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When Students Design their own Lesson Plans. In High School no less.

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I think this was very interesting. We discuss schooling in here very often. Here's a new idea that seems to be working. At least for these kids. It reminds me a great deal of some of my college classes. 

It's about 14 minutes long. 

by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 2:10 AM
Replies (11-19):
coolmommy2x
by Gold Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:24 PM
I agree too.

Quoting TruthSeeker.:

 This could work if done with a "core" curriculum and also allow them to design the rest.


 I agree with Goodwoman that if left entirely to the student, there would be large gaps of learning.

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TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:38 PM

 Well, it isn't a method I chose, because I believe younger children need a loose structure, not completely free time all the time.

However, there are many unschoolers who have done very well, pursuing higher degrees, traveling or living overseas, or specialized work related to their area of interest.  

Here's a blurb from the blog of  just one, hardly an unsocialized homeschooler lacking in important areas:

I took quickly to reading, writing and the arts, while my brother would do an entire semesters worth of a math text book in a day (I know, how typical). I began to detest math when I moved into pre-algebra (though loved it until then). My parents informed me that if I wanted to go to college I would need to learn at least algebra, but still it was up to me. I frequently enlisted both of them to help me with problems and math homework, and eventually they found an algebra tutor for me (a friends mother). In the meantime, since I hardly ever did any math on my own, I got a checking account and kept my checking account balance. I helped my parents do their taxes, and learned how to cook and adapt cooking measurements. Kicking and screaming I learned enough algebra eventually to get through college, but those practical math lessons are the ones that stuck with me.

Reading and writing were different stories. I was writing stories and novels constantly, and read voraciously, both fiction and non-fiction. History greatly interested me and I read everything I could. I dreamed of becoming a writer when I grew up and had weekly "young authors club" with other unschooling friends where we shared things we'd written and offered critiques.

To round out my three r's, I was enrolled in a lot of other activities. I played violin (youth and college symphonies, ensemble, private lessons and All State orchestra), sang in a youth chorus, acted in our community theatre and was part of a youth improv troupe, volunteered at the public library and a daycare, taught dance, took ballet and modern, and rode horses in a local pony club. I especially loved the theatre and my dream of becoming an author soon was alternating with dreams of becoming an actress.

I took the ACT when I was 15 and scored a 26. I considered taking it again to raise my score, but decided to put that off until I had actually started applying to colleges. When I was 17 I took a biology class at the local community college and received straight A's. I was accepted at age 15 to Kentucky Governors School for the Arts in Theatre, and through their college fair found the school I wanted to attend, Stephens College. I auditioned for them and was informed they would offer me a scholarship based on my audition. But what about my academic record?

Like most schools, Stephens was very receptive to the idea of having an unschooler join their ranks. I worked with my mother on creating a "transcript" of my education (a book list, my community college credit, my ACT score, my "practical math" courses, etc.).

Quoting Goodwoman614:

I did watch the video, thanks for sharing. 

While I can see and support the value of such a model, I do think it would problematic in the wider scope. To me, it is a classic case of both/and instead of either/or. Reason being, giving kids only this approach would have the net result of too many "holes" in their knowledge base. It would be too arbitrary, deep pendent on the dynamic of the individuals making up the group(s).

And it reminds me way too much of the so-called "un-schooling" approach in the homeschooling circuit. The unschooled kids I ran into never brushed their teeth or hair(grade schoolers), and one mom asked her high school aged son, "have you done any writing this month?" These parents seem to "believe" that, if you just let your kids do whatever they want, their natural curiosity will lead them to learning. 

I think one of the reasons these kids found some success with the model is because they were already educated in the standard way. If you never ask of a child to learn a particular thing(fill in the blank, depending on the child) that they would never of their own volition wish to, it robs them of experiences with things that, if they hadn't been compelled to, they would never have discovered the value, enjoyment, and discovery of, or the many other positive lessons about themselves that could have been had.

 

 

 

mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 1:01 PM

I glad it worked out for this kid. 

I don't knock people for their choices in this regard. Many people have very valid reasons to homeschool. I do believe children are naturally curious, it's who we are as a species. That more than anything should be nurtured by schools. I think curiosity should be rewarded above all else. Intelligence really is more or less curiosity. Public schooling tends to beat that out of kids by the third grade. 

For some, this works. For others, not so much. 

Quoting TranquilMind:

 Well, it isn't a method I chose, because I believe younger children need a loose structure, not completely free time all the time.

However, there are many unschoolers who have done very well, pursuing higher degrees, traveling or living overseas, or specialized work related to their area of interest.  

Here's a blurb from the blog of  just one, hardly an unsocialized homeschooler lacking in important areas:

I took quickly to reading, writing and the arts, while my brother would do an entire semesters worth of a math text book in a day (I know, how typical). I began to detest math when I moved into pre-algebra (though loved it until then). My parents informed me that if I wanted to go to college I would need to learn at least algebra, but still it was up to me. I frequently enlisted both of them to help me with problems and math homework, and eventually they found an algebra tutor for me (a friends mother). In the meantime, since I hardly ever did any math on my own, I got a checking account and kept my checking account balance. I helped my parents do their taxes, and learned how to cook and adapt cooking measurements. Kicking and screaming I learned enough algebra eventually to get through college, but those practical math lessons are the ones that stuck with me.

Reading and writing were different stories. I was writing stories and novels constantly, and read voraciously, both fiction and non-fiction. History greatly interested me and I read everything I could. I dreamed of becoming a writer when I grew up and had weekly "young authors club" with other unschooling friends where we shared things we'd written and offered critiques.

To round out my three r's, I was enrolled in a lot of other activities. I played violin (youth and college symphonies, ensemble, private lessons and All State orchestra), sang in a youth chorus, acted in our community theatre and was part of a youth improv troupe, volunteered at the public library and a daycare, taught dance, took ballet and modern, and rode horses in a local pony club. I especially loved the theatre and my dream of becoming an author soon was alternating with dreams of becoming an actress.

I took the ACT when I was 15 and scored a 26. I considered taking it again to raise my score, but decided to put that off until I had actually started applying to colleges. When I was 17 I took a biology class at the local community college and received straight A's. I was accepted at age 15 to Kentucky Governors School for the Arts in Theatre, and through their college fair found the school I wanted to attend, Stephens College. I auditioned for them and was informed they would offer me a scholarship based on my audition. But what about my academic record?

Like most schools, Stephens was very receptive to the idea of having an unschooler join their ranks. I worked with my mother on creating a "transcript" of my education (a book list, my community college credit, my ACT score, my "practical math" courses, etc.).

Quoting Goodwoman614:

I did watch the video, thanks for sharing. 

While I can see and support the value of such a model, I do think it would problematic in the wider scope. To me, it is a classic case of both/and instead of either/or. Reason being, giving kids only this approach would have the net result of too many "holes" in their knowledge base. It would be too arbitrary, deep pendent on the dynamic of the individuals making up the group(s).

And it reminds me way too much of the so-called "un-schooling" approach in the homeschooling circuit. The unschooled kids I ran into never brushed their teeth or hair(grade schoolers), and one mom asked her high school aged son, "have you done any writing this month?" These parents seem to "believe" that, if you just let your kids do whatever they want, their natural curiosity will lead them to learning. 

I think one of the reasons these kids found some success with the model is because they were already educated in the standard way. If you never ask of a child to learn a particular thing(fill in the blank, depending on the child) that they would never of their own volition wish to, it robs them of experiences with things that, if they hadn't been compelled to, they would never have discovered the value, enjoyment, and discovery of, or the many other positive lessons about themselves that could have been had.

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 1:07 PM

 Yeah, I agree.  Success would depend on many factors. 

I am glad that we took the path we did for our children though. 


Quoting mehamil1:

I glad it worked out for this kid. 

I don't knock people for their choices in this regard. Many people have very valid reasons to homeschool. I do believe children are naturally curious, it's who we are as a species. That more than anything should be nurtured by schools. I think curiosity should be rewarded above all else. Intelligence really is more or less curiosity. Public schooling tends to beat that out of kids by the third grade. 

For some, this works. For others, not so much. 

Quoting TranquilMind:

 Well, it isn't a method I chose, because I believe younger children need a loose structure, not completely free time all the time.

However, there are many unschoolers who have done very well, pursuing higher degrees, traveling or living overseas, or specialized work related to their area of interest.  

Here's a blurb from the blog of  just one, hardly an unsocialized homeschooler lacking in important areas:

I took quickly to reading, writing and the arts, while my brother would do an entire semesters worth of a math text book in a day (I know, how typical). I began to detest math when I moved into pre-algebra (though loved it until then). My parents informed me that if I wanted to go to college I would need to learn at least algebra, but still it was up to me. I frequently enlisted both of them to help me with problems and math homework, and eventually they found an algebra tutor for me (a friends mother). In the meantime, since I hardly ever did any math on my own, I got a checking account and kept my checking account balance. I helped my parents do their taxes, and learned how to cook and adapt cooking measurements. Kicking and screaming I learned enough algebra eventually to get through college, but those practical math lessons are the ones that stuck with me.

Reading and writing were different stories. I was writing stories and novels constantly, and read voraciously, both fiction and non-fiction. History greatly interested me and I read everything I could. I dreamed of becoming a writer when I grew up and had weekly "young authors club" with other unschooling friends where we shared things we'd written and offered critiques.

To round out my three r's, I was enrolled in a lot of other activities. I played violin (youth and college symphonies, ensemble, private lessons and All State orchestra), sang in a youth chorus, acted in our community theatre and was part of a youth improv troupe, volunteered at the public library and a daycare, taught dance, took ballet and modern, and rode horses in a local pony club. I especially loved the theatre and my dream of becoming an author soon was alternating with dreams of becoming an actress.

I took the ACT when I was 15 and scored a 26. I considered taking it again to raise my score, but decided to put that off until I had actually started applying to colleges. When I was 17 I took a biology class at the local community college and received straight A's. I was accepted at age 15 to Kentucky Governors School for the Arts in Theatre, and through their college fair found the school I wanted to attend, Stephens College. I auditioned for them and was informed they would offer me a scholarship based on my audition. But what about my academic record?

Like most schools, Stephens was very receptive to the idea of having an unschooler join their ranks. I worked with my mother on creating a "transcript" of my education (a book list, my community college credit, my ACT score, my "practical math" courses, etc.).

Quoting Goodwoman614:

I did watch the video, thanks for sharing. 

While I can see and support the value of such a model, I do think it would problematic in the wider scope. To me, it is a classic case of both/and instead of either/or. Reason being, giving kids only this approach would have the net result of too many "holes" in their knowledge base. It would be too arbitrary, deep pendent on the dynamic of the individuals making up the group(s).

And it reminds me way too much of the so-called "un-schooling" approach in the homeschooling circuit. The unschooled kids I ran into never brushed their teeth or hair(grade schoolers), and one mom asked her high school aged son, "have you done any writing this month?" These parents seem to "believe" that, if you just let your kids do whatever they want, their natural curiosity will lead them to learning. 

I think one of the reasons these kids found some success with the model is because they were already educated in the standard way. If you never ask of a child to learn a particular thing(fill in the blank, depending on the child) that they would never of their own volition wish to, it robs them of experiences with things that, if they hadn't been compelled to, they would never have discovered the value, enjoyment, and discovery of, or the many other positive lessons about themselves that could have been had.


 

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Mar. 4, 2013 at 1:11 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree.

The fact is, everyone has 'holes' in their knowledge base, and schooling has had no effect on that at all. In some places and times, not being able to prepare a poisonous root so it's safe to eat would have labelled any adult woman as severely-handicapped, while today we think everyone should have passing familiarity with Shakespeare, at least on an exam, and that (among a collection of other 'never to be used again' experiences) is considered 'well-rounded.'

It's possible to have a 'well-rounded education' when able to play any kind of stringed instrument, able to cook well and read a balance sheet -- and it's possible to be able to do absolutely none of those, and still be well-rounded... in different areas.

Trying to make everyone be mediocre at everything isn't working very well. An approach that at least hints at the possibility of creating people who know what they do well ... how bad can that be, really?

Quoting JCB911:

I didn't watch the video.   I think a system like that could work of there was some pre-approval.  If kids are interested they might actually retain the knowledge rather than just spit it out for a test and forget it. 

I think about what kids are "supposed" to learn, how much of that is actually taugh, how much is actually retained.  ANd really isn't it all kinda arbitrary?  Someone decided you need to learn certain things but why?  Obviously English and Math course are a need - but really even those can be tweaked (why certain classic books and not others), basic bio,chem, and physics and basic history.  But really in history what history do you remember, that you actually learned in school.  (I love history as an adult, most of it I learned myself).  So the kids having "holes" in the education - they really already do, it's just a matter of WHICH holes do we find acceptable, b/c obviously they aren't learning everything.

We are homeschoolers, not really unschoolers, although my son is young.  I think unschooling with young kid - preschool/K even 1st graders is probably a preferred method - BUT that doesn't mean you don't set boundries for kids.  Unschooling - means take them to the library and let them pick rather than limit them to what you want them to read.  It means letting them pick which animal they learn about, it means if they are bored/overwhelmed you let them be.   IMO it'd mean turning off the TV unless it's a documentry or something educational.   IMO - it's "you can choose what you learn, how etc - but you will be learning".   Probably that's easier with young ones since they are always learning - and that natural curiousity hasn't been sucked out of them by the school system yet.

Quoting Goodwoman614:

I did watch the video, thanks for sharing. 

While I can see and support the value of such a model, I do think it would problematic in the wider scope. To me, it is a classic case of both/and instead of either/or. Reason being, giving kids only this approach would have the net result of too many "holes" in their knowledge base. It would be too arbitrary, deep pendent on the dynamic of the individuals making up the group(s).

And it reminds me way too much of the so-called "un-schooling" approach in the homeschooling circuit. The unschooled kids I ran into never brushed their teeth or hair(grade schoolers), and one mom asked her high school aged son, "have you done any writing this month?" These parents seem to "believe" that, if you just let your kids do whatever they want, their natural curiosity will lead them to learning. 

I think one of the reasons these kids found some success with the model is because they were already educated in the standard way. If you never ask of a child to learn a particular thing(fill in the blank, depending on the child) that they would never of their own volition wish to, it robs them of experiences with things that, if they hadn't been compelled to, they would never have discovered the value, enjoyment, and discovery of, or the many other positive lessons about themselves that could have been had.




kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Bumping for later when I can watch the video.

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Mar. 4, 2013 at 9:27 PM


Quoting TruthSeeker.:

 This could work if done with a "core" curriculum and also allow them to design the rest.

 I agree with Goodwoman that if left entirely to the student, there would be large gaps of learning.

This was easy.  I agree with you.

glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 9:33 PM

I think core curriculum has its place, but I have not used algebra in forever. I am sorry there is not point in paying for nothing worth while. I am all for core beginnings followed by passions that can feed them later! 

Citygirlk
by Gold Member on Mar. 5, 2013 at 8:42 AM

We did that a lot when I was in high school it was fun and we did learn a lot.

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