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Thread: Other Radical Unschoolers around? page 4

  1. #31
    GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    We tried unschooling for 2 years, and we all haaaaated it. I think structure was missing. We started classical last year, and the kids' ideas and excitement skyrocketed. They love when we go to the library and find book about what we were reading in school. And they started speaking latin to each other... Quite humorous. Latin's not dead anymore!

    We studied about nomadic people last year in ancient civilization, and they took right to the hunter-gatherer notion. Made perfect sense to them. Now, if I could figure out how to tell them to stop telling everyone, "Did you know what you're eating is bad for you?!"
    Don't let anybody tell you, "You can't" just because they can't.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfbunny View Post
    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..
    Re Dutch schools - if the schools here were much more like you describe in the Netherlands, with teacher freedom and general lack of testing and more fluid age groupings, I perhaps would have thought twice about homeschooling, myself. But as it was, in 2002/2003, when my oldest was looking at Kindergarten, I didn't see anything at all in the public school that would possibly convince me to send my still-curious and happy kid there. I'm sorry to hear that Holland is moving in that direction.

    Re Gypsies and Travellers: I understand. I know they still have HUGE social stigmas attached to them, so anything they do is automatically not worth copying and is suspect and causes negative comments from anyone doing anything close to it. My very own Oma has nothing good to say about Zigeuner.

    Re the outdoor schools: I kind of do that here. My husband and I are the proud owners of 25 acres (10.1 hectare) of wooded land way out in the middle of nowhere, and our favorite place to study is - outdoors. I myself believe wholeheartedly that humans get crazy when they lose the contact to Nature. You don't have to actually worship trees - just climb them a lot, you know?

    And just off-topic: I have been to Amsterdam, stayed in a youth hostel in the countryside, and what I wouldn't give for some more fresh caramel stroopwafel!!!

  3. #33
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    Big believer in home school here. That said, I'm a bit skeptical of unschool for two reasons. First, my son is no longer home schooled by his own choice. He is a very self-motivated learner, but wanted to go back to school for social interaction. I think he learned better at home, but felt a void. Of course, he is in a private school and not public and has it pretty good, but it is working out well for the last three years. The biggest reason I'm skeptical of unschool is alluded to above: some subjects just don't lend themselves well to self-exploration. Not saying it is impossible, but everybody has areas of less interest that are still of importance. I think the discipline of a curriculum is important in those areas. For most, it is hard to learn molecular biology, chemistry, methods of integration or effective writing by self-exploration, just to name a few examples.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgiaPeach View Post
    We tried unschooling for 2 years, and we all haaaaated it. I think structure was missing. We started classical last year, and the kids' ideas and excitement skyrocketed.
    I, personally, am glad you found your groove. I think of homeschooling a lot like I think of church / religion - one size does not fit all. I am an eclectic - sometimes the "let the kids go" thing works, and sometimes I do the "you need to do this by then" thing. We go the unschoolers gathering here in Ohio, and I always come away with new, useful perspectives. I go the Christian homeschool conference as well. And I always come away with new, useful perspectives and methods, too. Now, if I could only get to the Enki conference, that would be glorious!

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    This is where I heard of unschooling and decided I was a proponent:

    Schooling: The Hidden Agenda
    This is how my husband came on board with unschooling. When I first suggested we unschool he was a little skeptical, but after having read many Daniel Quinn books and John Taylor Gatto, The Underground History of American Education he was convinced it was the way to go for our family.

    When you examine the purpose of compulsory schooling you begin to see that it can not possibly be "to educate". It doesn't take 12 years for children to learn the subjects they are supposedly taught in school. But it does take that long to for an individual to learn to distrust themselves and put their trust in experts, to learn to conform to group standards, and to ultimately disengage from learning. This last part may seem untrue, but think about how classes are structured, if a child finally becomes engaged in a project and the bell rings they have to walk away from it. If that happens year after the child learns not to care about what ever it is they are doing. The real thing they are learning is to follow orders and to compare themselves to others, that's what grading is all about.

    IMO this happens at even alternative schools, the teachers are still the possessors of knowledge, they determine when and how the children learn the material. An unschooled child follows his interests where it takes him. My son was crazy about Ancient Egypt, at the charter school he went to they spent a minuscule amount of time on it and the teacher knew less about the subject than he did. When he left that school he was still interested in Egypt so we got the Great Courses series on Ancient Egypt. That's a series of about 33 college level lectures; he had no trouble understanding the lectures. Those lectures led him to study sacred geometry, Egyptian math and even to read a mystery series written by an Egyptologist with whom he ended up corresponding. I doubt that could have happened at any school no teacher would have given him the time or trusted him to see where his passion led him.
    Last edited by Urban Forager; 06-26-2012 at 11:11 AM.

  6. #36
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    I was first introduced to it when I made a friend who was taught this way. She was severely introverted, and it seemed the best option to her parents. They later went on to teach her younger siblings this way also.

    Is she as smart as people who went to normal schools? I actually find her smarter. She was able to start pursuing her own interests early on and lessons could be fit into what she was interested in at the time. This has followed her into her adult life, in that if she is interested in something she will try to learn about it. While she admits that she never learned higher math, it is also not something she needs in her life now that she is graduated. (If we are to be truthful, few of us use the the higher maths in life.)

    I currently do not have children, but have worked with them for years. I can see where the current education system fails many. Many kids grow up thinking they are stupid because they cannot learn in a modern day classroom. Most of them are not actually stupid, they simply have not been taught in the way that they are capable of learning.

    I hope when I do eventually have children that I can teach mine in a similar fashion.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figlio di Moros View Post
    Unjobbing?
    Unjobbing.
    http://www.whywork.org/about/feature...unjobbing.html

    Be careful. This website has dangerous information. It might lead one to quit their corporate status job and go for a really long walk in the wilderness or something.
    Why Work? // Index
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    I can squat 180lbs, press 72.5lbs and deadlift 185lbs

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by tplank View Post
    Not saying it is impossible, but everybody has areas of less interest that are still of importance. I think the discipline of a curriculum is important in those areas. For most, it is hard to learn molecular biology, chemistry, methods of integration or effective writing by self-exploration, just to name a few examples.
    I am going to add my own two cents here, but first I want to assure you that I, too, see the value in chem, bio, and writing. My own husband keeps this house afloat on a good chem education (private liberal arts college on free-ride scholarship and then MIT).

    Yet I have something for you to ponder - if molecular biology doesn't mean squat to the kid learning it, in the very end, he may have done the big test and aced the worksheets, but how long will the learning be retained and what will he care? Unschooling does not preclude rigorous curriculum - it is simply the choice of the kid to enter into such a course of study. Classes ARE unschooling, too. Not everybody in the public or even private school worlds does advanced "hard sciences" either.

    If you, as the parent, have decided that is what your son is to do, I absolutely respect that, and please do. You have that right, as I claim it for myself as well. But if an unschooled kid wants absolutely nothing to do with advanced bio and chooses to focus on foreign languages (for example), I find that a worthwhile and valid alternative.

    My own daughter will probably go into Library Sci. Last year she won the teen summer reading book review contest, judged by the librarians, at a local library. I didn't ask her to do this at all - she came to it by herself. She lives and breathes books and stories. She doesn't hate science at all - she just would rather read more of the world's classic stories. I do, however, ensure that she has accurate information on everyday and/or necessary (as they come up) processes, objects, and life forms, and has acquaintance with the scientific method.

    I will give you one of our real-life, unschooly examples: Another of my daughters is a special-needs child, and we have always done our homeschool anatomy (for example) at the Cleveland Clinic main campus (where my daughter is treated). There is no better education than looking at the actual films of an orthopedics patient and bantering with the (more than willing) real-life doc about growth plates and metatarsal bones (in this case). We have followed the same pattern through gastroenterology, pediatric cardiology, nutrition, developmental pediatrics, ENT, allergy & immunology, medical genetics, opthalmology, MRI, blood lab, technology services (AAC devices), radiology, pulmonology (and more)... all at the Cleveland Clinic. Try getting THAT kind of hands-on learning in a school. And all we had to do was let the docs and techs know that we gave a crap enough to want to know the details and terminology regarding something immediately relevant to us - my disabled daughter (their sister).

    (But I am still glad your son likes his school - it would be horrible if he didn't )

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    Nowadays I'm interested in unjobbing.
    I knew I liked you!! Now you are SO getting bloody heart-burgers from me!

  10. #40
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