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Unschooling - would love to hear from experienced unschool moms

Posted by on Mar. 28, 2012 at 8:48 AM
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I'm interested in finding out more about what exactly unschooling is.  What is your day like?   Is it following your kids interests and lead?  I think that if I did that with my kids they would just choose to watch TV, ride bikes and play video games all day.  

by on Mar. 28, 2012 at 8:48 AM
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KickButtMama
by G.O. Shannon on Mar. 28, 2012 at 10:12 AM
You will find that the definition of unschooling will vary from family to family. For us t is child led learning. I've been hmeschooling for about a decade, and letting my children follow teir interests, sparking their curiosity and creating an environment that is all about learning, as made a huge difference. My ungest likes worksheets/books, so he hs those available, my oldest likes documentaries, so he has Netfix available.
jen2150
by Helping Hands on Mar. 28, 2012 at 12:02 PM

I think a lot of people think that is what unschooling is about but it really isn't.  We use curriculum but we decide together what works for us.  Some days they ask to do something different.  Once instead of Abeka language book my son asked to do art.  He drew a huge picture, created a story for the picture.  He told me what to write and he then copied the sentences down on his picture.  He has so much fun and he learned a lot more than was in his book.  I require my boys to learn the 3 R's but those things can be learned a variety of ways.  I concentrate on developing their curiosity.  I don't limit TV or video games but I do require them to have a variety of activities.  They can't just watch TV all day.  They need to experience life.  Many times all I have to do is encourage their endeavors.  My sons have 30 inch by 10 foot dry erase board that they draw on, a ton of books, lego city, art box, and many other activities.  I give all my old electronics for them to take apart.  I purchase building and educational toys at good will for them all the time.  They have a snap circuits set that they love.  

We really don't have a typical day.  We are probably what you would call eclectic mostly.   My sons use textbooks, and workbooks but only ones they enjoy and like.  I am using teaching textbooks with my boys because they enjoy it.  We don't do it every day though.  I think changing things around for them really helps.  I do find myself agreeing with unschoolers the most though.  I use a lot of unschooling with my boys.  I don't allow my kids to complain about school work.  I have taught them if they don't like something or want to do something else then to just come and ask me.  A lot of times they will come up with their own things to do encorporating what we are working on.  I try to always follow their interests and questions.  I think that is the core what inschooling is about.  

TheCrooners
by on May. 28, 2012 at 12:45 PM
My sons are 12 and 10 and we started out as radical unschoolers. That morphed as they grew older and earned more responsibilities. Whatever their interests were I inundated them with as many resources on that subject as possible. Learning eventually just became a habit, a way of life. They'd become interested in something and explore it to their heart's content.

Sometimes they will want to have a conversation on what they're learning. We sit down to lunch and discuss it. My oldest spends the mornings drawing and writing. My youngest will be collecting "specimens" to view in his microscope. Later he'll start working on his algebra. One day he just decided he was interested and decided he wanted to know more and now he's teaching his older brother. When they want a break, they don't need my permission, they take one.

My sons have chores, responsibilities but they also have a lot of freedom in pursuing their interests and goals. I do my best to introduce them to new ideas, give them guidance and discipline when necessary. For the most part they are the ones who have taught themselves to read, write, do math, science, history, etcetera... I should also mention that I can count on one hand the number of times my sons have complained about being bored. They are always up to something!
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