asked me on Sunday after he watched my kids for the night. I told him yes, I was. That BOTH my 4 year old and almost 6 year old are doing Kindergarten level work. We unschool, he doesn't quite get the concept of it, he thinks that since I don't have a formal curriculum right now, that my children will fall behind, even though they were both advanced to begin with. I don't push my kids, we do about one or two subjects a day right now, the rest of the day is "free play learning". He went on to say that my daughter had asked him a math question, so he helped her figure it out (8 + 8, so far they know everything that adds up to 10) and he went on to say she kept asking him math questions and they would figure it out together by counting on fingers and I told him at home, for numbers above 10, we use counting rocks and I assured him we DO do math at home (as if he couldnt tell by the fact that she was asking him math questions in the first place FOR FUN). I do feel my oldest is slipping a bit, but its not because I am not working on her schooling, she is loosing interest in some things. My youngest on the other hand has a HUGE interest right now for all things learning and is actually advancing on his older sister in most subjects. I have her working on spelling, but she is behind on reading, she just doesnt want to. I ask her to sound out words and she will flat out tell me "I dont want to" and walk away, if I try to force her to try to say the word, she gets a bit upset and feels forced, so I try not to push her too hard, I just have a hard time watching her younger brother read to HER because she doesn't even want to try. We read one book before bed every night and they are welcome to ask us to read them a book any time of the day, but I noticed my son, who asked me to underline each word as I read it, will literally figure out the word I am reading by looking at the word I am pointing to, listening to me say it, and in his own mind, put all the letter sounds together to re-create the word I just said, its very cool to watch him do it, I just wish I could get my daughter more interested in schooling/learning again so she doesnt fall behind her public schooled peers. :/ I don't know, everytime I start to feel a bit of confidence in my choices, someone tries to bring me down. I don't think he meant to hurt my feelings by questioning our schooling, but he brings it up often enough for me to feel like he doesn't support me at all. My kids father, my SO, supports us 100%, the rest of our family really just doesn't care, they support us for the most part, but it never really gets brought up.
by on Oct. 7, 2013 at 9:26 AM
Replies (11-16):
kmath
by Silver Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Sounds like you are doing great!  Don't let the doubters get you down.  Forcing kids to read usually ends up backfiring and the kids end up hating it.  Let her figure it out at her own pace.  She is obviously ready to learn since she was quizzing grandpa on math facts. 

oredeb
by on Oct. 7, 2013 at 12:05 PM
1 mom liked this

awwww he sounds like a caring father, as least he interested enough to ask, and your daughter doesnt sound at all behind, they all have their own learning time, remember you dont have to go by how the public school does it, or when to teach that or this! your doing a good job! Maybe your dad wants to be inclulded in helping you hs the kids? maybe thats why hes asking?

celticdragon77
by on Oct. 7, 2013 at 12:09 PM

I read that 70% of kids actually will learn to read no matter how you teach it, because it is done by osmosis. Its how I learned how to read. I just played with the words in my head almost obsessively. My son and my oldest daughter do it that way as well.

My youngest can not do it that way. I had to buy a rules based reading program for her. It worked like a charm. It even helped the rest of us. 

My youngest was 8yrs old when we did this program. She was reluctant to do so. She had been attending public school, her reading level fell 2 grades behind, and they tried to hold her back due to it. So it had to get pretty bad and she hated that feeling. She is the youngest of three kids and she works her butt off to be independent and keep up with the older two. This was an area that I had to really call on her to do that. I took her out of public school and it required discipline and sticking to a schedule.

I don't know any other way of doing it in those situations. Nothing else worked for us. 

I know this isn't really unschooling advice; but I just don't know that method works for every child, every time. Just take what I say with a grain of salt though. It is what worked for our family - with our specific situation. 

As for the rest of what you wrote, your dad is just concerned and asking questions. Homeschooling is difficult to understand and accept, much less unschooling. Do you work on the subjects every day or only when they ask? (just curious).

KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 12:31 PM

I think you are doing great.   She just may be more mathematical in the way she likes to learn.

My eldest is.   She had a harder time with english until we picked up the really old-fashioned approach to learning english (Rod & Staff curriculum by the Mennonite schools)...   it teaches English through a lot of diagramming, which works for her.   I don't unschool, but we do some child led learning.  

If you do ever want to think about curriculum, the Life of Fred series teaches math through more of a story and history approach.   It's possible that having math put into stories or at least used in stories might help her get a little more interest in both subjects as opposed to one.

However, don't worry about her lack of interest at the moment.   Isn't that part of the whole theology behind unschooling?   The child will learn through her own interests.    When she wants to know more about stuff, she might suddenly want to read about it.


tairakittie
by Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Some days I have a game plan or a theme, I print out worksheets or come up with crafts or science experiments, some days we do nothing but watch educational shows and play. Some days I get inspiration from them! The other day my son got up and decided to go on an invisible treasure hunt, finding an invisible X, and digging up the invisible treasure, which he showed and gave to me. lol I decided to have a Pirate theme day that day! I printed out a couple of pirate themed educational worksheets (a numbers 1-20 maze and a cut and paste project), then I put some of my sons dinosaurs in a plastic container and buried it in the yard, had them dress up in their Pirate costumes from last Halloween and drew them up a map that they had to figure out, including finding a key in a tree (rhyming words!) and eventually the X and digging up their treasure!! They LOVED it, had a blast! My daughter asked if we could do it again, just not dress up as Pirates next time. lol Sometimes they will ask if they can do a workbook, letter tracing or math, and once they start, they will sit there and do most, if not all of the workbook. They are small little 40 page workbooks from the dollar store, or the $1 section at Target, but they love them! I also have a bigger full curriculum workbook I just got from Barnes and Nobles for $14 that I plan on having them do whenever they feel like it.

Our co-op class usually consists of a reading a book about a certain subject, doing a couple worksheets that go with the subject and then doing a craft. This past class was "A for Autumn and Apple!", they read a book about how an apple seed turns into a tree, a letter A tracing worksheet and then the kids made apple trees out of triangle coffee filters dyed green, then glued onto popsicle sticks, then they glued little red pom poms onto the coffee filter. It was cute, short, simple and the kids loved it! Most of the time the kids just ask questions and we answer them the best we can and research when we need to, either online or going to the library to find a book! Whatever intrests them. :)

Quoting celticdragon77:

I read that 70% of kids actually will learn to read no matter how you teach it, because it is done by osmosis. Its how I learned how to read. I just played with the words in my head almost obsessively. My son and my oldest daughter do it that way as well.

My youngest can not do it that way. I had to buy a rules based reading program for her. It worked like a charm. It even helped the rest of us. 

My youngest was 8yrs old when we did this program. She was reluctant to do so. She had been attending public school, her reading level fell 2 grades behind, and they tried to hold her back due to it. So it had to get pretty bad and she hated that feeling. She is the youngest of three kids and she works her butt off to be independent and keep up with the older two. This was an area that I had to really call on her to do that. I took her out of public school and it required discipline and sticking to a schedule.

I don't know any other way of doing it in those situations. Nothing else worked for us. 

I know this isn't really unschooling advice; but I just don't know that method works for every child, every time. Just take what I say with a grain of salt though. It is what worked for our family - with our specific situation. 

As for the rest of what you wrote, your dad is just concerned and asking questions. Homeschooling is difficult to understand and accept, much less unschooling. Do you work on the subjects every day or only when they ask? (just curious).


usmom3
by BJ on Oct. 7, 2013 at 2:12 PM

 Don't sweat it, you are doing great!

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