Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

homschooler/sort of unschooler with some questions on practical application

Posted by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 9:23 PM
  • 7 Replies
  • 170 Total Views

I home school my 5 yr old (entirely at his lead, I have never pushed anything he doesn't want to do...even at his age, he is very very into learning and "ahead" of most in his age group, and we're not super structured) we do a lot of unschooling type stuff, but I have some practical application type questions. I know the whys and concepts and ideas, but I need the specifics of how to.

I have been learning to get away from the typical homeschooling -bring the classroom to the home table- type concept/method, and as someone who grew up in public schools, that's difficult sometimes...but I don't want to just create a "school" environment at home, and beyond that I don't want even that method/type of education....but I am not really sure HOW to avoid that pitfall. I don't like the public school model of education, even in how/what they teach, but I don't really know how to NOT do that, does that make sense? He likes to do workbooks, so we do some of those, but I don't just want to sit at the table and do workbooks for school.....I let him do what he likes, which includes work books, but I know he wants and needs a lot more than that. He reads at a typical 1st grade level (asked me to teach him to read and got to that point in about 3-4 weeks), does 1st grade math (we play the Sum Swamp board game a lot, and I have a lot of fun math games/learning concepts that we do that are very hands on). He is a kinesthetic learner, very hands on, visual oriented learner.  I want to instill a love of learning, and not the typical school attitude, but I have no idea how to do that...or if I have done it/am doing it already even.

by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 9:23 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-7):
jen2150
by Member on Dec. 31, 2012 at 9:03 AM

I would say just keep doing what you are doing.  Maybe start introducing ideas and see how he enjoys them.  Just go with things he enjoys.  My sons love workbooks as well.  I know pretty well what things they enjoy.  I would also say not all things were bad in school.  I just bought my sons a pocket chart wall organizer.  We needed something so they could stop losing all their papers.  My son has a scroll of learning which he uses for spelling and My Way homework book he made.  Does he have any favorite areas of science or history?  What about Art and writing?  I bought a 10 foot dry paper to stick on my wall and just let my sons go to town with.  Have you asked what he wants to learn about?  I know he is young but I am sure has some ideas.  

jessradtke
by on Dec. 31, 2012 at 10:00 AM

From what you've said here, it sounds like you are doing just fine. Keep doing what you're doing! And consider letting your thoughts about what is "educational" extend a little more. There's nothing wrong with workbooks and such if your son likes them, but pay a little more attention to what your son likes IN ADDITION TO workbooks and Sum Swamp. (Both of my kids LOVED that game by the way.) Look especially at what he plays with and the way he plays with them and you will find much more learning going on than you might think. Follow the joy and you will find there is learning going on. 

I have some question for you that may or may not help you jump a few mental hurdles, if you don't mind. You said, " I know he wants and needs a lot more than that". Can you explain HOW do you know that? Is that something you think he "should" feel, or does he actually say or do things that make you think this? If so, WHAT does he say/do that makes you think that? Your answers to these questions might give you some help in figuring out what that "more" he needs is (if anything).

In my opinion it's nearly impossible to avoid that school mentality pitfall completely. Afterall, it's what we know best because we have lots of years of experience with it. There will be plenty of times when you realize that what you are trying to do isn't working. That's OKAY! This is a learning experience for you as well as your son. Recognize it as such and switch tracks (or just drop it altogether) when you realize something's not working. No judgments, or worrying, or beating yourself is necessary. Just set a new course.

Also, I have found that it isn't necessary to instill (or give, or teach, or however one wishes to say it) children a love of learning because they already have it. They were born with it. They were born to learn. It's really that simple. So, maybe instead of thinking of it as something you have to instill in your son, think of it as a fire, a desire, that is already burning within him. You don't have to start the fire, just keep it going, and to keep a fire burning you must keep feeding it fuel. Support anything he finds that he wants to learn about to the best of your ability and within your budget. And let him see you enjoying learning as often as possible as well. It's a little easier for him to take over feeding his own fire if he has seen examples of how to do that.

These are all just suggestions, of course. Take what you want and leave the rest. Above all, trust yourself. You're doing just fine!


  

     PEACE,

   JESSICA

ApachePunk
by New Member on Dec. 31, 2012 at 12:29 PM

I know he wants and needs more because of the questions he asks, and I can tell when he gets bored with workbooks but I don't have a whole lot more to do with him. I have a small budget. We do a lot of science experiments and he loves those, and sometimes we do crafts, but I just feel like we're doing way too much workbook stuff and not enough of the hands on, exploration type stuff that I know he loves and learns well with. I guess we're doing better than I thought, lol, but I feel like my creative juices are not flowing as much as they should be and he's only in kindergarten! I know he learns a lot through play, and when he asks questions I try to take time with him to explore those questions - like how do x-rays work, and are there real robots, and stuff like that without sitting down and doing structured schooling. I haven't really figured out how to incorporate that stuff into our more structured schooling though, and I know he would love that. He ask SOOOOO many questions and I feel like I don't dig deep enough into a few subjects that he likes because I am not really sure how or what to do. Maybe I'm just crazy and we're fine.

LindaClement
by Group Owner on Jan. 2, 2013 at 1:48 AM

We mostly just lived like it was Saturday in July.

Some days, the kids hung out taking turns playing SIMs... other days they wanted to explore every museum they could find. They did a lot of online research and a lot of testing things out at home.

TinasTribe
by New Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Hey, I know you... you are friends with Vanessa!   I think you are already doing it mama! You are encouraging what he likes, you are helping him gain knowledge, and you are not forcing him to sit at a desk all day. WTG! 

faeriemom1972
by Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 10:02 AM

This is pretty much me right now. My son is only 6 and he goes through phases where he gives the impression he wants more structure but when I give it to him he hates it, lol. He likes to structure things on his own terms which actually makes life much more interesting :)

Quoting LindaClement:

We mostly just lived like it was Saturday in July.

Some days, the kids hung out taking turns playing SIMs... other days they wanted to explore every museum they could find. They did a lot of online research and a lot of testing things out at home.


LindaClement
by Group Owner on Jan. 2, 2013 at 1:01 PM
1 mom liked this

My kids often asked for more structure, and I suggested to them that they could have as much as they felt like creating, but I wasn't going to take the lead on that one. 

I think the request is a result of that uncomfortable beginning of a new phase of exploration when they become aware of a massive range of possibilities and don't know which they want to explore... that discomfort is, I think, what suggest to them to get someone else to do something about it. 

I don't think 'doing something' about it is a good idea ... at least not for anyone but the learner themselves.

Quoting faeriemom1972:

This is pretty much me right now. My son is only 6 and he goes through phases where he gives the impression he wants more structure but when I give it to him he hates it, lol. He likes to structure things on his own terms which actually makes life much more interesting :)

Quoting LindaClement:

We mostly just lived like it was Saturday in July.

Some days, the kids hung out taking turns playing SIMs... other days they wanted to explore every museum they could find. They did a lot of online research and a lot of testing things out at home.



Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)