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"Unschooling" the new method of education?

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posted on Jan, 13 2008 @ 08:53 PM
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Ok, first post in this forum. It has to do with a type of homeschooling that I have just become aware of. It is called the "unschooling philosophy. Here is the meaning behind it from Sandra Dodd:

Although unschooling is often described as a homeschooling style, it is, in fact, much more than just another homeschool teaching method. Unschooling is both a philosophy of natural learning and the lifestyle that results from living according to the principles of that philosophy. The most basic principle of unschooling is that children are born with an intrinsic urge to explore — for a moment or a lifetime — what intrigues them, as they seek to join the adult world in a personally satisfying way.
Because of that urge, an unschooling child is free to choose the what, when, where and how of his/her own learning from mud puddles to video games and SpongeBob Squarepants to Shakespeare! And an unschooling parent sees his/her role, not as a teacher, but as a facilitator and companion in a child’s exploration of the world.
Unschooling is a mindful lifestyle which encompasses, at its core, an atmosphere of trust, freedom, joy and deep respect for who the child is. This cannot be lived on a part-time basis. Unschooling sometimes seems so intuitive that people feel they’ve been doing it all along, not realizing it has a name. Unschooling sometimes seems so counterintuitive that people struggle to understand it, and it can take years to fully accept its worth.“


I am unsure as to what to think of this. On one hand, I totally agree with their principles. Yet on the other, I feel a child needs to definitely have the opportunities to play in organized athletics, meet fellow students that they can get support from on peer-peer issues, and learn the responsibility of a schedule. Has anyone ever heard of this before? I just wonder if this will catch on and if it does more long term harm than good. As a new parent, I am really in a quandry with this new found system.

Unschooling philosophy




[edit on 1/13/2008 by palehorse23]




posted on Jan, 13 2008 @ 09:00 PM
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I used to post on a board where another mother posted there who unschooled her children. She had been doing it from the time they were little up until the oldest was high school age.

She literally let them do whatever they wanted - as long as they were learning something. Whether it be reading anything they wanted or watching anything they wanted.

For her it seemed to work....so she claimed. She said her kids were extremely bright, well behaved, tested well and planned on going to college. She said they started reading early on....learned about math that we use every day in the real world (banking, stock market, etc etc).

For me...im freaked out about sending my child to public school. Wont send her to private...and dont have what it takes to homeschool. Im actually looking into some top charter schools in our area.

I like some of the ideas of unschooling....however, I think some kids really need a strict, scheduled environment. I also think some kids need to be around other kids - and not just their parents/siblings.

Every kid is different. Every kid learns differently. And unfortunately, our public schools are not able to cater to this which is why so many are finding other ways of teaching their kids.



posted on Jan, 13 2008 @ 09:17 PM
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reply to post by greeneyedleo
 




Every kid is different. Every kid learns differently. And unfortunately, our public schools are not able to cater to this which is why so many are finding other ways of teaching their kids.

Thank you for your insight greeneyed. The thing I am worried about is the increasing drop-out rate in schools these days. Plus, there are so many things taught in schools now that are pointless in my opinion. Would I have a better shot myself of ensuring my kids education? But being into conspiracies and such, things can be skewed for me. I want my boy to have the benefit of making up his own mind when it comes to subjects of that nature.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 06:22 PM
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I have often thought what I would do as well once I become a parent. On the one hand, I don't want my kids brain being warped by the distorted teachings we have in schools that we call history. I want them to learn the truth (no, not conspiracies, but the real truth of history, why the civil war was really fought etc. etc.)

I also don't want their capacity to learn to be stiffled because of the way the system is currently set up (classes are "dumbed" down so other students can catch up, in the meanwhile, the bright students don't end up progressing as much as they can).

On the other hand, I don't know if I'd even be able to do something like this, what with work and bills and all. I suppose if my film career kicks off, I could hopefully some day afford to do so, or if not, find a good tutor I can rely on. Structure is important as well, and I'm not sure if I'd be able to achieve it at home. They do have to learn that deadlines are important and I know I tend to be very lenient. So I'm not sure if I'd be qualified for it.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 06:35 PM
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I am a product of public schooling system

mentally, I don't fit into the "norm" range of the poplation curved shaped bell.

at one point of my public schooling a group of teached wanted to move me to the retarded part of the school, and in the process of the attempt it was found that my inteligents wasn't low it was very high. I didn't "not understand" what the teachers where going on about. I didn't care for they were not speaking on my level of understanding.

Needless to say my understandings of the world suffered from my public schooling.

In grade school I was realized to be "special" inteligents. The teachers, asked my mom if they could move me to the "higher" instruction. My mom left the choice up to me. I looked around and percieved, through what I had been taught, that they were trying to move me into the "nerd" class. This I wanted no part of. When asked why, I expressed I didn't want to be classed with the nerds. I heard a teacher in the group exclaim how they had lost another one to the media.

contradiction in understanding the two stories are. However, both perfect cases against the public schooling.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 06:36 PM
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Star and flag, OP.



Originally posted by Question
On the other hand, I don't know if I'd even be able to do something like this, what with work and bills and all.


I home school all 4 of my children and subscribe loosely to the unschooling method.

I can tell you don’t need to worry about time or qualifications!

Even children homeschooled by parents who did not finish high school score in a higher percentile then private school students.

So far as time goes, no one needs the 7,000 hours over 13 years that the schools do to teach their children.

You would be amazed what 4 or 5 hours per WEEK of actual instruction will do.

My kids have to brief me on what they learned during the week on their own and all too often I have to abandon my "lesson plan." More and more they are simply coming to me with question and for my opinion.

Kids naturally want to learn but the schools suck that desire right out of them!

If you do decide to home school your best bet, even if you don’t stick with the unschool method, is to not do ANY school work with them for a while. Let them grow their souls back. A good rule of thumb is no parent initiated work for 6 to 12 months. It is hard to watch your children sit around not going to school but trust me, when you see them picking up books for pleasure and asking you to turn into every bookstore they see it will all make sense.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 07:04 PM
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I home school, and technically I suppose I unschool.

Works wonders.

The home school is part of the public education system and all the material is provided, we rip through class work like its breathing and there is never hours of extra home work to make up for what wasn't taught in school.

I could tell horror stories about my daughter in public kindergarten...worse stories about day care.

Children don't need other children. They will not grow up to be adults and respond to children the way they did as youths. The only thing other children have to teach them is nose picking, bullying, ignorance, immaturity, and oh...sex.

My daughter was on the play ground, age 5, and told to suck....
Yeah kids need other kids like they need a whole in the head.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 07:05 PM
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I was "un-schooled" k-12. I am all for it if parents allow their kids to learn wherever they want to. Forcing a false belief like religion upon them, just sets them up for failure when they start to ask real questions later on in life.

Another thing, without the cultural pressures put on the kids, they WILL grow up to be more sensitive to the metaphysical side of things, since there's no peer pressure to tell them they're screwed-upp. They aren't. Physical reality is the tip of the iceburg. Kids will discover that themselves in the natural world around them. Parents must be prepared for that, and not brush it off as "the devil".



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 07:12 PM
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I am currently in public high school and boy do I agree with all of the above who say that children are taught pointless junk, as I am a victim....


We sit around learning garbage, then we sit around reviewing for hours for a garbage test, and if we dont know what we were told to MEMORIZE (not learn) then we get kicked into a lower class, where everything is repeated.....


I wish I was home schooled and I plan on homeschooling



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 07:30 PM
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Originally posted by palehorse23
Plus, there are so many things taught in schools now that are pointless in my opinion.


Care to qualify? I am a parent and I would like to know what to watch out for.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 08:04 PM
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reply to post by buddhasystem
 


Well, first off, thank you all for responding as I thought I would get no responses to this thread.

Second, I will quote racerzeke:



We sit around learning garbage, then we sit around reviewing for hours for a garbage test, and if we don't know what we were told to MEMORIZE (not learn) then we get kicked into a lower class, where everything is repeated.....

I have been out of school for 15 years now. And from what I remember, school was all about memorizing. Which, in my case, was good as I have a great memory. I was in the top ten in my class with an IQ of 142. But, at the same time, I always felt like there was more. The problem was, every time I asked, the teacher said "Let's stick to the lesson plan". I never had a teacher that wanted to go outside the provided curriculum. I was hoping that their would be a class about the things that were happening around us that we never really heard about. That never came about.
An example of pointless education to me is physical education. Granted, their is a child obesity problem in the US, but I feel that falls on the parents. Most kids are not good at athletics. hen they are forced to participate in gym class and they do not do well, this opens them up to ridicule from their peers. Not good for the self esteem. Hence all of these school shootings.
I feel kids today are not allowed to explore outside of what the states tell them to learn. Yes, there are things, such as history, math that should be learned by kids. But beyond that, I feel kids do more learning at home than anywhere else.
As previously posted: kids learn not so nice things from other kids. Especially the sex and ignorance and bullying. That, above all else, is what you need to watch out for.
Thank you all again



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 08:27 PM
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reply to post by palehorse23
 


Come on. Did you really just blame school shootings on Gym class?

Gym class is completely necessary in school and I believe should be every day. For every one student who hates gym, there are 20 who love it.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 08:58 PM
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reply to post by palehorse23
 



I think that's one of the advantages of homeschooling. You get to focus all your energy on your child's learning as opposed to giving that responsibility to a teacher with 20+ other children. Not only that, I have already heard from one of my previous high school teachers that the system is set up in such a way that puts most of the students "In the middle" so to speak. It's set up so that children with low standards can catch up to the children in the middle. But unfortunately, because of that, children who can reach higher standards suffer since they won't be given much attention. I was even told that the honor roll students aren't necessarily all that different either per se in standards. Only in that they can recall more facts a higher percentage of the time. (since the lowest grade you're even allowed in an honor roll is a B to B+)

Should I decide to have kids, I don't want them to be subjected to mediocrity by our school system and I definetely don't want them learning stuff from children they shouldn't be learning in the first place. I know I always got a speech from my parents telling me to be careful of what words I learn in class from class mates, but lets be honest, that doesn't work all the time.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 09:00 PM
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reply to post by inferno
 



Actually, in my high school that was the reverse, for every 1 sutdent that loved gym, the rest of the class hated it. Yep, I was the one who loved gym, especially archery class. Everyone else was either some stuck up jock whannabe or teenie bopper cheer leading whannabe.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 09:16 PM
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If you plan to home school, and want a good support base to at least start from
check out K12, see if its available in your state, if it is, then its paid by the state.

Beware of k12Freehomeschool, its scam organization.

Schools are currently geared to passing the standardized tests, not about learning.
Schools get funding based on performance on these tests and attendance.

If you want to find out the behind the scenes of public education watch Who Controls the children



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 10:47 PM
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Definitely, school is just about having their kids memorize whatever they are told to teach by the state, then depending on how good they do they get more money.... I've always thought this and I believe it but I have a silly question-does the money they get from the state more or less effect the salaries of the higher ups? Lets say principals? District workers? If so then there is definite motive to just scare us into testing well for the benefit of them and not us..... (none of our school funding is apparent in the appearance of the school or the supplies (books, etc..))


I really despise the school system, as we are taught not much useful information and if we select not to memorize this stuff our future is dangled in front of us.... With all of these 'college prep' classes, and all the love for the students who stand out and give information that they memorize, and ridicule of those who choose to not memorize.


I dont know seems like I am just running circles and circles but I guess it's good to get it all out, eh?





posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 11:36 PM
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reply to post by Legalizer
 

Thanks for the clip. It's interesting that she mentioned about assessment portfolios that track a child's behavior all the way through 12 (and beyond I'm sure) because I used to work for a "community action" program here in GA and they do somethign very similar. They also do use an internet database where teacher have to input all their data at the end of the day. It was increadibly creepy. I honestly didn't think too much about it back then, but I did find it interesting that they were more interested in how the child was behaving, more so than what the child was learning.

In the end I left the job because of questionable legal practices that this particular office did in order to keep their "quota" of students, and since my train of thought didn't fit with theirs (you know, wanting to do my job legally instead, even if it took a little longer) I had to be let go. I hated the job anyway and I was incredibly underpaid for a social worker (which from what I hear, you usually START at $15.00 - $18.00 per hour, (I didn't even come close to that). The only reason I even stayed as long as I did was because I needed a job at the time, but I didn't plan on sticking around for long.

The program is even a joke in most schools here, at least by the teachers. The teachers (those that still have their heads straight) talk about how the program doesn't really teach the kids anything nor does it actually have any real structure. Some of the teachers don't even like receiving any of the kids because they are way too disruptive.

I should be surprised, but then again, I remember that here in GA the education system is completely different. I'm just glad I got my schooling from both south america and IL.



posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 12:54 AM
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I've never heard this particular term before, but there is a local school that does kind of the same thing. (I forget what they call it, but it wasn't unschooling) It's some sort of private school, and all the learning is directed by the child. Basically, it works exactly the same as the 'unschooling' idea, except that instead of mom and dad supervising their kids, it's a couple of paid professionals supervising a small group. The kids would decide what they wanted to learn and for how long, and if they didn't want to do anything, then they didn't do anything.

The article I read about it said that often, like with cavscout's kids, they would spend a few weeks or months not doing anything, and then they would start to really get into the learning. They claimed that this form of schooling prepared the kids a lot better for university.

I went to public schooling for all grades, and while I did learn about science and history and math and whatever, I could have learned a lot faster and better if I'd had the 8 hours a day to work on my own, or with a small group of like-minded people. I will admit that without public schooling, my people skills would probably be dreadful. It took me a long time to learn to properly interact with others. Some children can pick these skills up without public schooling, but I wouldn't have.

If I had kids, I'm not sure what choice I'd make for their schooling. If I was rich, I'd probably put them in some sort of elite private school where they actually have (in theory, anyway) much better teaching. Whether or not they attended formal schooling, I'd still want to be teaching them at home, to cover the things that I feel that they should know that aren't being taught in the schools.

I think what it comes down to is that you have to look at what is best for your children. It may be different for each child you have, too. Some children need the social interaction that a public school provides, for instance, while others thrive on the solitude of homeschooling. The best thing to do is evaluate what is best for each of your kids, and to spend time with them teaching and learning with them (goes both ways) regardless of what system they are in. It might change over time, as well, since the child changes and grows up, and their needs might be different at age 15 than age 5.



posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 01:18 AM
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reply to post by Legalizer
 


Thanks for posting that link.

We are moving soon and my child will soon be entering school. Im VERY stressed about what school she will attend, because the state we are moving to has some of the worst schools. And the area we are moving to has some of the worst in the state.

I have been looking into some of the charter schools, because they have smaller teacher/student ratio and the best test scores. However, I still dont know if that is good enough. Where we buy a house all depends on the school she could attend.

I dread homeschooling (im in school myself right now)....but if its what is best for my child, I will do it.

Luckily, the link you posted is in the state we are moving too. Good!!!!



[edit on 16-1-2008 by greeneyedleo]



posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 02:09 AM
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This is my 6th year of homeschooling. I have 3 teenage children and a 6 year old. I have found that no one “method” works for us in every subject at every age. For example, my older kids have a more structured math program, simply because they have advanced to more complex math. However, along with Algebra, they are learning how to budget, buy a car, balance a checkbook, follow the stock market, figure loan rates, etc. When I was in college I took a finance course and was amazed that almost the whole class had never been taught this...and they were legal adults!

But most of the other subjects take a less “book learning” approach. Language Arts consists of Communications and Literature this year for the older kids. If they have to write business letters, we try to make it fun (My son composed a very well-written complaint letter to his sister about her constantly talking about nothing but her favorite movie star that month. Even she had to admit it was A+ material.). I offer suggestions for books to read, but it's their decision. Which is why they devour them outside of “school time”. Again, public schools teach years and years of nouns and verbs, but don't teach kids how to write a good resume (we even do practice interviews) or write a letter when the hospital billing department screws up your account. I also want my kids to read books from a variety of people with different personalities, backgrounds and ideas.

History is probably the subject we come closest to “unschooling” in. I struggled for a couple of years trying to figure out how to make history exciting for them. Learning out of text books was not for us for several reasons. Finally I found that if I start them with a certain event or time period they will find that certain angle that really fascinates them. So we delve into that and in the process learn all the boring information, too. And that usually leads us to our next subject. We use a lot of shows off the History Channel, PBS, etc., along with documentaries from Netflix. We talk to people with knowledge on the subject, take field trips, read the newspaper front to back every day, and the librarians know us well. We also just take a lot of time to sit down and talk, especially about current events. I am constantly surprised at the ways my kids are learning to process information and think for themselves. And while I don't homeschool for religious reasons, my children are learning about ALL religions. Religion plays a huge part in the way the world works, especially now. I want them to recognize the impact it makes, but also I want them to be tolerant and open-minded when it comes to knowing people of different faiths.

My younger child does more of the unschooling approach. The other day she announced she wanted to learn multiplication now, so that's what we'll do. She watched the big kids do their math and taught herself how to do addition and subtraction problems on paper and in her head without counting on her fingers when she was 4, so following the math books for Kindergarten or 1st grade is a bit silly at this point. Besides, she has to eventually learn it all, so I see no need to go in any author-determined order. She's the only one who has never been to public school and I can't believe the difference. My only regret about homeschooling is that we didn't do it from the start with the older kids.


So I've found that, for us, a mixed approach works. It took us some time to figure it out, and we still have to tweak a bit here and there, but that is just another way to teach my kids how to adapt in life. I worry more about teaching them how to find and understand information instead of memorizing it, think for themselves instead of being told, and to give them enough knowledge to survive but still let them learn and experience life for themselves.



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