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View Full Version : Goodbye, Unschool?



mpippin
06-10-2013, 03:45 PM
I really don't like the word unschool. There's too much drama involved in that label. (If you are not an unschooler or not familiar with it, you are likely, blissfully, unaware of the drama of not being unschool enough, or being an unparent, or whatever. Anyway, hate the label.

I hate all labels, actually.

I digress.

We tried on the unschool label this year. We had so much fun. And while I still consider us to be unschoolers at heart, in that we really are child-led in our learning, the time has come for us to move on.

Tuna has asked for curriculum. Bay is going back to school.

So here's our fifth grade year, solidified with Tuna's help:

Handwriting without Tears cursive
Elemental Science: Physics for the Grammar Stage
Maestro Classics for music
Meet the Masters for art
Brave Writer for language arts
Story of the World 2 for history
Post card collection from around the world, and 50 states & capitals memorization for geography
Rosetta Stone and a bunch of other resources for German (not to mention living in Germany)

She wants to take on an actual PE program, too, which intimidates me (too much to do). But we're going to buy family time fitness and have it, and try it.

I guess we're real, rootin tootin home schoolers now, aren't we? lol

trulycrabby
06-10-2013, 04:40 PM
Hello, I LOVE your avatar, btw, and chuckle every time I see it.

I toyed with "unschooling" as well, but realized that it just wasn't in my nature, and that interest-led with some classical curriculum thrown in were more up my alley.

Having only homeschooled for about a week, I'm not even going to begin to offer advice, even about PE, but having read your posts, I think you are up to whatever challenge you take on, and your kids will likely let you know what they want to do about PE. What do Germans do to keep fit in their daily lives, besides walk, ski, play soccer, skate, do yoga (big in Germany, from what I hear)?

Congratulations; I like your curriculum choices!

trulycrabby
06-10-2013, 04:42 PM
Hello, I LOVE your avatar, btw, and chuckle every time I see it.

I toyed with "unschooling" as well, but realized that it just wasn't in my nature, and that interest-led with some classical curriculum thrown in were more up my alley.

Having only homeschooled for about a week, I'm not even going to begin to offer advice, even about PE, but having read your posts, I think you are up to whatever challenge you take on, and your kids will likely let you know what they want to do about PE. What do Germans do to keep fit in their daily lives, besides walk, ski, play soccer, skate, do yoga (big in Germany, from what I hear)?

Congratulations; I like your curriculum choices!

mpippin
06-10-2013, 04:44 PM
They walk. With sticks. Because walking sticks make your walking more efficient. And being German is all about being efficient. lololol And thanks!

Mslksdh
06-10-2013, 05:07 PM
They walk. With sticks. Because walking sticks make your walking more efficient. And being German is all about being efficient. lololol And thanks!

Ha ha ha ha! Nice!:_lol:
I am trying the "unschooling" label for June. And while he listens more, I feel like he does less! I come here constantly to read all the advice so my head won't explode! I am having a hard time still changing my views. I still feel that there is child-led and then there is letting them do whatever they please.

lakshmi
06-11-2013, 08:20 PM
Agreed about the unschooling label... and the drama.

popsicle1010
06-12-2013, 12:58 AM
My unrequested addition to this conversation is that I used to think unschooling was 'the best' way to educate kids because it meant letting them lead the way. I don't mean that I thought this was best when I passed judgment on other people's choices lol; I mean I thought it was the 'most righteous' way and that if I wanted to do what was really best then I should unschool.

It never really worked for us, though. DD was only 4 and 5 at the time so there was no fuss about it, but I realized over time and with some experience that IMO what is really the 'most righteous' way to homeschool is whatever works best for the child and family involved! For some families that is surely unschooling, but for many, many others it surely is not.

So my hat is off to you for recognizing what has worked best for you in the past and making your best laid plans for the future and for remaining child-led (with as much parental leading as is best for your family lol) all the while.

Sounds like a wonderful plan to me! Good luck!!

Leanne71
06-12-2013, 02:28 AM
I would love nothing more than to unschooled but the absolute terror of having our moderator start the process of having us put the kids in school holds us to text books and other such shite!

kohlby
07-12-2013, 11:45 AM
I call us eclectic homeschoolers. I've found that's the easiest way to avoid drama with labels - by calling it eclectic. We did do what would be considered pure unschooling for kindy, but by first grade, we were a mix. Most still looked like unschooling but since it wasn't 100%, I didn't consider us unschoolers. Every year, the mix changes a bit, since I'm homeschooling a child who also changes all the time. No one has ever accused me of not being eclectic enough to fit the label.

Iamka
08-11-2013, 10:48 AM
I had to laugh when I stumbled upon the "label" of ununschooling.....The drama and bizarre stubbornness of some of the more public "gurus" and their supporters made me RUN far away from the "radical" unschooling label, even though as our first year of homeschooling progressed, it is the direction we naturally found ourselves in.

We just do what we do, I guess. :-)



I

Iamka
08-11-2013, 10:50 AM
I also really like the use of eclectic, if pushed to label or define.

HopefulPessimist
08-17-2013, 09:18 PM
Do people really ever ask how someone homeschools? Because other than "What type of homeschooler are you?" threads on homeschooling message boards, no one, in 3 full years of it so far (which isn't a lot, but still) has asked me what kind of homeschooler I am. Ever. It seems so bizarre. I never ask anyone what type of homeschooler they are either. I've homeschooled in 2 different states that are very geographically distant and culturally distinct from one another, in both a small town and a big city, so I don't feel like I'm sheltered in my own, little culture of less curious homeschoolers or anything.

Batgirl
08-17-2013, 11:55 PM
Do people really ever ask how someone homeschools? Because other than "What type of homeschooler are you?" threads on homeschooling message boards, no one, in 3 full years of it so far (which isn't a lot, but still) has asked me what kind of homeschooler I am. Ever. It seems so bizarre. I never ask anyone what type of homeschooler they are either. I've homeschooled in 2 different states that are very geographically distant and culturally distinct from one another, in both a small town and a big city, so I don't feel like I'm sheltered in my own, little culture of less curious homeschoolers or anything.

Nah. I think it's bizarre, too, but such is life, I guess. Since we've started, I've found that people actively avoid this topic irl because they are so worried about appearing judgmental about anyone else's educational philosophy/lifestyle choice. Since hsing is such an alternative choice to begin with, I thought people would be a little more eager to reflect on their educational philosophy/hs journey and the reasons for it. Nope. With a few exceptions, of course.

TomK
08-24-2013, 08:58 AM
At most, I've called us "semi-unschool". Sometimes I'll use something positive-sounding like interest-led or child-led, but "eclectic" is the go-to for me.

But yeah, outsiders don't know what those labels mean anyway (or they have bad associations with them). I say I homeschool, then might mention that we don't do lessons all day... it's easier :)

Stella M
08-25-2013, 02:37 AM
Do people really ever ask how someone homeschools? Because other than "What type of homeschooler are you?" threads on homeschooling message boards, no one, in 3 full years of it so far (which isn't a lot, but still) has asked me what kind of homeschooler I am. Ever. It seems so bizarre. I never ask anyone what type of homeschooler they are either. I've homeschooled in 2 different states that are very geographically distant and culturally distinct from one another, in both a small town and a big city, so I don't feel like I'm sheltered in my own, little culture of less curious homeschoolers or anything. Me either, and in fact their eyes glaze over if I start to tell them what a unique little mix of methods we use. Nobody wants to hear how we reconcile Charlotte Mason and unschooling, just no-one. Sob! I'd like to tell people :)

Gummers
08-25-2013, 04:07 AM
Really? I get asked how??! pretty much with any conversation that comes up about homeschooling. They usually ask what books I use, how I know my kids are learning (if an outside 3rd party isn't testing), how can I teach math and english (because you can only be good at one). Previously, I would just say K12 and that stopped the convo. Now I am still inclined to just lie and say k12 if I'm not feeling like getting into it.

Stella M
08-25-2013, 05:05 AM
The only question I get asked is "Are you a teacher ?" to which I lie, and say 'yes' and "What about their HSC ?" which is the school leaving exam and to which I reply "My kids are so smart they can get into uni before they do their HSC" which is also a lie, and I don't really say it :( I'd just like to.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
08-25-2013, 09:33 AM
It seems taboo to talk about homeschool methods and curriculum around here, too. I suspect there's a fair mix of unschoolers, online schoolers, and eclectic folks, so we don't want to risk any conversation on the subject. Which is sad, because I like to talk about it! I was rather disappointed that I only got the same old boring socialization/what-grade-are-they-in questions yesterday at a family reunion.

sdvelochick
08-25-2013, 10:32 AM
I love hearing about different people's homeschool styles. It's funny to me that some people give off the "you're not homeschooly enough if you're using k12". If someone pulls their kids out Of school and put their kids education in their own hands, pretty sure that's as good as any other way if that is what works for them.

Zuzu
08-26-2013, 09:06 AM
A relative asked how we would get the books. You know, the ones the school uses. The same, exact ones, because that's what you need. :) I tried to explain, but when you are starting from that point of view, it's such a long way to go, mentally, to grasping ideas like eclectic methods and child-led learning, etc.

I think non-homeschoolers don't ask because they don't even realize there are choices. I find that people either think they know what homeschooling is (e.g. see above) or they are so taken aback that it doesn't occur to them you might have a plan at all. I suspect that non-homeschoolers don't ask because they don't want to rock any boats and because of some sense that we should all stick together, as a somewhat maligned minority and, therefore, it is best not to rock any boats. Style is such a personal choice and some people feel so strongly about it. Also, I wonder if homeschoolers sometimes don't ask because religion is such an important factor in many people's homeschool philosophy, in varying ways and to varying degrees, which makes it even more of a potentially loaded topic.

crunchynerd
08-26-2013, 09:16 AM
Sounds like we need a club for ex-declared-unschoolers! No, there would be drama in that, too. It's like committees; they have 7 heads, 14 legs, and no brains, and you can't stop them from forming. I had similar experiences when I ventured down the rabbit hole and discovered a whole different thing from what I expected, and a similar reaction of deciding that I didn't want to risk being assumed to be an aggressive radical.

Stella M
08-26-2013, 06:30 PM
I'm an out ex-unschooler. Although I have issues letting go of it entirely :)

MissyinSLC
08-26-2013, 08:34 PM
I find myself defending unschooling on forums like facebook even though we are decidedly ex (I prefer former) unschoolers. And then I find myself questioning everything all over again!

dbmamaz
08-26-2013, 10:26 PM
i've spent years defending myself FROM unschoolers who seemed sure that if they argued with me enough, i'd see the error of my ways and stop making my kids do schoolwork :mad: