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Stella M
10-06-2011, 08:45 PM
Just ds and just for this term...

We've been on holidays for two weeks and he is sooo happy! He's designed 90+ mini-games and is having fun hanging out with me on our waffle maker hunts and he's playing with his stuffed dogs for hours and looking forward to co-op and seeing friends and he's madly into Deltora Quest...

And he's so sad that it's nearly time for school again :(

Nothing bad can happen between now and Christmas if I unschool him for a bit, right ?

Someone please talk me into it, because I want to, but my mind gremlins are telling me that he just has to get into the swing of things again! And he'll get behind!!

raegan
10-06-2011, 10:48 PM
nothing helpful to add. just taking notes...

:o :D:

dbmamaz
10-06-2011, 10:49 PM
I think we chased most of the unschoolers off the site with all our hating on RUS . . . . but in 2.5 months? Sounds like summer break. Well, we did very light school over summer break . . can you just find something he's willing to do? some fun worksheets or educational books?

Beverly
10-07-2011, 12:59 AM
I too will be watching. I am helping with a co-op that appears to be mostly unschoolers. The sweet family that we keep running into while out and about town are definitely unschoolers. I don't believe I have the energy to be an effective unschooler. But I am interested in the thoughts of those who do unschool. (I want to take notes so that I understand where these other moms are coming from).

Lightly schooling or child directed schooling for a period sounds perfectly reasonable. Like dbmamaz said - summer break is like that - isn't it almost summer where you are?

Stella M
10-07-2011, 03:26 AM
There's a whole term before summer break. So if I just called it holiday, he'd have 15 weeks of holiday coming to him!! Guess it doesn't matter, except holiday I'll leave him to his own devices pretty much and unschool I'll strew.

Someone just say, sounds good to me!

Jackielyn
10-07-2011, 04:15 AM
Sounds good to me!

I would LOVE to unschool, the thought is intriguing...I knew an unschooling family and their oldest son thrived so well in that environment. My oldest is not a internally motivated learner unfortunately so I have to provide the learning activities...but my middle child may do well with child-led learning...we will see. If he's happy and learning then let it be...maybe try to sneek a little in here and there at least provide the material for him to take the lead...I don't know...I may be in the minority but to each their own and I'm all for unschooling!

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
10-07-2011, 08:37 AM
I'll just say that I've been having the same thoughts lately, but I'm hoping that a week off school soon will perk us up.

ksb427
10-07-2011, 09:31 AM
I'll just say that I've been having the same thoughts lately, but I'm hoping that a week off school soon will perk us up.

Same here.

Perhaps give it a try for a couple of weeks, then reevaluate?

Karen

Gabriela
10-07-2011, 11:28 AM
We're doing it this month, just for a month. Every time he comes to me with a "what do I do now Mom" I realize how important it is.

LovingMyChildren
10-07-2011, 12:08 PM
Sounds Good!! Go with your gut. Being rejuvenated and loving his learning is worth the effort to squelch the head gremlins :)

Jilly
10-07-2011, 12:37 PM
He is only 7 right? My youngest unschools for the most part. We do math if he wants to, we read when he wants to, and the rest of the time he does his own thing. He is currently adding to the Scooby Doo wiki, writing whole passages and uploading pictures on his own. He is in the middle of making a video game with his Grandpa, and he spends hours a day on scratch. He writes a book nearly everyday, and he makes a movie at least once a week. I am not worried about him academically.

Your son sounds like he is doing great things too. He is learning, and he is following his interests. It all sounds good to me. :)

Stella M
10-07-2011, 03:54 PM
OK, I'm convinced, thanks all!!!

ginnyjf
10-07-2011, 08:09 PM
I'm late, but do it, do it! I'm considering the same for Zack. We had a horrendous week last week. Horrendous. Tears, drama, shouting, things said that can never be taken back...the works. We took this week to recover: Long talks, puttering around the house, hanging out on the couch and reading together. No rules, no chores, no workbooks, no grades. He sought out math games on his own, played Mad Libs and finally got the hang of what an adjective is, read a stack of history books and then followed up on anything that caught his interest. We both enjoyed ourselves. Tricky, since we're in a state where we have to account for our hours, but this might be the approach that works best for us. Keep me posted, will you? I'm interested to see what happens for you.

farrarwilliams
10-07-2011, 08:10 PM
Yep. Sounds good. :) Don't be scared.

Stella M
10-07-2011, 08:19 PM
He is just sooo happy right now. And so busy. I don't want to break the flow, kwim ? And he and I are in a happy place and I don't want to break into that either...and the thought of a whole three months of unschooling him fills me with sort of light, bubbliness :)

I have to say, unschooling when my youngest is 7 rather than when my oldest is 7 is a whole happier prospect :) And we won't be straying into RU territory.

Ginny, I'll blog it once a week. Your Zack sounds happy too :)

I'm looking forward to having fun with strewing. Just finding stuff that might interest him and having zero expectations about it. Like going out looking for treasure.

lakshmi
10-07-2011, 11:01 PM
oh hell, I wanted to post on this last night, and then with all Shoe's coffee nonsense, I got so discombobulated that I couldn't even think.

You could even radically unschool, you're totally capable to do it. You just don't have to do it the Dada way. I didn't know what I was going to say, just that I was going to be like.. Of course, why would you think of doing anything differently. Your youngest, self-motivated child who you will still read to, and who you will still play games with, and instead of setting him up to do work, you will just answer the questions he asks, and then add a little bit more.

You will allow him to watch as much strawberry shortcake videos, oh , no, wait, that's what I would do if I were unschooling. You probably won't do that. Time to get him some epals. And then they can explore the world.

So go for it!!

gidamom
10-07-2011, 11:32 PM
Sounds great. I wish I had the guts to unschool!!!

Stella M
10-07-2011, 11:57 PM
Thinking about it, I feel that the girls' experience of unschooling, even though it wasn't for long, was actually quite instrumental in shaping their attitude to learning. I'd like ds to have a similar experience of it. I mean, he was there the first time round but he was a baby, so he needs his own turn now.

lakshmi
10-08-2011, 12:09 AM
And he will grove on it. Do you have scratch? So far so good with the girls, but do the kids have their own computer? What will we do if we lose you to unschooling and you enjoy your life so much... that you don't come back.

Stella M
10-08-2011, 12:13 AM
I'm only unschooling one of them. And it's a limited time offer! Till February only, so it's faux unschooling really.

yep, he has scratch but no, he doesn't have his own computer. having them line up to use this one make me get off it :)

lakshmi
10-08-2011, 12:18 AM
oh not good, must find second computer... craigslist aussie style? My dd has scratch too, they could chat about scratch, and once you do it until february you'll stay with it, and just throw some faux eclectic at him later.

Stella M
10-08-2011, 12:27 AM
Maybe I can find him a faux computer.

lakshmi
10-08-2011, 12:30 AM
maybe, for the faux computer programming that he's going to be doing. GREAT! idea.

Stella M
10-08-2011, 12:34 AM
Actually, I'm thinking about becoming a faux mother. And I'm gonna write the Faux Guide to Home Education.

lakshmi
10-08-2011, 12:47 AM
There it is!!! The go-to book! Faux Mothering. aka, The How-to Guide to Being a Slacker Mom!! Gen-X Mom.

Stella M
10-08-2011, 12:50 AM
Faux-some!

Lou
10-08-2011, 01:36 AM
Can I join in??? Pleezzzzzzz :)

I vote for unschooling.
I vote for faux parenting.
I vote for faux guide books, computers, etc...

And when you do come back to the curriculum driven side, go slow...maybe cut the material in half (or more) and find a good balance between the two. My son is VERY HAPPY (and learns a lot, can see the wheels turn) when he is doing unschooling/relaxed schooling style...but my mind keeps telling me curriculum...so I bought the curriculum and when it says do 4 pages we do 1 maybe 2...my son hasn't lost his 'unschooly' ways and I feel good about having some paper of some sort to put in the record book. Win-win...a faux win-win...but it's a win-win regardless. ;)

Stella M
10-08-2011, 03:44 AM
Faux-tastic advice m2wandc!

Lou
10-08-2011, 11:07 AM
How fun! I wish I could do it, but alas, my child is just not self-motivated that way. :-/ They ARE determined to make us abandon some of our dreams of how we will parent, aren't they?

yes, I dreamt of being one of those mothers that breast fed until they could drive ha, ha...not really THAT long...but regardless BOTH of my kids left me...my 1st left at 10 months and I gave it another month of "trying" to get him to come back...didn't work, he was off and running, too busy to sit and hang with me. :( Then my daughter left me at 9 months...pumped and tried and nada...all dried up and it was a no go...so I didn't even get to make the 12 month mark, let alone irritate others with my natural ways. :/

We have ideas, we see kids that do it the way we dreamt it would happen, but the truth is, we get what we get and we can't throw a fit :)

Stella M
10-08-2011, 03:37 PM
That is true. And this unschooling lark ? It's entirely possible that I am over compensating for the fact that my dd12 is going to soon reject me and everything I stand for go to school.

So maybe I feel the need to toughen up my home ed cred by going unschool hip with the one I am still able to influence...

Back to doubting.

Lou
10-08-2011, 03:57 PM
kick the doubting out the door...your daughter would totally appreciate unschooling method once she gets a taste of "real" school (as my daughter puts it) I can't imagine ANY CHILD really LOVES spending all day in a classroom when they could be at the beach, lake, etc...I loved school and I still think I would of loved unschooling WAY BETTER if I had the chance to try it out!

do a half balance...a little curriculum and then stem off some similar themed unschooling...I doubt too and that is why I have to go with this half way thing, because I know unschooling would totally suit my kids, but I need to see some sort of concrete something in my report folder...maybe one day I'll knock that silliness out of my brain, but for now, it's what works for us!!!

coloradoalice
10-08-2011, 09:59 PM
Just ds and just for this term...

We've been on holidays for two weeks and he is sooo happy! He's designed 90+ mini-games and is having fun hanging out with me on our waffle maker hunts and he's playing with his stuffed dogs for hours and looking forward to co-op and seeing friends and he's madly into Deltora Quest...

And he's so sad that it's nearly time for school again :(

Nothing bad can happen between now and Christmas if I unschool him for a bit, right ?

Someone please talk me into it, because I want to, but my mind gremlins are telling me that he just has to get into the swing of things again! And he'll get behind!!

Haven't read the entire thread but in that time frame you are definitely not going to do any damage or anything!!! Go for it! Unschooling/deschooling every once in awhile is good for all of us I think.

Lou
10-09-2011, 02:05 AM
I agree...seems like we all can only take in SO MUCH (whatever our personal limits are) and then we shut down...we need a break to digest the info, process it in our brain, make the connections, etc...unschooling/deschooling for short bits are for sure handy IMHO. :)

SueEllen Grieves-Curl
10-09-2011, 09:31 AM
We are unschoolers and not being chased off this site. LOL

As long as he is learning something even by the games he is playing than I say let it be. Just the fact that he is getting sad by having to start back "school" tells me that it might be time for a change. Learning does not have to be solely "by the books"

We have decided that this year we will turn to others for the basics and have went to time4learning for the math and language. We tried the science and social studies. However that was not for us. We have found that science is better learned as hands on and not by reading. And social studies we are doing something totally different there.

And don't forget the music and reading area we set up in the living room.

School does not have to be stressful and the more fun it is the more he will learn

Jilly
10-09-2011, 10:53 AM
School does not have to be stressful and the more fun it is the more he will learn

I couldn't agree more with this. :)

Stella M
10-09-2011, 05:15 PM
As long as it is self-generated fun! I have never been too good at making things 'Fun'. Luckily, ds is :)

We had a talk about it last night as he sighed in dread at 'school' going back. I asked him what he would do if he didn't have school work and he told me, but then said "not very educational" Oops. I said I thought he had some ideas which were a fine use of time and if he would like to work on those this term he was welcome to :)

So we'll see how it goes.

albeto
10-09-2011, 07:23 PM
Like going out looking for treasure.

Oh what a perfect analogy!

Have you seen this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zDZFcDGpL4U) yet by Sir Ken Robinson? It's only about ten min long and it might make you feel much better about your choice. :)

Stella M
10-09-2011, 09:32 PM
Thanks albeto. You do know it was the things I was saying to you in your thread about your dd that made me start thinking about unschooling again ? :)

Lou
10-10-2011, 12:32 AM
if he would like to work on those this term he was welcome to :)

So we'll see how it goes.

YEAH....you have joined the dark side...hee, hee... ;-)

I think half the battle is getting over the media crap of unschooling equals to DOING NOTHING...because it's not a DO NOTHING type of approach, you are enahancing, encouraging, getting things done and supplied that are required to complete their interests...it's making life educational...it's mindful living with your child's education in the forefront...I too struggle, but I'm game to give it a few years to see where it goes, because EVERYTHING I have read, people I talked to, etc...shows signs that children can catch up amazingly quick...so even if NOTHING is learned (which I believe is impossible) over the next few years, then we can get cooking on sit down dreaded work and "catch up" ha, ha... :)

albeto
10-10-2011, 04:40 PM
Thanks albeto. You do know it was the things I was saying to you in your thread about your dd that made me start thinking about unschooling again ? :)
:D





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Avalon
10-10-2011, 06:22 PM
I think I'm coming a little late to this thread, but I just wanted to say GO AHEAD and unschool, for as long as he's happy and learning. Any time that my kids have an idea or a project or are deeply engaged in working on something or even just reading about something, their plans always take precedence over my plans.

I've always called myself a "relaxed homeschooler" because I am just willing to go with the flow. I do have plans for every school week, I buy plenty of curriculum, but if the kids have a better idea, or are inspired, or are really involved in an amazing game, I just put my plans on hold. They eventually run out of steam, and then I can say, Hey, I found this great book last week, let's sit down and look at it together, or "It's been a while since you've actually written a sentence down, why don't you try that?"

My friends who are truly unschoolers find me hopelessly structured, mainly because we get up, get dressed, and actually focus on doing something constructive for a few hours every morning. I am just really flexible in my definition of school work. While we have spent plenty of time on math, history, and geography, I also consider all the time they spent baking, making paper airplanes, typing, building forts, or preparing for the craft fair part of their school day.

If your son is happy and busy, I would just let him carry on. When he starts looking a little bored, then I'd ask him what school subject he'd like to look at first.

Stella M
10-10-2011, 06:34 PM
That's the plan :) Glad to hear from someone for whom it's working well!

Lou
10-10-2011, 08:59 PM
That is me too...we do something educational in the mornings, I change with the flow and stay flexible, but if nothing is started via the kids imagination, I start something and then the rest of the day it's strewing, field trips, playdates, house chores, gardening, exploring, etc and we are totally flexible to drop what we are doing and go with a thought one of the kids might have.