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A Question for Primal Parents About Schooling

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  • #16
    Originally posted by ChefGrok View Post
    That's a bummer, I'm planning to unshool my boys, to avoid stuff like that.
    Not an option here Someone has to pay the bills
    Primal since March 2011

    Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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    • #17
      I second the Gatto book Dumbing Us Down. If I could start over again I would unschool from the beginning. Even the few years that our son went to alternative schools I believe had a negative effect on his education. Schooling teaches passivity and self doubt. When you watch a toddler explore his world you see that they are curious and engaged, never doubting themselves or thinking that their natural instincts are "wrong". Then those beautiful beings enter an institution designed to sort and categorize them and they learn that they don't measure up. They learn to conform or risk being singled out either by the teachers or by their peers.

      Activia: your situation may change. At 28 I didn't think staying at home would be an option and I hadn't even heard of unschooling. We had our son when I was 38 and now here we are unschooling and surviving on one income, ironically my husband is a high school art teacher. So you never know.
      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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      • #18
        Originally posted by Urban Forager View Post
        Activia: your situation may change. At 28 I didn't think staying at home would be an option and I hadn't even heard of unschooling. We had our son when I was 38 and now here we are unschooling and surviving on one income, ironically my husband is a high school art teacher. So you never know.
        Our plan is to have kids in 18 months. I currently am the PRIMARY wage earner in the household. I pay the mortgage/heat/food. My husband pays the utilities and his student loan debt. I dont see that it would ever be possible to live on his income just with his debt.. even if we were able to sell our house and find a REALLY cheap place to live, which would be difficult to find.. and then we'd probably have to live off rice...and freeze, no TV/no internet..no nothing.

        As for him staying home, he is NOT a good teacher.
        Primal since March 2011

        Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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        • #19
          It doesn't sound like unschooling would work for you at this time, but a lot of families are questioning the regular school system and are coming up with creative solutions. By the time your kids are ready for school there may be cool options that we haven't even thought of yet!
          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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          • #20
            The schooling system is awful in the states. Especially the public schools. I like the idea of the Forest School. I would like to teach there. Or maybe at a Steiner/Waldorf school. Are those only in Australia and New Zealand? I'm open to moving ANYWHERE since I feel like Southern California is not the right place for me to be. I was looking into the suburbs of Denver or somewhere in Colorado. I just want to find a good place that fits my primal lifestyle and I know Los Angeles isn't it. My requirement is having a school in that place that aligns with some primal concepts. I would also like to teach at that school since I'm a certified teacher in both elementary and special education.

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            • #21
              I've just started homeschooling my daughters. I don't have to worry about them getting a bunch of junk from classmates, for the most part. They are exposed to crap food at friends' houses, but you can only shelter them so much. I don't have the right personality to try the 'unschooling' thing; I need to have specific goals for their education. I couldn't function otherwise, lol. But, hey, it works for some people, so I'm not knocking it!
              Motherhood: When changing from pj pants to yoga pants qualifies as 'getting dressed'.

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              • #22
                I did some research on Waldorf schools and found that there are 900 around the world (250 in the states). I would love to teach at one but I found out it's another 3 years of school for me at around $8,000/yr. I don't have the time or money for that. My new goal is to get into the public school system and make it better (this is probably the goal of many who work in public school districts). I have decided that my future primal offspring will go to a Waldorf school. I'm still considering the Denver area. They seem to have good schools and a higher need for good teachers.

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                • #23
                  I'm a Montessori primary school guide. Education is child-based, child-led. It's wonderful. The problem is finding a Montessori school that is authentic. I've seen a lot of Montessori schools with less than ideal things happening in them.
                  You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by gfwithsteph View Post
                    I did some research on Waldorf schools and found that there are 900 around the world (250 in the states). I would love to teach at one but I found out it's another 3 years of school for me at around $8,000/yr. I don't have the time or money for that. My new goal is to get into the public school system and make it better (this is probably the goal of many who work in public school districts). I have decided that my future primal offspring will go to a Waldorf school. I'm still considering the Denver area. They seem to have good schools and a higher need for good teachers.
                    Those sound great, there are some in my state but not close enough to where I live... but we are hoping to move in 5 years anyways..well we will see. Also I can't imagine paying 2 tuitions.. AHH that is over $2K a month..
                    Primal since March 2011

                    Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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                    • #25
                      part of the reason we moved to NZ is that we wanted our son to have a waldorf education. in the US, it was something like $2k/mo to send him, where as here, it's $2k per year because the school is subsidized by the government (all schools are). private schools -- like the waldorf -- have a tax-deductible character fee.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by zoebird View Post
                        part of the reason we moved to NZ is that we wanted our son to have a waldorf education. in the US, it was something like $2k/mo to send him, where as here, it's $2k per year because the school is subsidized by the government (all schools are). private schools -- like the waldorf -- have a tax-deductible character fee.
                        hmmmmm only one thing stopping me from moving to NZ.. family
                        Primal since March 2011

                        Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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                        • #27
                          One of my sons home-schools so he can pursue his passion as a chef. Next year he's going to a small alternative public high school that will cater his curriculum so he can continue his restaurant work and get academic credit for it.
                          My daughter goes to this private school: Watershed School on Vimeo
                          My youngest son goes to a Waldorf-inspired public school. Very different approaches for 3 very different kids. I think the key to "Primal Parenting" is helping your kid access who they really are, what their passions are and nurture that.

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                          • #28
                            I want to move back to NZ

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                            • #29
                              activia --

                              as in, your family (partner, kids) don't want to move, or you don't want to be away from family?

                              In our case, that was the one draw back. But here were the benefits:

                              1. really great lifestyle -- people here have such a real work-life balance that they have more life than work. TRULY. They think we are bizarre in the extreme. Understandable, we hardly take any holidays. Here, three day weekends are normal (lots of state holidays), and people take at least 5 weeks vacation. Most people do not work over-time (except on rare occasions). being with friends and family, having a 'life' is really valued here.

                              2. opportunity for both DH and I -- i'm doing my dream job in an area with limited competition (total number of yoga studios in the city here of about 250,000 people is 9 -- and that includes mine. total number of businesses like mine: zero. great odds). my husband's dream job is working in film. since he's been here, he's worked on three films, and has had major support (writers groups, discussions and workshops -- free!), and has been to several premiers of several local films (documentaries, comedies, shorts, etc). While he's still "pre-pro" -- he's quite happy with how much his career has progressed, particularly in the last 6 months. He's currently working on a web series that will probably be made in LA.

                              3. universal health coverage.

                              4. environmental policy is decent.

                              5. kids can be kids. it is very normal here for little kids (say 8 and under) playing on the beach naked. kids go barefoot pretty much everywhere (there might be rules around school now). children run around and play outside *a lot* -- there are great playgrounds, open spaces, and kids run the neighborhood with older kids watching younger ones. also, parents are pretty free to parent in their own ways (and many of them are "crunchy") without people calling protective services and stuff. It's a load off my mind.

                              6. NZ is capable of being wholly independent in case of zombie apocalypse.

                              7. DS's schooling would be much less expensive here (as i said before).

                              8. consumerism is not as common.

                              chiromom -- that sounds awesome (your eldest son's schooling! rock on!). and I agree about finding the right place for your kid.

                              before moving here, we were looking at unschooing.

                              then, i learned that DS's social needs were high, and would require me to take him to many activities with other children. everyone kept saying "but there are groups he can join! you should homeschool!" but they didn't understand that these groups EXHAUSTED me. I tried it for two months. I would be exhausted like no one would believe from it. It's an side-effect of introversion, honestly. DH is also an introvert, so neither of us could manage what DS needs. My max is one event with other people per week; so is my husband's. my sons needs (at age two) were 3 a week, and now are at 4, and we are swiftly heading toward 5.

                              I simply had to recognize my own limits and my son's needs. keeping him at home on my own schedule would not be appropriate.

                              Then we looked at waldorf or going to the local public school.

                              The local school is beautiful. Right on the beach, with most of their sciences being taught out of doors at the beach, on the pine and scrub forest around the school (which is behind the school so it goes beach, school, forrest), or in their vegetable gardens. They also have an extensive arts education -- including music (DS excels at music).

                              But there was a problem.

                              DS is fiery. He's passionate -- hard core passionate. They describe him as a "boots and all" personality. He's 150 mph and 150% committed to whatever it is he wants or is doing. This makes him tenacious, and also sometimes "difficult" to other people/teachers who want a certain "order" in their classrooms.

                              He is not disruptive, violent, or disorderly. And he is not naughty.

                              But we spent about 1/2 an afternoon at the local kindy where he was called "naughty" about 6 times over the course of a short amount of time. I didn't want him given that label, and then carrying that label into the main school once he was out of kindy.

                              At the waldorf school, they really value his fire. They know how to work with it, to really bring out the best in him socially. He is extremely popular with his teachers and his peers there, and he's often encouraged in his best talents. He does have some "special needs" in regards to transitions -- for example the process of choice.

                              If it is time to transition from outdoor play to indoor, then they need to give him notice. They figured this out on the third day, when he was fighting the transition. Usually, they just say "story time!" and kids drop what they are doing and go. DS is not like this. He wants to finish whatever activity he has in mind. He would say "NO! not until I am finished!" So, they figured they would tell him: "we have about 5 minutes before it's time to go in, so be sure you can finish before then!" And that was it. Simple solution.

                              And they are great at that. Truly.

                              And, since he shows several signs of giftedness (which we've discussed with the teachers both at this school and the next one), they are happy if he moves ahead at his own pace. And, they can integrate that into his age-level classroom.

                              which is good, because many places do not know how to handle different personalities, ways of being, and levels of giftedness (and in DS's case, his EQ -- he's highly considerate). I noticed that around the other school. They could handle him academically -- but they couldn't handle him emotionally.

                              I want the whole child taught, and honestly, I find him to be a delight, and I want him to know that people delight in him -- as he is, for who he is. He's an amazing, delightful person.

                              So, even though it will be a commute to get him to the waldorf school, I feel that it's worth it.

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                              • #30
                                OMG Zoebird, your son sounds like mine.
                                This is why I was unsure about homeschooling for us.
                                He is asking to go to school/

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