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How do I unschool?

Posted by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 1:39 PM
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Hello, I want to know how to unschool. I have been teaching my son now for 2 years through the Idaho Virtual Acadamy and I HATE it. I feel like we are constanly on guard to be where the school wants us to be and it is not enjoyable anymore to us. At the beginning of the day we are dreading the start and by the end of the day we are both in tears. Can someone please explain to me how to do this. Thanks.

by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 1:39 PM
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Replies (1-10):
faeriemom1972
by Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 10:28 PM
2 moms liked this

My son is only 6 (7 in April), so I still consider myself new at this. I guess, technically I have 6 years of experience, lol. My husband loved the idea of unschooling, but I was skeptical. In September of the year my son would have started kindergarten, I was determined to 'make it like school'. Lol, that lasted about 30 minutes. We sat down with a workbook, my wonderful, bright, happy, funny son was in tears and frustrated within 15 minutes. I threw the work book in the recycle bin and promised we would never do that again unless he wanted to. We went outside and played in the yard for much of the day. It was a year before he wanted to pick up a crayon again. I don't know how to unschool, or maybe I don't know how to not unschool. We just live our lives. Today we fed penguins at the zoo, tomorrow we are going to have a Pokemon battle with plushies. I told him my La La La Loopsies will take his Pokemon down. He replied 'challenge accepted'. He's been looking forward to this battle all day, lol. I may need 3 cups of coffee tomorrow :) 

LindaClement
by Group Owner on Feb. 7, 2013 at 1:43 AM
1 mom liked this

Whenever someone asked us what a 'typical' unschooling day looked like, I said: any Saturday in July.

Pretend it's the weekend (or summer break, or holidays, or whatever) ... Sure, there's probably 'important work' to do on Monday, but it's Friday night! Worry about that on Monday...

... and Monday never comes, because it becomes perfectly obvious that the kids are learning, and thriving, and creative, and helpful, and kind to each other, and inclusive, and flexible, and self-directed and self-motivated ...

Plus, they happen to be about to read about as well as their peers ... and understand money and % and interest and borrowing money, and inter-generational conversation and the personal rewards of hard work, and that the world is open to them and they can learn anything they want to...

While they're quite happily discovering themselves and what they can do, and what they like to do, and what they're naturally talented at...

jen2150
by Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Unschooling like homeschooling is different for everyone.  Just listen to what your child is telling you and follow their interests.  If they don't like something then it will become apparent very quickly.  I plan lessons for my children in things they are interested in.  They are free to change them in any way.  Last night my kids watched a dvd on Chemistry with me.  My sons love studying Chemistry.  My son got interested in Chemistry just by seeing H20 on his water bottle.    I believe in introducing new activities and subjects to my children.  I tell them try it and if you don't like then you don't have to do it again.  They love trying new things.  Math and science involve encouraging them to play with Math and science.  Just have fun with it.  With spelling my kids don't start until around 9 and even then they pick the words they want to learn and then decide how they want to learn them.  It is so much fun seeing what they come up with.  I know a lot of unschoolers probably wouldn't consider us unschoolers and that is ok. I mostly consider us child led learners.   I am really not all that concerned with labels.  I am more concerned whether my kids are happy and accomplishing my two desires for them.  I want them to love learning and to love books.  

TxMommyOfBoys
by New Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 12:06 AM
1 mom liked this

It really is all up to you on how it works :) We do have a little structure, simply because my husband isn't 100% on board with my hippie lifestyle (lol) ~ he wasnt too thrilled at cloth diapering, but we did that for 3 years :P 

Anywho, we do a very informal math and LA curriculum....life of fred & total language plus, and even with those, we pick and choose what we want to do! We read a lot! My kids enjoy reading, but they really like me reading to them still at this age, so I do (my boys are 10, 7 & 4) Other than that, we just go with their interests. We watch Mythbusters & play Minecraft a lot! We paint, play with play doh, go to the museum, take fencing & karate, do chores (haha!), go on walks, and we are known to pick something and research it like crazy! Example....right now we are all learning about healthy eating choices and exercise (dh & I recently lost alot of weight and they were asking about it, so I went with it!)

Anyways, enough rambling, it is what you want it to be!

faeriemom1972
by Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 11:13 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting TxMommyOfBoys:

It really is all up to you on how it works :) We do have a little structure, simply because my husband isn't 100% on board with my hippie lifestyle (lol) ~ he wasnt too thrilled at cloth diapering, but we did that for 3 years :P 

Anywho, we do a very informal math and LA curriculum....life of fred & total language plus, and even with those, we pick and choose what we want to do! We read a lot! My kids enjoy reading, but they really like me reading to them still at this age, so I do (my boys are 10, 7 & 4) Other than that, we just go with their interests. We watch Mythbusters & play Minecraft a lot! We paint, play with play doh, go to the museum, take fencing & karate, do chores (haha!), go on walks, and we are known to pick something and research it like crazy! Example....right now we are all learning about healthy eating choices and exercise (dh & I recently lost alot of weight and they were asking about it, so I went with it!)

Anyways, enough rambling, it is what you want it to be!

My son loves Minecraft! It's all he wants to do anymore, lol.

Saracide
by Member on Feb. 18, 2013 at 4:46 PM
I live in Idaho and have experience with IDVA. Where in Idaho are you?
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IloveNCIS
by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 5:05 PM

 

I'm in North Idaho, Sandpoint.

Quoting Saracide:

I live in Idaho and have experience with IDVA. Where in Idaho are you?


 

Saracide
by Member on Feb. 18, 2013 at 5:36 PM
I'm in Idaho Falls. I caved and went against my gut feeling to unschool and enrolled my then 6 year old in IDVA. This is our first year with it and I am trying to decide if it is going to be a continued thing for us. I have completely enjoyed the freedom it gives me but also like the "security" of school, if you get what I mean.

But all the fighting to get him to do repetative and pointless worksheets and such seems like such a waste of time and energy, and it is not the kind of environment I want my child growing up in. I told myself we would finish out this year and see how it goes before I decide what I am doing next year with him. I just didn't have the confidence to go at it alone without any sort of structure, but after this year, I think I can handle no school perfectly fine.


Quoting IloveNCIS:

 


I'm in North Idaho, Sandpoint.


Quoting Saracide:

I live in Idaho and have experience with IDVA. Where in Idaho are you?



 

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
IloveNCIS
by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 5:54 PM

 

 My kid loves to do worksheets but he likes to do them on his time. I am finishing out this year also with IDVA but I highly doubt I will be doing it again next year. I just need to find the right thing for us. I really like the idea of this unschooling but at the same time I am a little scared to go this route. I don't want him to get behind kids his age.

Quoting Saracide:

I'm in Idaho Falls. I caved and went against my gut feeling to unschool and enrolled my then 6 year old in IDVA. This is our first year with it and I am trying to decide if it is going to be a continued thing for us. I have completely enjoyed the freedom it gives me but also like the "security" of school, if you get what I mean.

But all the fighting to get him to do repetative and pointless worksheets and such seems like such a waste of time and energy, and it is not the kind of environment I want my child growing up in. I told myself we would finish out this year and see how it goes before I decide what I am doing next year with him. I just didn't have the confidence to go at it alone without any sort of structure, but after this year, I think I can handle no school perfectly fine.


Quoting IloveNCIS:

 


I'm in North Idaho, Sandpoint.


Quoting Saracide:

I live in Idaho and have experience with IDVA. Where in Idaho are you?

 


 


 

Jortess
by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 1:06 PM

unschool- child led learning....

My DD is ADD, LD and dyslexic, the public school system just didn't cut it for her, we did homeschool for 2 months and tossed it out the window, with her disabilities she was more frustrated than anything, so she learned nothing. Homeschool is curriculum based and you need to share a portfolio or have your child tested each year with your local district.

Unschooling is like private school, where I am, I only turn in attendence sheets for both my children. Both children choose what they want to learn. We than apply the learning to grade level for my son and with my daughter we do graphs, diagrams, mind-graphs and so fourth to help her remember ( she is a global visual Kinesthetic learner ) therefore she doesn't respond well to reading or verbal learning techniques. We spend the majority of our time "learning" but in a fun way. 

My DD is 11 & My DS is 15

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