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I do not have a problem with everyone discussing unschooling in general. However, I did want to point out (because I wasn't specific enough in the original post) that I was trying to discuss what is within these quotes. 


Do you think that it is important and necessary to know about "the great works" and significant information about your country (people, events, documents, and laws that had a significant impact on the country and way of life)?

Do you value this knowledge? Do you feel like you value it any less than?  -- I ask this because I feel like she is giving the impression that her family or other unschoolers sometimes value 'typical academics' (I am using that term loosely) less than others. 

In DM's statement, she mentions forgetting this information that she was exposed to. I am assuming that the arguement there was that if we forget the information anyways, how important was it to begin with - what was the worth in covering it. So would you agree with that? 




The quotes that I am interested in are at two times in the video:

1:12

Interviewer: "Doesn't the child need to know who George Washington, FDR, and JFK are?"

D.M: "Well, I don't know. Do you think that they do? Do you think that is necessary?"

7:23

Interviewer: "What about when the learning gets more sophisticated? How do you expose them to Shakesphere or Twain or Henry James. How do you teach them the great works and the great historians if you can't get them to sit down and learn?"

D.M: "Well, I think some people might value that more than others. I honestly don't remember - yes although I know their names - I don't remember the details that I learned in school - about the historians for example."

  

Important Note: Dayna Martin is a radical unschooler. I do not know if Dayna Martin is the best example. I just know that her face is very front and center. She has a ton of youtube videos, been on wife swap as well as Dr Phil, she has done number interviews, she has written a few books, spoke at a number of conferences, etc. She ALSO has come under fire (maybe that was just bound to happen with all of the exposure). 

However, this does NOT deter me from wanting to know how unschoolers feel about her specific statements/questions in the above quotes.


Quote Source: Dayna Martin interview w/ ABC news: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuhfhRLwTB0 

The actual video was removed because I felt that it confused and distracted from the questions that I am trying to ask. I just wanted to have a source for where my quotes came from. 

by on Jan. 22, 2014 at 9:08 AM
Replies (31-40):
jen2150
by Silver Member on Jan. 22, 2014 at 6:33 PM
1 mom liked this
Thanks. I was so glad I backed off trying to get him to enjoy writing. It happened when the time was right.

I wasn't saying it was a crime. I just find it was sad. It saddens me when I hear parents speak negatively about certain subjects. I honestly love them all. I hated history, science and math for so long. In high school my history teacher taught history like one giant exciting story. He made it come alive. I took one of his elective classes for the fun of it. I never had that for science and math. I really regret that about my high school education. I had exceptional teachers for history and English. My sons were the ones that turned me on to science and math. I learned to approach science and math differently by watching how my sons learned.

As far as history goes it is just as important as science. The two are linked together. The author of the life of fred said something similar. He said he always just taught his students. He never seperated the subjects. There never was simply a math class. They are linked together. My kids will never hear me say learning something doesn't matter. It all matters. More for some than others. Knowing your history is critical to our daily lives. History is who we are and understanding its significance molds where we are going. I know we differ in our opinion on this. Though I disagree I completely respect it. :-)

Quoting paganbaby:

I get that. But my point is, you can still be a success in life without knowing history, the arts or great literature. You may be a boring conversationalist in some circles, but those subjects are not key to having a successful life. Being able to read, write, grasp real word math, figure out the weather and plan accordingly, and understand our bodily functions, on the other hand, is important and nessecary no matter where you are in life.

I think that's where we differ. Important to me, translates into nessecary. In my mind, it's simply not. Yes, it would be nice if all children were exposed to these subjects at some point in their homeschool education, but I don't see it as a crime if they don't.

Btw, that's awesome that your ds decided to write a book :-)

Quoting jen2150: I think you missed the point of what I was saying. Having a basic understanding is important. History is important. I cringe when unschoolers say knowing history, art, literature, the Presidents, or math are not important. It is not what John Holt was trying to do. Learning is important but it should never be forced. I condider myself a guide. Children will obviously have areas they know more but they should have a basic understanding by adulthood. I am not a mechanic but having a basic understanding will help me maintain my vehicle. There are many ways to learn about those things and many of them are exciting and fun. I hated math in school but now I realize how much fun it is. I am teaching a creative math class. Math is everywhere and extremely important. If my children walk away and say any subject is not important then I failed them. They are not going to love everything but they will understand its importance. My sons are 10 and 11 and I have yet come across anything they don't enjoy learning. They don't enjoy writing but that is an age thing. My oldest is now getting into writing now that is older. It is mostly about timing.



Quoting paganbaby:

At minimum, I think having a basic understanding of American history, math skills, reading, writing, technology, home ec, biology and earth science is important. Beyond that, it's really up to the individual.

Not being able to name every single president, imo, isn't a crime. Neither is not knowing how to change brakes on a car (mechanics) or how to help a cow give birth (animal husbandry) or how to soothe a fussy baby or calm a tantruming toddler (early childhood development)

Saying you cringe because an unschooler doesn't put the same emphasis on the same subjects you do, makes me cringe. Yes, all subjects are important 'to someone' but they're not nessecary to everyone.

Quoting jen2150: It is all important. We retain what is important to us. History is important. Understanding history is critical to understanding how our government works and where we stand on important issues and why. Math is important. Michael Faraday did not have adequate math training. He was essentially self taught. For years he tried to prove his theories but couldn't because he lacked mathematical knowledge. If you want to have good health you need a basic understanding of how the human body functions. Logic and reasoning is important. Reading is important to function and be self sufficient. Higher math is not for everyone but basic understanding is useful for everyone. We are not all going to be historians but a basic understanding of history will help to understand what is going on. Knowing the constitution and our presidents is important for every American. I think that having a basic understanding of all the subjects is important. My sons hate writing but it is important for them to write well when they are older. I am not concerned though. The older they get the more they enjoy it. My son in 5th grade decided he wanted to write a book out of the blue. Writing is something that comes later for many children. Just because they are not interested does not mean they won't be at a later time. My son's are taking computer science. I have no idea if they are going to be going into a computer field but they will have a basic understanding of it. If they do not want to study computers then I would just wait till they are interested. Just because my kids are not ready for something doesn't mean it is not important later on. I can't think of any information or subject that is not important to learn. Unschooling at its core is about opening up the joy of learning to a child. I don't see how telling people that learning about the presidents is not important is the right way to go. It is doing them a disservice. I do not force my children to learn anything but all knowledge is important.





Quoting paganbaby:
Quoting jen2150: I also wanted to add as unschoolers how important for us to be models for our children. We need to reawaken our thirst for knowledge. We also need to learn why history is important. If you don't understand why knowing about the presidents is important then you first need to discover why it is important. I find myself cringing every time an unschooler says something is not important for kids to know. I recognize there is a right time for everything. All information is important. It just might not be the right time. There is not a subject we have learned about that does not have a very good reason for learning the material. It is not what schools are teaching that I have a problem with but how they are teaching it.(as l0ng as it is accurate)

There's a lot of information out there. What do you feel is absolutely necessary for kids to know?



celtic77dragon
by Member on Jan. 22, 2014 at 7:14 PM

I can see where that seems appealing to someone. I can even see some use in occasionally doing so.

Where I (personally) struggle with this concept is that it overwhelms me - my mind simply doesn't work like that. I LOVE to devour information. However, my mind has to go about it in a systematic way. The information has to be built up on top of previous information - in an orderly manner. This helps with my comprehension and memory of the material.

Maybe these aren't entirely accurate analogys; (for me personally) unschooling would be similar to going to the library tomorrow and finding out that there no longer is any order to it. OR to attempt building a house without starting from the foundation first. OR suddenly trying to build an ark right before the floods come. 

There is SO much information to cover. SO much of it IS important. To allow a child to just randomly choose which of it to learn and when... it just seems too abstract for me.

I would LOVE to meet an unschooler - to see how the day goes, how they make all the connections, to get a closer look at how their minds work...

What unschoolers do is so different from my understanding and from my capabilities. I almost believe that you have to be some form of genius to do it. 


Jen, you are coming off as an intelligent woman who has a good sense of things. So I respect what you are doing. So please do not take my inability to "get it" as an insult.   

Quoting jen2150: Thanks. I was so glad I backed off trying to get him to enjoy writing. It happened when the time was right.

I wasn't saying it was a crime. I just find it was sad. It saddens me when I hear parents speak negatively about certain subjects. I honestly love them all. I hated history, science and math for so long. In high school my history teacher taught history like one giant exciting story. He made it come alive. I took one of his elective classes for the fun of it. I never had that for science and math. I really regret that about my high school education. I had exceptional teachers for history and English. My sons were the ones that turned me on to science and math. I learned to approach science and math differently by watching how my sons learned.

As far as history goes it is just as important as science. The two are linked together. The author of the life of fred said something similar. He said he always just taught his students. He never seperated the subjects. There never was simply a math class. They are linked together. My kids will never hear me say learning something doesn't matter. It all matters. More for some than others. Knowing your history is critical to our daily lives. History is who we are and understanding its significance molds where we are going. I know we differ in our opinion on this. Though I disagree I completely respect it. :-)





jen2150
by Silver Member on Jan. 22, 2014 at 8:46 PM
1 mom liked this
I am not insulted. The beauty of unschooling is you can have as much order as you want. I use curriculum but if my sons lose interest in what we are doing then we move on. I just recently found a writing curriculum that I love. My oldest just asked to stop doing teaching textbooks. I am going to sit down with and decide together what we are going to use. He is very hands on. He wants to work more in his math journal. It will take more work from me but he will get more out of it. Two days ago I sat my kids down and told they been on the computer too much. They were using up their time and not having time to do the things they wanted to do. They would lose track of time and needed help to stay on track. They decided to not use the computer from 9 am to 6 pm. Unschooling does require flexibility. I love all our tangents. I know it is a way of doing things does not work for everyone. Also Unschooling is different for everyone. I never have two days the same. My oldest is gifted so using a traditional method was hurting his creativity and love of learning. He needs flexibility and being able to learn his own way.

Quoting celtic77dragon:

I can see where that seems appealing to someone. I can even see some use in occasionally doing so.

Where I (personally) struggle with this concept is that it overwhelms me - my mind simply doesn't work like that. I LOVE to devour information. However, my mind has to go about it in a systematic way. The information has to be built up on top of previous information - in an orderly manner. This helps with my comprehension and memory of the material.

Maybe these aren't entirely accurate analogys; (for me personally) unschooling would be similar to going to the library tomorrow and finding out that there no longer is any order to it. OR to attempt building a house without starting from the foundation first. OR suddenly trying to build an ark right before the floods come. 

There is SO much information to cover. SO much of it IS important. To allow a child to just randomly choose which of it to learn and when... it just seems too abstract for me.

I would LOVE to meet an unschooler - to see how the day goes, how they make all the connections, to get a closer look at how their minds work...

What unschoolers do is so different from my understanding and from my capabilities. I almost believe that you have to be some form of genius to do it. 


Jen, you are coming off as an intelligent woman who has a good sense of things. So I respect what you are doing. So please do not take my inability to "get it" as an insult.   

Quoting jen2150: Thanks. I was so glad I backed off trying to get him to enjoy writing. It happened when the time was right.



I wasn't saying it was a crime. I just find it was sad. It saddens me when I hear parents speak negatively about certain subjects. I honestly love them all. I hated history, science and math for so long. In high school my history teacher taught history like one giant exciting story. He made it come alive. I took one of his elective classes for the fun of it. I never had that for science and math. I really regret that about my high school education. I had exceptional teachers for history and English. My sons were the ones that turned me on to science and math. I learned to approach science and math differently by watching how my sons learned.



As far as history goes it is just as important as science. The two are linked together. The author of the life of fred said something similar. He said he always just taught his students. He never seperated the subjects. There never was simply a math class. They are linked together. My kids will never hear me say learning something doesn't matter. It all matters. More for some than others. Knowing your history is critical to our daily lives. History is who we are and understanding its significance molds where we are going. I know we differ in our opinion on this. Though I disagree I completely respect it. :-)







KickButtMama
by Shannon on Jan. 22, 2014 at 9:00 PM
2 moms liked this

Ah, I understand you better now! 

Yes and no? I think it is important to give kids an understanding of history, what life was like during the different eras. Part of that is exposure to people of that time - writers, artists, etc. I don't think focusing on each person in particular is essential. Plus it can be confusing - like Columbus was an a-hole, but was very representative of his class and time period. So rather than focusing on him as a special person, we just see him as a part of that time (KWIM?) 

I think there is a very small part of the population that is very good at spitting out memorized facts. Rather than focusing at all on these facts, I think it is more important to focus in the general for an overall understanding. When the kids are interested in a period / person and desire learning more, then they are more likely to remember what they find, IMO. 

So, I think it is important to understand human progression through the ages, as well as our own National progression. This includes people like the presidents. I think this lady was terrible at getting her viewpoint across - anyone who answers questions with questions irritates me. My kids would love learning about the presidents, at their own initiative, after finding a placemat. We once built a 'time machine' in our living room and visited England's Kings and Queens through the ages. None came from a text book. In reality the kids 'landed' in a certain time period and had to scramble for Google to find out who the ruler was and how to handle them without being sent to the Tower of London.

I'm of the opinion that ALL knowledge is important - from literature, art, history, philosophy, gaming, computer programming, etc. We just don't get that info from a textbook....unless we want to.

darkmusepinup
by on Jan. 22, 2014 at 9:11 PM
1 mom liked this
I have to agree with this. I don't homeschool (lack the patience, you guys are amazing btw), however I find that my kids have learned more by going to museums with us than they did when they breached the subject in school. I hardly remember anything I learned in school and I HATED every minute of it, just as my kids do. :-(
I have been able to learn more as an adult, with free will, than as a child locked down into one single curriculum. I hate the fact that I don't have patience, drive, etc to teach my kids at home, but I wouldn't be teaching them much more so please don't bash me, I have my many reasons.
I just wanted you to know that your words made sense

Quoting KickButtMama:

First it's important to point out that she is a Radical Unschoolers, which is a fairly small population. Secondly, just because I don't have a curriculum for the presidents, let's say, doesn't mean my kids won't learn about them. My job as facilitator is to have learning materials available for my kids. For instance, when unpacking yesterday, they found a placemat with images of the presidents on it. This sparked a 2 hour discussion/investigation into who was the best president. This involved a poll of all the parents, looking online and even in an encyclopedia. None of it was sparked by me, none came from me parroting presidential facts and dates to them. Yet they learned. 

I think this mom was trying to maybe get that across. That learning can be done if we surround the kids with educational things. Furthermore, kids who are not routinely tested do not see the point in answering quizzing questions. For a time I was so frustrated that we would do a lesson then I'd ask my child questions about what we learned. When they never answered correctly, I was convinced they hadn't learned anything....when in frustration I asked why they do that they said, "well, we know you already know the answers, so found it funny that 10 minutes after explaining you had already forgotten the info" they didn't see the point in answering correctly. *eyeroll* 

but I know I remember less than 1/4 of what I learned at public school. I never was very good at wrote memorization. The things I remember were when I was allowed to explore and follow my interests. That's the main idea behind Unschooling. Letting the kids interest spark.

we are technically unschoolers, though I prefer the term child-led learners. I've tried schooling in a variety of ways - from super strict textbook based, to radical Unschooling. What works for me is a melding of the two - I'm a textbook person myself so had a super hard time w/ radical Unschooling. So instead the kids give me things they are interested and I find tons of resources that kids can pick and choose from. But I'm fully aware the kids might change to a new interest at anytime which would mean more work for me. Loll

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Jan. 22, 2014 at 9:11 PM
1 mom liked this

I learn in the same way - I'm anally organized. I LOVE textbooks, and highlighters, and note taking....ahhhhh, heaven! But no matter how beautiful the curriculum I found or developed, none worked for my children. And I realized, I didn't learn that way until I was an adult. As a child I thought I was stupid, a dumb blonde. I didn't understand anything in class, and in fact often felt I was speaking a different language from my teachers. I dropped out of high school thinking I was as dumb as a brick, incapable of learning. But I signed up for college at a community college in order to stay on my dads health insurance. Luckily I got sick my first semester of college which prevented me from attending classes, and this was long before distance learning. When I got my associates degree and transferred to a 4 year college the counselor suggested I major in sciences. I explained I wasn't smart enough for that, and she pointed to my 4.0 GPA...that's when I realized it's better to let the Student choose the learning style rather than the teacher. 

I think real Unschooling is soooooo much harder on the facilitator. I'm CONSTANTLY in teacher mode, constantly tying in every single sentence, event, etc to everything else. For us learning is 7 days a week, 365 days per year. We cover the same information, and more, than a traditional schooler, it's just done completely out of the box. 

Quoting celtic77dragon:

I can see where that seems appealing to someone. I can even see some use in occasionally doing so.

Where I (personally) struggle with this concept is that it overwhelms me - my mind simply doesn't work like that. I LOVE to devour information. However, my mind has to go about it in a systematic way. The information has to be built up on top of previous information - in an orderly manner. This helps with my comprehension and memory of the material.

Maybe these aren't entirely accurate analogys; (for me personally) unschooling would be similar to going to the library tomorrow and finding out that there no longer is any order to it. OR to attempt building a house without starting from the foundation first. OR suddenly trying to build an ark right before the floods come. 

There is SO much information to cover. SO much of it IS important. To allow a child to just randomly choose which of it to learn and when... it just seems too abstract for me.

I would LOVE to meet an unschooler - to see how the day goes, how they make all the connections, to get a closer look at how their minds work...

What unschoolers do is so different from my understanding and from my capabilities. I almost believe that you have to be some form of genius to do it. 


Jen, you are coming off as an intelligent woman who has a good sense of things. So I respect what you are doing. So please do not take my inability to "get it" as an 






awesomemommy2
by on Jan. 22, 2014 at 9:17 PM
My "issue" with unschooling is that there could be subjects or topics that never came up which the child would take an interest in and even excel at. Without any sort of agenda, curriculum, etc there is a greater possibility for exclusion
KickButtMama
by Shannon on Jan. 22, 2014 at 9:25 PM
1 mom liked this

No bashing here, HS isn't as hard/horrible as many think it will be, but it is by no means a cake walk! I am the least patient person I know, but make it as a homeschooler. But I'm the first to agree homeschool is NOT for everyone. You have to be super passionate about it or you'll sink. 

Quoting darkmusepinup: I have to agree with this. I don't homeschool (lack the patience, you guys are amazing btw), however I find that my kids have learned more by going to museums with us than they did when they breached the subject in school. I hardly remember anything I learned in school and I HATED every minute of it, just as my kids do. :-(
I have been able to learn more as an adult, with free will, than as a child locked down into one single curriculum. I hate the fact that I don't have patience, drive, etc to teach my kids at home, but I wouldn't be teaching them much more so please don't bash me, I have my many reasons.
I just wanted you to know that your words made sense

Quoting KickButtMama:

First it's important to point out that she is a Radical Unschoolers, which is a fairly small population. Secondly, just because I don't have a curriculum for the presidents, let's say, doesn't mean my kids won't learn about them. My job as facilitator is to have learning materials available for my kids. For instance, when unpacking yesterday, they found a placemat with images of the presidents on it. This sparked a 2 hour discussion/investigation into who was the best president. This involved a poll of all the parents, looking online and even in an encyclopedia. None of it was sparked by me, none came from me parroting presidential facts and dates to them. Yet they learned. 

I think this mom was trying to maybe get that across. That learning can be done if we surround the kids with educational things. Furthermore, kids who are not routinely tested do not see the point in answering quizzing questions. For a time I was so frustrated that we would do a lesson then I'd ask my child questions about what we learned. When they never answered correctly, I was convinced they hadn't learned anything....when in frustration I asked why they do that they said, "well, we know you already know the answers, so found it funny that 10 minutes after explaining you had already forgotten the info" they didn't see the point in answering correctly. *eyeroll* 

but I know I remember less than 1/4 of what I learned at public school. I never was very good at wrote memorization. The things I remember were when I was allowed to explore and follow my interests. That's the main idea behind Unschooling. Letting the kids interest spark.

we are technically unschoolers, though I prefer the term child-led learners. I've tried schooling in a variety of ways - from super strict textbook based, to radical Unschooling. What works for me is a melding of the two - I'm a textbook person myself so had a super hard time w/ radical Unschooling. So instead the kids give me things they are interested and I find tons of resources that kids can pick and choose from. But I'm fully aware the kids might change to a new interest at anytime which would mean more work for me. Loll


KickButtMama
by Shannon on Jan. 22, 2014 at 9:37 PM
1 mom liked this

That's probably the most common misconception. It's my job as facilitator to be aware of what many, manny curriculums cover (rather than just one) and make sure my kids are exposed to all of it. It just doesn't happen in the normal check-list format. For instance I didn't read just the "What Your _____ Grader Needs To Know" for the grade he would have been in, I had to get ALL the books and familiarize myself with all the material all at once so if my son wanted to do 6th grade work in history, I could be ready to give him the necessary materials. 

I detest the term unschool because most people hear the term anti-school, when in reality it's anti-box. The kids aren't boxed into any grade or subject. When my 7 y/o wanted to pretend he was living in the Middle Ages he wanted to build a catapult, and attack his 9 y/o brothers castle...so they learned physics (centripetal motion) and algebra in order to build the best catapults they could. They didn't realize they should have been incapable of understanding physics and algebra, that they should have been just dipping their toes into multiplication. But it wasn't like the algebra just fell out of the sky either. I had to show them where to find the 'how to' and they had to practice and make mistakes - just like anyone learning algebra, just none of it was out of a textbook or on a worksheet.

my job as facilitator is to Listen - find out what truly interests my kids and find some way of applying it to learning. When we read Harry Potter as bed time stories, we also decided to learn Latin, since most of Harry's spells are based in Latin. We also decided to learn a bit of chemistry for potions. Traditional knowledge can be found in the most untraditional of places. 

Quoting awesomemommy2: My "issue" with unschooling is that there could be subjects or topics that never came up which the child would take an interest in and even excel at. Without any sort of agenda, curriculum, etc there is a greater possibility for exclusion


paganbaby
by Silver Member on Jan. 22, 2014 at 9:55 PM

That's why you expose them to it. I bought a book called Disgusting History. Neither of the kids asked for it or showed an interest initally but after reading the first chapter, everyone loved it.

Quoting awesomemommy2: My "issue" with unschooling is that there could be subjects or topics that never came up which the child would take an interest in and even excel at. Without any sort of agenda, curriculum, etc there is a greater possibility for exclusion




I will not have a temper tantrum nor stomp across the floor.


I will not pout, scream or shout or kick against the door.

I will not throw my food around nor pick upon another.

I’ll always try to be real good because I am the mother.

I am the mother.

I am the mother.














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