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  • #16
    Yeah, we unschool our kids.

    Dietwise, being primal hasn't really affected us or our kids much (or rather, the kids REALLY miss sandwiches and pizza, but that's about it). I guess we have different conversations over the dinner table about what constitutes healthy food, but that doesn't seem like it's that odd to us....

    We have a lot of trees on our section and the kids already did a pretty good job of climbing them, so physically there's not really much difference.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

    Griff's cholesterol primer
    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
    bloodorchid is always right

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    • #17
      Not trying to ruffle any feathers here but have a few questions. Do your children learn the normal things like math and science? Do you think they will have the same opportunities as children that have finished schooling? Do you think they would score the same if tested as schooled children? I do like the things I have heard about unschooling but I am curious about what you think your childrens futures will be like.

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      • #18
        Just wanted to clarify that I do not believe that the American school system is very good because most of the time the children are taught just what is going to get them to pass the standardized tests.

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        • #19
          We are eclectic homeschoolers, but our thing includes stints at the Unschoolers Waterpark Gathering in Sandusky OH. I'll subscribe to this thread and see where this takes us!
          I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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          • #20
            Originally posted by MamaAdams View Post
            Not trying to ruffle any feathers here but have a few questions. Do your children learn the normal things like math and science? Do you think they will have the same opportunities as children that have finished schooling? Do you think they would score the same if tested as schooled children? I do like the things I have heard about unschooling but I am curious about what you think your childrens futures will be like.
            I can only speak for myself and my eclectic homeschool, but here goes:

            Unschooling, or eclectic homeschooling, is not about DENYING the children book learning, or any other kind of learning. It is about not artificially LIMITING them to one kind of learning experience, as in public schooling, or perhaps textbook-based homeschools (they exist).

            In public school, you only get the math textbook handed to you on the first day of class. If you are a different kind of learner, or faster, or slower, or anything else, that is not relevant to the teacher or the lesson plan or the standardized tests or the state school district ratings. But I can guarantee you, that is most definitely relevant to the learner!!

            In public school you are given a set curriculum. Basta - no choice until high school, but even then, that is still a set menu, if expanded somewhat. Unschooling and eclectic homeschooling have a NO LIMITS menu. As far at the term "normal" goes, that is kind of meaningless in our circles. "Normal" is a relative term. Our "normal" is NOT telling Dick and Jane that they have to write essays on subjects they couldn't give two cents about. Notice I didn't eschew essays per se - just essays on subjects they have no real-life relationship to, which is probably 99.9% of the essay topics assigned in schools.

            Math and science seem to be the subjects those unfamiliar with homeschooling are worried most about. Even if you never cracked a math book in your entire childhood, math would still be there. Need to bake? Try that without measurement. Want to buy anything? Now we have arithmetic, plus a little more. Got a burning desire to pelt your country neighbors with the homemade spud cannon? Trig helps with the bullseye aim thing with simple geometry for the beginners. If the public schools had a spud cannon war as part of the end-of-year trig course, trig would be passed by absolutely everybody.

            It sounds all wishy-washy, but if you really sit back and ask all the young people you humanly can how they feel about school, the various subjects, testing, their textbooks, and everything else you can think of, I think you will find that most, especially the older they get, have completely given up caring about any of this at all - save to get into that all-important college. And that is truly sad.

            It has long since been proven that the more senses you engage in learning, the more that learning is retained. These kids have remained passionate about learning and are adept at finding resources and facts, and that is exactly what colleges are looking for and real life demands.

            As for my own - their futures will literally be what they choose to make of them. Truly. I have loved them and nutured good character and taught them to read and brought as much of the world's body of knowledge as I possibly can into this home, but at some point they will need to be the architects of their own destinies. Nobody leaves any school knowing everything. Such a thing is not possible. As it is not possible to know the future, for the future is being created every day by the individual choices of just everybody. And they will have a chance to influence it, as well. I have told mine that as long as it is legal, moral, ethical, and pays the bills (with enough left to fund retirement), they have my support.

            In this eclectic homeschool, the proper role of "testing" is more of a snapshot of current understanding, nothing more. Unschoolers chuck the whole idea. It carries no more weight in this house other than to possibly diagnose current difficulties.

            And as for grades, mine always get an "A". And I will tell you why - when I decide the kiddos need a certain body of information (because this homeschool is eclectic and I get to do that), we simply work at it until the information is retained and understood. Voila - an "A" grade - because the information HAS been learned well. There is no deceit in that. In the public school, when you test and get a "C" for example, you have gotten a "C", that is that, and it is on to the next chapter (and another test).

            Thanks for your interest!
            I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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            • #21
              Originally posted by MamaAdams View Post
              Not trying to ruffle any feathers here but have a few questions. Do your children learn the normal things like math and science? Do you think they will have the same opportunities as children that have finished schooling? Do you think they would score the same if tested as schooled children? I do like the things I have heard about unschooling but I am curious about what you think your childrens futures will be like.
              I'm not sure where to start with answering your questions...... I've asked myself are kids in school actually learning the subjects being taught in the schools? Probably some are, many are not. Even the ones that manage to pass the tests tend to forget it shortly after, I know I did. There is a big difference between learning something and being taught something. True learning comes when a person has desire to learn it.

              As far as testing goes some kids in school do really well on tests and some don't, some do well in certain subject areas and lousy in other areas. My son would probably be off the charts in some subjects and not so great in other areas. Do I think if he'd been in school his overall scores would be better? No. When he was in school he started to doubt his abilities and I believe if I'd forced him to continue going it would have had a negative effect on his approach to learning and his confidence, not to mention his trust in us. He loved learning before he went to school and slowly I saw his enthusiasm wane. When he said he wanted to homeschool I knew it would be the best thing for him.

              Every child is different and I am sure there are those that thrive in school. But for my son I can honestly say that he couldn't have had a better education at school. If he is interested in something we find a way for him to learn it. When I look back on my years at school I don't remember them as rich learning experiences, instead I remember learning to watch the clock.

              If you haven't read John Taylor Gatto's books I suggest you pick up Dumbing Us Down, The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling.
              Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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              • #22
                Interesting! I am sure most kids would learn more (deeper) when homeschooled, yet, i was wondering about handling social situations in class rooms? Learning to pick your fights/ everybody's different/ not everyone is brilliant in everything/ sometimes you are not as good in smth as sb else, but that is ok et cetera. I am very curious how homeschooling parent are approaching this? Do you meet up with other home schoolers in the area?

                ETA: I realise the USA system is different, but here, you would also meet people from high and low society in one class room, which allows for more understanding in society (not always, of course)

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                • #23
                  "Do your children learn the normal things like math and science?" - My big girl is 8 now, and when she was 4 I started playing magic the gathering with her, which is arguably the most complicated game in the world. Does that count as maths to you? Ironically, the only thing that they identify as 'schooling' is practicing hand writing a sentence every day (which takes all of 10 minutes if that). The rest is 'reading for pleasure'. And my wife has a masters in biochemistry, so we have that one covered too.

                  "Do you think they will have the same opportunities as children that have finished schooling?" - No, I think that they will have different opportunities. They certainly aren't being raised to be minimum wage cogs in the modern economy.

                  "Do you think they would score the same if tested as schooled children?" - The same as what? Standardised testing is hokum. There's a reason why schools never spring a surprise test on students of the material that they supposedly learned the year before. The failure rate would be horrendous. Cramming for a test and passing it is not the most useful life skill to acquire, despite it being a central part of the school experience.

                  "I do like the things I have heard about unschooling but I am curious about what you think your childrens futures will be like." - They will (probably) go to university and come out the other side, the same way I and my siblings did.

                  Originally posted by halfbunny View Post
                  Interesting! I am sure most kids would learn more (deeper) when homeschooled, yet, i was wondering about handling social situations in class rooms? Learning to pick your fights/ everybody's different/ not everyone is brilliant in everything/ sometimes you are not as good in smth as sb else, but that is ok et cetera. I am very curious how homeschooling parent are approaching this? Do you meet up with other home schoolers in the area?

                  ETA: I realise the USA system is different, but here, you would also meet people from high and low society in one class room, which allows for more understanding in society (not always, of course)
                  What does that mean? That homeschooled children won't be 'well adjusted' unless they learn up put up with teasing and bullying? Social situations are EVERYWHERE. Not just in an an age-stratified class.

                  The biggest things that homeschoolers lack by not going to school is access to organised sports. Luckily our town has club sports (Miss8 played T-ball this year, which is a precursor for softball).
                  Last edited by magicmerl; 06-26-2012, 01:10 AM.
                  Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                  Griff's cholesterol primer
                  5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                  Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                  TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                  bloodorchid is always right

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by halfbunny View Post
                    Interesting! I am sure most kids would learn more (deeper) when homeschooled, yet, i was wondering about handling social situations in class rooms? Learning to pick your fights/ everybody's different/ not everyone is brilliant in everything/ sometimes you are not as good in smth as sb else, but that is ok et cetera. I am very curious how homeschooling parent are approaching this? Do you meet up with other home schoolers in the area?

                    ETA: I realise the USA system is different, but here, you would also meet people from high and low society in one class room, which allows for more understanding in society (not always, of course)
                    halfbunny - I have to preface my answer by saying this: the homeschooling movement in this country is huge, and has many different ideologies - some religously liberal, some religiously arch-conservative, a lot between the two poles; some based on a specific religious belief set, some absolutely secular; some isolate themselves, yet most do not; some homeschool because the child may be very sick, or there may have been bullying, or their child may have handicaps and the public school does very little for the child, or the parents want a highly rigorous academic education with no "wasted" course work, or any number of reasons. You almost need to ask each homeschooling parent why homeschooling became the educational avenue of choice for them and how they do it.

                    This thread concentrates on "unschooling", which is an educational avenue based on almost complete freedom of study for the child. Unschooled kids are not required by their parents to stay indoors or out, alone or in groups, at home or away from it. As long as the situation is legal and safe, parents of unschoolers let them avail themselves of all situations because children are born curious and wandering and there is nothing to tell them they have to stay on their butts in a desk chair for hours on end per day just so the can get an "education". So - being all over the place, in contact with all ages (unlike in the classroom where you are strictly segregated by age), both genders, differing educational background, many nationalities, and necessarily different socio-economic groups is really the TRUE socialization. Nobody has to "teach" them to get along, or create a government-dictated environment (the classroom) that throws rich and poor together in the name of "understanding", because they never were isolated by the classroom from real life to begin with.

                    Unschooling parents, just in case you thought this, don't just leave their unschooled kids to fend for themselves until they reach age 18 - they are driving them everywhere, carpooling, discussing, researching with their children, assisting in planning the next project... and yes, they do meet. They have personal friendships and there are homeschool groups where like-minded parents and the kids all meet - online and in the real world - to share anything at all.

                    I noticed you are located in "Europe". I am aware of some of the struggles on that continent with parents beginning homeschooling movements in all the different countries. My family IS German, and currently homeschooling is flat-out illegal in that country. The highest court has ruled that homeschooling cannot happen in Germany because, in part, of the State's "responsibility" to see to it that children are "socialized" in the way that the State sees fit. So I understand your question better than most, I would venture.

                    Hope this helps!
                    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Thanks for the answer Crabbcakes! I am currently located in Belgium & France but originally from the Netherlands. I can see the benefits for homeschooling for sure, but i just had a hard time because in the Netherlands, teachers and schools have quite some freedom on how to plan the day and teach without generalised tests and most primary schools are not that rigid in dividing age groups.

                      But, that is changing towards a more 'one test fits all' mentality recently, sadly i might say, with annual tests in math/ writing etc for specific age groups..

                      Also, the children that are homeschooled here usually are associated with gypsies/ travellers or child labour(which is legal here). More hippie style parents have their own 'outdoor schools' or send their children to antroposophic schools.

                      Magicmeri, sorry if i offended you, i was just being curious really! I don't have children myself, yet, and with the changing schoolsystems here in Europe i was interested to hear your experiences.

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                      • #26
                        This is where I heard of unschooling and decided I was a proponent:

                        Schooling: The Hidden Agenda
                        The Champagne of Beards

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                        • #27
                          I was fortunate to grow up in the 70s and attend a somewhat experimental elementary school. All the grades were mixed. We went from teacher to teacher each day for our subjects just like you do in high school or college. There was lots of art. You advanced by your skills and interests and could go beyond your grade level. Then in high school we still had lots of extracurricular elective classes, could come and go from campus, could schedule your lunch hour at any time (well my first year was this way). I took jewelry making and used gas torches and worked with gold and silver, for example. So I totally see the value in unschooling and homeschooling. I have no children so have no actual opinion.

                          Nowadays I'm interested in unjobbing. I'm not very unjobbed being that I do the 8-5 thing, but at some point I did realize that striving was unnecessary so I quit doing that. Careerism is a trap. I actually succeed better by slacking.
                          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                          • #28
                            Unjobbing?

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                              Nowadays I'm interested in unjobbing. I'm not very unjobbed being that I do the 8-5 thing, but at some point I did realize that striving was unnecessary so I quit doing that. Careerism is a trap. I actually succeed better by slacking.
                              You just invented my new favorite word.
                              The Champagne of Beards

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                              • #30
                                Apparently, he didn't invent it...

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