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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 (31-40):
kirbymom
by Sonja on Dec. 20, 2013 at 2:51 PM
Being creative and thinking outside the box, both are integral parts to successively getting through a slump or impasse in schooling. Whether public, private, charter or homeschooling. Great job finding your path. :)
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paganbaby
by Silver Member on Dec. 20, 2013 at 8:12 PM
1 mom liked this

I gotta tell you, it's such a relief for both of us!

Quoting kirbymom: Being creative and thinking outside the box, both are integral parts to successively getting through a slump or impasse in schooling. Whether public, private, charter or homeschooling. Great job finding your path. :)


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TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Dec. 20, 2013 at 9:48 PM
1 mom liked this
I have tried to be more relaxed, but DH feels like if we don't have a plan then they won't learn....I also feel like I need to guide them...but if I want to keep them home then we have to do some things they don't necessarily enjoy. It's hard to find that balance of teaching them, getting them where DH and I feel they need to be (basically not behind, but we would like to see both of them a bit ahead). I *know* the standards and suggestions aren't right for every child...but I still feel like I need to make sure my kids ae meeting or exceeding those standards. I don't know, I guess I still have really mixed feelings and haven't completely found my path as a homeschooler yet.

The biggest things my kids complain about...DS it's writing, he is completely literate but a bit messy...I'm afraid if I never make him write, then when college comes he won't be able to write a paper. For DD it's spelling and math...we eased up on the spelling, but I don't feel like that is something that she will just learn in time, I feel like she needs to work on it. Same thing with math I guess, I try to make it more real life for her, but she would rather do no math at all and would be fine with spelling words wrong constantly.. I can't be ok with that.

I'm glad you are finding your groove with him. And it will come with your oldest as well. How is it going with the youngest? I haven't checked yet to see if you've posted the verdict since its now Christmas vacation :)
paganbaby
by Silver Member on Dec. 23, 2013 at 4:12 PM
1 mom liked this

I understand your fears,lol. As long as the complaining is just some complaining, I wouldn't stress too much. With ds, it was either drop the reading and writing or quit. It was getting that bad with him :-(

Little dd is doing great! I updated my post but I'll tell you. I began carving out more time with her, offering more incentives and most importantly, I bumped her bedtime back so she's getting more sleep.

Quoting TJandKarasMom: I have tried to be more relaxed, but DH feels like if we don't have a plan then they won't learn....I also feel like I need to guide them...but if I want to keep them home then we have to do some things they don't necessarily enjoy. It's hard to find that balance of teaching them, getting them where DH and I feel they need to be (basically not behind, but we would like to see both of them a bit ahead). I *know* the standards and suggestions aren't right for every child...but I still feel like I need to make sure my kids ae meeting or exceeding those standards. I don't know, I guess I still have really mixed feelings and haven't completely found my path as a homeschooler yet.

The biggest things my kids complain about...DS it's writing, he is completely literate but a bit messy...I'm afraid if I never make him write, then when college comes he won't be able to write a paper. For DD it's spelling and math...we eased up on the spelling, but I don't feel like that is something that she will just learn in time, I feel like she needs to work on it. Same thing with math I guess, I try to make it more real life for her, but she would rather do no math at all and would be fine with spelling words wrong constantly.. I can't be ok with that.

I'm glad you are finding your groove with him. And it will come with your oldest as well. How is it going with the youngest? I haven't checked yet to see if you've posted the verdict since its now Christmas vacation :)


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

celticdragon77
by on Dec. 25, 2013 at 11:36 AM
1 mom liked this

My ex-husband was illiterate. Not because be was traumatized, but because he is dyslexic. The school, his mom, and a hired specialist worked with him quite a bit.

The public school ended up putting him in a special classroom where they focused on teaching him how to read and write. His ability to do history or science were so limited that they basically gave up teaching him those subjects by middle school. He was able to do well with math though.

He is extremely mechanically inclined. However, he couldn't go off to a trade school for it, because he couldn't read well enough. He avoided so many things in life. 

It took me quite a bit of research, but I was able to figure out how to teach him how to read. He was an intelligent man and yet he would NOT have been able to teach himself. 

My younger kids (who do not have dyslexia) also struggled to learn how to read. The public school did not have much success and I struggled with teaching them as well.  

The method that I ended up using helped my ex-husband and my two younger kids how to read. My oldest daughter did the program and even she appreciated the lessons. She felt they would help her with the SATs.

I couldn't have taught any of them how to read on my own and I doubt they could have done it on their own. 

To be honest, knowing my ex`husbands mom, she would not have been "successful" at homeschooling. She lacked the patience for it. She certainly would not have spent her time trying to research and cultivate a learning environment that worked for him. Not all moms are cut out to homeschool - and some are better at it than others.

Of course your friend is more prone to see public school children. Homeschoolers only account for 1% of the population. Of the 1%, how many are going to need extra assistance and seek out public help? 


Quoting paganbaby:

Wanted to add here. The two men that I do know who were illiterate as adults were that way because of a traumatic experience while learning. My sister's father was forced to stay at his desk and copy work over and over for hours while his teacher called him a dummy. The other man was also pushed too hard and belittled for not learning quick enough.

My friend also worked as a tutor to illierate adults. Nearly all of them dropped out sometime in school for one reason. Yet interestingly enough none of them were homeschooled or unschooled.

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 :)



paganbaby
by Silver Member on Dec. 25, 2013 at 1:38 PM

First let me say, I agree with you. Not every parent is cut out to homeschool or even unschool. Not every child does poorly in PS. My youngest is thriving in public school and I have no intention of taking her out. Secondly, I'm extremely curious how you accomplished something that a team of specialist couldn't in years?

Now, not every dyslexic child ends up illiterate, or needs rigorous training to learn how to read. My mom taught my dyslexic sister all on her own and fostered a love of reading to boot. While my sister was in public school, my mom was the diving factor in her education up until she graduated. I think your husband is a special case and honestly in no way reflects the majority of illiterate adults. Illiteracy is generally passed down from generation to generation. Nothing to do with homeschooling at all.

Quoting celticdragon77:

My ex-husband was illiterate. Not because be was traumatized, but because he is dyslexic. The school, his mom, and a hired specialist worked with him quite a bit.

The public school ended up putting him in a special classroom where they focused on teaching him how to read and write. His ability to do history or science were so limited that they basically gave up teaching him those subjects by middle school. He was able to do well with math though.

He is extremely mechanically inclined. However, he couldn't go off to a trade school for it, because he couldn't read well enough. He avoided so many things in life. 

It took me quite a bit of research, but I was able to figure out how to teach him how to read. He was an intelligent man and yet he would NOT have been able to teach himself. 

My younger kids (who do not have dyslexia) also struggled to learn how to read. The public school did not have much success and I struggled with teaching them as well.  

The method that I ended up using helped my ex-husband and my two younger kids how to read. My oldest daughter did the program and even she appreciated the lessons. She felt they would help her with the SATs.

I couldn't have taught any of them how to read on my own and I doubt they could have done it on their own. 

To be honest, knowing my ex`husbands mom, she would not have been "successful" at homeschooling. She lacked the patience for it. She certainly would not have spent her time trying to research and cultivate a learning environment that worked for him. Not all moms are cut out to homeschool - and some are better at it than others.

Of course your friend is more prone to see public school children. Homeschoolers only account for 1% of the population. Of the 1%, how many are going to need extra assistance and seek out public help? 


Quoting paganbaby:

Wanted to add here. The two men that I do know who were illiterate as adults were that way because of a traumatic experience while learning. My sister's father was forced to stay at his desk and copy work over and over for hours while his teacher called him a dummy. The other man was also pushed too hard and belittled for not learning quick enough.

My friend also worked as a tutor to illierate adults. Nearly all of them dropped out sometime in school for one reason. Yet interestingly enough none of them were homeschooled or unschooled.

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 :)




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celticdragon77
by on Dec. 25, 2013 at 1:39 PM
2 moms liked this

I completely agree with this.

The day that I took my kids out of public school, I became solely responsible for my kids education. I have done a lot of research and cultivated an environment with methods and materials that I feel will optimize their learning - and their love of learning. I enjoy being their guide to explore the world around them.

Quoting TJandKarasMom: I have tried to be more relaxed, but DH feels like if we don't have a plan then they won't learn....I also feel like I need to guide them...but if I want to keep them home then we have to do some things they don't necessarily enjoy. It's hard to find that balance of teaching them, getting them where DH and I feel they need to be (basically not behind, but we would like to see both of them a bit ahead). I *know* the standards and suggestions aren't right for every child...but I still feel like I need to make sure my kids ae meeting or exceeding those standards. I don't know, I guess I still have really mixed feelings and haven't completely found my path as a homeschooler yet.

The biggest things my kids complain about...DS it's writing, he is completely literate but a bit messy...I'm afraid if I never make him write, then when college comes he won't be able to write a paper. For DD it's spelling and math...we eased up on the spelling, but I don't feel like that is something that she will just learn in time, I feel like she needs to work on it. Same thing with math I guess, I try to make it more real life for her, but she would rather do no math at all and would be fine with spelling words wrong constantly.. I can't be ok with that.

I'm glad you are finding your groove with him. And it will come with your oldest as well. How is it going with the youngest? I haven't checked yet to see if you've posted the verdict since its now Christmas vacation :)


celticdragon77
by on Dec. 25, 2013 at 2:15 PM
1 mom liked this

There was no "team" of specialists. The school had him in a learning disabled class, his mom worked extra with him after school, and his mom hired a reading specialist from the public school that worked extra with my exhusband outside of school.

I have heard of several stories of adults with dyslexia experiencing the same thing - graduating or dropping out without ever learning to read dispite the school and parents best efforts. 

You are correct though, not every case is the same. There are various degrees of severity with dyslexia. My exhusbands was quite severe. 

Dyslexia is hereditary, so yes, it did get handed down. His father has a mild form of dyslexia. However, both of his parents are college educated, as is his brother (his only sibling). 

As for how I was able to teach my exhusband; I researched techniques that have now been found to work well for dyslexia. 

I have heard of illiterate homeschoolers. There was JUST an article posted in this group - about illiterate homeschooled children in Virginia. I would suspect that there are others as well. 

The day you took those kids out of public school, YOU took sole responsibility for your kids education. 

Quoting paganbaby:

First let me say, I agree with you. Not every parent is cut out to homeschool or even unschool. Not every child does poorly in PS. My youngest is thriving in public school and I have no intention of taking her out. Secondly, I'm extremely curious how you accomplished something that a team of specialist couldn't in years?

Now, not every dyslexic child ends up illiterate, or needs rigorous training to learn how to read. My mom taught my dyslexic sister all on her own and fostered a love of reading to boot. While my sister was in public school, my mom was the diving factor in her education up until she graduated. I think your husband is a special case and honestly in no way reflects the majority of illiterate adults. Illiteracy is generally passed down from generation to generation. Nothing to do with homeschooling at all.

Quoting celticdragon77:

My ex-husband was illiterate. Not because be was traumatized, but because he is dyslexic. The school, his mom, and a hired specialist worked with him quite a bit.

The public school ended up putting him in a special classroom where they focused on teaching him how to read and write. His ability to do history or science were so limited that they basically gave up teaching him those subjects by middle school. He was able to do well with math though.

He is extremely mechanically inclined. However, he couldn't go off to a trade school for it, because he couldn't read well enough. He avoided so many things in life. 

It took me quite a bit of research, but I was able to figure out how to teach him how to read. He was an intelligent man and yet he would NOT have been able to teach himself. 

My younger kids (who do not have dyslexia) also struggled to learn how to read. The public school did not have much success and I struggled with teaching them as well.  

The method that I ended up using helped my ex-husband and my two younger kids how to read. My oldest daughter did the program and even she appreciated the lessons. She felt they would help her with the SATs.

I couldn't have taught any of them how to read on my own and I doubt they could have done it on their own. 

To be honest, knowing my ex`husbands mom, she would not have been "successful" at homeschooling. She lacked the patience for it. She certainly would not have spent her time trying to research and cultivate a learning environment that worked for him. Not all moms are cut out to homeschool - and some are better at it than others.

Of course your friend is more prone to see public school children. Homeschoolers only account for 1% of the population. Of the 1%, how many are going to need extra assistance and seek out public help? 


Quoting paganbaby:

Wanted to add here. The two men that I do know who were illiterate as adults were that way because of a traumatic experience while learning. My sister's father was forced to stay at his desk and copy work over and over for hours while his teacher called him a dummy. The other man was also pushed too hard and belittled for not learning quick enough.

My friend also worked as a tutor to illierate adults. Nearly all of them dropped out sometime in school for one reason. Yet interestingly enough none of them were homeschooled or unschooled.

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 :)





KickButtMama
by Shannon on Dec. 25, 2013 at 5:41 PM
1 mom liked this

Welcome to the club! Lol I tried really hard to be a structured homeschooler, it was an epic fail. Instead we do what I like to call 'Child Led Learning'

paganbaby
by Silver Member on Dec. 26, 2013 at 1:34 PM


Before I delve into anything else here, I feel like we had a misunderstanding. I was posting about unschooling. How my son doesn't need formal lessons to learn how to read or write. Did you took from that, that I expect my ds to magically teach himself? lol

Quoting celticdragon77:

There was no "team" of specialists. The school had him in a learning disabled class, his mom worked extra with him after school, and his mom hired a reading specialist from the public school that worked extra with my exhusband outside of school.

I have heard of several stories of adults with dyslexia experiencing the same thing - graduating or dropping out without ever learning to read dispite the school and parents best efforts. 

You are correct though, not every case is the same. There are various degrees of severity with dyslexia. My exhusbands was quite severe. 

Dyslexia is hereditary, so yes, it did get handed down. His father has a mild form of dyslexia. However, both of his parents are college educated, as is his brother (his only sibling). 

As for how I was able to teach my exhusband; I researched techniques that have now been found to work well for dyslexia. 

I have heard of illiterate homeschoolers. There was JUST an article posted in this group - about illiterate homeschooled children in Virginia. I would suspect that there are others as well. 

The day you took those kids out of public school, YOU took sole responsibility for your kids education. 

Quoting paganbaby:

First let me say, I agree with you. Not every parent is cut out to homeschool or even unschool. Not every child does poorly in PS. My youngest is thriving in public school and I have no intention of taking her out. Secondly, I'm extremely curious how you accomplished something that a team of specialist couldn't in years?

Now, not every dyslexic child ends up illiterate, or needs rigorous training to learn how to read. My mom taught my dyslexic sister all on her own and fostered a love of reading to boot. While my sister was in public school, my mom was the diving factor in her education up until she graduated. I think your husband is a special case and honestly in no way reflects the majority of illiterate adults. Illiteracy is generally passed down from generation to generation. Nothing to do with homeschooling at all.

Quoting celticdragon77:

My ex-husband was illiterate. Not because be was traumatized, but because he is dyslexic. The school, his mom, and a hired specialist worked with him quite a bit.

The public school ended up putting him in a special classroom where they focused on teaching him how to read and write. His ability to do history or science were so limited that they basically gave up teaching him those subjects by middle school. He was able to do well with math though.

He is extremely mechanically inclined. However, he couldn't go off to a trade school for it, because he couldn't read well enough. He avoided so many things in life. 

It took me quite a bit of research, but I was able to figure out how to teach him how to read. He was an intelligent man and yet he would NOT have been able to teach himself. 

My younger kids (who do not have dyslexia) also struggled to learn how to read. The public school did not have much success and I struggled with teaching them as well.  

The method that I ended up using helped my ex-husband and my two younger kids how to read. My oldest daughter did the program and even she appreciated the lessons. She felt they would help her with the SATs.

I couldn't have taught any of them how to read on my own and I doubt they could have done it on their own. 

To be honest, knowing my ex`husbands mom, she would not have been "successful" at homeschooling. She lacked the patience for it. She certainly would not have spent her time trying to research and cultivate a learning environment that worked for him. Not all moms are cut out to homeschool - and some are better at it than others.

Of course your friend is more prone to see public school children. Homeschoolers only account for 1% of the population. Of the 1%, how many are going to need extra assistance and seek out public help? 


Quoting paganbaby:

Wanted to add here. The two men that I do know who were illiterate as adults were that way because of a traumatic experience while learning. My sister's father was forced to stay at his desk and copy work over and over for hours while his teacher called him a dummy. The other man was also pushed too hard and belittled for not learning quick enough.

My friend also worked as a tutor to illierate adults. Nearly all of them dropped out sometime in school for one reason. Yet interestingly enough none of them were homeschooled or unschooled.

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

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