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Thread: Other Radical Unschoolers around? page 3

  1. #21
    Urban Forager's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

  2. #22
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    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)

  3. #23
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    "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.

    Quote 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 at 01:10 AM.
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  4. #24
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    Quote 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!

  5. #25
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    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.

  6. #26
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    This is where I heard of unschooling and decided I was a proponent:

    Schooling: The Hidden Agenda

  7. #27
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    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.
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  8. #28
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    Unjobbing?

  9. #29
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    Quote 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.

  10. #30
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    Apparently, he didn't invent it...

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