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New with questions.... This could get long....

Posted by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 6:54 PM
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Hello all, I am new to the group. I have homeschooled my kids with a half "typical" homeschool approach mixed with an unschooling up until my child started kindergarden.  DD seemed to learn very well, and really enjoyed learning. She seemed to fully understand what I was teaching her at that time. Ok, so then I enrolled in this virtual public school thing, that is really really strict. I mean they bounce from one thing to the next that my child is having a really hard time retaining it.  It was so boring or my daughter. I know a little about unschooling and I am doing my best to fully research it. From previous experence I believe this is the way my child learns the best.  She is 1st grade now and is really struggling with reading, and phonics. Partly because the lessons go so quickly that she was never able to fully grasp alot of it.

Thing is, minnesota has some pretty strict homeschooling laws. I dont know a thing about record keeping, or how I would go about doing it.

I guess I am looking for some advice. Encouragement, something.  Has anyone found that traditional way to homeschool just didnt work with their kid, or that unschooling didnt work with a child? I am really frustrated, and at my wits end. Help please




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Living life through the eyes of a child!

by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 6:54 PM
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by Group Owner on Jan. 27, 2009 at 6:40 PM

I will have to look up Min,'s Laws.

I actually did nothing with my kids until Kidergarten. My husband had us send the older two to public. My yungest has never been I didn't even start anything with him until he was 6- and never used a curriculum or anything.

2 of boys are late readers. not reading more than Kindergarten Early Readers until 4th grade. And that's just fine. The read when they were ready. My middle taught himself to read when he was 4 (or maybe 3, hard to tell, he didn't communicate until he was 5)


I consider us to be "Quasi" unschoolers. We are not 'radical' . I actually do require schooling be done and reading & math daily (pretty much)- but thy get to choose what they do and how for those. and the rest f the things- they have to chose a certain numbers of things to be learning, but it's pretty free and up to them.

Ki loves having a schedule and routine, the others like to do their school when they feel like it- sometimes ay 6AM before I am even awake.

we don't go by what a curriculum tells us- but Gavin is using a Science 'curriculum' this year because he wanted Physics and I can not teach that myself.

we use curriculum and texts as we see fit- when we want.

 we don't grade or test (except  Gavin's requested Physics comes with testing so we do it)

It's very open ended- but does have a basic outline (our schooling). We have never used a traditinal homeschool method, I guess. I looked at them and just knew they wouldn't work well for us.

I did some Montessori things the first few years and lots of hands on, Legos, Unit Studies, games, Science projects.


**Kimberly**   unschooling our 3 boys (12,14,15)
Unschool Group

rock n roll

by on Jan. 29, 2009 at 12:53 AM

We definitely fall into the "traditional schooling doesn't work for my kid" category.  My oldest is an atypical learner who would have found a school environment highly stressful. He has sensory issues and is highly auditory and kinesthetic, a "late" reader (by school standards, not ours), and needs lots of attention. Not exactly a good fit for any kind of "school" - public, private or home. We've known that he was different since he was an infant, so we never sent him to school, daycare, etc. When our second came along, we were already unschooling converts so it was only natural that we kept her at home too.

We are on the radical end of the unschooling spectrum and wouldn't change the way we learn for anything, so keep that in mind when I say that I honestly can't see how unschooling could not work for any child. I have two kids who are as different as night and day, but they both thrive on unschooling because their learning is entirely self-motivated. I supposed it depend on how you define "work" though. If, by "work" you mean keeping up with kids of the same age who are in school, then no, I guess it doesn't always"work". My kids are all over the board for instance. There are some things they know a lot more about than their age peers because my kids are very interested in those things. There are also things that kids who are in school know that my kids don't yet, but I have no doubt that if my kids wanted or needed to know those things they would be able to learn them. My goals don't include keeping up with arbitrary school standards though, so I wouldn't consider that when determining whether unschooling works for us or not. I judge whether it works or not by how joyfully my children are living their lives and how engaged and enthusiastic they are about the things they do.

I have no idea how to go about unschooling in a state with strict laws because my state laws are very relaxed. I'd have to think about that one. 


by on Apr. 7, 2009 at 4:05 PM

I just joined, so I am a bit late on this discussion, but I just read the book, "Unschooling Handbook: How to use the whole world as your classroom", and that book was AMAZING!  I was unschooled for a few of my teen years (although, there were things I want to improve upon), and when I pulled my daughter out of public school to homeschool, we found ourselves feeling more comfortable with unschooling.  I had read a BIT about unschooling to have a general idea of what it entailed, but reading this book REALLY filled in the gaps for me, assured me how and why it seemed so simple to me (and how this WORKS).  For me, unschooling is more of a lifestyle than just how I "educate" my kids, and that book just solidified my foundation of trust in this method.  She provides a lot of resources in teh book, also, that I intend on pursuing next :D

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