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A Question for Primal Parents About Schooling

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  • #31
    my son never asked to go to school (and a lot of children do because of cultural influence -- the idea that it's 'what kids do'), but i just realized that his social needs (his needs to be with other people) were higher than I could manage.

    and from there, i had to choose a school that would value my son for who he is, not what they want children to be for their classroom needs.

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    • #32
      I've classically homeschooled from the get-go (eldest is in 9th grade) . I love it. I'm terribly bad about the outdoors things as I live in the PNW and hate rain. Luckily, my "native" children don't mind going outside in the rain.
      I blog :http://raisinggodzillas.blogspot.com/
      Like me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/...17134571662261
      "We have all the food groups- meat and chocolate".

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      • #33
        *sigh* The closest Waldrof is over an hour a way...plus the high tuition cost just doesn't seem feasible.. man I am so jealous
        Primal since March 2011

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

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        • #34
          Waldorf is great but it is not for everyone. DD thrived in a Waldorf-inspired environment for grades 4 & 5 after being home-schooled from day one.
          DS1 did not.
          DS2 has thrived in Waldorf since kindergarten.
          I am far from a perfect parent but one thing I have done really well is school.
          The school we wish we had is not necessarily the best learning environment for our kids.
          Some kids learn best at home and unschooled, others in an arts intensive environment with lots of structure, others in an expeditionary school...still others being in an apprentice program. My kids have done and are doing all of these.
          Stay open. Listen.

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          • #35
            It really does depend upon the kid. And the school.

            A certain type of school -- like waldorf -- can vary widely between schools. The one in kimberton was very much against the child reading before going through their specific pedagogy, and would crack down pretty hard on it, while our school is totally open to DS learning to read now, if that's something that he enjoys doing so long as we are doing it in a non-pressured way (which we are). He also does a lot with numbers, and his drawing has become quite sophisticated as late, too.

            The other school would have gone ape-poop about much of it. but this school is like "no, it's all good." different ways of approaching the same material, yuo know?

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            • #36
              This sounds great Zoebird. I couldnt agree more. Unfortunately I don't think I'll have any options except sending them to public schools At least there are a couple different public schools high school (tech/agricultural/standard)
              Primal since March 2011

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

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              • #37
                I'm bringing this back because I've done some more research on alternative schooling (helping me plan the best place for us to raise our children.. so we can try and achieve our goals) I came across Free Schools. Which actually operate much like unschooling in that the children only go to lessons when they are interested in learning about something, otherwise they just free-play at different stations which fosters interest. When children are interested in something they learn FAST. For example, Basic mathematics can be mastered in 20 weeks instead of 6 years of being forced into their heads in public schools.

                Also Montessori schools are a viable option in the US, there are actually some public charter Montessori schools (which really helps since voucher programs in this country are few and far between and private school tuition is so expensive), although I don't like them as much as Free Schools or maybe Waldrof, they have much better teaching techniques.. the teacher does not "lecture" but they allow children to concentrate on tasks and the teachers facilitate, guide and have mini group teaches.
                Primal since March 2011

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

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                • #38
                  I like the idea of the Free School and if we had one in our area I think my son would probably go because it's similar to our unschooling.

                  There is a charter Montessori in our area and we looked into it, but we didn't care for it for several reasons. All public schools that are publicly funded must administer the STAR tests which means they will invariably have to teach to the test in order to secure their funding. The Montessori school we looked at still felt like school, the difference was that the kids chose what area they wanted to work on, if they wanted to work on math they went and got the worksheets for math, when they completed the work they put it in their folder. The teacher occasionally taught small groups of kids at a time. It sounds kind of nice but it's very different from unschooling. With unschooling if a child wanted to spend the day outside building a fort or reading a book then that's what they'd do. If they found they needed to know how to build something the parent would help them figure out how to do it. No worksheets to complete, no tests to take.

                  When it comes to Waldorf if it is a charter it will also have to administer the tests, if it's private it's very expensive. My son attended a Waldorf school for kindergarten through 2nd grade. I have a good friend that teaches at another very well respected and very expensive Waldorf school so I am pretty familiar with the Waldorf teaching style. Aesthetically Waldorf is very appealing, all natural materials like beeswax and wood, and the children are encouraged to eat real foods and play outside. The school that my friend teaches at even has a bio-dynamic farm which provides food for the school. It costs a little over $12,000 a year. For a school it is lovely, but it is still taught from the premise that children need to be told what to learn and when.
                  We have decided for our family unschooling works best, our son decides what he wants to learn and we help him when he needs help. Like you mentioned when children want to learn something they learn it fast and it stays with them. They learn to trust themselves which is the opposite of what schools teach, schools indoctrinate, that's why it takes 12 years. I highly recommend reading John Taylor Gatto's book Dumbing Us Down.
                  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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                  • #39
                    This has been a discussion in our house of late - 4yo and almost 2yo. Both children are beyond the learning curve for their age. I don't feel like I've ever "taught" them anything. But we work learning into their daily lives - cooking, reading books (DD picks a new topic each library trip), counting the flowers/bacon slices. I think we've been unintentionally unschooling since day 1. We've decided to not send DD to preschool so she can instead continue gymnastics, soccer, and other sports. She will attend a story hour that introduces Spanish in the fall.
                    My husband and I are a bit at odds for what will happen at age 5. We have some great public schools around here but I don't see how 1:20 could ever be better than 1:2. I'm going to investigate some local homeschooling groups to go on field trips with this next school year and am hoping DH will then see how it might work. I would love to unschool though as I see DD's perfectionist attitude being a hinderance in a school setting and possible destroying her self-esteem.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Grumpy Caveman View Post
                      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.
                      Our daughter is in a Montessori school and it's great for her. She can learn at her own pace, she decides what she's working on (within a framework that's meant to provide support, not excessive structure) and the calm atmosphere in the classroom is perfect for her learning style. The reward for learning is the opportunity to learn more, not a letter grade. We like it.

                      I had planned to homeschool her, but she seems to need some structure and dedicated space and time for learning. Space especially is difficult for us as we've committed to a no-more-than-necessary housing option, and my husband and I are not naturally super-tidy people. So the spaces that my daughter could use for learning projects typically need to be cleared before use, which, on an everyday basis, is somewhat of an obstacle and led to a lot of tension in the house. She likes her school, she likes the order and being able to find all her stuff and have a place for it all - we can't give her that. So school it is - for now. When she gets older and learning becomes less tactile and more based on books and computers and possibly laboratory-type work or things that use adult tools, we will most likely homeschool (using an unschooling paradigm).

                      I think kids should learn in a way that suits THEM, not their parent's philosophical views. It was hard for me to accept that homeschooling wasn't going to work for us but I'm glad I was able to, because my daughter is thriving at the Montessori school. I'm always open to re-evaluating that though, if it starts to NOT work so well for her.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Grumpy Caveman View Post
                        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.
                        We found an authentic Montessori school in a small southern US college town, through 6th grade. Look into Montessori training; some public schools are experimenting with the approach, particularly on a preschool level, and Montessori schools give large discounts to the children of teachers at that school.
                        __________________________
                        age 56, type 2 diabetes, swimmer
                        low carb since 2006 thanks to Jenny, primal since Jan. 2012

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                        • #42
                          We homeschool (I guess, mostly unschooling).

                          And here's an excellent excellent clip that I can't recommend highly enough.
                          Last edited by magicmerl; 04-29-2012, 03:56 PM.
                          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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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Pamsc View Post
                            We found an authentic Montessori school in a small southern US college town, through 6th grade. Look into Montessori training; some public schools are experimenting with the approach, particularly on a preschool level, and Montessori schools give large discounts to the children of teachers at that school.
                            The charter school here in MA actually goes thru 6th grade (completely publicly funded). So its not just pre-school They are also dumping standardized testing in MA (thank god!)
                            Primal since March 2011

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

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
                              We homeschool (I guess, mostly unschooling).

                              And here's an excellent excellet clip that I can't recommend highly enough.
                              cool I'll check it out

                              Read this Sudbury Valley School • About Us. FAQ
                              I think you'll love it
                              Primal since March 2011

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

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                              • #45
                                we're an unschooling, paleo family. we tried public schools, but that was a disaster. clover (our oldest) was exhausted by the end of the day. and they didn't even physically do that much. we find that unschooling gives us the freedom to move around and travel if we want without worrying about school. they make friends of all ages, not just in their classroom. very good for social skills! we're out in nature most of the time, learning about plants, animals, foraging, etc. hmm...what else??? oh! i've noticed that since discipline is virtually unknown in an unschooling home (of course there are natural consequences) the girls have been much happier and relaxed. walking with your hands behind your back while your cheeks are puffed out like a hamster in order to keep quiet in the halls is NOT how i think ANYONE should spend their days!! we're aren't raising soldiers here. i have learned SO much since adopting the unschooling philosophy. it's amazing how much i've improved my parenting skills just by letting go of control. it's a very difficult journey for someone who has already been to school. very uncomfortable at first, BUT eventually conventional wisdom's voice gets quieter and just like adopting the primal diet, you care less and less about what others may say about the way you and your children are living. happiness and joy are the goal. learning just naturally happens from pursuing what interests you and your kids.
                                Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that's bad for you! ~Tommy Smothers

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