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Holy crap, I think I'm an unschooler! How did that happen??

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It came to me in a two part epiphany.

First I was surfing the net and came across a blog called Unschooling till it hurts. Basically she saying that unschooling isn't black or white, all or nothing. It just means you don't force any type of education on your kids. Compromise, suggest, but not force. That got my attention. I've tried unschooling in the past with ds but it was a flop. Now I'm wondering if I just took too far a didn't try for more balance.

Then later while dh was watching a Japanese show with subtitles, I heard ds talking. He was reading them! Not all of them, they were going too fast, but quite a few. That brought me back to when he's written notes for fun or to get out of trouble,lol.

ThenlightbulbI didn't teach him how to walk or talk. I didn't teach him how to ride a bike or draw a picture. I gave him the tools and lots of encouragement but in the end he learned because he wanted too. He had the desire too. How much would it have sucked if I gave him formal lessons on how to speak properly or walk with grace?

So then I took a hard look at our HS day. Casually I questioned ds on what he liked and didn't like about school. He LOVES watching science shows with me in the morning (we pause A LOT to discuss what's going on), he likes it when I read to him from Magic tree house, he likes when I read him Life of Fred stories, he likes when I read him science books (Cell Defenders is his hands down favorite right now) He likes telling me stories which I write down in his reading journal, and cool facts for his science journal that he dictates to me also. He likes doing science experiments and drawing pictures. And last but not least, he likes writing Audi and his friends notes. Not everyday day though.

Anyone else notice a trend here? lol

Two big things he does not like is having to write and reading books. I looked at that and thought, why do it then? What would happen if I stopped requiring him to read and write? I'm darn near an unschooler anyway. Why not just let that last bit go and trust that he'll learn in his own time?

by on Dec. 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Replies (11-20):
tansyflower
by Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:37 AM
2 moms liked this

i am an unschooler in almost all respects.   i am not the kind of an unschooler who says "oh johnny you want to watch looney toons all day long?  okay son, here is your popcorn!"....that would not fly in my house because in general tv time is limited to education programming and a few age appropriate cartoons like peppa pig that still have a strong moral value instilled within the episodes.  but in general they WILL learn things in their own way in their own time IF you give them the tools and the right environment to do so.  that is why i am so passionate about letting my kids be excited.  sometimes it backfires on me like when my three year old decides to cut his cousins hair with a scissors (he loves scissors so much!) but that just means i have to keep a better eye on him and more fun stuff in front of him to cut.

i dont ever see me pushing my child to do a standard lesson plan.  thats why in theory i like the waldorf method (we use it in a general sense) because its all about fostering that love of learning and is relaxed enough that an unschooler can easily use it every day.

AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 11:39 AM
1 mom liked this

What's the worse thing that could happen?

He could be a child who simply hates writing and learning to read, and will NEVER want to do it "in his own time". So the worst thing that could happen, in this situation, would be producing an illiterate adult, incapable of written expression. If you have no problem with that, more power to you.

But hey - you asked :)

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff:  we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee















AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 11:41 AM


Quoting acrogodess:Once you learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division (how to count money basically) I find it useless lol.

Really? I use algebra on a daily basis... as I do fractions, decimals, conversions, etc.

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff:  we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee















acrogodess
by Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Except for when I cook, I do not find myself using fractions, conversions or any of that. Never used it at work either, not at my office jobs, not in child care, meh. 

I am sure the fact that I had an awful teacher in high school and a terrible professor in college did not help me to like math. I did well up until 10th grade, then we had the teacher who taught us the pythagorium theory for 6 months straight and my whole class of close to 30 students failed the state exam with below a 35.

The professor wouldn't answer any questions and would just write on the board and ignore us.

Quoting AutymsMommy:


Quoting acrogodess:Once you learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division (how to count money basically) I find it useless lol.

Really? I use algebra on a daily basis... as I do fractions, decimals, conversions, etc.


paganbaby
by Silver Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 12:12 PM
2 moms liked this

Ah, my love! But he does read and write. He reads subtitles, billboards, signs and things on the computer. He reads book titles, notes, labels, packaging and directions. He writes too. He writes lists and notes. Some of them are pretty in depth. After a little guidance he also began checking for grammar and made sure each sentence starts with a capital and ends with an appropriate ending mark.

He doesn't do these things because I make him, he does them because he has an interest. Just like a baby crawling, initally he would just ask me to read it to him but then, like a baby learns to walk, he felt the urge to read it himself. Same with writing. It started with scribbles on a paper. He saw me, his father and sister writing so he wanted to mimic us. Then gradually he wanted to write "real" notes. So he'd ask me how to spell words. Lately though I've noticed him relying on me less and less to read things and spell for him. I'm so very proud :-)

Edit: I've also noticed that when he reads and writes on his own, the quality is much better, letters neater, phonics smoother, than when I make him.

Quoting AutymsMommy:

What's the worse thing that could happen?

He could be a child who simply hates writing and learning to read, and will NEVER want to do it "in his own time". So the worst thing that could happen, in this situation, would be producing an illiterate adult, incapable of written expression. If you have no problem with that, more power to you.

But hey - you asked :)


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

paganbaby
by Silver Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 12:16 PM

That is awesome! You must be very proud of your son :-)

And yes, that's something I struggle with a lot. Sometimes I feel like if I don't push this now, he'll never learn. But then he'll surprise me and do somthing like read a paragraph on the computer,lol.

Quoting jen2150: Reading and writing will happen when the time is right. My son, in 5th grade, all of a sudden decided to write a 60 page book. We are working more on writing because they are ready for it. There are so many things you can do in place of writing. Most readers become excellent writers. My son at 5 asked me to teach him to read. My youngest was a different story. He wanted to learn but it was so hard for him. We backed off a bit. He just started 4th grade and he just now is taking off reading. Reading and writing have enormous age gaps. I think sometimes people, myself included, have the false idea that if they don't learn something right now they never will learn it. It took me a long time to give up that idea. I think the environment a child is in makes all the difference. Kids need to be intellectually stimulated but that can happen in so many ways.


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

paganbaby
by Silver Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

How old are they? My 14 year old struggles with math. I'm not much better. So I went out and ordered Life of Fred. We haven't started yet but I hope it lives up to it's hype and can teach both of us,lol.

Quoting acrogodess: I am doing unschooling with them but their dad doesn't like it. He wants us to do actual lessons. They read a lot. I do suggest things. On occasion there is an assignment to write about something they read. I think we need to work more on math though. They both want to go to college and they'll have to pass the ACT test here and SAT so they definitely need to pass math. Ugh. I hate math. Once you learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division (how to count money basically) I find it useless lol.


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

acrogodess
by Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 12:27 PM
1 mom liked this

Alexander is 12 and Olivia is 10, birthdays are coming up though. I wouldn't say that they struggle in math, but we haven't covered much more than the basics that they had already learned in school. We have done word problems and multiplying and dividing large numbers, no calculator allowed, mental math and paper only. They prefer applied skills so fractions they learn when they cook with me.

Quoting paganbaby:

How old are they? My 14 year old struggles with math. I'm not much better. So I went out and ordered Life of Fred. We haven't started yet but I hope it lives up to it's hype and can teach both of us,lol.

Quoting acrogodess: I am doing unschooling with them but their dad doesn't like it. He wants us to do actual lessons. They read a lot. I do suggest things. On occasion there is an assignment to write about something they read. I think we need to work more on math though. They both want to go to college and they'll have to pass the ACT test here and SAT so they definitely need to pass math. Ugh. I hate math. Once you learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division (how to count money basically) I find it useless lol.



paganbaby
by Silver Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 12:29 PM

You know I thought that's what unschooling was all about. Let the kids have complete freedom and they will learn. I think that's why we failed last time :-( Now while it's not exactly structured, he have a routine. 14yo DD on the other hand does not want to HS like her brother. She's rather do online school so I'm okay with that too.

If I wasn't sure about that before, I am now. It's so much nicer now that I've let that go! He's not stressing and aggitated, I'm not stressing. Now we can enjoy eachothers company :-)

Quoting tansyflower:

i am an unschooler in almost all respects.   i am not the kind of an unschooler who says "oh johnny you want to watch looney toons all day long?  okay son, here is your popcorn!"....that would not fly in my house because in general tv time is limited to education programming and a few age appropriate cartoons like peppa pig that still have a strong moral value instilled within the episodes.  but in general they WILL learn things in their own way in their own time IF you give them the tools and the right environment to do so.  that is why i am so passionate about letting my kids be excited.  sometimes it backfires on me like when my three year old decides to cut his cousins hair with a scissors (he loves scissors so much!) but that just means i have to keep a better eye on him and more fun stuff in front of him to cut.

i dont ever see me pushing my child to do a standard lesson plan.  thats why in theory i like the waldorf method (we use it in a general sense) because its all about fostering that love of learning and is relaxed enough that an unschooler can easily use it every day.


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

paganbaby
by Silver Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 1:28 PM
1 mom liked this

I told pansy this before. I bet my bottom dollar you use algabra all the time and are pretty good at it :-)
1) When filling your car up with gas you can use a form of algebra. Lets say you only have $20.00 to spend on gas today and gas is $3.50 a gallon. How many gallons could you buy?

Let x = # of gallons of gas

3.50x=20.00
x=5.71 gallons

2) Lets say you need to buy a NEW XBox 360. You have $800 to spend on everything. You know a new system costs $400 and extra controller $40. Assuming a game costs $60 how many games could you get?

Let x= the number of Games

$800 = $400 + $40 +$60x
800=460+60x
360=60x
x = 6 Games

3) For the last one lets say you are all grown up now and have to move across country for a new job. Lets use Buffalo, NY to Sacramento, CA which is roughly 2500 miles of driving. How much money do you need to save for gas if the national average is $3.23/gallon.

Let x = amount of money you need to save

2500 = 3.23x
x=$773.99

There you go 3 simple examples of using algebra in the real life.

Quoting acrogodess: I am doing unschooling with them but their dad doesn't like it. He wants us to do actual lessons. They read a lot. I do suggest things. On occasion there is an assignment to write about something they read. I think we need to work more on math though. They both want to go to college and they'll have to pass the ACT test here and SAT so they definitely need to pass math. Ugh. I hate math. Once you learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division (how to count money basically) I find it useless lol.


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

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