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Are unschooled children more curious?

Posted by on May. 30, 2013 at 9:18 AM
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I was talking to a friend of mine and she asked me what kind of method we use.  I told her we were somewhere between  eclectic and unshooling.  I have always been hesitant calling ourselves unschoolers.  We use curriculum and co-op classes but it is all child led.  We don't use anything my kids don't love doing.  If they want to do things differently they just have to tell me.  She said following an unschooling approach is easy because my kids are curious.  They are curious about everything.  I am of the opinion all kids are curious.  All kids really need is freedom for their curiosity.    Do you think some kids are easier to unschool than others?  I actually run a local co-op and teach classes quite a bit.  I see a lot of curiosity from all age groups.  Some of the kids that are new and have been in public school for awhile I can see a big difference in their curiosity levels.  I know some other methods produce curious children.   I think though the methods that produce more curious children have a lot more freedom.  I remember losing my curiosity in elementary and regaining it in high school and college.  I have to admit though I never fully regained my curiosity until I began homeschooling.  I find myself reading books on science just for the fun of it.  I am also curious how unschooling has affected your own curiosity?  


On a little side note my son has inspired me to create a new class for my co-op.  I was watching him just playing with Math and got me thinking on how to encourage other kids to have fun with math.  I hear a lot of new homeschool moms complain about how hard math class is for their kids.  So I am designing a class called creative math.  We will be using non tradational methods to learn about Math.  We will using k'nex, art, oragami and host of other ways to just have fun and play with math.  My son has already pulled a few projects out the books and loves them.  I just had to share.  I found some very awesome books that I love.  


Hope everyone is having a great week!

by on May. 30, 2013 at 9:18 AM
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LindaClement
by Group Owner on May. 30, 2013 at 12:26 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't think unschooled kids are more curious by nature than kids in school, I think they just have more opportunities to retain their curiosity.

I learned in grade 2 not to ask questions that the teacher had not already answered, because the lesson material is often more than 100% of what the teacher knows about the subject --and teachers object to having their ignorance pointed out to them by 7yos.

jen2150
by Member on May. 30, 2013 at 12:51 PM
My kids correct me so much it doesn't faze me anymore. I know what you mean though. I don't recall encountering that in school too much. Maybe it was because I was very shy. My son is not. He challenges everything people say. He even questions what I say. He is fearless. I am curious if you think curiosity is inherited or more environmental. I am a very curious person. My husband has a very high IQ but I am of a more average IQ level. I am not sure if it is the combination. I have long suspected my oldest is on the gifted range. My sons are extremely curious and have a million questions. Someone once asked my son what his favorite subject in school was and he told them everything. I often wonder if they would be as curious in a regular school situation. I would like to think as their mom I would still be able to help them keep their curiosity no matter what.
Quoting LindaClement:

I don't think unschooled kids are more curious by nature than kids in school, I think they just have more opportunities to retain their curiosity.

I learned in grade 2 not to ask questions that the teacher had not already answered, because the lesson material is often more than 100% of what the teacher knows about the subject --and teachers object to having their ignorance pointed out to them by 7yos.


LindaClement
by Group Owner on May. 30, 2013 at 1:04 PM

I think curiosity is natural, but if you slap a child's hand every time they go to crawl off a blanket in the middle of a floor, they're stop exercising it to the point that they're convinced they have none when they're 21.

I think your kids would not withstand the pressure to conform in a normal school setting --few children do. Whether or not that conformity bled over to any of the rest of their lives would depend a lot on what they encountered 'out there.'

So, I suppose my answer is 'yes' --curiosity is natural, and its expression is a result of the environment :D

Quoting jen2150:

My kids correct me so much it doesn't faze me anymore. I know what you mean though. I don't recall encountering that in school too much. Maybe it was because I was very shy. My son is not. He challenges everything people say. He even questions what I say. He is fearless. I am curious if you think curiosity is inherited or more environmental. I am a very curious person. My husband has a very high IQ but I am of a more average IQ level. I am not sure if it is the combination. I have long suspected my oldest is on the gifted range. My sons are extremely curious and have a million questions. Someone once asked my son what his favorite subject in school was and he told them everything. I often wonder if they would be as curious in a regular school situation. I would like to think as their mom I would still be able to help them keep their curiosity no matter what.
Quoting LindaClement:

I don't think unschooled kids are more curious by nature than kids in school, I think they just have more opportunities to retain their curiosity.

I learned in grade 2 not to ask questions that the teacher had not already answered, because the lesson material is often more than 100% of what the teacher knows about the subject --and teachers object to having their ignorance pointed out to them by 7yos.



Saracide
by Member on May. 30, 2013 at 3:36 PM
Kids are just curious. School teaches them not to think, do as they say, and don't ask questions. More or less. it makes me very sad, to be honest. But plenty of my son's friends who are schooled are just as curious as my son. I often have pretty interesting conversations with his friends, because they feel comfortable talking to me.

I find my own curiousity has grown since I have been learning with my son. Suddenly I'm interested in a million things and I don't know where to start. I'm looking things up more because my son asks me questions I don't know the answer to, or I feel I can show him better with a video or something. Yesterday he wanted to know what the heart did and what it looked like. We spent a good half hour on YouTube watching videos of heart functions and a real heart transplant. Educational for both of us!

I think freedom is the key. Freedom to explore and ask questions.
jen2150
by Member on May. 30, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Have you heard of the book The Way We work.  The art work in it is amazing.  Talking about the heart made me think of it.    I love how he draws the layout of the heart similar to pipes under a city.  I completely agree with you.  Freedom is the key.  I am looking things up as well.  I even find myself reading books on things my kids are interested in.  It also encourages me to branch out and develop more of my own interests.   I even decided to take karate with my sons when he asked if he could try taking karate.  I love doing karate with my sons.


Quoting Saracide:

Kids are just curious. School teaches them not to think, do as they say, and don't ask questions. More or less. it makes me very sad, to be honest. But plenty of my son's friends who are schooled are just as curious as my son. I often have pretty interesting conversations with his friends, because they feel comfortable talking to me.

I find my own curiousity has grown since I have been learning with my son. Suddenly I'm interested in a million things and I don't know where to start. I'm looking things up more because my son asks me questions I don't know the answer to, or I feel I can show him better with a video or something. Yesterday he wanted to know what the heart did and what it looked like. We spent a good half hour on YouTube watching videos of heart functions and a real heart transplant. Educational for both of us!

I think freedom is the key. Freedom to explore and ask questions.



irvinehiker
by Member on Jun. 1, 2013 at 12:03 AM

Love your math class ideas.  My son has taken a sudden interest in legos.  Yesterday I heard him doing multiplication as he was sitting in the middle of a pile of legos.  :)

jen2150
by Member on Jun. 1, 2013 at 8:18 AM
Thank you. A couple of years ago we would struggle with multiplication facts. We were both becoming frustrated. I decided that I would just let it go. I printed off a multiplication chart and told just to go have fun. Best decision ever. He never memorized a single fact. He is in 6th grade now and has learned so many of them. Kids really are wired to learn by playing. We love using legos with math. I got workbook book a while back called Math Art. It has so many cool ideas. My son likes to go through it and pick out ideas he likes. A couple of weeks ago he made a wanted poster for the number 6. It was a lot of fun. He put up at the top it was wanted for beating up the number 5. At the bottom were identification facts for the number 6.
Quoting irvinehiker:

Love your math class ideas.  My son has taken a sudden interest in legos.  Yesterday I heard him doing multiplication as he was sitting in the middle of a pile of legos.  :)


jen2150
by Member on Jun. 1, 2013 at 8:25 AM
1 mom liked this
I don't know if anyone likes k'nex but here is the teacher's guide. My son this past year has really been into geometry. I love some of the ideas in this teachers guide. It has lesson plans but I just pull out the parts that I like. http://morrissey-pulvers.cmswiki.wikispaces.net/file/view/K-2+K'Nex+Teachers'+Guide.pdf
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