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Getting Older Kids to Pursue Interests…Help?

Posted by on May. 7, 2012 at 3:19 PM
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Have any of you/your teens read the Teenage Liberation Handbook? Has this helped with unschooling?

My oldest was in school through 5th grade. She was extremeley shy and had anxiety issues but being gifted was therefore the teachers favorite student- gets A's, is quiet and make those STAR tests look good - UGH!

We started homeschooling 6th grade thru now finishing 8th grade. However, I was not clued into unschooling when we started, so we kicked off with a virual school. She was looking for lots of hands on mom time - when I expected her to take off since she was not needing to stay with the class and could go as fast as she wanted - but of course it was still boring school formatted stuff. 

We switched after the 1st semester to do out own thing but life has been crazy and up & down ( losing jobs, house, trying to manage life with major depression, son getting epilepsy,moving in with mil, etc.) 

She is now contemplating wanting to go back to school for high school - i think more for social but also fears of we have not really solidly seen a. academic path from A to Z over the last few years whic makes her worry. 

I am afraid she will hate life again back in school so trying to figure out a way to get her to 'free her mind' on what she can do for 'school' and explore all she is interested in and be successful and taking personal responsibility with it. I think there is fear if she is not handed a lesson with assignment and homework packet she is not learning and does not see herself able to do it.  But when I give her that we again have attitudes, resistance, lack of enthusiasm, etc.

I got her the handbook and am hoping this helps. In the meanwhile have instructed the kids that this is a month of Swimming, Signing, and Serving. Gave them a list of the ONLY academic things they can do this month:  

Doodling Book ( she loves art)

The Teenage Liberation Handbook

Omnivore's Dilemma ( reading together for part of home econ / baking/etc.)

IQ Gym ( fun book of mental puzzles, etc.)

Creative Stuff ( another such book of hands on stuff)


Swimming/Park/Just Dance

Sign Language Book and Flash Cards ( both kids are very enthusiastic about learning)

Any other ideas to try with her? Note: I also asked  in the unschooling group too. Thanks!!! =) Tanza

busy mom

by on May. 7, 2012 at 3:19 PM
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by Welcome Squad on May. 7, 2012 at 6:46 PM
if shes worried about not measuring up in courses maybe she could do american school along with the unschooling and treat it like some subjects she wants to keep brushed up on. they give about 6yrs to complete the 16 credits and its at your own pace so its not structured whatsoever. you get 2 subjects at once or you can do 1 subject at a time for credits.
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by Welcome Squad on Dec. 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM

We do both Traditional schooling and unschooling. 
Our Math, English and Spanish are Traditional homeschool and everything else like Science and History are Unschooling.  This gives my son (8th grader) the ability to feel like he is proactive in school with the Math and Languages while the freedom to be a bit lazy and go at his own pace with the others.

He ,and my other children, have 2 hour window of study time with mom during the little ones nap time that they have to spend with me in our homeschooling room showing that they are working with the Math and Language arts (unless I know they work on the stuff outside of our time). As long as the show what they did for that day and what their goal for the next day is, I leave them alone unless questions or if they need me to teach something. 

When we have days they are not " motivated" I do the good old give them choices. "You may hurry up and do something quick in English so you can go 'insert something fun here' OR You could spend the whole 2 hours during the little ones nap time just sitting here. Your choice.. If I was you I would just hurry to do something and shut me up so you can play!"

If you follow through on what you said, they will get the picture that they have to sit there and be bored for 2 hours until its over or they do some work and are free. I would ignore them and pretend that I cant hear them complain and wine. However, by the 2ed or 3ed time of pulling that, they know its just better to do some work then get it over with then be bored for 2 hours.

The key is you will have to follow through. You can't give in after an hour.. you have to be strong! He will probably try to test you a few times sitter then the whole 2 hours, but he will start to give in to your wishes sooner or later.

Start off small. Have one worksheet all he has to do for that 2 hour time period. Then up it after a month. Eventually he spends 1.30 hours on none fun subjects then just a 5 minute worksheet.

ANYWAYS.. that's what we did for that problem. It worked for us. The hardest thing was to endure the 2 hours of sitting there for 3-4 maybe even 5 days in a row. Good Luck!


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