PDA

View Full Version : Better Late Than Early.



Lou
06-30-2011, 11:54 AM
Anyone read Dr. Raymond Moore books? What are your thoughts on better late than early (if you've read it)

All of what I'm reading makes sense, but not easy to over come thoughts re: learning that have been engrained in me.

I also battle the fact my kids have already been in school... :/

Is there anyone out there that put their kids in preschool/kindergarten and then started homeschooling...and is there a way or information on taking Dr. Raymond's approach after the fact???

dbmamaz
06-30-2011, 12:30 PM
I have a boy who is grey stubborn, very bright, but was a late talker and is maybe slightly behind in reading. He went to a very minimal preschool and went to public school for kindergarten. I feel like what I read in the Moore book I read (which may have been something like Homeschool family guide ) help me to adjust my expectations to be based on my son, rather than on schools or any "what your kid should know" list. I continue to offer learning experiences, and we do have 'school time'.

he will be startin 3rd grade in the fall, and has done almost no writing past 1st grade handwriting without tears -- which he didn't mind much at all, as long as it was only a half page a day. I am ready to start pushing writing gently . . . I mostly use the level of resistance to determine if I'm moving too fast. I try to be very responsive to his interests, too.

Now, my older son didnt start homeschooling until 8th grade, and he is a very different kid, so I am more structured with him.

Not sure how much that helps -- I read the book about 2 years ago.

Lou
06-30-2011, 01:49 PM
it helps...because what the book shares is that kids aren't ready for formal sit down learning until age 8-12 (depending on the child...boys later) and my son was an active learning, loved being curious, exploring new ideas, listening to my suggestions, wanting to experiment with me...now that he's gone to school he refuses all 'lessons' so when 'school time' comes he protests some of the more 'less then fun activities' and I'm unsure if I should drop all formal learning and let him unschool until age 8-10 or if I should continue with some formal learning and just not push when he's protesting...or does that teach him to wank for his way?

He is a very musical child...we've had musicians tell us he's very talented...he loves music...we started piano lessons last year...he hates playing piano now...he refuses to practice...he doesn't want to go to lessons...and he told me the reason was because he used to be good and now he forgets and makes mistakes and he blames the lessons for that. :/ (it's not the lessons, but maybe he's not ready to reason his creativity and formal learning yet)???

I just am not sure where to go with him...my daughter only had 6 or so months of preschool...so I feel I still have a grasp on her learning...but his is tricky...if he views it as 'school at home' he hates it...if he finds out what he was doing was half way educational he protests it...he's having a anti-learning movement and I just want to get him back to the place where he enjoyed life and learning...however, if left to his own means, he is BORED...MOM, I NEED A FRIEND TO COME OVER...I'M BORED....CAN I WATCH TV....CAN I PLAY A COMPUTER GAME...I'M BORED....My response is: Go outside and play in the play yard! ha, ha.....but then my inner self is rattling around making playdates and coming up with 'things' for him to do...which goes against my beliefs...if that makes sense...my beliefs tell me to let him find his own entertainment just give him time...but it's a pain in the arse for me...and well I (like him) would prefer the easy way out. :/

Anyhow, back to Moore's books...I wonder if it would be horrible to do nothing much with him in formal schooling for a year??? Or what if I teach him at my pre-K's daughter's level with more 'preschoolish' things like Peak with books (MBtP preschool lessons) ???

Background: I love Moore's ideas...however, my degree is in child development...I used to own a preschool...taught at plenty of preschools...was brainwashed that preschool was a good and needed idea...now I'm not so sure...I'd like to go with the normal learning that takes place in life and our home without the 'lessons' but really don't want to mess up my son who appears to be effected enough from his educational experiences. :/ ???

coloradoalice
06-30-2011, 02:14 PM
I think I somewhat adhere to the better late philosophy although I haven't read that book. If you go read the thoughts of unschoolers you'll see that many of them followed their own pursuits and then when the time came and the interest was there they flew through years of learning in days or weeks. I definitely believe that anything that is resisted and pushed will end up leaving a bad taste for a good long time. Maybe that's only my kids but I swear it seems that when they are struggling and I back off within a few weeks whatever it was we were struggling with occurs naturally. Reading and writing being two of the biggest examples I can think of for my oldest.

IMO formal preschool is entirely unnecessary for the learning process. The studies I have seen show that children in head start programs or the like only benefit as being ahead of their class until 4th grade. Then it completely evens out and by Jr. High those early educated children actually begin to lag behind. The biggest determining factor in a child success educationally is parental involvement. Obviously as home schoolers we have a major advantage there. ;)

Theresa Holland Ryder
06-30-2011, 02:16 PM
Waldorf education (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldorf_education) style also goes with the better late than early model. And here's my issue with formal early childhood education, which is simply my opinion and not meant as an attack on anyone's parenting or homeschooling or anything else. There are so many things, really important things you need to be doing when you're a preschooler-- playing in the mud and playing dress up and building forts out of blankets and the kitchen table and throwing a ball a million times and watching ice cubes melt on the sidewalk. Every moment of formal education takes away a moment of imaginative play.

I don't have a link right now, but a few years ago there was a high school Science teacher in the news who made all the girls in his class play with water balloons and race cars and such at the beginning of the school year, because girls typically don't get to play with those sorts of toys and that kind of play facilitates your later learning of Physics in irreplaceable ways. These days it's not just girls, it's all kids that tend to be robbed of that direct experience of the way the world works because we spend so much time in structured learning. Little kids are young scientists, figuring out how the world works through trial and error. We get in the way of that with our ideas of how kids "should" learn.

Sure, there are 3 year olds who can learn Calculus. But they have all their lives to learn Calculus, and only a narrow amount of time when they're small enough to make a blanket fort under the table. Just my opinion. Your mileage may vary. :)

coloradoalice
06-30-2011, 02:20 PM
Yes, I was going to mention Waldorf too. I don't really ascribe to that line of education but I do really appreciate the value they put on creative play over formal education for the earlier years.

Marmalade
06-30-2011, 03:20 PM
but then my inner self is rattling around making playdates and coming up with 'things' for him to do...which goes against my beliefs...if that makes sense...my beliefs tell me to let him find his own entertainment just give him time...

This stands out to me...

It sounds as if you don't want to plan his activities but you want him to come across them naturally? Have you read Sandra Dodd's unschooling website? She has a great idea that she calls "strewing"...she doesn't plan activities but kind of leaves things laying about.

Here are a few things that I do:
I collect educational yet fun (parent approved) websites and then put them on a spreadsheet that the children have access to. The girls have one and the boys have one because their levels are so different. For the boys (non-readers) I have gone so far as to screen shot the game and put over the link...the girls just have the name of the site on the link and a brief description. So I "strew" interesting and fun websites on the computer for them.

Buy fun things but don't give it to him-leave it somewhere. Don't make a big deal out of it at all. Either he will play with it or he won't. (Again-i recommend reading what she has to say on the subject)


Now-back to your original concerns. I've read one thing by Dr. Moore...I kind of agreed in concept with what he said but personally I hated the books (I think it was Successful Homeschooling Family or something along those lines?) It seemed like a lot of propaganda for the "Moore Method" which I only half believed in.

A book that i would recommend is The Unschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith...Even though we are not unschoolers it gave me a ton of piece of mind to go on with my decision to delay formal reading for my boys. They were never in school so I don't face the same problem that you do-but I'm glad that I've done this.

http://www.amazon.com/Unschooling-Handbook-Whole-Childs-Classroom/dp/0761512764

dbmamaz
06-30-2011, 04:07 PM
I also wonder if the formal lessons made him feel judged? Some kids get to be such perfectionists that anything that seems like a grade or an expectation can make them really uncomfortable.

One thing that helped my boy start doing activities last year was when I made a checklist of possible (loosely) educational activities he could do, and let him pick 3 of the 6 or whatever. You could have things on your checklist like drawing, or going outside and counting bugs, or spend 10 minutes playing whatever he wants on the piano . . . .like play something that sounds how you feel . . .and give him a timer. Have some books he can chose to have read to him, including some on science or history topics he likes, and some math readers too. Maybe do some science experiments with no lab work required.

6 is really young, imo, to force work they dont like. I am not a total unschooler, partly because I remember LOVING it when ppl organized activities for me. When I had nothing to do, i would try to come up w a schedule of activities for myself. I also think that having some structure helps the day flow better.

If I was homeschooling my daughter, I would have done a much more rigorous program because that was what she liked. My boys both struggle with writing, so we do more loose stuff . . interactive, reading, watching videos. And math, we always do math.

Kylie
06-30-2011, 06:50 PM
Aarrggghhh!! Now I will spend the next week beating myself up over my unschooling dreams. Every time a post like this comes up I do it. ROFL but it's me not you lol!

I have never read the book, though have heard quite a bit about it.

We are a better late than early family, but more due to circumstance (although my MIL also pushed the idea on me). DS attended kindy, preschool and 6 months of prep so I had no real desire to do any formal learning at home with him. When I did bring him home I was so consumed with getting ti right with him that any window of opportunity or sensitive period (according to Montessori) was missed with my then 3 year old DD

She turns 7 in a week and we are just on cvc readers, so really what you see most 4 year old homeschoolers doing. At times I feel sick knowing this, but then when I reason with myself I know I am being ridiculous!

I spent a good part of 3 years struggling with DS and his early learning. This past year he has been a breeze to teach, ok he doesn't write and his spelling is awful, but he is pretty much an independent learner, because his 'stuff just clicked' somewhere in that head of his you know! He turns 10 later this year so again he's right in that period where they say that everything falls into place for them and for him it has ( well mostly).

I still go back and forth with DD with my thoughts. Should I push on, should I just leave her be and get her T4L and let her do her own thing? Like you I worry that if I allow any whining and complaining to get school packed up for the day that the whining will simply increase. Plus DS would fight me tooth and nail if I just let her be or simply 'play' on the computer for her 'school work'.

In saying all of that though, I have read extensively on Montessori and the 'window of opportunity' or sensitive period in children. They all have them, a period where they are totally immersed in something, letters, numbers, making up stories, whatever really.

As an educator that's when you need to jump on that sensitive period. Grasp it and run with it. Provide lots of activities for them and their interest....that just seems to make so much sense to me. I am really hoping that I can get my shit together to provide that for youngest. He turns 3 at the end of this month and is coming into the prime Montessori years.

If you can totally allow yourself to follow the child, then that's what I'd be suggesting you do...it's damn hard though isn't!

I think strewing is a fabulous idea. Maybe you could just do loads of science experiments and fun stuff like that and slowly ease into the other things, once some enjoyment comes back for him.

Lou
07-01-2011, 01:15 AM
I think I somewhat adhere to the better late philosophy although I haven't read that book. If you go read the thoughts of unschoolers you'll see that many of them followed their own pursuits and then when the time came and the interest was there they flew through years of learning in days or weeks. I definitely believe that anything that is resisted and pushed will end up leaving a bad taste for a good long time. Maybe that's only my kids but I swear it seems that when they are struggling and I back off within a few weeks whatever it was we were struggling with occurs naturally. Reading and writing being two of the biggest examples I can think of for my oldest. I agree...however, I have not asked him to write for 2 months now and I had a 'writing sheet' out on the table for one of the kids to just find...when he saw it he went right into a tantrum...i wasn't even there asking him to do it, I was in the kitchen, but cooking, when I told him it wasn't there for him to do, it was there for Chloe (not totally true, it was for whoever found it and might want to do it) he calmed down and left the room, but I can see writing might not happen for a LONG WHILE still. He wrote so beautifully when he was 2 & 3...just torture myself with guilt for forcing traditional school on him, when he was doing so lovely on his own before we started school...
IMO formal preschool is entirely unnecessary for the learning process. The studies I have seen show that children in head start programs or the like only benefit as being ahead of their class until 4th grade. Then it completely evens out and by Jr. High those early educated children actually begin to lag behind. The biggest determining factor in a child success educationally is parental involvement. Obviously as home schoolers we have a major advantage there. ;) that is what the book seems to say as well...that if starting too early then they burn out right about the time they need to be doing these various things...

****


Waldorf education (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldorf_education) style also goes with the better late than early model. And here's my issue with formal early childhood education, which is simply my opinion and not meant as an attack on anyone's parenting or homeschooling or anything else. There are so many things, really important things you need to be doing when you're a preschooler-- playing in the mud and playing dress up and building forts out of blankets and the kitchen table and throwing a ball a million times and watching ice cubes melt on the sidewalk. Every moment of formal education takes away a moment of imaginative play. I agree and my kids do all of these things, however they claim to be BORED...this morning I was in the kitchen and I could hear my son saying he is bored and wishes I would get him a friend to play with today, then I look into the living room to see the great fort made of couch pillows and blankets by his sister and him and I wonder why does he have to add the ho hum woa is me I'm bored to such a great event??? :/




****


Yes, I was going to mention Waldorf too. I don't really ascribe to that line of education but I do really appreciate the value they put on creative play over formal education for the earlier years.

we looked into waldorf school, but it was too far of a drive, we would of been in the car roughly 4 hours a day if we went that route, so then when we decided to homeschool, I looked into waldorf curriculum and it seemed sooooo baby compared to where my son was and he was half way protesting anything 'baby' so I didn't go with the waldorf curriculum...(same sort of went with Oak Meadow when I looked into that as well...hard to let the reading and math go that he does already know??? That is where I get hung up...do I let it go and hope to get it back later? Or slowly maintain it and keep it going???

****


but then my inner self is rattling around making playdates and coming up with 'things' for him to do...which goes against my beliefs...if that makes sense...my beliefs tell me to let him find his own entertainment just give him time...

This stands out to me...

It sounds as if you don't want to plan his activities but you want him to come across them naturally? Have you read Sandra Dodd's unschooling website? She has a great idea that she calls "strewing"...she doesn't plan activities but kind of leaves things laying about.
I didn't know there was a name for that "Strewing" but I do this all the time...every table in the house will at one point or another during the day have some sort of 'something' on it...paints & paper, playdough, beans and measuring cups/funnels, pattern shapes, cusinaire rods, moon sand, space sand in water, baking cookies, legos, lincoln logs, bionicles, felt board with felt things, books, work book sheets, flexees, take apart vehicles & tools, wooden blocks, doll houses with people, pottery wheels with clay, bubbles, gosh you name it...And I beat myself up on that end of the spectrum too, maybe they have too much entertainment? Maybe I should toss it all and give them sticks! They like rocks best, maybe I could clear out their toy room and just have rocks & sticks??? Today my daughter was collecting leaves off the ground...maybe they really don't want all the toys???

Here are a few things that I do:
I collect educational yet fun (parent approved) websites and then put them on a spreadsheet that the children have access to. The girls have one and the boys have one because their levels are so different. For the boys (non-readers) I have gone so far as to screen shot the game and put over the link...the girls just have the name of the site on the link and a brief description. So I "strew" interesting and fun websites on the computer for them. Good idea...right now they have a folder in my favorites they can go to...and they have their own laptop with educational games on it, but they only want to play PLANTS vs ZOMBIES which I don't really put in the 'educational' catagory...ha, ha...so they poo poo my computer options (like starfall) except on occasion, sometimes they love starfall...reader rabbit is a no go...would love to add some web sites and programs to their computer, if you have some good ones to share, please let me know! :)

Buy fun things but don't give it to him-leave it somewhere. Don't make a big deal out of it at all. Either he will play with it or he won't. (Again-i recommend reading what she has to say on the subject) I'm totally going to go read this!!! Looking forward to learning more ideas...because when my kids find something on their own, they are far more likely to engage for longer periods of time!


A book that i would recommend is The Unschooling Handbook by Mary GriffithI'll go check that one out...I love book suggestions! Thanks! ...Even though we are not unschoolers it gave me a ton of piece of mind to go on with my decision to delay formal reading for my boys. This is what I'm looking for...someone to tell me it will be OK if I let him go free for a couple years. Hubby is supportive of what I research and decide. I know he also battles the same 'school is good' but deep down wants our children to be happy and at peace with their own selves. If that makes any sense? ha ha They were never in school so I don't face the same problem that you do-but I'm glad that I've done this.

Lou
07-01-2011, 01:17 AM
****

I also wonder if the formal lessons made him feel judged? Some kids get to be such perfectionists that anything that seems like a grade or an expectation can make them really uncomfortable. I am sure he was...I hate to admit this, but BOTH my hubby and I are very sarcastic in our humor, so I fear he has felt judged by us at times...Although we both try REALLY HARD to always remain positive and look for the positive and teach the silver lining way of life...I am a very positive glass half full person, but hubby is glass half empty and he also is a perfectionist...apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I was struggling once with my son on a writing practice, when I was explaining it to my hubby, he gave me the same grief my son did, long story short, he basically said and did the EXACT same things our son did...he admitted that he understood what I wanted, but didn't want to do it that way, because it was a waste of time. HELLO the fight is a waste of time...my point, there are genes at play here as well as possible horrible judging...he really doesn't like to be corrected, or shown how to do something if he thinks he already knows how. :/

One thing that helped my boy start doing activities last year was when I made a checklist of possible (loosely) educational activities he could do, and let him pick 3 of the 6 or whatever. great idea...I want to start the work box system at some point and that would be good...you can do any 3 of the 6 drawers or something like that! Great idea! :) You could have things on your checklist like drawing, or going outside and counting bugs, or spend 10 minutes playing whatever he wants on the piano re: piano, I let him do his own thing on the piano, I'm half way tempted to quit lessons until he's older...but unsure still...I don't make him practice...I turn on songs as background music and often it triggers him to fiddle around on the keyboard...or we go to Grandma's house which he associates with banging on the piano keys. :) If friends of family come over, I have them casually ask to hear a song of his choice...that works 80% of the time to get him to play a song. . . . .like play something that sounds how you feel Yeah...good idea...need to break the DJ switch on the keyboard, because he turns it up full volume and bangs on it in DJ mode which is painful to listen to! ha, ha.... . .and give him a timer. Have some books he can chose to have read to him, including some on science or history topics he likes, and some math readers too. Maybe do some science experiments with no lab work required.

6 is really young, imo, to force work they dont like. In general what age do most homeschoolers feel is a proper age to start pushing harder on tough subjects? I agree 6 is young... I am not a total unschooler, partly because I remember LOVING it when ppl organized activities for me. my mom always had crafts set up for me....When I had nothing to do, i would try to come up w a schedule of activities for myself. I also think that having some structure helps the day flow better. it seems routine with no time (clock) restraints (sp?) is what works best for us.

If I was homeschooling my daughter, I would have done a much more rigorous program because that was what she liked. My boys both struggle with writing, so we do more loose stuff . . interactive, reading, watching videos. And math, we always do math.That brings me to the generalization of boy/girl...is he needing more time because he's a busy boy?

****



Aarrggghhh!! Now I will spend the next week beating myself up over my unschooling dreams. Every time a post like this comes up I do it. ROFL but it's me not you lol!

I have never read the book, though have heard quite a bit about it.

We are a better late than early family, but more due to circumstance (although my MIL also pushed the idea on me). DS attended kindy, preschool and 6 months of prep so I had no real desire to do any formal learning at home with him. When I did bring him home I was so consumed with getting ti right with him that any window of opportunity or sensitive period (according to Montessori) was missed with my then 3 year old DD aren't these things torture on parents that care...sometimes I joke that ignorance would be blissful and welcome at times like these...ha ha

She turns 7 in a week and we are just on cvc readers, not sure what cvc readers are...assuming beginner readers? so really what you see most 4 year old homeschoolers doing. At times I feel sick knowing this, but then when I reason with myself I know I am being ridiculous! I know lots of 7 year olds in traditional school that are in the beginner readers. I wouldn't worry just yet... :)

I spent a good part of 3 years struggling with DS and his early learning. This past year he has been a breeze to teach, ok he doesn't write and his spelling is awful, but he is pretty much an independent learner, because his 'stuff just clicked' somewhere in that head of his you know! He turns 10 later this year so again he's right in that period where they say that everything falls into place for them and for him it has ( well mostly). This is what I need to hear...more of this...

I still go back and forth with DD with my thoughts. Should I push on, should I just leave her be and get her T4L and let her do her own thing? Like you I worry that if I allow any whining and complaining to get school packed up for the day that the whining will simply increase. Plus DS would fight me tooth and nail if I just let her be or simply 'play' on the computer for her 'school work'. that is another HARD thing...how do I let DD play while I'm pushing DS to work? DD can do his level, so I choose MBtP that was one level down from him and one level up for her...hoping to take it super slow and teach them together...maturity level they are about the same.

In saying all of that though, I have read extensively on Montessori and the 'window of opportunity' or sensitive period in children. They all have them, a period where they are totally immersed in something, letters, numbers, making up stories, whatever really.

As an educator that's when you need to jump on that sensitive period. Grasp it and run with it. Provide lots of activities for them and their interest....that just seems to make so much sense to me. I am really hoping that I can get my shit together to provide that for youngest. He turns 3 at the end of this month and is coming into the prime Montessori years. I need to get it together too...I find it really tricky when DS is interested, I jump, he backs off, and never are DD & DS interested in the same subject at the same time...that would be too easy! ;)

If you can totally allow yourself to follow the child, then that's what I'd be suggesting you do...it's damn hard though isn't! very hard...but these conversations on the forum help me each day...I know I ramble in my posts and think out loud, but I do pull soooo much from these threads! VERY HELPFUL! It's tough out here in homeschoolville.

I think strewing is a fabulous idea. Maybe you could just do loads of science experiments and fun stuff like that and slowly ease into the other things, once some enjoyment comes back for him.

I need to read more on strewing, I think I'm a strewer already, but want to look more into it.

I guess I need to know if it's OK to basically do what I would consider "doing nothing" and still call it homeschooling??? And would it turn out OK if I do this until they are 8-10 years old???

Stella M
07-01-2011, 02:10 AM
If they are 'doing nothing' in a learning rich environment - plenty of books, materials, resources, outings, exercise, people, music, opportunities - yes. But it's one of those things where just as many people will say 'no' as 'yes', so it comes down to what you feel is right for your family.

Keep a journal of their 'nothings' and see if it adds up to 'something'. Maybe that will help you decide.

As for pushing harder in 'tougher subjects' - idk. I push my 7yr old to do my minimum. Which is not a lot of work. I keep his lessons short and sweet. He learns a surprising amount with minimum conflict. As they get older I don't push at all. I just remind them of their goals and of how the work fits into those goals. Its much less stressful if they push - or pace - themselves.

Lou
07-01-2011, 02:29 AM
Here are some pics...

homeschooling??? Son draws a robot he wants to build...(blue crayon)...goes with hubby into our work shop, using some scrap bits, makes a robot with dad...little sister might want one too, so they bring all the PARTS up to the house and they put their robots together at the kitchen table. (dad drilled some pilot holes for screws, etc, but they assembled and screwed them together)

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5750.jpg

Hikes on the property or through the vineyard...check'n out an ant hill or maybe a bone from some dead animal...homeschooling???

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5756.jpg

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5755.jpg

Playing in the bounce house or play yard...homeschooling???

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5885.jpg

Lou
07-01-2011, 02:31 AM
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5919.jpg

the play yard has a trampoline, tree fort, plenty of disk & regular swings, climbing ropes, rope ladders, a roller coaster, teeter totter, sand box, pool,....lots of opportunity to 'be a kid' but is it homeschooling??? Or a lazy mom who just supplies things and doesn't really engage in things WITH her children??? (that's sort of how I feel even though I know better when I 'strew'...I don't really like to PLAY...so spending time kicking a ball or playing tag SUCKS BIG TIME for me)

These are things I consider doing nothing...can we continue to do nothing and still thrive??? Do we NEED to do curriculum...what if I wait and they are 8 & 10 years old before I start? Will I start with Kindergarten materials and will I end up having to buy SEVERAL levels of curriculum that year while they catch up in lightening speed???

Lou
07-01-2011, 02:34 AM
half of me wants to do "school at home" seriously several hours of work...the other half of me wants to 'do nothing' in an educational nothing sort of way...and I'm not happy with the middle ground of those two extremes....so I'd rather (because deep down I feel it's probably less harmful) the do nothing right now approach...but scared to...wondering if trying to go with one concept of MBtP this next year is enough...what if I'm audited...what could I show that is proof we are schooling???

Lou
07-01-2011, 02:36 AM
If they are 'doing nothing' in a learning rich environment - plenty of books, materials, resources, outings, exercise, people, music, opportunities - yes. But it's one of those things where just as many people will say 'no' as 'yes', so it comes down to what you feel is right for your family.

Keep a journal of their 'nothings' and see if it adds up to 'something'. Maybe that will help you decide.

As for pushing harder in 'tougher subjects' - idk. I push my 7yr old to do my minimum. Which is not a lot of work. I keep his lessons short and sweet. He learns a surprising amount with minimum conflict. As they get older I don't push at all. I just remind them of their goals and of how the work fits into those goals. Its much less stressful if they push - or pace - themselves.

Journal is a good idea...I'm thinking too much now...gotta go to bed and stop the brain from over thinking everything. :)

Kylie
07-01-2011, 03:35 AM
Lol love your rambling, a woman after my own heart. I really have to stop myself here cause I ramble and think out loud far too much.

Have you sat down and really assessed your goals for your childrens education? Melissa made a point in a thread somewhere about what are the absolute basics that you feel you/they must be doing....the absolute basics...I think that is a great starting point.

You have a fabulous back yard and I wholeheartedly believe that 6 is not too young to still be spending his time in play. Play in the back yard, play with crafty, arty stuff, play in the kitchen and play with cool science kits etc etc.

Add in daily reading on various topics and discussions to go along with the reading and I reckon your "doing nothing" would just be doing fine!

Honestly I struggle daily with this and wish we could do just that, but then I beat myself up that DS turns 10 this year and he should be doing more.....but really should he....we could go round and round in circles on this topic until our kids are all grown up and have flown the coop! Lol

Lou
07-01-2011, 11:05 AM
Lol love your rambling, a woman after my own heart. I really have to stop myself here cause I ramble and think out loud far too much.

Have you sat down and really assessed your goals for your childrens education? Melissa made a point in a thread somewhere about what are the absolute basics that you feel you/they must be doing....the absolute basics...I think that is a great starting point.

You have a fabulous back yard and I wholeheartedly believe that 6 is not too young to still be spending his time in play. Play in the back yard, play with crafty, arty stuff, play in the kitchen and play with cool science kits etc etc.

Add in daily reading on various topics and discussions to go along with the reading and I reckon your "doing nothing" would just be doing fine!

Honestly I struggle daily with this and wish we could do just that, but then I beat myself up that DS turns 10 this year and he should be doing more.....but really should he....we could go round and round in circles on this topic until our kids are all grown up and have flown the coop! Lol

I did write my goals down when I first started...so I need to find that notebook and re-read what I wrote. I think I'll need to adjust the goals a bit, because my beliefs have loosened up some.

I do get whirling and rambling and thinking outloud at times...not that kookie in person...ha, ha...or maybe I am? ;)

I want my children to go on to college. I feel like there is a 17 year window and when they are 18 my chance is over...maybe that's not true, but I'm doubtful there are kids still homeschooling when they are 20...so that feels like if I let him 'play learn' until he's 8 - 10 then I only have a 7 year window and that sort of lingers over my head...basic learning (reading/math) I don't mind waiting on a little bit because I think it can be learned quickly...but if he needs to get up to Calc and thru all the algebras before college will he or will he enter college at basic math level...guess it doesn't really matter because many adults go back to college and test out at basic math...hmmm talking out loud sorting it out.

I guess all they really need to know is how to read and do basic math...but I sure would like him to have interest in learning all sorts of things...he's excellent in science...

Thanks for letting me sort this out with everone's thoughts...I'm thinking moore's book has a good point and it's not a biggie if we spend the year on being a kid with some informal lessons. I worry about giving homeschooling a bad name too by having a ding dong child as a representative...ya'know...what if we have to go back into school at any given time...will they put my 8 year old who can't read into special ed classes? a lower grade or with his own age group?

I feel better about waiting on formal lessons...need to back myself with some research so I feel confident to support my choice. I do have some curriculum I think we will TRY, but if there is resistance I'll wait and try again later and wait and try again later until it is time. :)

I'm off to go learn more about strewing, because I'm pretty sure that is what I do and totally right up my ally...I strew in other ways too, like leave 'hints' for the hubby to find here and there with great ideas he might want to come up with (like gift ideas or house hold projects) :D

off to go help my son cut 'windows' in his banana boxes (he raided the produce section of the market yesterday) he's building a spooky castle fort, but right now it looks like a giant box mess in the living room to me...ahhhh the joys of having a lovely messy creative kid....just wish they would learn to clean up after themselves without me saying anything or nagging! :)

naturegirl7
07-01-2011, 04:41 PM
I haven't read that book yet. But I was thinking that maybe you need to take some time off and "de-school" - that is decompress and unlearn the bad learning habits/feelings/associations that formed while in public school.

We tend to lean towards Unschooling here - I prefer child led cuz we do use curricula, but in a very unschooly kinda way. We do what works and throw out the rest :)

I think that each child is so unique, with such specific needs. Just need to tailor the learning opportunities you throw out there to his/her specific needs/interests. Take some time off, decompress from PS, and get back in touch with that "love of learning." You'd be amazed how much kids can learn thru daily interactions, games, etc.

naturegirl7
07-01-2011, 04:46 PM
BTW LOVE your pics - I don't think the question is "Is this homeshooling?" as much as you are asking "Are they learning?"

Are they learning? Hell yes!!! Does learning have to come from a textbook or workbook or curriculum? Hell no!!! :)

Looks like you are having fun learning - just keep it up!

hockeymom
07-01-2011, 05:23 PM
Hey m2wandc: are you by any chance in NorCal? Your area looks just like where I grew up...those brown hills...I can't believe it would be anywhere else...sorry if I've asked before or if I just haven't been paying attention..

Theresa Holland Ryder
07-01-2011, 06:54 PM
I had a friend who took her son out of 2nd grade and then pretty much let him do whatever until he was 13. He decided that year, when he was 13, that the next year he wanted to transition back into a top magnet high school in their area. They spent a year playing catch up with some stuff to get him ready. He just graduated with honors from the magnet school. And he went all the way to the national level with his Science project competition.

And by "pretty much let him do whatever", I don't mean to jab at unschooling. She was less unschooling and more like "strewing" for an older child. I couldn't do it, I'm more of a pushy sort of homeschooling mom. But that kid turned out fabulous. He's off to college in the fall. It's an extreme example and certainly wouldn't work for every kid, but it worked for him. We're so conditioned by larger society to believe that if we don't have our kids on an academic track early, early, early, they're never going to make it. Turns out that isn't necessarily true. :)

Kylie
07-01-2011, 07:04 PM
Great story! I need a piece of paper that says it will work and then Ill be ok with it all and stop being so pushy lol!

Lou
07-01-2011, 07:12 PM
This is a reply to a message on page 2...
I agree...my son mostly needs to de-school...and I think unschooling would be the best thing for him...I still have a need to 'do' some sort of educational something...I know he's learning something and it doesn't always come from a book...infact he's a great hands on learner...but WHAT is he learning??? WHAT did he learn spending the day at the beach today??? What did he learn spending the day out in the play yard??? I know he's learning things...just wish I knew what it was....that would make me comfortable with complete unschooling...but since I don't really know or have a way to measure his learning experience I feel like me strewing activities around or dictating some sort of lessons here and there will be needed.

I am getting more and more comfortable with the idea of relaxed learning (almost unschooling) as I chat with folks on here and while I read these books I have on my desk... :) I'm still a newbie to all of this, so maybe I'll have a great grasp of it in a year. :D

Lou
07-01-2011, 07:20 PM
Hey m2wandc: are you by any chance in NorCal? Your area looks just like where I grew up...those brown hills...I can't believe it would be anywhere else...sorry if I've asked before or if I just haven't been paying attention..

Santa Barbara Hills...a bit south. :)


Great story! I need a piece of paper that says it will work and then Ill be ok with it all and stop being so pushy lol!

I think that is what I was hoping for...a bunch of people flooding me with positive feedback on it's OK to do nothing for a few years and you'll still have a brilliant child...lol :)

coloradoalice
07-01-2011, 08:15 PM
Those pictures are LOVELY!!

To answer your question yes, I would call all of that homeschooling. I tend towards unschooling and think that there is educational value in nearly everything we do and if you can grab that when your kids are interested and supplement whatever their interests are then you are definitely educating and they are definitely learning.

Honestly it can be very hard to trust the process and very hard to allow your child to dictate what and how they learn. There's a lot of faith that it will all work out and you have to really focus on the long term (as in years down the road) because that's late rather than early will show it's benefits.

coloradoalice
07-01-2011, 08:21 PM
This is a reply to a message on page 2...
I agree...my son mostly needs to de-school...and I think unschooling would be the best thing for him...I still have a need to 'do' some sort of educational something...I know he's learning something and it doesn't always come from a book...infact he's a great hands on learner...but WHAT is he learning??? WHAT did he learn spending the day at the beach today??? What did he learn spending the day out in the play yard??? I know he's learning things...just wish I knew what it was....that would make me comfortable with complete unschooling...but since I don't really know or have a way to measure his learning experience I feel like me strewing activities around or dictating some sort of lessons here and there will be needed.

I am getting more and more comfortable with the idea of relaxed learning (almost unschooling) as I chat with folks on here and while I read these books I have on my desk... :) I'm still a newbie to all of this, so maybe I'll have a great grasp of it in a year. :D

I battle this all the time. I want to unschool my kids. But.......I was a teacher before they came around and truth be told I LOVE teaching!! I love books and I love plans and I love supplies and all the loveliness that goes along with it. So, we do both. I do formal stuff when they are open to it and it helps meet my needs. And we unschool a lot too, like weeks at a time, and when the kids start getting restless and throwing the word bored around I start up with formal lessons again. And by formal I mean we flip through their books and they tell me what they want to learn and we mostly do a lot of reading. They still direct the majority of what we are doing, I just push us towards books with organization and worksheets and stuff to help occupy us. It's a total ebb and flow and I never push it because fighting over school makes them hate school which they then equate with learning which is the total opposite of why I do things the way I do.

All that to say I totally get where you are coming from. Balance is hard but it is out there. It took more than half of last year for me to figure it out. I am hoping this year will be much more smooth.

Lou
07-01-2011, 11:04 PM
It seems to be a lot of past teachers homeschooling their children these days. I think it's great!

I love the days where we (just the three of us...my two kids & myself) take off on an adventure to the natural history museum, zoo, beach, discovery children's museum, library, etc and have no time limits, no structured plan...those days are the best...we linger we play we hang out in a very calm mellow state...my kids get along...we eat healthy choices...our whole vibe is fabulous! If every day was like that I would be in homeschool heaven!

I'm such a visual person...here are some picture of the kids 'learning' (can you tell I'm really trying to convince myself they are actually learning something that will allow them to succeed as adults)...I'm so excited for fall to start, but then I think WHY? If I'm going to do a more relaxed thing...what is it I'm not doing now...ha, ha...I should change my user name to nut job mama!

We do activities like these at least 4 days of the week...weekends are generally a complete TV watching do whatever you want willy nilly bust, but minum 3 -4 days of the weekdays we do various activities.

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5456.jpg

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5472.jpg

Lou
07-01-2011, 11:04 PM
This is the table work I was having them do when we first started, but eventually my son started to protest more and more...he will do a little bit here and there but really doesn't like it at all.

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5410.jpg

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5418.jpg

Lou
07-01-2011, 11:05 PM
We have explore days...checking out the butterfly or sea life exhibits or playing in the creek...

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5582.jpg

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5625.jpg

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5671.jpg

Lou
07-01-2011, 11:06 PM
I do strew...here is some space sand (the kind that never gets wet)

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5153.jpg

and pinto beans with measuring cups, etc...

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5652.jpg

Or some rocks/minerals...I leave them on the table, they find them and eventually they are checking them out in a patch of sunlight on the ground...but if I get a 'fact book' out about rocks/minerals, they totally don't care...well I say THEY...mostly my son...he doesn't like to hear 'fact books' if it's a story about a man who shot to the moon on an explosive mineral...well that is a different thing...he'd like to hear that...but fact books, he can't stand...

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5655.jpg

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/Hinnrichs/DSCF5661a-1.jpg

Tables around the house or yard always have some sort of something to find and play with...but they have played with most everything so finding NEW things is tough, but I think they still enjoy the old stuff just as well.

Lou
07-01-2011, 11:13 PM
I guess I'm getting more and more convinced they are learning something...just hope it's enough to help them become happy healthy successful adults that can support themselves later in life....we don't need a 30 year old child still expecting us to get his sippy cup and make her a snack! :)

Kylie
07-02-2011, 02:52 AM
I battle this all the time. I want to unschool my kids. But.......I was a teacher before they came around and truth be told I LOVE teaching!! I love books and I love plans and I love supplies and all the loveliness that goes along with it. So, we do both. I do formal stuff when they are open to it and it helps meet my needs. And we unschool a lot too, like weeks at a time, and when the kids start getting restless and throwing the word bored around I start up with formal lessons again. And by formal I mean we flip through their books and they tell me what they want to learn and we mostly do a lot of reading. They still direct the majority of what we are doing, I just push us towards books with organization and worksheets and stuff to help occupy us. It's a total ebb and flow and I never push it because fighting over school makes them hate school which they then equate with learning which is the total opposite of why I do things the way I do.

All that to say I totally get where you are coming from. Balance is hard but it is out there. It took more than half of last year for me to figure it out. I am hoping this year will be much more smooth.

Ok can you please expand on this. Is this literally what you do. Unschool until the troops get restless? Do you suggest a period of 'book work' or do just get it out and let them know it's happening?

So you also just let them flip through any of their work books and choose something to do, anything they choose?

Kylie
07-02-2011, 02:54 AM
m2wandc what about leaving stories that relate to whatever you are strewing, as opposed to fact books? Do you have any of the Lets Read And Find Out About series?

Lou
07-02-2011, 11:41 AM
Ok can you please expand on this. Is this literally what you do. Unschool until the troops get restless? Do you suggest a period of 'book work' or do just get it out and let them know it's happening?

So you also just let them flip through any of their work books and choose something to do, anything they choose?

I like this style...it appeals to me...and I would like to hear more as well... :)

Lou
07-02-2011, 11:44 AM
m2wandc what about leaving stories that relate to whatever you are strewing, as opposed to fact books? Do you have any of the Lets Read And Find Out About series?

I don't have any of those...I'll have to go check out the library to see if they have them. That way I can see if they work for us before buying a bunch...they look good and amazon.com seems to carry a bunch of science ones. Had not heard of them before...thanks for the suggestion...

coloradoalice
07-02-2011, 11:58 PM
Ok can you please expand on this. Is this literally what you do. Unschool until the troops get restless? Do you suggest a period of 'book work' or do just get it out and let them know it's happening?

So you also just let them flip through any of their work books and choose something to do, anything they choose?


I like this style...it appeals to me...and I would like to hear more as well... :)

Yeah, that's literally what I do, lol! We are starting next week because I am sick of them saying they are bored and picking fights with each other, lol!

We did a lot of things last year. By the end it was very basic, my daughter was journaling, doing a work book, and we used the What Your 1st Grader Needs To Know. It kind of went on a weekly schedule, some weeks we did nothing (well, recordable book work,we are always doing something ;) ) some weeks we did a set time of work daily. I would give her a journal topic and her journal was one of the ones with space for a picture as well as lines for writing so she would answer the journal topic and draw a picture to go with it. The work book was at her own pace, she did what she wanted to but she did do it in order. The Needs to Know book was usually presented like "Hey, lets check off 5 things today." She would pick what 5 things, so if it was 5 poems it went really fast, if it was 5 stories it would take us longer. I did encourage her to mix it up and pick a couple things from different topics so she wouldn't end up with everything she was avoiding at the end. Of course that still happened but then she learned how that works, so it was fine by me, although it caused more than normal groaning from her, lol!

This year I am going to try to keep it as casual and fun. If you click on my blog too you can see some of what we went through last year, I don't write a lot but I do try to record what I learned and my mistakes.

Lou
07-03-2011, 11:45 AM
I have that book series (what your ??? needs to know) and I never noticed it being in a weekly school format before? Do you just have her pick one thing out of each subject? (that is what I think you are doing) and so your children have to do 5 things out of that book each day? I use that book as a guide at times, sometimes I read stories from it. My husband is concerned that if our children ever have to go back to school that they are able to go into the grade they should be in. I'm not as concerned, But I would like them to be able to go into a classroom with similar aged children. Give or take a year.

I went to the library and checked out all their lets read and find out books...I like them.

I think for us, we are going to try and move thru MBtP concept 1 (which has 3 unit studies involved) , some singapore math, some explode the code, some hooked on handwriting, some FIAR &/or Peak with books and take it very slow. my goal for the end of the year is to have the 1 concept of MBtP completed(they have 4 concepts per year for those not familiar with MBtP) (I want to do more, but that is a bare bones basic goal I'll be happy with) My main goal is to not stress out my children or myself with the learning/teaching process. Rather enjoy the year with my children doing fun and educational things in an unschooly kind of way as interests and oppotunities come up. (maybe I should copy and paste these goals to remind myself thru the year) :)

coloradoalice
07-03-2011, 11:56 AM
Yes, you are right, we just pick whatever we want from the book, it's not in a weekly form. And if it was something I know we have covered, like a science or history topic, or a story we have read before or whatever then I just checked it off, like literally check it off in the table of contents since every single topic title is listed.

Your main goal is my main goal too!! I want my kids to love learning. What they actually learn is cake IMO. As long as they like the process it will eventually work it's self out.

Kylie
07-03-2011, 06:45 PM
Thanks ladies, I'll ditto that goal, but just need to remind myself that learning IS the cake!!!

Lou
07-03-2011, 11:34 PM
Thanks ladies, I'll ditto that goal, but just need to remind myself that learning IS the cake!!!

Let's all make a 2011-2012 packed to remind each other every so often of the golden rules... C.A.K.E. = Children Always Know Everything (ha, ha...meaning they know what they need and want...and we should help them to achieve their goals in a positive way) Anyone feel the urge to come up with another (better) C.A.K.E. meaning??? ha, ha....

GOALS = "to not stress out our children or ourselfs with the learning/teaching process...to love learning...learning IS the cake"

coloradoalice
07-04-2011, 01:51 PM
I love it! I should print out a banner and hang it by our school stuff!

Kylie
07-04-2011, 06:12 PM
Ok yes love that...great idea :-)

Lou
07-05-2011, 08:53 PM
I have to put it in my signature or I'll forget it...ha, ha...

Lou
07-05-2011, 08:56 PM
GOALS = "to not stress out our children or ourselfs with the learning/teaching process...to love learning...learning IS the cake"

Additional goal...spell check dorky mistakes! ;)

Kylie
07-06-2011, 12:28 AM
Lol I didn't even notice....maybe we should start a CAKE thread so we have somewhere to jump on to if we need?

Lou
07-06-2011, 11:41 AM
Please send me a link if you start one....I'm sure I'll need one throughout the year! LOL