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How do you explain unschooling to neighbors, friends, and family?

Posted by on Jun. 26, 2013 at 2:39 PM
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I live in an area that is not homeschooling friendly .  It is a BIG stretch for people to wrap their mind around the idea of homeschooling, not to mention unschooling.  I know I'm walking the right path for my kids, it's just kind of a confidence breaker when I'm surrounded by naysayers.  

Questions I hear all the time.

"how are they ever going to get a job?"

"how are they going to ever learn responsibility?

I could go on and on :( 

by on Jun. 26, 2013 at 2:39 PM
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Replies (1-10):
jen2150
by Member on Jun. 26, 2013 at 11:30 PM
2 moms liked this

What I say depends on their attitude.  If they are polite and just asking questions then I return the curtisity.  If they are rude then I see no reason to be polite.  I would have a list of questions to ask them.   I am bad that way.

How  will they learn to think for themselves?

How are they going to love learning?  

Sorry to hear the area is so negtive.  You found a great group of women here.  Lots of great advice.  

LindaClement
by Group Owner on Jun. 27, 2013 at 6:52 PM
2 moms liked this

I am a very, very sarcastic person and everyone close to me knows it. I got very little of this from close to me (because they all knew I'd have an answer that suggested they learn to think before they speak :D)

For rude people (it's usually pretty obvious), I'd rejoin in the same tones. Snappy answers to rude questions are a bit of a sport for me :D

Where will they learn responsibility?

~ are you suggesting that schools have any way of teaching that?

~ did you learn that in school?

~ was responsibility invented in 1760?

How are they ever going to get a job?

~ well, I hire them out to the neighbours to scrub floors

~ we were planning on selling them into slavery, actually

~ at about 14, generally

~ by applying for jobs?

jen2150
by Member on Jun. 27, 2013 at 8:45 PM
1 mom liked this

I cna't fathom you being sarcastic!


Quoting LindaClement:

I am a very, very sarcastic person and everyone close to me knows it. I got very little of this from close to me (because they all knew I'd have an answer that suggested they learn to think before they speak :D)

For rude people (it's usually pretty obvious), I'd rejoin in the same tones. Snappy answers to rude questions are a bit of a sport for me :D

Where will they learn responsibility?

~ are you suggesting that schools have any way of teaching that?

~ did you learn that in school?

~ was responsibility invented in 1760?

How are they ever going to get a job?

~ well, I hire them out to the neighbours to scrub floors

~ we were planning on selling them into slavery, actually

~ at about 14, generally

~ by applying for jobs?



irvinehiker
by Member on Jun. 27, 2013 at 11:43 PM
1 mom liked this

I really wish I could be as bold as you!  I have a hard time with confrontation.  It's frustrating to know I'm doing the best thing for my kids and no one else "gets it."

Quoting LindaClement:

I am a very, very sarcastic person and everyone close to me knows it. I got very little of this from close to me (because they all knew I'd have an answer that suggested they learn to think before they speak :D)

For rude people (it's usually pretty obvious), I'd rejoin in the same tones. Snappy answers to rude questions are a bit of a sport for me :D

Where will they learn responsibility?

~ are you suggesting that schools have any way of teaching that?

~ did you learn that in school?

~ was responsibility invented in 1760?

How are they ever going to get a job?

~ well, I hire them out to the neighbours to scrub floors

~ we were planning on selling them into slavery, actually

~ at about 14, generally

~ by applying for jobs?


LindaClement
by Group Owner on Jun. 28, 2013 at 1:04 AM

rolling on floor

I know. Everyone's always surprised by that.

Quoting jen2150:

I cna't fathom you being sarcastic!


Quoting LindaClement:

I am a very, very sarcastic person and everyone close to me knows it. I got very little of this from close to me (because they all knew I'd have an answer that suggested they learn to think before they speak :D)

For rude people (it's usually pretty obvious), I'd rejoin in the same tones. Snappy answers to rude questions are a bit of a sport for me :D

Where will they learn responsibility?

~ are you suggesting that schools have any way of teaching that?

~ did you learn that in school?

~ was responsibility invented in 1760?

How are they ever going to get a job?

~ well, I hire them out to the neighbours to scrub floors

~ we were planning on selling them into slavery, actually

~ at about 14, generally

~ by applying for jobs?




LindaClement
by Group Owner on Jun. 28, 2013 at 1:15 AM

I seem to have been born bold. I'd bottle it if I could think of how...

Really, it helps a lot (for the timid) to agree with critics. It's kind of tricky, but you can do it completely ethically, while diffusing their rage and suspicion (because, trust me: it's rage and suspicion.)

Agreement sounds like rolling over, but you don't have to change anything.

You can agree in a lot of ways that aren't about changing your mind.

For example:

How are they ever going to get a job?

~ You are so right: it's hard to guarantee that how we raise our kids will result in job success. Do you know someone who's really struggling these days? (agree with the deeper issue)

~ Yes, the whole employment issue is such a big worry for parents, particularly when they've lived so much upheaval or watched competent, educated friends struggle to stay employed... (agree in principle)

~ Oh, I know. It's hard to feel confident in parenting these days, isn't it? (agree with a far broader issue)

~ Thank you so much for your concern about my kids' future. That means a lot to me, and I know that will matter a lot to them as they grow. (utter deflection)

~ Yes, I sometimes worry about that. Is it something you worry a lot about for your kids, or do you feel really confident all the time about it? (direct the question back at them)

Quoting irvinehiker:

I really wish I could be as bold as you!  I have a hard time with confrontation.  It's frustrating to know I'm doing the best thing for my kids and no one else "gets it."


faeriemom1972
by Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 1:28 AM
1 mom liked this

I live in a homeschool friendly town so I just tell people that's what I do. Recently my sil suggested that I do the "school at home" program offered by our towns school district. It's exactly what I have no intention of doing and I had to tell her that we actually unschool. I explained to her that most people are not familiar with unschooling or they are and are critical of it and I don't feel the need to justify myself to anyone. When I explained a little bit of what it is she thought it was great. The only other person that I use the term unschooling with is my mother. She's a pain in the ass, but that crazy old hippy gets what we are doing and loves it. As well she should. My childhood was anything but "school-y", lol.

mamavalor
by Member on Aug. 12, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Hi there, I am new here and am just like you in that I don't like confrontation.  I will stand up for myself, don't get me wrong but I feel it's not my job to educate people or to enlighten them, especially when they are set in their ways.  I like my husband's saying, "If people are unwilling to just relax and listen to what others have to say, and maybe even learn something, then they can go on living in their ignorance." 

We are unschoolers and attend a provincial small town public school in NJ.  We don't take standardized testing or "levels" seriously, or or the whole "gotta-do-everything-to-get-into-college-because-the-competition-is-so-fierce-out-there" attitude.  My kids are happy.  They are strong individuals enjoying life.  They are hard workers and kind, and help others.  I give them independence so they can work on their problem-solving skills and they choose things they are passionate about. 

This way of schooling works for me and my family.  We are very comfortable with our situation.  It's in my nature to have it this way because I attended a progressive, based on universal values, public school in Mass. where most of my teachers were hippies.  I still keep in contact with two of my favorite teachers, for mentorship and friendship.  People look at me funny when I tell them I am from Boston.  They say I don't sound like I'm from Boston, when I think they really mean you don't act like you're from Boston.  lol.

faeriemom1972
by Member on Aug. 12, 2013 at 11:35 AM

I think I misread this, lol. You are unschoolers but your children attend public school?

Quoting mamavalor:

Hi there, I am new here and am just like you in that I don't like confrontation.  I will stand up for myself, don't get me wrong but I feel it's not my job to educate people or to enlighten them, especially when they are set in their ways.  I like my husband's saying, "If people are unwilling to just relax and listen to what others have to say, and maybe even learn something, then they can go on living in their ignorance." 

We are unschoolers and attend a provincial small town public school in NJ.  We don't take standardized testing or "levels" seriously, or or the whole "gotta-do-everything-to-get-into-college-because-the-competition-is-so-fierce-out-there" attitude.  My kids are happy.  They are strong individuals enjoying life.  They are hard workers and kind, and help others.  I give them independence so they can work on their problem-solving skills and they choose things they are passionate about. 

This way of schooling works for me and my family.  We are very comfortable with our situation.  It's in my nature to have it this way because I attended a progressive, based on universal values, public school in Mass. where most of my teachers were hippies.  I still keep in contact with two of my favorite teachers, for mentorship and friendship.  People look at me funny when I tell them I am from Boston.  They say I don't sound like I'm from Boston, when I think they really mean you don't act like you're from Boston.  lol.


mamavalor
by Member on Aug. 12, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Nope.  You read it correctly.  My kids' primary place of learning is at home.  School is a place where they go to interact with the world and maybe learn a thing or two.  It's a place where they get to practice creative play and problem-solving.  I use the public school as a microcosm to teach my children to understand the larger world. 

 

Quoting faeriemom1972:

I think I misread this, lol. You are unschoolers but your children attend public school?
Quoting mamavalor:

Hi there, I am new here and am just like you in that I don't like confrontation.  I will stand up for myself, don't get me wrong but I feel it's not my job to educate people or to enlighten them, especially when they are set in their ways.  I like my husband's saying, "If people are unwilling to just relax and listen to what others have to say, and maybe even learn something, then they can go on living in their ignorance." 

We are unschoolers and attend a provincial small town public school in NJ.  We don't take standardized testing or "levels" seriously, or or the whole "gotta-do-everything-to-get-into-college-because-the-competition-is-so-fierce-out-there" attitude.  My kids are happy.  They are strong individuals enjoying life.  They are hard workers and kind, and help others.  I give them independence so they can work on their problem-solving skills and they choose things they are passionate about. 

This way of schooling works for me and my family.  We are very comfortable with our situation.  It's in my nature to have it this way because I attended a progressive, based on universal values, public school in Mass. where most of my teachers were hippies.  I still keep in contact with two of my favorite teachers, for mentorship and friendship.  People look at me funny when I tell them I am from Boston.  They say I don't sound like I'm from Boston, when I think they really mean you don't act like you're from Boston.  lol.



 

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