Greetings From The New Group Owner (It's A Long One...)
I am Stacie and I am the new owner of this group. I am very thankful for this opportunity. I love and really believe in unschooling, and it is fun to connect and learn from other people on this journey.
This is our 5th year homeschooling. I have one son, Levi, age 12. We have dabbled in unschooling for every year that we homeschooled. But each time I would inevitably get scared and go back to a more traditional approach. Then I'd see that it wasn't working, and I'd get more unschooly. Even at the beginning of this year I started out a bit too traditional. After two weeks I was reminded of what a bad idea that was, and I have made the decision to never go back there.
My belief in unschooling got stronger and stronger after I joined CafeMom and began reading the posts of new homeschoolers. They fretted over curriculum or how to know if their child is learning enough. As I answered and encouraged them, the truth became so clear to me. (I've always been one to find my answers in writing them out). Kids live, and they learn. Let them play and explore. Encourage them in their interests, and watch them fly. This year my son has really come into his own, and showed me that unschooling works. It has been amazing to see. His interests and passions are solid, and he loves working toward them.
We are not Radical Unschoolers. For example....
Levi helps with the work around the house. We all work together as a family to make our home a clean, comfortable and happy place to be. But I'm not a taskmaster. If there is a chore he hates, I either trade him one of mine, or just take it over for him. He is the same with me. I have arthritis and Fibromyalgia, so many of the heavier, more strenuous chores are hard for me. He gladly does them for me. We care for and respect each other, and I think that is a key component in unschooling, and in life.
Also, hygiene is not an option. As a pre-teen boy, he would love to only take a shower once a week, and never brush his teeth, but he knows it's required.
Levi has a lot of freedom in his academic choices, but there is some structure. He has always wanted to be some sort of engineer, and he knows that math and science are necessary for that field. Those are also his favorite subjects. So they are required.
My husband teaches math – and they do it nearly everyday. But after much trial and error, they chose a book series they both love because it is so much fun. (It's called Life of Fred).
Science is less structured. We do use a text for guidance or reference, but we jump around to what he wants to do. He watches videos, reads science magazines, reads science experiment books, does science experiments, and does projects.
History, he chooses to read a text book. But he doesn't have to answer questions or have quizzes or tests. He just wants to read it.
Language there is no text. It's just living and usage. He enjoys research and typing (not writing) reports.
Levi LOVES computer games and plays them ALOT. Probably more than the average parent would allow. He also enjoys movies.
He doesn't like music(except listening
to it), fine arts or team sports, so there is none of that around
here. (Well, for him anyway. I love art!)
Levi also has a lot of freedom in life. If he doesn't like something we say or do, he is more then welcome to respectfully question it. We listen and discuss options. If he wants to stay up late or sleep in, he just lets us know and asks if there is anything going on the next day he should know about.
That is all I can think of for now. Even though I am not a Radical Unschooler, I am always open to learning to let go of any unhealthy hang-ups I'm still holding onto. No one is perfect and we can all learn from each other.
Everyone is welcome here, from those just interested in or considering unschooling, to those full-out Radical Unschoolers. As long as we all respect each other's choices and opinions, and realize we are all on different places on our paths.
I really hope this group takes off. Uschooling is such a beautiful thing!
Visit my homeschool blog....HavenWood HomeSchool