Homeschooling Moms

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paris2lmp
Unschooling? (I'm confused)
January 24, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Based on what I have read in various places, and heard from various people....."unschooling" is basically homeschooling without structure.  No workbooks, assignments, tests etc.  It also is a child-driven method (from my understanding).  Meaning that the student picks and choses what they want to learn and when, and how, with little to no parental guidance. 

Is this a correct understanding of unschooling? 

Replies

  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    BJ
    January 24, 2013 at 9:26 PM

     It is what I would call a basic understanding of it because unschooling is so much more then that. When you chose to unschool you are being confident in the fact that your child/children will learn all that they need to learn in life as the need arises in there lives. You are the fasilitator providing them with tools & materials to learn any & all things. Some of us unschoolers like to do a thing called strewing (strewing is leaving interesting books, toys, games, tools or matterials around where the children will find them on their own)in hopes that it will interest them. Everyday I spend an hour or so on the Internet looking for cool new science information to share with my kids (they love science). Books we read inspire their interest in history (my 9 & 7 y/o have asked to learn about The Titanic, Egypt & many other historic times/places/events). It is not the "lazy" way to homeschool like a lot of people think it is. I find that it can be more challenging for me because I have to always be ready to assist them in any & all their interest & pursuits.

  • KrissyKC
    January 24, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    So, if your child actually doesn't want to learn math for a long period of time... do you just not teach math??

    Or are there SOME basic subjects that you kinda teach them anyway... like math, basic reading and writing...?


  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    BJ
    January 24, 2013 at 11:56 PM

     We don't teach in the way you are thinking. When I would play with them when they where young we would count the blocks & sort them in to colors as part of our play. When ever we see a train we count the train cars (this is how they learned to count to 100). Cooking has been how they have learned fractions. My 9y/o DD has taught herself how to skip count. We explained to her how skip counting is like multiplications, she now knows how to do that too.

    For writing my daughter wants to leave notes for me so she had to learn to write so she could. I would write down what she wanted to put & she would copy it, that's how she learned.

    For us everything is learned as part of life & needs being met. As they grow they find things they want/need to know to accomplish a goal they have for themselves, we are here to help them learn those things when the time comes. It is all about what they want to learn not what I think they should learn.

    The most important thing they are learning is to know how to learn on their own! When they have all the skills needed to pursue knowledge they will never need an instructor/teacher to help them!

    Quoting KrissyKC:

    So, if your child actually doesn't want to learn math for a long period of time... do you just not teach math??

    Or are there SOME basic subjects that you kinda teach them anyway... like math, basic reading and writing...?

     

     

  • jen2150
    by jen2150
    January 25, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    I consider myself an quassi unschooler.  I use curriculum as needed and strutchured classes of their own choosing.  My kids decide what they learn and how they learn with a lot of parental guidance. I introduce new topics to them all the time.   I encourage my sons to play with math.  We use teaching textbooks, life of fred, made up math games or whatever ideas they come up.  Sometimes my son takes a piece of paper and just places with numbers and angles.  My son didn't want to study the human body so I found a way that interested him.  I got him the book the Way We work.  It takes a study of the human body from an art and mechanical way.  When we say child led we don't mean children run the show.  It just means we have learned to trust them.  My son has a view that I don't have.  I can't see inside his mind and see his thought processes.  I don't know when he is ready for what.  I listen to him and ask him questions.  How did you like studying about owls?  Was it interesting?  Do you have anything else you would like to try?  I found a neat idea that I would to try.  What do you think?  He then tells me all about what he thinks on the subject.  My sons actually enjoy workbooks but only certain kinds.  I know what kinds have activities that they enjoy.  I lay books around and activities as well.  We are currently studying the periodic table.  We put together a 1,000 piece puzzle of the periodic table.  I also bought a set of tiles that go together as well.  My sons were playing on the wii so I set the tiles down next to them and within 5 minutes they were bringing it to me to put together.  They both were excited and wanted to put it together first.  Our spelling consists of my kids picking 5 words that they want to learn and then learning them any way they wish.  Two days ago my son chose to learn his spelling word by building it in lego.  I give my sons assignments but they are free to change them.  We also take co-op classes as well.  They know part of taking the class is doing the assigned work.  The class is all their choice and they love taking them.  My oldest is 10 and next year he become the teacher's aide for his computer science class.  He is way ahead of everyoen else.  His teacher has been very impressed by his Math skills.  He can actually think matematically to figure out math he has never been taught.  I have always encouraged him to play with Math.  I used to worry whether that was good idea and that he was learning enough Math.  I do not worry any longer.  My focus with my children is imagination, creativity, and a love of learning.  Here is a pic of our spelling class a couple of days ago.  Spelling with legos was my idea and my son really took off with the idea.  I consider myself their learning coach more than anything else.  


  • KrissyKC
    January 25, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    cool... thanks for the answers....

    I think most homeschoolers bring in SOME un-schooling techniques...    at least we do.. and we have curriculum and a schedule...   but we have lots of child-led opportunities to learn, too.

    They are really interested in their own country, so I've focused on that...

    They want to get into Astronomy, so I'm looking into buying Apologia Astronomy and adding field trips and library days that center around this subject, too.

    But, I love having curricula for math and english, though...   my kids don't mind them either, because we even go a little child led there... there are times, when they really don't want to do it or want to stop, we let them and move onto something else.

    So I dunno what to call my own style... mixxed up???


  • faeriemom1972
    January 26, 2013 at 9:16 AM


    Quoting usmom3:

     It is what I would call a basic understanding of it because unschooling is so much more then that. When you chose to unschool you are being confident in the fact that your child/children will learn all that they need to learn in life as the need arises in there lives. You are the fasilitator providing them with tools & materials to learn any & all things. Some of us unschoolers like to do a thing called strewing (strewing is leaving interesting books, toys, games, tools or matterials around where the children will find them on their own)in hopes that it will interest them. Everyday I spend an hour or so on the Internet looking for cool new science information to share with my kids (they love science). Books we read inspire their interest in history (my 9 & 7 y/o have asked to learn about The Titanic, Egypt & many other historic times/places/events). It is not the "lazy" way to homeschool like a lot of people think it is. I find that it can be more challenging for me because I have to always be ready to assist them in any & all their interest & pursuits.

    This tickles me immensely, lol. I never thought to give a name to the action of piling stuff in strategic places. My son is only 6- 7 in April, so I don't feel I have enough experience to really comment. I just trust him and go and with his flow. We have really great conversations, and he's charming so I think it's going well :)

  • Jasmlpr
    by Jasmlpr
    January 26, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    This is a fascinating technique!
    I have never heard of unschooling,
    but I had already planned on homeschooling my son.
    Thank you for the information! I love this idea of life-teaching!

    good 


    Quoting usmom3:

     We don't teach in the way you are thinking. When I would play with them when they where young we would count the blocks & sort them in to colors as part of our play. When ever we see a train we count the train cars (this is how they learned to count to 100). Cooking has been how they have learned fractions. My 9y/o DD has taught herself how to skip count. We explained to her how skip counting is like multiplications, she now knows how to do that too.

    For writing my daughter wants to leave notes for me so she had to learn to write so she could. I would write down what she wanted to put & she would copy it, that's how she learned.

    For us everything is learned as part of life & needs being met. As they grow they find things they want/need to know to accomplish a goal they have for themselves, we are here to help them learn those things when the time comes. It is all about what they want to learn not what I think they should learn.

    The most important thing they are learning is to know how to learn on their own! When they have all the skills needed to pursue knowledge they will never need an instructor/teacher to help them!

    Quoting KrissyKC:

    So, if your child actually doesn't want to learn math for a long period of time... do you just not teach math??

    Or are there SOME basic subjects that you kinda teach them anyway... like math, basic reading and writing...?


     



  • MommyTo5Boys
    January 26, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    But don't they still have to take yearly tests from the school district to prove that they are learning and you are teaching them? I know that is how it is here in NY anyway.


  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    BJ
    January 26, 2013 at 7:42 PM
    Not in all states! Here in Texas we don't have to do any testing or reporting to anyone ever!

    Quoting MommyTo5Boys:

    But don't they still have to take yearly tests from the school district to prove that they are learning and you are teaching them? I know that is how it is here in NY anyway.


  • rsrangel
    January 26, 2013 at 8:03 PM
    I have an interest in unschooling as you have explained it, and do incorporate it in some ways, but I also have fears about it. Do you think they may have a problem if they decide to go to college? Will you unschool in high school too?


    Quoting usmom3:

     We don't teach in the way you are thinking. When I would play with them when they where young we would count the blocks & sort them in to colors as part of our play. When ever we see a train we count the train cars (this is how they learned to count to 100). Cooking has been how they have learned fractions. My 9y/o DD has taught herself how to skip count. We explained to her how skip counting is like multiplications, she now knows how to do that too.


    For writing my daughter wants to leave notes for me so she had to learn to write so she could. I would write down what she wanted to put & she would copy it, that's how she learned.


    For us everything is learned as part of life & needs being met. As they grow they find things they want/need to know to accomplish a goal they have for themselves, we are here to help them learn those things when the time comes. It is all about what they want to learn not what I think they should learn.


    The most important thing they are learning is to know how to learn on their own! When they have all the skills needed to pursue knowledge they will never need an instructor/teacher to help them!


    Quoting KrissyKC:


    So, if your child actually doesn't want to learn math for a long period of time... do you just not teach math??


    Or are there SOME basic subjects that you kinda teach them anyway... like math, basic reading and writing...?


     


     


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