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  1. #1
    Senior Member Evolved Deli76's Avatar
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    Default UnSchooling Certain Subjects

    Hi! I havent been around much. Lots going on!

    One thing going on is dd hates reading writing anything. I have thought about unschooling the english/literature/reading/writing part. Dd tells me she needs a bit more structure than that. Ok...but she turns down every single idea I throw at her! UGH! So, I am looking for ideas for some ideas. The classes at the co-op I dont think are going to do it. She is taking the IEW at co-op right now, which I love...she hates. I have mentioned just reading a book and writing a report...simple..but nope! I have mentioned making a website...nope. I have mentioned a workbook with prompts...nope. So I am literally at a loss! I have no idea what to do. This does need to be done. I cant give her credit for something she hasnt done or hasnt even attempted to do. I have even told her, if she can write me a paper on a subject of her choice and I grade it, I would give her credit. but...nope!


    I just realized the subject doesnt fir what I typed. Sorry about that. My brain was thinking one thing but I typed another.
    Bobo 13 yrs old - marches to the beat of her own drum, driven, out going and loud, yet she loves nature
    Booger Boy 21 yrs old - quiet, self assured, confident and laying his own path

    umbers cucumbers!!!!

  2. Global Village Forum Post - Jan2018
  3. #2

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    Has she presented any ideas? At 13, I would ask her what she thinks would be interesting to her. What is it that she doesn't like about the things you have suggested? Ask her to be specific, 'I just don't like it' won't cut it.

    Is she unsure about the process? Don't assume she knows just because she has written papers in the past, you need to know if SHE feels confident enough to write a paper.

    Does she dislike the idea of her writing being graded? Some kids feel judged especially at her age but are much less intimidated with a writing conference where you both go over the paper together and find areas that need improvement. Just make sure to not overwhelm her by pointing out every flaw. Choose the one or two most glaring problems, have her fix those and quietly give her a grade on the finished paper that she doesn't necessarily have to see if it would bother her. On the next paper, if she has remembered to self check the previous problems, choose one or two more. The idea is that over time, her writing will improve but she doesn't have to feel overwhelmed or judged during the process.

    Honestly, I would show her the requirements she needs to meet (whether they are imposed by the state or you is irrelevant) and ask her what she would like to do to meet those requirements.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by MapleHillAcademy View Post
    Honestly, I would show her the requirements she needs to meet (whether they are imposed by the state or you is irrelevant) and ask her what she would like to do to meet those requirements.
    To piggyback on this idea, at 13 she might know if she wants to go to college/trade school/military or not. In any of those cases, they would expect good reading and writing skills. Even if she needs that outside motivation to do SOMETHING, it might be a start.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years

    Daughter (21), a University of Iowa junior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies

    Son (20), a Purdue University sophomore majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, and history

  5. #4
    Senior Member Evolved Deli76's Avatar
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    Although she says she has been leaning towards military. I have told her and shown her the requirements. I have asked her what she wants to read or write about and she just shrugs her shoulders and says I dunno. I do know she has been studying several different languages. Spanish, Korean, Russian, French and one other one I cant remember. The Spanish is at co-op. She has to write complete paragraphs. I had thought about this for the other languages she speaks, but I dont know a darn thing about these languages. She has said that she thought about being an interpreter for the military. Although shes 13 and what she wants to be when she grows up might change, reading and writing are important. Ive tried to explain it. But teen brains. Thats where I am at.
    Bobo 13 yrs old - marches to the beat of her own drum, driven, out going and loud, yet she loves nature
    Booger Boy 21 yrs old - quiet, self assured, confident and laying his own path

    umbers cucumbers!!!!

  6. #5

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    There's a pretty big gulf between IEW, which is super prescriptive and structured, and unschooling a subject. If she doesn't like writing and reading then I doubt unschooling at this age will help her like it or succeed with it. I'm unclear if IEW is helping her significantly. She doesn't like it, but is it really working? There are in between approaches for sure - things like BW's Help for High School or a program like Essentials in Writing - there's other options that are more relaxed and not so intensive but are also not unschooling.

    I'm really in favor of consulting with kids, taking their wishes and needs into account - and it's especially important for the teen years.

    But when a kid doesn't want to do anything and just complains and a subject is as core as language arts, then yeah, I'd figure out what you want to require in terms of output and what the minimum is in terms of learning, and then I'd enforce it in the way you feel will meet her needs the best. In this case, I'd probably pick a program to follow just because I think it's harder to enforce your own requirements with a reluctant learner and it's easier to turn to "the curriculum" to decide what's really "enough" when you're getting pushback.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member Evolved Deli76's Avatar
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    IEW has really helped her. She likes writing as it is. She says IEW has ruined it for her. I think shes being dramatic with that statement. She hits all the dress ups and requirements for IEW. She can finish a lesson in less than 20 minutes. She doesnt have to even try.
    Ive been thinking about what to do for next year due to this. I dont want to ruin writing for her. A part of me thinks I should back off and let it go for a year. But I also need her to do the work. I cant giver her credit for something she hasnt even attempted. We did Grammar last year at home. The book was great. Really explained it well. I even had the answer book. It helped me understand grammar as well! It worked that well for both of us! If I could find another book like that...Id be so happy!
    I was just discussing with my husband what to do. One possibility is having her tested to see where she is academically. I know in schools you can "test out"? Shes taking the IEW C which is grades 9-12. I dont know where to start with that either. Im just brain storming.
    Bobo 13 yrs old - marches to the beat of her own drum, driven, out going and loud, yet she loves nature
    Booger Boy 21 yrs old - quiet, self assured, confident and laying his own path

    umbers cucumbers!!!!

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deli76 View Post
    ........ She likes writing as it is. .......
    As in she simply just likes to write, without all the lessons?

    If so, can she just write what she feels? From what I've learned from my daughter, what makes most writers better is just more writing, whatever the format. (That and LOTS of reading as well.)

    Can she set up a blog? Keep a writing journal, online or paper? Poetry? Stories?

    Here's a website that discusses various forums for teen writers. Maybe take a look at these?
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years

    Daughter (21), a University of Iowa junior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies

    Son (20), a Purdue University sophomore majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, and history

  9. #8

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    If next year is high school, I think you don't have the luxury of just letting her off the hook for any sort of writing all year.

    But I think if ever there was a program that can ruin writing for a kid, it's IEW. It's such a mix - some kids desperately need its dress ups and formulaic style - without it, they never get started, they struggle. But they're so oppressive to kids who like writing at all. And they also can really squelch a kid's natural writing voice in a major way. If a kid's writing voice is so stilted and awkward that they're barely getting anything out, then having something like IEW come in and give you the secret formulas is good. But if a kid's voice has their own fun turns of phrase and interesting ideas, then it just feels like putting their words in jail. Fitting your voice into various writing requirements is part of maturing as a writer. But IEW makes it a harsh process in many ways.

    She probably can't "test out" of English at the high school level. She just has to write and read. The whole testing out thing is more for math and science. And unless she's made her way through the canon, she probably isn't ready to test out anyway. It does sound like, if the IEW high school class is easy peasy for her at age 13, that she's in solid shape with writing.

    For high school, you don't have to do things like grammar and spelling. English is really as much about reading quality literature as it is about writing. There are so many options of how to structure it... I think you just need to figure out what the goals are. And... talk to her about it.

    I do think you can let go of IEW though - especially if it's easy for her. She needs a different challenge then, obviously.
    Want to read about my homeschool?
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  10. #9

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    Adding... I agree with the above that if she needs a year where writing is all journaling, blogging, writing her novel... whatever... then that's okay. But if I understand correctly and she'll be in high school, you want to make sure it's something worth a credit if at all possible.
    Want to read about my homeschool?
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

    Want help homeschooling or sending kids to college?
    http://simplify4you.com/

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UnSchooling Certain Subjects