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Author Topic: Unschooling???
DDDaysh
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I ran into this subject earlier (when looking up my son's growth chart actually) - and because I'd just read ketchupqueens elation over the CA court ruling, I looked into it.

It sounds like an interesting idea. It's not something I could do - even if I wanted to - but what I can't find out is if there are any long term examples of success with this. It seems like the difference between this and homeschooling is absolutely no settled curriculum or schedules. That might be great for kids, but what do you do when it gets time to go to college?

Do any of you have any information on this? Educational theories and practices are one of my passions, but somehow I'd never heard of this one until today.

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romanylass
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There are lots of web resources and books.The first that comes to mind is "Growing Without Schooling".
My personal experience: I'm a homeschooler ( oldest is 11 and none of the kids have been to school) and I am very wary of unschooling. The cases where I've seen it "work" ( by my own criteria, admittedly ) are pretty narrow, only child, natural reader, energetic at home parent.Sadly ( puts on flame proof suit) the overwhelming majority on the Unschooling families I know ( from homeschool groups) not only tend to produce the kids that make society think all homeschooling kids are inept (both academically and socially)but when they are at my house they break stuff (like my kids expensive import toys)
and leave a mess and aren't taken to task. That's my biased and just slightly bitter $.02

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ketchupqueen
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Boon basically unschools. Except since her kids are younger she does a little more "putting them in learning situations" than is technically recommended. But she does do some Charlotte Mason.

I lean toward it, in that I want to teach my child to read and write and some math and then not give her "assignments" so much as pose questions with her about the world and go figure out the answers together. I will probably do some Charlotte Mason, too.

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ketchupqueen
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A lot of the "successful" unschoolers I've met (and like romany I have a very narrow definition) either did it until age 10 or so and then started doing some actual teaching, or reversed that; taught until jr. high age and then let the child unschool. So I guess what I'm saying is I've met maybe one actual successful "complete" unschooler, but a lot of people who take parts of the philosophy and incorporate it into their homeschool plan (like me and Boon.)
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DDDaysh
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Thanks for the replies. As I was reading it, it sounded very interesting - alot like Montessori taken to extreme inside the home. I just had to wonder if it actually "worked" - meaning the children do actually manage to hold down jobs when they grow up.

I can't actually homeschool OR unschool my son, because I'm a single mom so I have to work. I probably wouldn't anyway because I doubt he'd like it. We just started pre-school a couple of months ago and he LOVES it. Of course, this is also the child who likes to sit down and work on workbooks with me... I have, however, stayed living in a tiny little town and paying a fortune in gas to commute so that I KNOW the people who will be teaching him in school - and I'm always looking for new things to try "around the house". I'm also keeping an eye on things because, while he loves school now, I'm not so sure what'll happen as he gets older. The school district I live in has a great elementary school... and the Jr. High (yep, Jr. High not middle school - we're old fashioned here) is getting better by the year, but the high school is a stickler. Of course, that's a decade from now. Maybe they'll all be going to class on the moon by then!!

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts and the info. The blogs I was reading were mostly about younger kids and from the parents point of view.

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Samprimary
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It's such a terribly misleading name. It's like ... a de-educating program.

Also I'm sure there's a lot of people who've endeavored to try this, uh, liberating program, but honestly how does learning not benefit from some structure. A curriculum is a fantastic tool. Why do without it, ... honestly?

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JennaDean
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Most people I know who refer to themselves as "unschoolers" don't just leave their children to learn on their own. They take the children to lots of places/opportunities where they will learn stuff in the course of everyday life. They also let the child decide what they're interested in learning and then help the child find resources to learn about that.

What they don't do (usually) is a rigorous curriculum determined by someone else. It's more child-led learning, not NO learning. And a lot of them really only do part-unschooling, where they do make the child do a math curriculum but for other subjects (history, literature, science, etc.) they let the events of life and the child's interests dictate what they learn.
quote:
A curriculum is a fantastic tool. Why do without it, ... honestly?
The theory is that you don't really learn anything until you're interested in it. Public schooled kids cram stuff for tests and then promptly forget most of it. So unschoolers find what sparks the child's interest and then let them learn that, or learn through that - learn to read by reading what you like, learn to write by writing about what you're interested in, etc. They figure that's the only way a child will really learn anyway. And you can't follow a child's interests by forcing a pre-made curriculum on them.
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Samprimary
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quote:
They take the children to lots of places/opportunities where they will learn stuff in the course of everyday life. They also let the child decide what they're interested in learning and then help the child find resources to learn about that.
I am familiar with this. A few kids in my neck of the woods had their parents doing stuff like this through a few freelance programs or compulsions. I just lumped them into the general homeschooling category. There was some Summerhill but I'm not sure about who was specifically in Summerhill and who was in very similar versions of it.

Anecdotally it was all total disaster over here. All of the "they will independently learn based on their own interests and at their own pace" parents all abandoned the concept by the time they were high school age, but the kids went into high school plenty of steps behind. We're talking total gaps in info and 3 r's stuff.

Man I know a couple of kids who were totally 'unschooled' — I should hit them up for their opinions and situations.

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PSI Teleport
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Another very biased POV: Like romanylass, my experience with unschooled kids has been very negative. I've only met two families, though, so it may mean nothing. The children seemed to have absolutely no defined borders and spent most of their time running around yelling and grabbing toys from other children. I think in those instances that the parents weren't giving their children structure in any areas at all. Even if you don't use curricula, you still expect your kids to clean their rooms, right? Not necessarily, for those people. I think that without some structured learning it's very difficult to teach a child how to sit still, how to listen to instructions, how to wait for their turn to speak, etc.

That said, I TOTALLY believe that unschooling can work, and is a viable option for education, assuming that math will have to be structured eventually. I think the parents would have to be VERY involved and goal-oriented for it to be successful, but I have no reason to suspect that it wouldn't work. It's just that, in my experience, the parents that most fit those qualifications are the kind to choose curricula, anyway.

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ketchupqueen
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PSI, I think that is key. Not "cleaning your room", per se, but at least knowing how to work through and complete a task, follow rules, and show common courtesy.

Unschooling is not (or should not be) an excuse to let your children run wild or give up on rearing them up to be good, decent, and polite people.

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ketchupqueen
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Here's an article on sending an unschooled child off to college. Make of that what you will. I just found it interesting. [Smile]
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scholarette
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That article does give more anecdotal evidence of the homeschoolers ignoring math. [Taunt]
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Samprimary
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quote:
Does the GED serve, in an unofficial and unspoken way, as a cautionary red flag to administrators at universities?
Hardly unspoken. GED is a red flag. No question.

So anyway — that article was from a decade ago. I wonder how well Christian did in college. The article seems vague on whether or not he actually even got into Kalamazoo College?

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scholarette
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I think the big problem with unschooling is that some things you need to learn aren't fun. For example, we had to do these stupid horrible drills in first and second grade- 100 addition, subtraction, multiplication or division problems in 100 seconds. Every day, we did these things. And I can pretty much guarantee you, if I had had an option in first grade of doing those or not, I would have said no. As an adult, who has tutored kids in math, I am very, very grateful for that teacher. Basic math is not just something I understand, I KNOW it. I don't have to think about those problems. They are forever inscribed in my brain. And that has made my life better. But there is no way anyone could have explained that to a first grade version of me.

ETA- as an adult, I still lack the willpower to do 100 seconds a day of basic math, even knowing it is good for me. [Smile]

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Teshi
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quote:
And you can't follow a child's interests by forcing a pre-made curriculum on them.
Not everything you need to know falls into your interests. What happens when Johnny needs to get his first min. wage job? Life is hard work. It's important not to avoid the unpleasantries but to learn how to survive the unpleasantries and maybe even figure out a way to enjoy them.
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romanylass
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I think this is key. I don't teach my kids all the things the public schools do ( and I teach history waayy differently) and I teach things the schools don't, but I make damn sure my kids are literate and math literate.
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Teshi
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How do public schools teach history?
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Nethy
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My mom never referred to it as "unschooling," but from the middle of 4th grade until I entered high school she did what I think falls under that. I mostly read, and read a lot, with weekly trips to the library and 30-40 books a trip. It was great for history, English, and science, but not so much math. When I went back into public school, my math was about a seventh grade level. When it came to social skills, mine were not nearly as well developed as my peers.

I don't regret my mom making that decision, because I learned a lot that I wouldn't have otherwise. However, I think it helped a great deal that I had been in public school prior to being taken out, and went back in. I can't see my math or social skills developing enough to have been able to handle college if I had stayed out of public school all through high school.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
How do public schools teach history?

The school coach.
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JennaDean
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Ha! I had him!
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Shawshank
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So did I. He actually knew a lot of history though, and I've never seen anyone get so excited about Andrew Jackson.

But seriously, 1. what's your problem with the way schools teach history and 2. how do you teach it differently?

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katharina
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That essay is hilarious. "We thought about it carefully and decided that he had graduated."
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JennaDean
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From the article:
quote:
Christian soon cluttered the floor with college directories, math texts (he hadn't done a lick of higher math and needed to study for the ACT he'd take in five months)
This is one of the points of unschooling: the proponents say that when their kids are interested in a subject, they'll learn what they need to to pursue it. This student was interested in going to college, and knew he would have to take maths, and hadn't had any at all. So he started learning it, when it became important to him.

I'm not a follower of this method myself, but it's an example of exactly what they say: if they instill a love of learning in the child, they'll find a way to learn what they need when they need to learn it.

In my house it's always been a given that the children will go to college. I'm assuming it's the same for the majority of Hatrackers. It has been eye-opening this year as we realized that there are other ways of being successful in life that do not include college (gasp!). Depending on how you define success - which, to me, means my children are happy and able to provide for themselves and their families.

They're still all going to college (whether they realize it or not). [Smile] But I have come to realize that knowing all the same things that public schooled kids do, at the same ages, is not the only right way to do things.

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katharina
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I noticed it didn't mention how he actually did on the ACT in terms of the math.
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JennaDean
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Yeah, I was interested to see how that worked out too.
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romanylass
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quote:
Originally posted by Shawshank:
So did I. He actually knew a lot of history though, and I've never seen anyone get so excited about Andrew Jackson.

But seriously, 1. what's your problem with the way schools teach history and 2. how do you teach it differently?

Two problems:
Schools teach history in a chronologically haphazard way, which does not allow sudents to see the flow of history, and how this followed that. Iy also forces them to place overt attention to dates, so students can place events in history. I teach hostory sequentially.

Schools teach from a very Eurocentic viewpoint. I could expound on that, but my time is limited, so I will just recommend "Lies my Teacher Told Me". Really... think about how kids are tauught Columbus.

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romanylass
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
That essay is hilarious. "We thought about it carefully and decided that he had graduated."

I had always felt I would garduate my kids when they came out across the board as post high school on the Stanford test. I had to revise that when Matthew came out at 11th grade pverall at the end of 4th grade ( he is not typical of my kids).
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BannaOj
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*Grin* I must admit I typed up my own high school transcripts when I applied to college. I don't own a "high school diploma" because I never bothered to print one out and have my parents sign it.
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scholarette
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quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
From the article:
quote:
Christian soon cluttered the floor with college directories, math texts (he hadn't done a lick of higher math and needed to study for the ACT he'd take in five months)
This is one of the points of unschooling: the proponents say that when their kids are interested in a subject, they'll learn what they need to to pursue it. This student was interested in going to college, and knew he would have to take maths, and hadn't had any at all. So he started learning it, when it became important to him.

The problem is that you can't catch up with everything you should have learned in ten years in a few months. If you wait until something is important, you may find you have waited too long.
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BannaOj
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
The problem is that you can't catch up with everything you should have learned in ten years in a few months. If you wait until something is important, you may find you have waited too long.

I don't believe this to necessarily be true.
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katharina
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It's just that she put so much emphasis on that. Of course he graduated! We thought carefully about it, and we asked him if he felt like if he had.

I was just wondering if they felt like it should work the other way as well - public school kids have graduated when they feel they have learned enough.

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BannaOj
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I'm sure they would agree in principle to the same thing for public school kids. [Smile]
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katharina
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I'm not so sure. Considering the scorn in that woman's essay for public schools, I severely doubt that she would consider a publicly-schooled kid's declaration that he had learned enough to be equal to her carefully-thought-out opinion that her kid had.
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BannaOj
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I think that she would agree to the principle of educational freedom. And if the public schooled person had had similar educational freedom, sure why not let them decide when they are done with school?
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katharina
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So the key to whether or not someone has the ability to decide when they are finished is tied to whether or not they had to ability to decide what to study?

In other words, it would be fine as long as the public school was exactly like being homeschooled.

I'm talking about public school as it actually is the majority of places. Does it still hold that the kid can decide when he's graduated?

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BannaOj
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I personally, would still say yes. I don't know what that woman would say.

I know a slew of people that have opted out of their final years in high school by taking the GED, because they felt like being stuck there for two more years was a waste of time. That's basically deciding when you've graduated, and a public schooled kid does have that opportunity. Most of them go on to live reasonably interesting lives.

All of the people I've known who have done this, would never consider themselves "home-schooled" but seem to have a lot of empathy with the homeschooling viewpoint.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Does the GED serve, in an unofficial and unspoken way, as a cautionary red flag to administrators at universities?
Hardly unspoken. GED is a red flag. No question.
Well, definitely a flag. Whether it's red or yellow really depends on the student's actual score on the GED.
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PSI Teleport
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"I think the big problem with unschooling is that some things you need to learn aren't fun. For example, we had to do these stupid horrible drills in first and second grade- 100 addition, subtraction, multiplication or division problems in 100 seconds. Every day, we did these things."

I loved those drills.

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Sachiko
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Funny; and after I dropped out of high school, and before I went to college, I thought I was being all smart and responsible by getting my GED.

BTW, apparently I set a record at the time for Washington State. Time and score, they said. I should have just taken a college entrance exam.

I think a better name for "unschooling" is "child-led learning". The burden is partially on me as the parent-teacher to inspire my children to find their own motivation for learning whatever it is.

Children are absolute geniuses at learning whatever they think they need to live in their world. Before the age of 5 or 6, you couldn't stop these kids from learning if you tried. I think children naturally love to learn. (in my arrogant opinion)

If "life" (acceptance among peers) depends on them fitting in through speaking Pig-Latin, trading Pokemon cards, and knowing dirty jokes, then that child will quickly be able to quote Pokemon stats with unaccented four-letter words.

For instance: My 8-year-old son talks a lot about getting married and getting a job. (He has the lucky girl picked out an everything.) He is committed to learning the more unpleasant parts of math, because he knows it's a stepping stone on his way to becoming a good provider for a wife and kids.

Obviously, this motivation wouldn't work for every 8-year-old boy. Or even every 18-year-old boy. Hee hee.

My 6-year-old loves horses; therefore, we read about horses, write about horses, I write horse story problems for math, we practice riding my FIL's horses for PE. That's unschooling.

I don't know how one would run unschooling on an institutional basis. My first answer is, you couldn't.

It would be too unwieldy to do it with large group of children whose varying backgrounds, abilities and motivations you don't know.

But I think, when done on a small scale (i.e., within a family. [Smile] ) it can yield satisfying results.

For instance, (here's my dirty little secret) I have never taught my children to read. I decided I'd intervene if they showed no interest in reading by 7 or 8, but other than I read aloud to the family twice a day; read to myself; have books in nearly every room; and I read to them when asked.

Without direct instruction (no alphabet, no phonics drills, no flashcards), three of my kids have begun reading by age 4. (the other two are 2yo and 1yo)

I credit it to my children view the other readers in our family as their peer group. Reading becomes part of peer survival, so to speak, so my children are self-motivated to read. They're certainly not reading thanks to acrobatic teaching on my part; if their education depending purely on pedagogical fireworks and oodles of focused curricula, then we might be in trouble. [Smile] But without all that, my children are reading at to two grades above age level.

Math isn't all drudgery, and I don't agree with the idea that children must drag themselves through multiplication in order to have adequate character development.

I've been circulating between Math-U-See, Saxon, and Singapore math for my kids. All of them feature bright pictures and fun manipulatives at the ability level of multiplication/division. They candy-coat it, and I'm fine with that.

I teach my kids how to buckle down by expecting them to do chores. Hard work needs to be taught, but I think it's destructive to future learning to use school to do it. I want my kids to love learning, and to know how to teach themselves anything they're interested in knowing.

My kids HAVE to do laundry; they GET to do math.

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BannaOj
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*grin* My mother found chores for us to do if she thought we were lollygagging too much. I learned early on, that if I looked busy doing "something" she'd probably leave me alone.

One time I accidentally dropped a used toilet paper roll in the toilet. I fished it out and was intrigued that the layers in the roll were starting to separate. Of course that icky one went in the trash, but I don't remember her complaining when I started pulling the cardboard pieces out of other toilet paper rolls to see how they were made. She saved the paper towel rolls when I said I wanted some too. I floated them in water, (both in the bathroom sink and the bathroom tub) until the layers separated and were pliable. I unrolled them to find out the shapes were parallelograms, then I laid them out on the counter to dry (In hindsight I'm quite amazed she actually let me do this there were pieces of deconstructed cardboard rolls every where, and the bathroom was a disaster) and found out they got hard again, but would soften again if they got wet. I then re-wet them, and cut shapes of saddles out and put them on my Breyer horses, and My little ponies. I realized the color was right and made a pretty satisfactory indian costume for another doll, although I needed a few rubber bands to keep it in place after the "leather" dried completely.

While she'd occasionally get a little upset with me, when there wasn't any scotch tape left in the house. The consequences I ever suffered for pulling out yards and yards of Scotch Tape and wadding it together and finding all kinds of wierd things it could be used for, were extremely minor.

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Nathan2006
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It's important to remember, too, that unschooling is an extremely broad term.

I've heard it referred to letting the children do whatever they want because they're natrually bright, but I've also heard it described as learning tool, finding ways to link curriculum to the child's interest.

It could mean any type of learning that doesn't use a standard curriculum.

I've also met those who describe unit studies as 'unschooling'.

I know we did a unit study during the first couple years of middle school. I was interested in mythology, so for history that year we studied ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. They were three different terms in the year. Though I was 'unschooled', I was held to a regular schedule. In the first term, Egypt, we studied deserts and other biospheres (With the local flora and fauna) for science; we read the golden goblet (A book set in ancient egypt) for required reading; and we studied Ancient Egypt (With special emphasis on mythology) for history.

But English and Math were both required, and seperate from our 'unschooling'. We used actual curriculum for those subjects. We also did typing class, and went to co-op every Tuesday.


Unschooling means different things to different people. Some may only unschool for a certain period of time, maybe even for just a handful of subjects.

And even if there was a standard definition of 'unschooling', the results of that learning style would be almost totally based on two variables - The parent and the child.

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Elizabeth
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The one unschooled child I know has rotten teeth, can't ride a bike, and has no friends his own age. This does not make me feel that "unschooling" is bad, just that it is poorly named, and that the parents of this child didn't quite get the concept.

I will address the slams at public school teaching, particularly of history, tomorrow.

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Teshi
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quote:
Schools teach history in a chronologically haphazard way, which does not allow students to see the flow of history, and how this followed that. It also forces them to place overt attention to dates, so students can place events in history. I teach history sequentially.
In my experience, schools teach history at a primary level by chunk. E.g. "The Romans", "The Egyptians", "The Middle Ages", "Ancient China", "The Mayans" etc. As far as I'm concerned, I think that this is a reasonably good way to teach history at this level. It gives the kids an idea what a culture was like, and allowing for a focused view on the details of the period in that area, without necessarily thinking about dates at all. (I never learnt or had to learn any dates at the primary school level except for perhaps that 0 was the date Jesus was born- I went to a Christian school.) Despite this chunk method I still had a reasonably good idea of the order of things: Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Middle Ages, Tudors, Stewarts, Victorians, World Wars, Us. (I pick those things because they are the ones we learnt about in the years I spent at primary school in England).

I do not remember learning much history in Canada at the primary level.

quote:
Schools teach from a very Eurocentic viewpoint. I could expound on that, but my time is limited, so I will just recommend "Lies my Teacher Told Me". Really... think about how kids are taught Columbus.
Canadians don't learn about Columbus so much as Americans, I should guess, but they do learn about the various explorers relevent to the area. I don't really remember much about this until middle school, when I am 99% sure there was no hero worship. Les Autochtones certainly made an entrance as Part I of our history of Canada class.

At a high school level, teachers mostly go out of their way to destroy illusions, and I believe we've had a thread about this before here. My progression of thought about Columbus goes like this:

1. Columbus was an Spanish explorer who discovered America. (Primary School)
2. Columbus was an Italian hired by the Spanish to explore the Americas and one of the first modern Europeans to set foot in the Americas. This wasn't all that fun for Les Autochtones, though. Smallpox. (Middle School)
3. Don't forget that Columbus' arrival in the Americas, and the subsequent invasion of the continent, initiated the widespread slaughter of the indigenous population. (High School)
4. Also don't forget that while Columbus' exploration was not all sunshine and roses, he still made extraordinary trips across a lot of sea to a largely unknown land. Many, if not most, of history's 'greats' are not heroes in the modern conventional way. (University)

The emphasis put on history at the university level is almost entirely one of complication.

As for Eurocentricism... I've certainly learnt about ancient cultures of Asia all through my school career. That said, I do not think it is that horrible to learn about the history of the place where you are, and to learn about other places by those who left it (e.g. Marco Polo, Columbus).

My opinion of books like Lies My Teacher Told Me is simply that the way history is taught is constantly evolving. History went through a revolution in the seventies and eighties where whole swathes of history- indigenous populations, women, 'great men', focusing on dates, history of poor people- were totally reinvented. In some cases it's quite a dramatic change, one that goes a little too far the other way.

History is different now in schools, too. I was never taught that certain men were heroes. I was never forced to recite dates or even learn them in abundance.

If anything, it's my view that it is not history that is the worst in schools. It is science. Occasionally freezing something is not enough, and weather and the water cycle and the food chain is also lack grievously some very easy to grasp concepts. The world at the atomic level, Newtonian gravity, the structure of the solar system, ecology and chemistry can all be taught to very young children in a simplified manner.

Learning is not necessarily about learning all the gory or not so gory details right away. It can be about opening doors for interests and getting kids started in areas that can be later developed and deepened further.

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Elizabeth
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Thanks, Tesh.

I really don't have much energy to say more than you have said, because I have to prepare to start polluting my students' minds with hero worship and Eurocentric propaganda.

I will say, though, that the power of those freakin Pilgrim hats is strong. I would like to eradicate all cartoonlike elementary school wall decorations.

We are all on a learning curve, students, teachers, school systems, and departments of education.

As my grandmother was fond of saying, usually when she switched positions on a formerly rock-solid opinion: things change.

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Jhai
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My experience with public schools in California closely follows Teshi's. And while I attended a very top-notch high school in an affluent area, my primary & middle schooling took place in a poor area near the Oregon border (Humboldt & Del Norte counties). We did the same sort of "historical cultures" units, with a strong emphasis on learning about more than just dead white guys. We also focused on the history of the local area, from Native American onwards. My high school did an excellent job of teaching history & dispelling any myths we may have had about historical figures. For instance, all of the 10th grade Modern World History classes were linked up with the 10th grade literature classes, so we'd be reading novels from the area we were studying in history to get both a macro & anecdotal perspective of the time period & culture.

While I think the science curriculum could have been better, I do know that I had a good understanding of the scientific method and why it was important by 5th grade. And we also had a lot of field trips focusing on different ecological/scientific areas - tide pools, redwood forests, weather station, etc.

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Sachiko
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In my California and Utah schools, the emphasis was so much on non-Dead White Guys that I have learned about the Ancient Middle East, Asia, Africa and New World civilizations several times, in grades 4-11, and covered European history only once, during a semester in my sophomore year.

I'm only now filling in those holes.

I'm not making a value judgement one way or another. Just saying it seems like no matter what history you learn in school, whatever school that is, there is going to be holes.

I don't know if my high school New World history teacher dispelled any myths--"myth" being subject to interpretation--but some of my friends and I were doing the "noble savage" literature in our English class, and that was interesting.

Science is very easy to teach to little kids in an entertaining way. I think my CA schools were strongest in science, even though a lot of the science instruction was often summed up as "and that's how humankind has destroyed the planet, and the world will end soon". [Smile]

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ketchupqueen
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I learned more history in my Latin class than my history classes-- simply because by the time we got there in history class I'd already learned everything they taught.
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Raymond Arnold
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One thing I've always wondered: is there some kind of market for "professional homeschoolers?" And/or... what are the requirements for proving to the state that you can homeschool your own children?
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Sachiko
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There is a market for homeschoolers that head organizations, who run co-ops, and for homeschoolers who run tiny private schools (usually their kids, and maybe a friend's kids).

Requirements very state by state. Here's a good site:

http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp

Since we've been discussing state testing requirements, I thought I might post WA state's:

Standardized Tests: Under Option I, either:
a. Parents must ensure that a standardized test approved by the state board is administered annually to the child by a “qualified” person or,
b. Have the child evaluated by a certificated person. § 28A.200.010(3).
c. Neither the results of the standardized achievement test nor the evaluation results need to be submitted to the public schools. The results must be retained by the parents as part of the child’s permanent records. § 28A.200.010(3).

Apparently some colleges offer home education classes, but the majority of homeschoolers I know are unpaid enthusiasts without a homeschooling-specific degree.

Since I'm one of those, I will have to submit myself for personal review by the local school superintendent. Presumably he'll give me a once-over and say, "Yeah, she'll do." Or maybe there's an exam establishing that I have a grasp of basic academic principles.

Whether that will involve a true/false multiple choice test, or a Kobayashi Maru on the holodeck, I have no idea. This is our first start-of-school year in WA.

KQ: We're starting Latin for the first time this year. I'm so jazzed! I'm hoping it will dovetail nicely with the Ancient History course I'm using.

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ketchupqueen
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What course are you using? If my kids show any interest I'm thinking of using Minimus to start with before moving on to Cambridge.
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