Our 14 yr old is unschooled and has been since the 5th grade. We love it we wish we would have started out unschooling. We tried various alternative types of school and unschooling works best for our family. It does take a lot trust to unschool so it's a good idea to read as much as you can about it. One more book I would recommend is John Taylor Gatto's Dumbing Us Down. He looks at the real purpose of compulsory education.
If you're interested there is a big unschooling conference in San Diego:
Wide Sky Days | formerly known as Good Vibrations Unschooling Conference
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Wow that was an amazing video. I had not planned to sit here for almost an hour but I wanted to keep listening to her. Thanks for posting this. Wish I was 20 years younger so I could start again!
We're eclectic classical homeschoolers, with a big dollop of unschooling/child led influence.
The combination works better for us, though my son's best friend is unschooled. (Oddly, instead of my son wishing he was unschooled, which is what I expected, instead he seems mostly content and his friend asks often what we're studying and seems awestruck, impressed, and a little envious at how much we cover. We'll see what they think as they enter the adolescent years.)
Grain Free since 2009, WP from 2005
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After that he did absolutely no homework for that class, he simply refused, since she was "stupid, and doesn't know how to teach." Of course he finished with an F and had to go to summer school. Once in summer school, the teacher for that english class calls us after a week (6 week program), and I'm thinking oh crap, and then he says he's going to give him one more assignment and then pass him, so he doesn't need to come anymore because he thinks he's too smart to be wasting his time in summer school.
Female, age 51, 5' 9"
SW - 183 (Jan 22, 2012), CW - 159, GW - healthy.
Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
2013 goals are to get fit and strong!
So what's the difference between unschooling and homeschooling. To be honest, I just figured one was another term for the other .
home schooling generally uses some form of curriculum and has a more organized process of education.
unschooling is opting to not have a curriculum, and provide opportunities related to the child's interests so that they can learn. for example, a friend of mine unschools her daughter (and my son when they are together), which mostly involves free play and then listening to what they are playing, and then creating opportunities around it. They were playing that they had an imaginary pet elephant, for example, and then there was an elephant thing at a local museum that she noticed and then she took them to see that to follow up where their interests were.
I'm scared of the direction of public education in this country. With so many schools experiencing teacher strikes, I wonder what the schools will be like in 5 years even in the great area we're about to move to. I've toyed with the idea of homeschooling using an unschooling technique. But having only recently thought about this, it hasn't gone over well with DH. Our 4yo will go to K at a public school next year. We'll really just have to see how things go. She's very smart and loves learning right now. I hate to see her held back academically or get bored. But she hears about other kids going to school and really wants to go. I figure we'll just see how things unfold and stay on the school to be sure she is continually challenged. It's the same district I attended as a child and skipped 6th grade and still ended up in honors/AP class in HS. I'm almost afraid for my kids to be as gifted as I was at a young age because it led to boredom and never learning how to learn difficult concepts. I was never challenged until midway through college and by then I had kind of missed the boat on learning how to learn.
In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.
You and DH could go to a few homeschooling conferences (Christian, secular, and unschooling). If you have never been to one, it will really open your eyes as to the possibilities. If nothing else, the vendor halls alone are a glorious cornucopia of learning and ideas - your daughter really couldn't get bored anywhere between K and 12 if you mine these resources for just fun stuff/her interests/adjuncts to her public school curriculum if she shows signs of boredom. (This also works for stuff she might get stuck on in the future - at this point, there are homeschooling resources out there for solving almost any learning stumbling block.)
I really don't think anyone is ever too old to "learn how to learn". If you would like a neat book, try Howard Gardner's "Multiple Intelligences". The author himself is worthy of an epic googling session. I think his work will awaken a hidden side of you...
Yeah, I am worried for public education as well. Mostly I get angry at the admin side of it - big, huge office buildings and loads of unnecessary (my opinion) people (from the state boards of ed all the way to textbook publishers) getting in the way of what should really be a much simpler relationship: the kids, the teachers directly dealing with the kids, and a local community to decide what atmosphere their local school should have.
Last edited by Crabbcakes; 10-05-2012 at 10:10 PM.